ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Super Bowl used to be a simple enough event that NFL owners could decide in the spring where to put next season's championship game.
It was that way in 1971, when the Dallas Cowboys showed up to the league meetings hoping to lure the game to their new state-of-the-art stadium.
At the time, Oakland's Al Davis reminded his AFC peers that Dallas had just played in the Super Bowl. Giving them the next Super Bowl, he warned, could mean sending one of their teams to Texas Stadium for the title game. That spurred a push for Miami, which had hosted three of the first five Super Bowls.
Nearly 40 years later, that's still about as close as any team has come to playing a Super Bowl on its home field.
The next championship is being held at Cowboys Stadium, and Jerry Jones has made no secret of wanting his 'boys to break the streak. With their season kicking off Sunday night in Washington, here are some details of how much history they're up against:
» Because both wins came in the wild-card round and were followed by losses, no host has even reached the league championship game.
"Hmmmm," Jones said. "Goodness."
Jones didn't realize the numbers were so ugly, but he has several explanations to take the edge off the 0-for-37. (Of the 44 Super Bowl, seven were played in NFL markets, but not NFL stadiums.)
Jones noted the teams that have played in the most Super Bowls -- Dallas, Pittsburgh, New England and Denver -- haven't been eligible to host because they have cold weather and outdoor stadiums. Texas Stadium came close in '71 because it hadn't opened and folks were told the partial roof would keep out the elements more than it really did. Once the myth was exposed, the Cowboys never had a chance until building the new stadium with a real roof.)
Then there's the reverse of that theory -- Super Bowl sites are warm-weather cities or domed stadium, and those kinds of teams do not routinely play for the championship. Various clubs make it now and again, but they haven't been fortunate enough to match the years they dominate with the years they host.
"Luck of the draw," said Dick Anderson, a starting safety in three Super Bowls with the Dolphins in the 1970s and head of Miami's host committee for the game following the 1988 season.
"Sooner or later, it may happen," he said.
There's another tidbit that fuels the jinx theory, and that's what happened in those seven Super Bowls played at non-NFL stadiums.
Timing is everything, though, and they just haven't had it.
"Bookends," Anderson said, laughing.
David Woodley guided the Dolphins back in '82, then Dan Marino in '84. Alas, Miami was in its midst of its longest gap between host stints (1978-88).
The second-most popular site is New Orleans, with nine.
New Orleans was the easy compromise candidate in '71 not because of Bourbon Street, but because the Saints were so lousy that everyone knew they wouldn't be contenders. They were doormats most every year before winning it all last season. They're also a big reason those 37 host teams are a combined 240-327-4, just a .424 winning percentage.
Roger Staubach is certainly hoping they pull it off.
He thinks it would be a great claim to fame for the 45th edition if this was the jinx buster. He laughs off the notion that a hometown team would lessen the economic impact, counting on the wide appeal of "America's Team" to more than make up for it.
"I think it would add to the excitement, make it more fun," he said.
And, he added, "We want to have the NFC championship game here, too."