I think another reason Dallas went downhill is the stories became further and further removed from reality. One could identify with or at least empathize with the characters in many of the stories told in the first few seasons. There was a certain amount of realism in them. Bobby marrying the daughter of a man who his father hated, Lucy being rebellious and not wanting to go to school, Cliff using his power at the OLM to try to run the Ewings out of business, Pam being caught in between loyalty to her husband and loyalty to her brother, JR trying to show his father he could run Ewing Oil because he idolized his father and wanted to gain his love and approval while knowing that Bobby had always been his father's favorite, these are things viewers could either identify with or at least believe could be real stories. Compare "Dove Hunt" to what happened to JR on his hunting trip to Haleyville in season 12. Paying a man to blow up oil fields in Saudi Arabia, becoming involved in a scheme where Jack would be used to impersonate one of the richest men in the world since they looked almost exactly alike, a whole season being called "just a dream", a man claiming to be Jock Ewing years after Jock's death and almost getting away with it or a neighbor hiring mercenaries to go to war with the Ewings so they would acquiesce and sell him Section 40...sure these types of things happen everyday.