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The 1997 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 38th season in the National Football League and was the fourth year under head coach Barry Switzer. The team failed to improve on their 10-6 record from 1996, suffered a losing season, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1990. A series of countless off-the-field incidents, lack of discipline, and rumors of infighting between quarterback Troy Aikman and head coach Barry Switzer plagued the team throughout the year.
Though the season began well with an impressive win against the Pittsburgh Steelers and a 3-1 start, the Cowboys would soon see a sharp decline that included five consecutive losses to close out the year. A series of countless off-the-field incidents, lack of discipline, and rumors of infighting between quarterbackTroy Aikman and head coachBarry Switzer plagued the team throughout the year. In a season filled with injuries and controversy, which also saw a tearful Michael Irvin promising change following a tough loss to the New York Giants in the final regular season game, Switzer would later resign after the season. Notable additions to the team were linebackerDexter Coakley.