AMERICA’S TEAM–LOST LEGEND: Amazing journey ends for Dallas Cowboys first QB Eddie LeBaron | Fascinating life of American war hero | Eddie LeBaron Jr 1930-2015
DALLAS COWBOYS LOST LEGEND: Versatile fullback Robert Newhouse passes away | Dallas Cowboys 1972-1983; 1983-2008 | His sacrifices helped create “America’s Team”
OXNARD, Calif. – On the day the team reported to training camp with high hopes for the future, the Dallas Cowboys lost a key member of their history.
MAKING OF AMERICA’S TEAM: The Dallas Cowboys best all-time NFL draft picks round-by-round | Special Feature
IRVING, Texas – This list centers on breaking down the Dallas Cowboys top NFL Draft picks in club history, round by round. These aren’t the best groups of draft picks in franchise history, but quite possibly the best in each round.
IRVING, Texas – This week is the Dallas Cowboys turn to be featured on NFL Network’s Dynasty Week, which runs each week with a new team throughout March.
The Cowboys are one of five NFL dynasties, along with the Packers, Patriots, Steelers and 49ers, that will be featured. Each “Dynasty Week” will feature team-related segments on NFL AM and NFL Total Access, as well as interviews with guests associated with each team.
Additionally, throughout the week NFL Network will show team-related editions of such shows as A Football Life, America’s Game, NFL’s Top 10 and Sound FX, as well as classic games and Super Bowl re-airs.
The series for the Dallas Cowboys begins Monday and continues through Sunday, April 6. Former Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton and former Cowboys defensive back Everson Walls are among the in-studio guests.
Cowboys Week features the following Cowboys-related programming:
Monday, March 31
3:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Team Nicknames
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1971 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: The Triplets
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
9:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 1
2:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
3:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Thanksgiving Moments
4:00 AM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Team Nicknames
Tuesday, April 1
1:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
2:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
3:00 PM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1977 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Terrell Owens
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
9:00 PM CT – The Road to Canton: Michael Irvin
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 2
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1975 Divisional Playoff – Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
4:30 AM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
Wednesday, April 2
1:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1992 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Bill Parcells
8:00 PM CT – NFL’s Greatest Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
9:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 3
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
Thursday, April 3
1:00 PM CT – NFL Classic Games: Week 17, 1993 – Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1993 Cowboys
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: The Triplets
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
9:00 PM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 4
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: Week 14, 1994 – Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Friday, April 4
1:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
4:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1995 Cowboys
5:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
5:30 PM CT – Sound FX: Tony Romo
8:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
9:00 PM CT – NFL’s Top 10: Thanksgiving Moments
12 Midnight CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 5
2:00 AM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1995 NFC Championship Game – Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Saturday, April 5
8:00 AM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
9:00 AM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
10:00 AM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
11:00 AM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 1
3:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 2
4:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 3
5:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 4
6:00 PM CT – Hard Knocks: 2008 Cowboys: Episode 5
8:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
9:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
11:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
12 Midnight CT – NFL’s Top 10: Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – NFL Classic Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, April 6
8:00 AM CT – The Road to Canton: Michael Irvin
9:00 AM CT – The Road to Canton: Deion Sanders
10:00 AM CT – NFL Film Session: Emmitt Smith: Run with History
11:00 AM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
2:00 PM CT – A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas
3:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson
4:00 PM CT – A Football Life: Tom Landry
5:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1971 Cowboys
6:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1977 Cowboys
7:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1992 Cowboys
8:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1993 Cowboys
9:00 PM CT – America’s Game: 1995 Cowboys
10:00 PM CT – Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
10:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
11:00 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVII: Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
11:30 PM CT – Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills
12 Midnight CT – Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
12:30 AM CT – NFL’s Greatest Games: 1992 NFC Championship Game – San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys
2:00 PM CT – Super Bowl Classics: Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
DALLAS COWBOYS FOOTBALL CLUB: Looking back at Jerry Jones’ 25 year ownership of America’s Team | Special Feature
IRVING, Texas – Man, 25 wild and crazy years, zigging and zagging, laughing and crying, running and running faster, trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Never, ever – ever – a dull moment, from the one win of 1989 that kept the Dallas Cowboys from an unprecedentedly poor 16-game NFL season to the eight wins – again – of 2013, one short of acceptable for the third straight year.
Who knew 25 years ago this past Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1989, sitting in the Dallas Cowboys team meeting room out here at what we then were referring to as Cowboys Ranch late that Saturday night, that so many lives would irrevocably change when the then-Arkansas stranger Jerral Wayne Jones was being introduced as just the third owner of the world-renowned Dallas Cowboys.
His life, along with those of his wife Gene’s and their three kids: Stephen, Charlotte and Jerry Jr.
The lives of so many who had worked for the Cowboys – made the Dallas Cowboys – from Day One or for the majority of those first 29 years of the NFL’s first expansion franchise’s existence.
The lives of those who would follow the Joneses to Dallas.
And our lives, too, those of us in the media crammed into a room big enough to house a team of football players but bursting at the seams with nearly everyone already on deadline when the long-awaited announcement began sometime after 8 p.m.
Me, I have mental snapshots of that evening, seeing on one hand the pure joy and excitement laced with some anxiety of the Jones Family and all of Jerry’s partners when he was introduced as the next owner of the Dallas Cowboys. But on the other hand, there was basically the team’s godfather, Tex Schramm, standing off to the side, with the glum look of a man attending his own funeral, realizing then the fact he no longer had a seat on center stage was symbolic of what was to come.
Hey, if Tom Landry was no longer needed, and he wasn’t since Jimmy Johnson was coming along with Jones in a package deal and had already been told by Jones what previous owner Bum Bright should have since he more or less resented Landry, surely the appropriately named Tex was not long for his world of 29 years either.
There was Jones, with almost preacher-like enthusiasm, rapidly talking of immediately winning with the 3-13 team he was inheriting, emphasizing his positivity with a fist pounding the air.
There were the arched eyebrows of the skeptical media, wondering what in the world … realizing the 29 years of Cowboys stability was being rattled as if the ground beneath an Apollo capsule launching into space.
A new day was dawning at dusk.
The last snapshot: After the final 30 was put on however many stories we could pound out by midnight, several writers gathered in Tex’s office, soon to be Jerry’s and still is. Sitting-on-the-floor room only. Again, a day of celebration on one hand, and rightfully so when you pledge $140 million you didn’t really have for an NFL franchise and accompanying stadium that were losing money hand over fist, and on this other hand a somber gathering, reminiscing about the good old days that were mostly great but now suddenly just good and old, growing more feint by the minute in the rearview mirror.
It was as if with these stories Tex was giving away his final possessions over drinks – stiff ones I might add – with the very people he had heartily laughed with yet angrily sparred with oh the many years.
“This is a very sad night for me,” Tex said needlessly.
And I distinctly remember this too: My Dallas Times Herald teammate, Frank Luksa, who had covered the Cowboys and Tom and Tex from nearly their 1960 inception, a man who thought he had seen it all, sitting on the floor next to me. He began to rise, held up his near-empty drink in a toast, saying unbeknownst to the rest of us, “Well, time to go home to celebrate what remains of my birthday.”
Will never forget his birthdate, singed into my mind.
And this, too, I’ll never forget, ever. A few days later, March 1, my life, as I perceived at the time, was turned upside down. A guy who was the sports department’s general assignment writer, handling an assortment of jobs, from helping out on the Cowboys to the Rangers to the Mavericks, college football, basketball and baseball, writing lengthy features and having just come off the previous year of covering the Olympics in Calgary and then Seoul, was told the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones were your beat, buddy.
You have been chosen to inherit the tradition set by such esteemed writers as Sherrod, Perkins, Luksa and Dent. No way, I said, not me. I’m not cut out for this. They told me I was perfectly fit, having helped out since the middle of the 1984 season and having covered nearly every game over what turned out to be the final four and a half seasons of Landry’s coaching career.
So there I went kicking and screaming, into what seemingly was a daily towering inferno. Every day – every day – there was something, starting with Jimmy Johnson’s introductory press conference on Monday, the Port Arthur native apologizing with hat in hand if he somehow had danced on Landry’s coaching grave, saying to those who had perceived so, “I’m sorry,” and me finishing my story that night with one line:
And so the Cowboys new era begins apologetically.
Then there came all the coaching changes. Jimmy’s new assistants being hired. Tom’s old assistants being fired.
Then there was Jerry, armed with the first pick in the NFL Draft saying, “Troy Aikman should play for half the price” just to get to be a part of the Dallas Cowboys organization. Oh my.
Next day having to do a long profile on Jimmy.
Next day Cowboys lower ticket prices for end-zone seats.
Then the start of Plan B free agency.
Then the owners meetings, along with the start of implementing instant replay and the league’s initial crackdown on steroids.
Then there was no vote on approving the Dallas Cowboys sale to Jones, leaving the deal hanging.
Then 29-year NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle’s retirement, he having just compared Landry’s dismissal with “the death of Lombardi.”
Then Jimmy’s first minicamp, along with the real possibility of Randy White and Danny White not being back with the team, which eventually came to fruition a few months later. Then the contract struggle with quarterback Steve Pelluer.
Let’s see, then Too Tall staying, Doug Cosbie leaving, Jimmy playing coy on Aikman being their No. 1 pick, Mike Sherrard leaving, Nate showing up at 358 pounds for offseason workouts, Barry Sanders challenging the NFL’s draft rules, petitioning as an unheard of underclassman for the draft. Landry throwing out the first pitch at a Rangers game. A Landry parade downtown Dallas. The schedule released, at New Orleans becoming the new era’s opener.
Tex Schramm resigning to head up the NFL’s Worldwide American Football League. Cowboys vice president Joe Bailey resigning to join him. Then eventually business manager Billy Hicks, too, to head across the pond. Then the NFL at a meeting in New York finally approving the sale to Jones. Then negotiations began with Aikman’s agent Leigh Steinberg. Then Aikman signing a six-year, $11 million deal, the richest contract for an NFL rookie to date as the Cowboys No. 1 pick. Then the draft.
Oh, we’re just getting started, and these moves were expected, Jerry wanting to get his own people in place, people he could trust not relying solely on those with allegiances to Tex and Tom. Sort of like if you’ve ever been to an Italian wedding or seen an old-day Italian restaurant run. Only the immediate family handles the money, you know, and immediate means wife, husband, kids, mother, father or grandparents. Seriously.
Then longtime Cowboys employees being let go: Day-Oner Gil Brandt, treasurer of 18 years Don Wilson, public relations man of 18 years Doug Todd, 22-year ticket manager Ann Lloyd. All hard to watch.
Gosh, and it wasn’t even May yet.
And remember, back in those days there were three daily newspapers in the Metroplex: ours, The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The competition was fierce. And remember, too, no internet. Ha, internet. No social media. No cell phones. Dimes and quarters were important commodities for payphones. You had one shot to get every story every night. And if you were a competitor you wanted the impossibility of every story every night, so that meant working to 11 nearly every night. Anxiety filled your sleep.
Then, well, mornings were hell. You were scared to death to grab those other papers for fear of getting beat in black and white. Remember, too, no updating if you didn’t have it all until the next day. Trying to keep up with Jerry and Jimmy was exhausting. They weren’t letting any grass grow under their feet. Blowin’ and goin’ was the slogan. Theirs was an immediate program, not some three-year plan.
By the first of June, felt as if my head was being centrifuged. We had a meeting of sorts, me and the sports editor, who told me I was doing a fine job. Maybe, I said, but I want out. I want my old job back. This is going to kill me. He said no way. I said I can’t. He said we’re eliminating your old position anyway.
I said, well, of course I’ll cover the Dallas Cowboys. Who wouldn’t want to, right? But again, not before agreeing kicking and screaming, having wanted desperately to run for cover.
So here it is 25 years later, and still covering the Cowboys in some form or fashion every single day since, and well, let’s see. By my count, the last game I missed was the season finale in 1988, 23-7 loss to Philadelphia. And swear, I’ve never done this before, so hang with me, that’s 25 seasons times 16 regular-season games a season, equaling, no way, an even 400 straight, along with the majority, but not every preseason game during that span of time.
Seen 1-15 and 13-3. Seen three Super Bowl victories and three consecutive seasons of 5-11. Seen a plane ride home from Philadelphia in 1991 after the Cowboys clinched their first playoff berth in six seasons – first winning season, too, in those six – that barely needed jet fuel to get off the ground, and now three consecutive seasons of 8-8.
Seen a losing franchise, both financially and athletically, become the richest in the United States and first to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span. Seen Hall of Fame coronations and the Jerry-Jimmy spat. Seen Switzer make me laugh until I thought I’d cry and Bill leave me in stitches even when he wasn’t trying to be funny. Seen Jimmy cry How ‘bout dem Cowboys! and smack those lips hard as he could losing those opening two games in 1993.
Seen triplets born to Bill Bates and Triplets land in the Ring of Honor. Seen Dave Campo come and go, and then come back again. Seen a free-agent quarterback rise into becoming the head coach and another rookie free-agent quarterback rise out of nowhere to become the franchise’s all-time leading passer. Seen Texas Stadium come crumbling down and AT&T Stadium rise from that gigantic hole in the ground.
Watched every carry of the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Saw Michael Irvin the day he arrived hugging the life-sized cardboard cutout of Tom Landry and similarly hugging Jerry Jones the day he retired. Seen tragedies and attended funerals.
Seen it all for 25 years, every step of the way only because someone forced me to take that first step running after a guy I had never met until 25 years ago this past Tuesday. Exhausting, yes. Exhilarating, you bet.
And maybe the best part: 25 years is but a milestone. Got a feeling there’s still much more to come.
Courtesy: Mickey Spagnola | Columnist
RELATED: 25th Anniversary of Jerry Jones’ ownership of the Dallas Cowboys
25 Years – Jerry Jones reflects on buying Dallas Cowboys; Replacing Tom Landry
This day, 25 years ago, Jerry Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys. Listen to the Jerry Jones himself talk about the trials of the purchase, and the journey through the last twenty-five years.
Tuesday, Feb. 25 marked the 25th anniversary of Jerry Jones franchise purchase of the Dallas Cowboys from Bum Bright in 1989.
Jones spent more than an hour Sunday on the Cowboys bus outside Lucus Oil Stadium in Indianapolis reminiscing about the historic transaction and the days leading up to it _ the nervousness and excitement that caused him to develop a heart condition called Arrhythmia and the huge risk he took, considering the Cowboys were not only a mess on the field at the time but where swimming in debt, losing $1 million per month.
“It was quite a trying time for me. I get emotional talking about it and I’ve asked a professional about why I get emotional talking about it in public or private and they said, well, that was a traumatic time for you. It was a pretty significant reach risk-wise and I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, so it was a nervous time for me. I developed arrhythmia, and I had never had an unhealthy day in my life. Arrhythmia is called by a lot of people and a lot of med students get it. It was from not resting and never sleeping and then getting up just after you lay your head down. So that kind of describes for me that period of time.”
On the warning his father told him about what would happen if he failed:
“I didn’t know, but I quickly found out the visibility that was involved there. My father called me about 10 days, two weeks into this thing and he said, ‘Jerry, I had no idea this thing would have the visibility it’s got and he said, I don’t care you are a young guy, and he said, ‘I don’t care whether you do it by mirrors, smoke or what, if you are not successful, you’ve got to make it look successful or you will be known by a loser and you won’t be able to do anything else for the rest of your life in terms of getting people to go along with you.’ “
On his biggest regret:
“If I had a chance to do it over again I would’ve waited a year and just got my feet on the ground a little bit more and probably just gone with the staff that we had and then later made the ultimate changes that I made. If I had to do that over again, I probably would do it because probably it was the urgency with how fast we had to move. That got a lot of the criticism that the changes that were made with the staff.”
So you regret hiring Jimmy Johnson and firing Tom Landry so callously:
“I don’t regret what I said was looking back because that contributed to the seemingly insensitive way that coach Landry was changed out and that contributed to it, the fact that it was done at the same time that we made the announcement there 25 years ago, that we made the announcement that I was buying the team, that I was going to be the general manager and all of that was done almost the same night. As a matter of fact, that was done the same night. So if I look back at the criticism, that’s one where you might have taken more time.”
Was Jimmy Johnson always going to be the guy to replace Landry:
“I thought of Barry (Switzer). I did think of Barry. But Jimmy is, of course, more active. He probably had more proximity. I kept up with Jimmy. My oil and gas partners were in Oklahoma City and I spent a lot of time around them. They were very prominent in OSU, Oklahoma State’s athletic department. So that all fit real good. When I called Jimmy to tell him that I was looking at it, that I was interested — what would you think about joining me? His quote was: ‘I always wanted to be with you, work with you. If you called me to sell insurance, I’d sell insurance.’ So actually Jimmy came on and we officially – not officially – but we announced he was going to be the head coach and it was a significant period of time after that before we every got around to doing an agreement about money, before we even talked about money. He committed and left Miami and came to the Cowboys before we even talked about money.”
Jones on the nervousness of the financial risk because of the state of the Cowboys and NFL:
“I was excited. I was very nervous. I knew I had huge financial obligations. I knew they were ahead of me and I didn’t have all the answers as to how we were going to address them. I knew there were a lot of pitfalls in just the buying of the Cowboys, not necessarily clean. I bought 13 percent of the Cowboys from the FDIC. They had been foreclosed on. And so it was not in a nice complete operational routine. The franchise was not. All that made me extremely nervous. But had I not had the just sheer positiveness of just getting to be involved in the NFL, knowing that when I got up in the morning I would be in the NFL, knowing that I would be part of the Cowboys then those would have been issues in normal business that might have buckled my knees. But because it was so exciting to me to be part of the Cowboys I give that a lot of credit for working through those things. That was 25 years ago.”
Is the passion and excitement still there:
“Yes, of course. It is. Its actually there more than it was because I’m able to think more offense. I’m not as concerned as I was financially about the state of the franchise, about the NFL, about the game. The future is significantly brighter than it was in 1989 for the NFL, for pro football and for that matter pro sports today. I never thought Gene (his wife) would be waiting tables over this deal. But I did think it had the potential to really knock my stuff in the dirt. I knew that it did. Lamar Hunt got up at one of our NFL owners meetings maybe 12 to 13 years ago. He got up and told the entire ownership that the greatest risk I have ever seen taken in sports was the one the Jerry took when he bought the Cowboys, financial risk. He was well aware of the situation with Cowboys. He was well aware of the lay of the land”
Jones blames his reputation as an owner who only cares about making money on his aggressiveness of being an agent of change in the NFL because of the poor financial state of the Dallas Cowboys organization and the league at time.
“That’ll motivate you to be an agent of change. That’ll motivate you to want to change some things, and that was a part of the driving thing that early on in the NFL that I wanted to change for the benefit of everyone, but for the benefit of the clubs, for the benefit of the fans, I felt that we could do some things that would create more strength, more energy, and that was one of the reasons that I initially was as aggressive, and the other things was timing. I didn’t have time to sit there and wait on some of these changes 15 years or 10 years, you know the days and the time was burning, and so it had to be really, you had to move on it. So that’s one of the reasons that the perception of aggressiveness, or the perception of, for that matter, one of the things that I regret is that the perception about financial, the facts are I had financial security and gave it up to buy the Cowboys, and I didn’t buy the Cowboys to go make money. But once you get in the chair, once you get in the position, then you want to be as good and do as good as you can do. So that’s kind of how things have evolved over the years.”
RELATED – There’s MORE about Jerry Jones:
To see all articles related to Jerry Jones click HERE
LOOKING FOR SOUTHERN COMFORT: Chips and dips instead of Super Bowl trips | The NFL’s fine line between success and failure
IRVING, Texas – Here is the downside of the needle on this record getting stuck … 8-8 … 8-8 … 8-8 … or having now gone four consecutive years without a playoff appearance; or 18 straight seasons without a Super Bowl appearance, five longer than the previous longest 13-year drought in franchise history, between the 1979 season and 1991; or now also 18 consecutive seasons without having appeared in at least an NFC Championship Game, twice as long as the previous longest drought in franchise history, between 1983 and 1991:
No matter what you do, what decisions you make, you automatically are dead wrong in the court of public opinion until proven right, especially when you’ve been such a proud and successful franchise for the majority of these 54 seasons.
Parody brings disparity
Ask Denver. The Broncos are returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 15 seasons after going back to back in 1997-98. Miami hasn’t been back to the Super Bowl since 1984. Chicago finally returned after the 2006 season, its first appearance since the Bears won their only Super Bowl in 1985. The 49ers went back to the Super Bowl last year for the first time since 1994. Washington? Geesh, don’t even ask, 23 seasons ago. Minnesota, not since the 1976 season.
And this might be the saddest of all, Kansas City, the franchise playing in Super Bowl I, losing to the Green Bay Packers, hasn’t been back to the Super Bowl since the Chiefs won their lone Super Bowl following the 1969 season.
No, this is not meant for you to find a little southern comfort in other people’s misery, seeing that this will be yet another miserable Super Bowl Sunday for Dallas Cowboys fans, having to watch Seattle take on the Broncos at MetLife Stadium.
This is to provide you some facts to those seemingly pulling their hair out over the Cowboys promoting Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator and hiring Scott Linehan as the pass-game coordinator/offensive play-caller, moves being panned and mocked because of this purported “dysfunction” crippling these Cowboys.
Now, this is not to say every move the Cowboys have made over these past 18 years has been right, far from it. But to just point out past failures doesn’t automatically deem every move they now make dead wrong. So, lets throw out some facts, just pure facts, as you are out shopping for chips and dip, and ordering your chicken wings for Super Sunday.
Defense brings Championship hope
Defense first, and this probably comes with less contention. The Dallas Cowboys finished dead last in total defense this 2013 season, meaning 32nd, and this is the first time in franchise history they have finished dead last defensively since that 13th-place finish in the 13-team NFL of 1960, their inaugural season, and the absolute worst finish since landing 13th out of what was then a 14-team NFL in 1963.
This, though, comes on the heels of last year’s 19th finish, which had matched the second-lowest defensive ranking since finishing 20th during the 1-15 season of 1989 – the Cowboys finishing 23rd during the 6-10 season of 2010 that got Wade Phillips fired after a 1-7 start.
Look, defense matters – a lot. Ask Seattle, right, and the Seahawks will be in big trouble if they don’t hold Denver to no more than, oh, 20 points come Sunday. And to further illustrate just how poorly the Cowboys have performed defensively over the past two seasons, think about this: From 1964 through the 1979 season, that is 16 consecutive years, the Cowboys finished in the top 10 defensively … every single season. Top 10!
This, too, is overshadowed with memories of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith et al: From 1992-1997, the Cowboys owned Top 10 defenses, and were No. 1 in 1992 and 1994.
Understood that injuries do matter, and injuries ravaged the Dallas Cowboys defense the past two seasons. I mean, come on, having to play 20 different defensive linemen in the same season while trying to figure out how to compensate for the injury losses of Anthony Spencer, Tyrone Crawford, Jay Ratliff, and Ben Bass, and then the combined four games missed by DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, not to mention their limited ability in several more.
The pitiful run defense surely illustrates these losses, the Cowboys finishing 24th against the run after being 23rd in 2012. Those two years are the absolute worst rankings since finishing 31st against the run in 2000. And get this, the absolute worst back-to-back seasons playing the run since … 1960 and 1961, finishing last in ’60 and 12th out of 14 in ’61.
Still, face it, putting Rod Marinelli in charge is the right move, yet not sure why everyone wants to just throw Monte Kiffin to the curb. His experience won’t hurt anything having him still around, especially since he would have gotten paid for this 2014 season anyway. Might as well get what you can out of him.
Defense of the Offense
OK, now the offense, and again just the facts.
The Dallas Cowboys finished 16th offensively this season, their lowest ranking since checking in at No. 30 during the third consecutive 5-11 season of 2002 (29th and 25th were the offensive rankings those other two 5-11 years). This after finishing an impressive sixth in 2012.
In fact, since Jason Garrett took over the offense and play-calling in 2007, simultaneously with Tony Romo becoming the fulltime starting quarterback, the Cowboys offensive rankings had been 3rd, 13th (but 2nd rushing), 2nd, 7th, 11th and 6th. And a passing game that was third last season fell to 14th in 2013.
Oh, there is this argument in defense of this offense: But the running game was much better. Well, feint praise since the Cowboys would have been hard-pressed to be worse than last year, the 1,265 yards (31st) the franchise’s absolute worst since the 1,049 gained in the 12-game inaugural 1960 season. So, yes, rushing for 1,507 yards in 2013 is an improvement.
Yet, that too comes with a but: But the 1,507 rushing yards then became the second-lowest rushing total since rushing for 1,500 yards in 1990, and that got offensive coordinator David Shula fired after two seasons. In fact, since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978, only three times have the Cowboys rushed for fewer than 1,507 yards in a season: Of course in 2012 and 1990, along with 1,409 in 1989, again that 1-15 season.
Making the ball balance
Funny how there have been complaints all season long about the Cowboys’ inability to create offensive balance, how the Dallas Cowboys didn’t get the ball to Dez Bryant enough and how the Cowboys didn’t throw down the field enough. But then Garrett makes a change in play-caller and it’s as if he’s lost his ever-lovin’ mind.
Also, if you remember, when the Cowboys hired Bill Callahan in 2012 as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, it was not to call plays but to improve a struggling offensive line, which he and Frank Pollack have done wonderfully over this two-year span. And that the Cowboys have retained Callahan with at least a year left on his contract, while not allowing him to leave for a lateral move with another team, is not unprecedented.
Remember, back in 2006 Bill Parcells kept offensive line coach Tony Sparano as the run-game coordinator when Sean Payton tried to take him to New Orleans as his offensive coordinator. And you know what, that same year Miami blocked Jason Garrett, its quarterbacks coach, from going with Scott Linehan to St. Louis as his offensive coordinator.
Oh, and as for the “too many cooks in the kitchen” argument, do you remember back to 2005 when Payton was the pass-game coordinator and Sparano was the run-game coordinator, but were you ever sure if they were calling the plays or if Bill Parcells was? In fact, Parcells did the same thing in 2006 after Payton left for New Orleans, Sparano the run-game coordinator and Todd Haley the pass-game coordinator, yet it still seemed as if Bill was calling the plays.
Or as Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told Chris Mortensen of ESPN the other day, “Half the time, you couldn’t tell who was going to call plays under Bill any particular week – it could be Tony Sparano, it could be Sean Payton or it could be Bill himself,” with most of us taking Door No. 3 in that scenario.
“In this instance, Linehan and Garrett have a good history together, they’ll be on the same page, and it will still allow Jason to grow where we want him to grow as a head coach.”
The fine line between success and failure
You know the weird thing about all this? You would have thought a team with an epically poor defense and declining offense, one changing defensive coordinators and bringing in a new offensive play-caller, would have finished like 4-12 or worse. Yet the Cowboys finished 8-8, losing five of those eight games by a grand total of eight points, though that probably doesn’t make a whole lot of folks – especially the Cowboys themselves – feel any better.
It’s not always in the math
This probably won’t either. But if you combine the Dallas Cowboys offensive and defensive rankings – 16 and 32 – they total 48. Only one other team had a higher combined total, Jacksonville coming in at 58 (31 and 27). And yes, the Jags finished 4-12. The Cowboys then tied Miami for the second-highest total.
Tops? That was New Orleans at 8, fourth offensively, fourth defensively. Next Cincinnati at 13, then Seattle, Arizona and Houston (go figure) tied at 18. Denver’s combined number by the way was 20, (1st and 19th).
Again, as promised, just the facts, no compounded hysteria over past failures, or hollow criticism of these recent coaching moves because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do with these Dallas Cowboys until …the math works in their favor!
Chips and dips instead of Super Bowl trips
So just maybe give some pause to any or all of this come tomorrow … Super Sunday … while chomping on your nachos.
DALLAS COWBOYS HISTORY: The Great Wall of Dallas | Cowboys trenches paved the way for an NFL historic run | Special Feature
As we sit four weeks from what might be the first Dallas Cowboys playoff run in a few years, it’s time to take a look back at a little Dallas Cowboys history. If you’re a regular reader on this website you may remember that “trenches” is a common theme. We all know that winning teams (and subsequently NFL clubs with postseason) success usually comes down to the walls (trenches) they’ve built. Obviously it takes time for these men to coalesce and become cohesive as a single unit. I’m not suggesting that the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys offensive line compares to the 1990’s line that helped win three titles in four years. However, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys organization has added key components in recent years. This five part video series from NFL Films reminds us all of what can happen with the right mix of trench men. Enjoy!
The Great Wall of Dallas- The Perfect Unit | (4:20) | (Watch this Video)
See which players comprised “The Great Wall of Dallas”. Check out the guys who came out of nowhere to form one of the best offensive lines in NFL history. They helped pave the way for three NFL Hall of Famers.
The Great Wall of Dallas- Their First Super Bowl | 5:54 | (Watch this Video)
Actor Gary Busey used to hang around the Dallas Cowboys. Learn about Busey’s fandom and check out how the Dallas Cowboys won their first Super Bowl with “The Great Wall of Dallas.”. Buffalo Bills fans may want to skip to the next video.
The Great Wall of Dallas- Nate the Kitchen | 7:00 | (Watch this Video)
Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton was known for being extremely overweight, but that does not mean he did not make light of the situation. See how he compared to former Chicago Bear William ‘the refrigerator” Perry and gained stardom thanks to John Madden.
The Great Wall of Dallas- The End of the Line | 5:36 | (Watch this Video)
Mark Tuinei and Erik Williams had very interesting roads to success. See how the two became a big part of the Dallas Cowboys and also how Nate Newton overcame drug issues to help give back to the community.
The Great Wall of Dallas- Where Are They Now? | 10: 52 | (Watch this Video)
Find out what Nate Newton, Mark Stepnoski, John Gesek and Kevin Gogan are doing now. Also, see which former member of the great offensive line passed away, but left lasting memories for all of his teammates.
Courtesy: NFL | NFL Films | NFL: A Football Life series | Dallas Cowboys
Didn’t your momma teach you to share? Please use the SHARE & LIKE buttons below
ARLINGTON, Texas – All right, admit it, you were piping-hot mad when Terrance Williams fumbled the opening kickoff, and some Jenkins you probably never heard of – Greg, not Mike – picks up the loose ball and goes 23 yards for a Raiders touchdown in just 12 seconds.
You were spittin’-molars mad when that former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Andre Holmes guy hauls in four receptions for 56 yards … in the first half. You remember him. Only on the Cowboys practice squad late last season. Available for the Patriots to sign him to their 53-man roster because he couldn’t hang on to the same type of passes with the Cowboys that he was catching at AT&T Stadium for the Raiders.
Guessing that you were cursin’-mad when the erstwhile 4-7 Raiders, losers of three of their previous four games and able to score more than 20 points only once during that span, had taken a 21-7 lead over the Cowboys with just 1:56 left in the first half before 87,572 disbelieving souls.
All the cred the Dallas Cowboys had gained with that spine-tingling 24-21 victory over the New York Giants four days earlier at MetLife to move to 6-5 was going right out the window like a bad pumpkin pie.
Same ol’ .500 Cowboys. Admit it, you said it, or at least were thinking it, right?
It sounds like Mr. Jerry Jones was right there with you, saying, “You really, if it were like the rest of us, you could have gotten your enthusiasm down a little bit.”
Heck, bet some of you were reaching for the remote, or at least the Alka-Seltzer if you already had indulged in your Thanksgiving dinner that was about to come up. Reminiscent of the same shape Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had been in Wednesday night and the morning of the game.
“We just had to get up out of our comfort zone,” mercurial wide receiver Dez Bryant explained. “I guess we were feeling too comfortable.”
Guaran-darn-tee you they then were the only ones feeling comfortable at that point, the Raiders starting to believe this was going to be a runaway.
But just like that, as if one of those blue norther’s came blowing in from Oklahoma, the gritty Dallas Cowboys dragged you and the Raiders back in. Jettisoning Oakland, 31-24, while creating a not-since colorful holiday collage, as in …
Not since Oct. 13 against the Washington Redskins had the Cowboys scored as many as 31 points or as many as four touchdowns in one game.
Not since Sept. 22 had the Dallas Cowboys rushed for more than the 144 yards they pounded the Raiders with.
Not since Dec. 6, 2004, against Seattle had a Cowboys running back rushed for the three touchdowns DeMarco Murray did on this day in a single game.
Not since Oct. 6 against Denver had the Cowboys converted a higher percentage of third downs than the 54 percent they did so against the Raiders.
Not since Sept. 22 against the Rams had the Cowboys held a team to fewer than the 50 yards rushing they held the Raiders to, and to think Oakland came into the game as the NFL’s fourth-ranked rushing team.
Not since the first four games of the season had Romo completed 70 percent of his passes, going 12 of 12 in the second half and 17 of 19 from the final possession of the first half to finish at 71.8 for the day.
Maybe having just three days between games suits the Dallas Cowboys well, because …
Not since the middle of October had the Cowboys won the two straight games they now have won in a five-day span, first at the Giants, 24-21, and then this one over the Raiders – only the second time in the last 15 games that they have won back-to-back outings.
So then, not since the 2009 season when the Cowboys finished 11-5 did they have a better record (8-4) than their now 7-5 record after 12 games. By the way, puts them back in first place by a half-a-game over the 6-5 Eagles. Philadelphia must now match the Cowboys today when playing the red-hot Arizona Cardinals at home.
And, not since Dec. 16, 2012, that’s 14 games ago, have the Cowboys been as many as the two games over the .500 mark as they are now. Sitting with this weekend off and 10 whole days between meeting the Bears on Monday night in Chicago.
Well then, maybe having grandiose postseason dreams will not jinx this team, just as wearing those blue jerseys at home did not on Thursday, nor did Tony Romo having the cover story on the Sports Illustrated that arrived in mailboxes on Wednesday.
If your head needs leveling off, leave it to Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. He’s the steady-as-she-goes believer, saying after the Cowboys completed their-two-game Thanksgiving week sweep, “You have to be careful about taking a global point of view. You’ve just got to get back to work.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to get away for the next couple of days and then get back to work next week on Chicago. We’re focusing on our preparation and what to do to win a ballgame.”
Maybe there is something to Garrett’s even-keeled approach that more of you need to appreciate. Because if not, for sure panic would have set in late in the second quarter when rookie quarterback Matt McGloin and running back Rashad Jennings had the Raiders up 21-7.
As if awakening from a winter slumber, the Dallas Cowboys only consumed 1:21 of the 1:56 left in the second quarter to march the 73 yards for Murray’s second of three touchdowns. And that began an offensive onslaught of four scores in five possessions to finally reach thirtysomething for the first time in a month. Coming up just one yard short from scoring a fifth touchdown. Using a bit of common sense, Dan Bailey’s field goal from the one, put the Cowboys up 10 with just 1:56 remaining in the game.
Just keep on grinding, keep that head down, and when it’s over, then and only then do you even dare take a global view.
“Everything is happening right now at the right time,” Cowboys veteran defensive end DeMarcus Ware said before the team headed out for some well-deserved rest the next four days, “but you can’t get complacent with where you are, and we aren’t, and we know we have a big game coming up.”
Heavens no, not at this point, not taking a 7-5 record and a two-game winning streak into Chicago next time out while no worse than tied for first in the NFC East.
And goodness knows, not when there is a real chance to break that same ol’, same ol’ mold for the first time since … 2009.
You guys enjoy the break, too.
A popular page on The Boys Are Back website was revised today. Complete with new pictures and updated information. Enjoy!
To check it out, click on the page titled ‘Dallas Cowboys Uniforms” or on the button below:
Original post from October 12, 2011:
REFLECTIONS – A CITY/NATION IN MOURNING: Understanding the obstacles of the 1960’s Dallas Cowboys (Special Feature–Revised)
To understand how difficult it was to make the decision about whether or not to play NFL games on Nov. 24, 1963, you must understand how different news and television were 50 years ago.
I had just started working as a radio newswriter in Minneapolis. Radio was the primary source for breaking news for most people, and newspapers still had huge circulations. Television news primarily consisted of two programs — the Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC and the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. ABC was not a serious competitor. Everything was in black and white, and if you wanted to change the channel, you had to get out of your chair and turn a knob on the set.
News was shot on film, meaning it had to be physically transported to the television station, developed and edited before it could air — a process that took a minimum of one hour and could take several. Sound film cameras were big — think about carrying around a couple of cement blocks — and could record a maximum of 12 minutes before changing the film was required. The only videotape machines were massive items, and tape had to be physically edited, a cumbersome process. To transmit news from anywhere, you had to order — well in advance — physical lines from AT&T. Most news was distributed by two wire services — AP and UPI — on machines that printed 60 words per minute. The news sat on the machine until someone went to read it. If you were in the field and wanted to make a call, you had to find a pay phone or talk someone into letting you use a private phone. And if you called someone and they were not there, there were no answering machines — you had to keep calling until someone answered.
Why is all this important? The coverage and dissemination of news was slow (although the facts probably were more accurate) and this made the decision-making process slow as well. Parts of JFK’s visit to Dallas were being covered locally only because the local stations decided to pool their resources. But NBC and CBS were not carrying the coverage. In fact, the networks were not even on the air — stations were carrying their own local programming. It took some time for the national coverage to begin, but when it did begin, it went commercial-free for four days, the first time that had happened.
JFK was, for my generation, the first president who didn’t look like he could be my father. He was young, he was funny and he had a beautiful wife. JFK also was the first “sports” president anyone of my generation knew. Eisenhower played golf, Truman walked and Roosevelt was limited by his paralysis due to polio. The Kennedy family played touch football on the lawn, sailed on Nantucket Sound and went on lengthy hikes. Kennedy actually played golf but refused to let that be filmed to draw a contrast with the Republicans.
Kennedy had intervened with the National Guard in 1961 to allow Paul Hornung to play for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL title game. He was conscious of his image as a young, sports-minded male, and people bought it.
Kennedy was assassinated around noon on a Friday. Nothing like this had ever happened in my lifetime. No one knew if this was an isolated incident or if there was a plot to assassinate other government officials (both the president and vice president were in Dallas); rumors were flying. In fact, the announcement of JFK’s death was delayed to let Johnson get on his way to the airport and Air Force One. Even after Johnson was sworn in and back in D.C., no one was sure what was happening.
So, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had to weigh all this and make a decision in a short amount of time, consulting with a number of people who gave him differing opinions. In the end, NFL games were played, although there was no television coverage of them. And Rozelle later said he had made the wrong decision.
RELATED VIDEOS: A look back, fifty years after the JFK Assassination
A CITY IN MOURNING: Understanding the obstacles of the 1960’s Dallas Cowboys
07:12 – When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, it impacted the entire world. See how the Dallas Cowboys were affected by the death as Gil Brandt looks back into history and recounts the JFK experience. (Watch Video)
A NATION IN MOURNING: Understanding the obstacles of the 1960’s NFL
04:12 – When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, it impacted the entire world. NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle later regrets deciding the league will play games the following Sunday. (Watch Video)
A NATION IN MOURNING: The NFL has been part of America’s recovery, more than once.
04:12 – When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, it impacted the entire world. The NFL has faced a nation in crisis several times throughout it’s history, including the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, and 911 attacks. This video takes a look at how the NFL, and Americans, moved forward during these difficult times. (Watch Video)
Special thanks: Bob Eaton; Gil Brandt;
November 22, 1963 – Looking back at that moment in American history
Though he was nearly a year away from the 1964 election, President John F. Kennedy knew it was campaign season even in November of 1963. And one of the most important states he needed to win was Texas. Kennedy along with his wife, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, boarded Air Force One on Nov. 21 for a two-day, five-city trip through the state. Starting with San Antonio, then Houston, they eventually visited Fort Worth. With Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy exits the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. On Friday, Nov. 22, he will greet crowds and make a speech. It’s 8:45 am.
IRVING, Texas – Nearly seven years ago exactly, Tony Romo led the Dallas Cowboys on the field in Carolina for a Sunday Night Football clash with the Panthers. Ultimately, the goal that game was to help the Cowboys get off the 3-3 mark and get a big road win.
Obviously, that will be the same goal for the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia in a matchup of 3-3 teams for the NFC East lead.
But what a difference 99 starts can make.
That game in Carolina was Romo’s first-ever start in the NFL. Heading into it, he was simply the rookie free-agent quarterback who had been a backup for four seasons and was taking over for Drew Bledsoe.
Now, he’s the franchise quarterback of America’s Team and holds numerous passing records.
Romo enters Sunday’s game with the Eagles for his 100th career start, knowing the mindset now is much different than it was the first time around.
“You’re always trying to get better,” Romo said. “Start one, you’re excited to prove to yourself if you can actually do this. Start 100, it’s all about getting your team to where you want to go. It’s a little more individual to prove to yourself. With 100, it’s all about bringing the team there and winning as a team.”
Overall, Romo is 58-41 as a starter, but things haven’t exactly been on the rise over the last three seasons. Since 2009, when Romo led the Cowboys to the franchise’s first playoff win in 13 seasons, he is just 20-24 as a starter and has yet to lead the team to a winning season, much less a playoff spot.
This year, Romo is putting up great numbers despite the team’s average record. He ranks second in the NFL behind only Peyton Manning with a 108.6 passer rating. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns to just two interceptions, although one of them was rather costly in a 51-48 loss to Manning and the Broncos. Romo threw for a Cowboys’ record 506 yards and also tossed five touchdowns before the late-game mistake.
A lot has transpired for Romo since his first start. In fact, Romo said he’ll enter Sunday’s game with the Eagles worrying about things that he barely knew existed when he first got the nod against Carolina.
“It’s a far different process before a game now,” Romo said. “It’s just what I’m looking for – what I know I need to be very sound leading up to the game to gain an advantage.”
For the record, Romo led the Cowboys to a win that night in Carolina. The Panthers grabbed a 10-0 lead and Romo tossed an early interception. But he fired a touchdown strike to Jason Witten to help the Cowboys get back to 14-10 at halftime and that was the score heading into the fourth quarter.
That’s when the Cowboys turned the tide, outscoring the Panthers 25-0 in the fourth to pull away for a 35-14 win. Romo went 24 of 36 for 270 yards with a touchdown and interception. And he actually led the Cowboys to five wins in his first six starts, including a four-game winning streak. Romo made the first of three Pro Bowl selections during that 2006 season. And it all started that night in Carolina.
Overall, Romo ranks third on the Cowboys’ all-time list in starts, behind only Troy Aikman (165) and Roger Staubach (114). Last year, he surpassed Danny White (92) and Don Meredith (85).
Tony Romo: Winning On The Road (7:40)
DeMarcus Ware 1.5 sacks from becoming Cowboys all-time leader; wants to learn about Harvey Martin
Defensive end DeMarcus Ware is 1.5 sacks from surpassing the late Harvey Martin as the Cowboys all-time leading sacker.
Ware has 113 heading into Sunday’s game against the Rams. Martin ended his career with 114.
Ware said he dosen’t know much about Martin but plans to learn more about the legendary Cowboys pass rusher who was the co-MVP of Super Bowl XII.
“I’m not a big historian, but when you have an opportunity to break someone’s record, it’s always a blessing. So you need to know the reason why you’re doing it, and you need to know about that person,” Ware said. “I need to make sure I learn about him.”
Ware said the record will mean a lot because of the long list of pass rushers in Cowboys history. But he still is searching for the thing that really sets those before him apart _ a Super Bowl title.
“You know with the tradition the Cowboys have had, the pass rushers they’ve had, Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones, Randy White, Charles Haley, Harvey Martin, you can keep going,” Ware said. “Being part of that tradition, being able to get your name with those guys, that’s what it’s about when you talk about playing with the Dallas Cowboys. There is always one more thing you need to add to that, and that’s winning a championship. That’s what we’re trying to do this year.”
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Jason Witten passes Shannon Sharpe, moving into second among TEs in career catches
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten moved up on the league’s tight end charts, passing Shannon Sharp with his 815th career catch.
Witten considers it an “honor” to be in the same company as Tony Gonzalez, Sharpe and Ozzie Newsome.
“It’s special,” Witten said. “A lot of these that I’ve been able to achieve, it’s a lot of guys I have a lot of respect for. I really think for any tight end around my age, Shannon Sharpe was the guy you looked to in Denver. Him and Elway with what they were able to achieve. To pass him, that was pretty special and definitely humbling for sure. At this point, it’s not about that. You just hope that you can be some small piece of this puzzle that helps win games and compete for a championship.”
Witten has 817 catches. He trails only Gonzalez, who has 1,249. Witten ranks third among tight ends in career receiving yards with 9,030. He trails only Gonzalez (14,337) and Sharpe (10,060).
Texas Country chart-toppers and CMT superstars Whiskey Myers will perform a pregame concert at the East Plaza before kickoff.
WHAT: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
WHEN: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (Dallas)
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
It has been seven long weeks since the Dallas Cowboys first reported to training camp, but the regular season is finally here. The Cowboys open the 2013-2014 season on Sunday Night Football against the division-rival New York Giants, who they are 6-0 against on opening day.
Here are some things to look for as the Cowboys kick off their latest campaign:
Country music icon George Strait will be on hand Sunday night as an he joins the Dallas Cowboys as an honorary team captain for the game’s coin toss. This is Strait’s second trip to AT&T Stadium – he performed there in 2009 as the first event to be hosted at the venue.
Following the game, Strait is expected to hold a press conference regarding his 2014 The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.
New Bag Policy
Fans are reminded to remember the NFL’s new bag policy, which will be in effect Sunday night and at every Dallas Cowboys home game this season.
Only hand-held purses will be allowed into the stadium, along with clear plastic tote bags that do not exceed 12”x6”x12” inches.
Items such as backpacks, coolers, large purses, camera bags, diaper bags, fanny packs and seat cushions are not allowed into the stadium under the new NFL safety rules.
When To Get There?
AT&T Stadium opens at 5 p.m. (CDT)
Plaza opens at 4 p.m.
Parking lots at 3 p.m.
Party On the Plazas
More than just the Cowboys-Giants game on the field, there is plenty of entertainment for the fans before, during and after the game.
Rhythm & Blues Dance Team, Rhythm & Blues Drum Line and Rhythm & Blues Break Boys will each perform on both East & West plaza before the game.
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will split their squad and half and give performances in both the East and West Plazas at about 6:25 p.m.
Cowboys Cuties, a collection of local youth dance kids from the Dallas-Fort Worth area will perform in the West Plaza before kickoff.
In the Kids Zone, free games and activities such as a rock-climbing wall, mechanical bull, face painting, balloon animals, trampolines and Play 60 Games are featured.
East Plaza Food & Beverage discounts include: $5 Miller Lite until 5:30 p.m., $2 12 oz. bottled water and soda and discounted hot dogs, burgers and sausages.
This is the 103rd meeting between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Dallas leads the series, 57-43-2, though New York has won three of the last four matchups.
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC) will do their normal routine approximately 20 minutes before kickoffs. Trumpeter Freddie Jones will perform the national anthem this week and at every Cowboys home game this year. Jones will be honoring longtime Texas Stadium trumpeter Tommy Lloyd.
At halftime, the TCU marching band will perform a rock and roll inspired set.
DCC Performance – 1 performance in the East Plaza around 5:45 PM
R&B Dance Team – 2 performances in the East Plaza and 1 performance in the west plaza
R&B Drum Line – 1 performance in the East and 1 performance in the West
R&B Break Boys – 1 performance in the East and 1 performance in the West
Cowboys Cuties – 4 performances in the West Plaza – a collection of local youth dance kids from the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metroplex
Kids Zone – mechanical bull, rock climbing wall, Play 60 games, face painting, balloon animals, trampoline
$5 Miller Lite on the plazas until 5:30 p.m.
Parking Lot Patrol – 50 members will be distributed in the parking lots greeting fans and starting rally chants, giving away small items to super fans.
Looking For 20 or more
All season long, Cowboys fans attending home games will be hoping for at least 20 points. This year, Papa John’s has partnered with the Cowboys for the ultimate fan promotion. Any game in which the Cowboys get at least 20 points, all fans in attendance will get 50 percent off their entire order the following day at papajohns.com with promo code COWBOYS20. Offer valid for regular-priced menu items and only at participating stores.
About The Game
A win against the New York Giants would give the Dallas Cowboys consecutive opening day victories since 2008-09.
Sunday is the first time since 2007 the Cowboys are opening their season at home, making this the first Week 1 opener at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys are 15-7-1 all-time in season openers played at home.
Cowboys linebacker Kyle Bosworth was a member of the Giants a week ago. Bosworth was released by New York last weekend when NFL teams cut their rosters to 53 spots. The Cowboys claimed Bosworth off waivers just a day later to help with their special teams.
Dallas leads the NFL in appearances on Sunday Night Football with 46 – the Giants are second with 41. The Cowboys are 21-25 all-time in those appearances. No team has more wins than Dallas’ 21 – Green Bay is tied with the Cowboys for first.
THE MYSTIQUE OF AMERICA’S TEAM: NFL’s 1993-1994 NFC Championship–San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys
On January 23, 1994 the Dallas Cowboys defeated the San Francisco 49er’s 38-21, and Jimmy Johnson’s famous “How bout them Cowboys!” quote from the previous year’s NFC Championship Game in Candlestick Park.
Editors comment: As a reader pointed out, the original title of this post suggested that this NFC Championship lead to the “Making of America’s Team.” In fact, the term “America’s Team” became popular after Bob Ryan (of NFL Films) used it while preparing the Cowboys 1978 season highlight film. Also, Jimmy Johnson’s “How ’bout them Cowboys” quote came after the 1992-1993 NFC Championship Game in San Francisco.
Spread the word about The Boys Are Back blog! Use the SHARE buttons below!
Seven new legends were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans, La. The group – Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson, and Warren Sapp – will be formally inducted during a memorable Enshrinement Ceremony at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 3.
LARRY ALLEN Guard/Tackle … 6-3, 325 … Sonoma State, Butte Junior College (CA) … 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys, 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers … 14 seasons, 203 games … Selected by Cowboys in 2nd round (46th player overall) of 1994 draft
Versatile, played every position on offensive line except center during 12 seasons with Dallas … Led way in second season for Emmitt Smith who set Cowboys’ franchise record with 1,773 yards … Started at right guard in two NFC championship games and Super Bowl XXX victory … Named NFL Alumni’s Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1997 and the NFL Players Association NFC Lineman of the Year twice (1996-97) … Named first-team All-Pro seven straight years … First-team All-NFC six times, second-team once … Moved to tackle late in 1997 and entire 1998 season, earned All-Pro honors at position … Signed as free agent with San Francisco in 1996 … First season with 49ers led way for Frank Gore who set team single-season rushing record (1,695 yards) … Elected to 11 Pro Bowls … Named to NFL All-Decade Teams of 1990s and 2000s … Born November 27, 1971 in Los Angeles, California.
SONOMA STATE OF MIND
Allen played for four high schools and then Butte College for two years. He then sat out a year before playing at Division II Sonoma State in California. Allen caught the eye of the Dallas Cowboys, who selected him in the second-round of the 1994 NFL Draft.
Allen set a club record with 10 starts during his rookie season. He even admirably filled in for the injured Erik Williams in the 1994 NFC Championship Game in San Francisco as Allen himself played on a hurt ankle for most of the game.
Larry Allen earned the first of seven consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl in 1995. He was one of four Cowboys’ offensive linemen to be selected to the Pro Bowl for the season.
SUPER BOWL XXX
Larry Allen helped the Cowboys beat the Steelers 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX. It was the first Super Bowl ring for Allen, but the third for the 1990s Cowboys and fifth in club history.
Larry Allen broke his right hand during 2000 training camp, but he played every game that season for the Dallas Cowboys to earn a sixth-consecutive Pro Bowl spot.
Larry Allen missed most of the 2002 season with injuries that required surgery. He returned in 2003 to earn his eighth Pro Bowl nomination, and he helped lead the Cowboys to the playoffs.
Allen played his final two seasons with the 49ers and again continued to pile up Pro Bowl nominations. He would be selected to 11 Pro Bowls and was a member of the All-Decade Teams of the 1990s and 2000s.
INTO THE SUNSET
Larry Allen signed a one-day contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, so he could retire with the team that drafted him.
This year’s Minnesota Vikings are in goal-setting mode.
Pass rusher Jared Allen says Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5 sacks is “absolutely reachable,” and Adrian Peterson repeatedly has talked about running for 2,500 yards.
Peterson didn’t stop there. Fresh off his dominant 2,097-yard campaign, Peterson is thinking long-term: Specifically, Emmitt Smith’s NFL record of 18,355 rushing yards. (Watch video HERE)
Peterson is 9,506 yards away, and Dan Wiederer of The Star Tribune has done the math. If Peterson stays on his career pace of 98.4 yards per game, he’ll top Smith in Week 4 of 2019.
Peterson says he’ll get there sooner.
“I’ve been in the league seven years,” Peterson told Wiederer. “I’m already right around (9,000). Calculate it out … Let’s think. Maybe get a couple 2,000-yard seasons … I’ve got … Hmmm … 2017.”
Drilling down, Peterson targeted Week 16 of that campaign, which charts out to 120.3 yards per game without a hiccup.
Emmitt Smith Rushing Stats:
Adrian Peterson Rushing Stats:
IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is just days away.
With just four days until the Dallas Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., one question centers on DeMarcus Ware closing-in on the team’s sack record and where that might put him among the franchise’s best players.
Where does DeMarcus Ware rank among Dallas Cowboy greats?
Barring any significant injury – and if 2012 showed us anything it’s that it takes a lot more than just an average injury to sideline DeMarcus Ware – at some point early this season the Cowboys will have a new all-time sack leader.
The late Harvey Martin has held that distinction since he retired in 1983, sitting at the top of the charts with 114 sacks. Ware currently has 111, meaning he needs just four more sacks this year to surpass Martin as the Cowboys’ all-time leader.
Officially, according to the NFL, Ware already holds the mark because the league didn’t start registering sacks as an official stat until 1982. But the Cowboys have kept the correct stats and Martin has had the lead for 30 years. That will likely change this season, considering Ware hasn’t been held under double-digit sacks since his rookie year of 2005.
So when that happens, what will it mean for DeMarcus Ware’s legacy with the Cowboys? Will it even change at all?
Martin holding the club’s sack record hasn’t been enough to land him a spot in the Ring of Honor. Many pundits believe Martin is the biggest snub of the Tom Landry era and is the most deserving to get into the Ring. However, Ware is seemingly a lock for the Ring of Honor when his playing days are done.
But even if he never plays for a championship team, is it possible for Ware to be considered one of the best defensive players in Cowboys history? Stats-wise, he’ll be more accomplished than Bob Lilly or Randy White and Martin. But those guys have Super Bowl rings.
Just how far does Ware have to stretch the sack record to overlook his lack of team success? Then again, Ware turns 31 next month. He still has a few good years in him and who knows what the Cowboys will do as a team over the next few seasons.
With four sacks, Ware will be considered the very best Cowboys player to rush the quarterback. But just how many sacks will he need to be considered the best defensive player in franchise history?
Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let’s take a closer look at the number 4:
- DeMarco Murray had just four rushing touchdowns last season to lead the team. Kevin Ogletree also had four receiving touchdowns, which ranked him third behind Dez Bryant (12) and Miles Austin (six).
- The only player drafted No. 4 in franchise history was Scott Appleton, a defensive tackle in 1964. Appleton never suited up for the Cowboys, who traded his rights to the Steelers.
- Only four players have donned the No. 4 for the Cowboys: Mike Saxon, Toby Gowin, Micah Knorr and Shaun Suisham.
- Isaac Holt is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in blocked punts with four, all occurring in a four-year span from 1989-92.
- Dennis Thurman and Dexter Coakley are tied for the most interception returns for touchdowns in team history with four each.
- Bob Hayes (1970) and Terrell Owens (2007) are the only two players in Cowboys history to record four touchdown catches in a game.
The path Danny White took from Arizona State to becoming the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys made San Francisco’s Lombard Street look like a drag strip.
Selected in the third round of the 1974 NFL draft, the odds White would see much playing time under center as a rookie were lessened due to the presence of veteran quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Craig Morton.
If anyone ever needed a Plan B …
“It was just pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to be playing anytime soon. And then it kind of came down to money,” said White. “John Bassett, who was one of the founders of the World Football League and the owner of the Memphis team, called and basically offered twice what the Cowboys had offered. So between the money and the opportunity to play it just seemed like the best thing to do.”
After two seasons, the WFL closed shop, and White discovered he was still in Dallas’ plans as well as its Rolodex.
“The Cowboys immediately called after the league folded and basically doubled their offer,” White said. “I had the experience and Craig Morton had just been traded, so everything just kind of fit. It was almost like it was kind of meant to be.”
Eventually. After signing with Dallas in 1976, White took over the punting duties and watched Staubach from the sideline. Did he find it tough to be in No. 12’s shadow?
“By the time I had been backing him up for four years, it was getting difficult,” said White. “I had a meeting with Coach Landry and told him that I was to the point where I felt like I needed to play. I was six years out of college and if I wasn’t going to be playing there soon I wanted him to consider trading me.
“I loved being with the Cowboys, so I had mixed feelings about it. But I knew that my time was running out. I needed to start competing. Roger always made it seem like I was competing with him. To his credit, he’d always say things like, ‘I can’t let you get in a game or I’ll never get back in.’
“And he would compete. It wasn’t like he was just there and it was his job. He never took on that kind of an attitude. He treated me like a competitor, like an equal. He was a great mentor for me in that respect.”
Playing with the Cowboys for 13 seasons, White passed for 21,959 yards, 155 touchdowns and 132 interceptions, and was chosen for the Pro Bowl in 1982. He led Dallas to three consecutive NFC Championship Games [1980-82] and to the playoffs on two other occasions before retiring in 1989.
“My favorite memories were things that happened as a result of being a Dallas Cowboy with my teammates,” said White.
Video: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White catches a touchdown pass from Ron Springs in this Oct. 23, 1983, game against the Los Angeles Raiders at Texas Stadium
“As far as games go, that first season (as a starter in 1980) was a dream season for me. I inherited a great team and all the pieces were there. I remember thinking, ‘This is easy. It is like shooting fish in a barrel.’ Of course, that would change by the end of my career, but at least those first few years were.
Video: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White and the plays AFTER ‘The Catch’
“The Atlanta playoff game [1980: 30-27 win] was a great game. The 49ers game with ‘The Catch’ was a great game, too [1981: 28-27 loss]. It was just great being part of that. I wish we would have come back and won that. We should have, but it was still a great experience.”
Video: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White fake punt vs. Washington Redskins
“I would have to say the highlight of my career was being a Dallas Cowboy. Being a part of that era and playing for Tom Landry. Things like that you don’t appreciate until many years later. I look back on that now and realize how lucky I was to play for that team and that coach at that time.”
Following a successful career as a head coach, general manager and team president in the Arena Football League, White is set to begin his third season as the radio analyst for Dallas’ games on Compass Media Networks.
“They approached me and I kind of thought twice about it and said, ‘You know what? I haven’t been real close with the Cowboys mostly because I live in Phoenix and here’s a chance to kind of get back in the fold,’” White said. “I loved what Jerry Jones had done with the new stadium and everything that had happened, so why not? Let’s do it for a year and see what happens.
“And so I did and I just loved it. I love being back in the Cowboy family. I love working with [play-by-play announcer] Kevin Burkhardt and the Compass people, Michelle Salvatore, who is our producer. Everything just kind of clicked.”
Having played in 166 regular-season games with the Cowboys, White has an on-the-job advantage in the broadcast booth. It’s that he’s done the job on the field.
“Knowing what’s going on in a quarterback’s head can be a huge, huge advantage,” said White. “Everyone is so quick to say, ‘Well, the guy was open and the ball was thrown over his head.’ Just knowing, you say, ‘Wait a minute. Maybe there’s a reason that the ball was thrown over his head.’ And you go back and look and sure enough there was a defensive lineman right in his face as he throws the ball. He can’t follow through. There’s always more to the story.
“Everybody’s so quick to judge the quarterback. The quarterback isn’t good one day and bad the next day. There are reasons for it and I think more than anything else that one single advantage of having played quarterback just gives you a whole different perspective on the game. You can counter some of those lazy critics that just want to say, ‘The ball was overthrown,’ or whatever the obvious is on the field.”
White and his wife, Jo Lynn, make their home in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Ari. They have four children, Ryan, Geoff, Heather and Reed, and 13 grandchildren.
Rayfield Wright, Fort Valley State
1967, seventh round (No. 182 overall)
Wright’s career as an offensive lineman landed him in the Hall of Fame. It’s an honor that would have been impossible to predict from his start.
The Cowboys bounced Wright between tight end, tackle and defensive end during his first three years in the league before establishing him at right tackle. Once there he became a fixture with six consecutive Pro Bowl selections. Wright was named All-Pro four times and earned a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1970s.
Larry Allen, Sonoma State
1994, second round (No. 46 overall)
He is the second Cowboys offensive lineman to earn a bust in Canton and will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year.
Allen is arguably the most dominant lineman of his era. His 10 Pro Bowl appearances with the Cowboys is the most of any offensive player in club history. Allen was named to the Pro Bowl as a right guard, a left tackle and a left guard, something no one else has done.
Honorable mention: Herb Scott (13th round, 1975), Mark Stepnoski (third round, 1989), Erick Williams (third round, 1991), Flozell Adams (second round, 1998).
Howard Richards, Missouri
1981, first round (No. 26 overall)
Until Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick was selected in 2011, this was the last time the Cowboys have used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman. Richards was primarily a backup for five of his six seasons with the Cowboys. He started 16 games during a disappointing, injury-prone career.
Robert Shaw, Tennessee
1979, first round (No. 27 overall)
This is the first time the Cowboys used a first round pick on an offensive lineman. Shaw began his career backing up John Fitzgerald at center and showed promise. But two months deep into his third season, a season that saw the only three starts of his career, Shaw blew out his right knee in a loss to San Francisco. He tried to come back for 20 months but was never able to pass his physical and retired.
Roger Staubach, with his wife Marianne at his side, takes to the microphones at Texas Stadium Monday, March 31, to announce his retirement as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. DMN file photo
ROGER HANGS ‘EM UP – March 31, 1980
Roger Staubach, the man who became the yardstick to measure the success of the Dallas Cowboys during the ’70s, announced his retirement from football Monday at one of the largest news conferences ever held in Dallas.
Roger and Marianne Staubach (backs to camera) are shown at Texas Stadium as he announces his retirement from football. DMN staff photo by John F. Rhodes
12 Roger Staubach
Good things come to those who wait, and certainly the Dallas Cowboys’ patience in the mid-60’s was supremely rewarded, landing one of the best players in franchise history because they were willing to wait for Roger Staubach to fulfill his military commitment.
For that five years of patience, the Cowboys landed the guy who became better know as “Roger The Dodger” over the next 11 years when he was selected to six Pro Bowls – including five consecutively – and was named the NFL Players Association Most Valuable Player in 1971. Staubach led the NFL in passing four times and was selected to the All-NFC team four times.
“He is one of the finest to ever play the game,” Green Bay Packers Quarterback Bart Starr once said of Staubach. “I think if I had some of that Staubach competitiveness, I’d have been much better.”
Staubach was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1964 from the Naval Academy, but did not join the team until 1969 due to his Navy commitment. Former president and general manager Tex Schramm signed Staubach to a futures contract in a hotel room in 1964, actually scribbling out the details on a legal-sized tablet that would have Staubach paid annually to participate in training camp practices when he had enough leave built up.
The 1963 Heisman Trophy winner showed up in Dallas as a 27-year-old rookie, but in those 11 seasons still managed carve out the franchise’s all-time leading quarterback rating of 83.42 and became a five-time NFL passing champion. But Staubach almost became better known for his scrambling ability, and to this day ranks eighth on the Cowboys’ all-time rushing list with 2,264 yards.
IRVING, Texas – Rarely do the Dallas Cowboys enter a draft with a glaring need at any one position. And by the time it rolls around this late-April, who knows how badly the Cowboys will need a safety.
But as it stands currently, the team looks rather thin at the position, where they are counting on two players who were injured most of last year.
In fact, the Cowboys have entered several drafts in recent history with a need at safety.
So it begs the question: Just who are the best safeties in Cowboys history. It’s a rather top-heavy list, but the staff of DallasCowboys.com came up with the Top 10 with a couple of honorable mentions.
Honorable Mention: The two that just missed the list had tons of potential. One developed into a better safety after he left and the other had injuries that plagued his career. Randy Hughes was supposed to be the next Cliff Harris and was on his way. He was a fearless hitter with range. But constant shoulder injuries cut Hughes’ career short, as he played just six years with the Cowboys (1975-80). As for Brock Marion, a seventh-round pick who started alongside Darren Woodson, he went to the Dolphins and became a Pro Bowler.
10. Bill Bates – It’s hard to leave off Bates on any list, particularly one featuring top safeties. That was Bates’ position his entire career although he thrived more as a special teams player. Still, Bates started 47 games, mostly from 1986-88. He did have a game-clinching interception in the 1991 playoffs to give Jimmy Johnson his first postseason win.
9. Mike Gaechter – A seven-year starter for the Cowboys in the 1960s, Gaechter had 21 career interceptions, good for 13th in club history. His 100-yard interception return for a touchdown was the longest in franchise history for nearly 40 years before Bryan McCann (101 yards) topped that in 2010.
8. James Washington – If you can make the list for basically one game, Washington has done that. Sure he was a starter on Super Bowl teams, but not all of them. He was a role player at times, but his performance in Super Bowl XXVIII was one of the best in franchise history. He was involved in three turnovers, including a game-tying fumble return to open the second half. He also had an interception and forced a fumble in the Cowboys’ 30-13 win over the Bills.
7. Michael Downs– He was the other rookie free agent who started for the Cowboys in 1981. Everson Walls got the attention with his 11 interceptions as a rookie, but Downs also made his mark early on. He started for about eight seasons on some bad teams, but still led the team in picks three times and is tied for fifth in franchise history with 34 interceptions.
6. Roy Williams –When the Cowboys drafted him eighth overall in 2002, they anticipated having the best safety in franchise history when it was all said and done. As it turned out, Williams did make five Pro Bowls and had quite a start to his career. But it turned sour toward the end as he struggled in coverage and seemingly lost his confidence. Still, early on, Williams was a catalytic player who had a presence in the secondary. Continue reading →
CARRYING THE TORCH: Monte Kiffin says Cowboys organization ‘reeks with tradition’, he and Marinelli soaked it in
Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli made sure they walked into Valley Ranch the right way -– by soaking it all in.
“You walk through this, I mean, it just reeks with tradition here,” Kiffin said Thursday as he met with reporters at Valley Ranch for the first time since being named the team’s new defensive coordinator, and since bringing along former colleague Rod Marinelli to be defensive line coach.
“And you see all these pictures. And Rod Marinelli came in and we were so – we just went out to the front and walked … we just pretended we were coming in for the first time,” Kiffin said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to see this, Rod.’ We went outside and walked back in. I said, ‘Look at this.’ ”
Marinelli said he saw plenty of history up close in Chicago, too, as defensive coordinator with the Bears.
“I just love the history of the game of football,” he said. “I was in Chicago. The history is there. Then, you come here and wow, the history is fabulous. It’s something as a coach you’ve got to relate back to the players, how fortunate we are to be where we are, and there is a history here. We’ve got to understand that and there are standards we’ve got to match up to.”
Kiffin also appreciates NFL history, so he had an idea what it meant to join the Cowboys, one of the most followed teams in the NFL. But he said it was confirmed to him without a doubt when he went to pick up his wife at the airport just a few days after he got into town.
“I’m flipping around the radio stations, and it isn’t just like sports talk, or this or that, it’s the Dallas Cowboys,” he said. “Believe it or not, I hit a button, hit another, and they are still talking Dallas Cowboys. But anyway, you are all fired up down here. It is what it is. That’s why it’s the Dallas Cowboys. That’s why it’s the dream team. I’m just a young pup, or whatever, but you heard about the Dallas Cowboys back in those days.”
Kiffin: I’m Seventy-Two Going On Fifty-Two (Click HERE to play)
Monte Kiffin talks about his excitement in joining the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, and what his plans for the defense are going forward.
Here are the historical notes compiled after Sunday’s game with the Cincinnati Bengals:
- Dan Bailey connected on a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give Dallas the win. It was his second game-winning field goal of the season (vs. Cleveland, 11/18, 38-yarder in overtime) and the sixth of his career. Bailey’s six game-winning kicks are second in franchise history behind Rafael Septien’s seven.
- Dez Bryant caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. He upped his career receptions total to 183 to pass Walt Garrison (182) and tie Lance Rentzel for 22nd in franchise history.
- Bryant raised his season receiving yards total to 1,028 with his 50 yards. This season is his first career 1,000-yard season, the first by a Cowboy since Miles Austin and Jason Witten did it in 2009, the 28th time in franchise history a player reached 1,000 yards, and Bryant became the 12th different Cowboy to do it.
- Bryant’s 50 yards also increased his career yardage total to 2,517 and allowed him to pass Alvin Harper (2,486) for 20th in club record books.
- Bryant also became the 20th Dallas Cowboy to reach 2,500 career receiving yards.
- Bryant’s touchdown catch was his fifth consecutive game with a touchdown reception, the longest streak in his career, tied for the seventh-longest streak and tied for the third-highest streak figure in franchise history.
- Bryant’s 24th career scoring grab also broke a tie with Patrick Crayton for sole possession of 12th in team history.
- Tony Romo finished the game completing 25-of-43 passes (58.1%) for 268 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. He upped his season passing attempts total to 526 – the fourth time in his career and the seventh time in team history a quarterback reached 500 attempts. Romo’s 526 pass attempts this season ranks third in a season in franchise history.
- With his 25 completions, Romo now has 2,021 for his career to become the second Dallas Cowboy (Aikman) to reach 2,000 career completions.
- Romo’s 25 completions raised his season completions total to 349 and establish a single-season club record.
- Romo opened the game completing his first five passes. Along with his 12 straight completed from last week (last two of the second quarter and all 10 in the second half), Romo established the club record for consecutive completions (17). The previous record was 14 straight, held by Steve Pelluer (vs. Seattle, 11/27/86) and Randall Cunningham (1, vs. Philadelphia, 9/3/00, 13, at Arizona, 9/10/00).
- With 268 passing yards, Romo passed Bart Starr (24,718) for 65th on the NFL’s all-time passing yards chart with 24,762 for his career.
- Romo’s touchdown pass gave him 20 scoring throws this season – the fifth time in his career and the 16th time in team history a quarterback reached 20 touchdowns. His five career 20-touchdown seasons are the most in franchise history. Danny White is second with four, then Don Meredith and Roger Staubach are next with three each.
- In guiding Dallas to its second consecutive game with a come-from-behind win, Romo now has four fourth quarter comeback wins for the season and 17 for his career, bettering his franchise-high.
- Ernie Sims had his first sack as a Dallas Cowboy in the second quarter.
- Anthony Spencer had 2 sacks to give him 8.5 sacks this season and improve his single-season career-best. He posted his third multi-sack game of the season and the seventh of his career.
- DeMarcus Ware’s sack gave him 110.5 career sacks, and moved him past Greg Townsend for 18th all-time in NFL history.
- Jason Witten had four catches to give him 92 for the season, and give him his fourth career season with 90-plus catches. Witten already had the most 90-catch seasons in team history with three, and his four are now tied for sixth-all time in NFL history. Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison and Torry Holt share the league-high with six 90-catch seasons.
- Witten’s fourth 90-catch season was the sixth time a Dallas Cowboy reached 90 catches in a season (Witten in 2007, 2009-10, 2012 and Michael Irvin in 1993 and 1995), the 14th time an NFL tight end reached 90 catches and tied with Tony Gonzalez for the most among league tight ends.
- For the season, Witten has 92 catches – the fourth-most in a season in his career, fifth-most in a season by a Dallas Cowboy and the second-most in a season by an NFL tight end.
- Witten’s 62 receiving yards upped his career total to 8,789 and allowed him to pass Joe Horn (8,744) and Mark Carrier (8,763) for 59th on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards chart.
- 2012-2013 Dallas Cowboys receiving and rushing statistics below