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.
NFLN: Prater’s NFL-Record 64-Yard FG | Watch Video
Kicker Matt Prater set a new NFL record when he kicked a 64-yard field goal through the uprights at the end of the first half against the Tennessee Titans in Week 14.
Last Sunday, kicker Matt Prater took down Tom Dempsey and the legendary 63-yard field-goal record when he banged a 64-yard attempt through the uprights in Denver.
Dempsey’s regular-season mark stood for exactly 43 years and one month. Three men in history tied the 1970 record: Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011) and David Akers (2012).
None until Prater could surpass the legend.
No kicker in four decades of football could muster that extra yard to outdo Dempsey. In honor of Matt Prater and all the men who went before him in the valiant effort to kick balls from deep, we give you a look at the failed attempts to break the record.
|FG attempts of 64-plus yards|
|Player||Team||Date||Quarter||Length of miss|
|Sebastian Janikowski||Oakland Raiders||9/28/2008||2||76|
|Joe Danelo||New York Giants||10/28/1979||2||74|
|Mark Moseley||Washington Redskins||11/25/1979||4||74|
|Fred Steinfort||New England Patriots||9/29/1980||2||73|
|Phil Dawson||San Francisco 49ers||9/26/2013||2||71|
|Mark Moseley||Washington Redskins||9/2/1979||4||70|
|Mason Crosby||Green Bay Packers||12/28/2008||2||69|
|John Hall||New York Jets||10/19/1997||2||68|
|Neil Rackers||Arizona Cardinals||11/23/2008||2||68|
|Jan Stenerud||Kansas City Chiefs||9/21/1975||2||67|
|Steve Cox||Washington Redskins||12/20/1987||4||67|
|Ali Haji-Sheikh||New York Giants||10/24/1983||4||66|
|Jason Elam||Denver Broncos||12/10/1995||2||66|
|Sebastian Janikowski||Oakland Raiders||12/13/2009||2||66|
|Robbie Gould||Chicago Bears||12/1/2013||4||66|
|Greg Zuerlein||St. Louis Rams||10/14/2012||4||66|
|Steve Christie||Buffalo Bills||11/2/1992||2||65|
|Jason Elam||Denver Broncos||9/10/2001||2||65|
|Jason Hanson||Detroit Lions||10/14/2001||2||65|
|John Kasay||Carolina Panthers||10/29/2006||2||65|
|Jeff Reed||Pittsburgh Steelers||10/21/2007||2||65|
|Raul Allegre||Baltimore Colts||12/11/1983||4||64|
|Steve Cox||Cleveland Browns||12/2/1984||4||64|
|Jason Elam||Denver Broncos||12/19/1997||2||64|
|Neil Rackers||Arizona Cardinals||10/31/2004||2||64|
|Sebastian Janikowski||Oakland Raiders||11/4/2007||2||64|
|Sebastian Janikowski||Oakland Raiders||10/21/2012||4||64|
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
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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 – Not many figures in the NFL landscape are more familiar with the importance of “winning the big one” than Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.
As offensive coordinator, and eventually head coach of the Denver Broncos, few people were closer to Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway during his struggles and eventual success in winning a championship.
It makes sense then that Shanahan would field questions this week about the comparison of Elway, now the executive vice president of football operations for Denver, to Tony Romo. In the moments following Dallas’ 51-48 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones compared Romo’s hardships in delivering big victories to Elway’s career.
Said Jones: “The guy standing over on the other sideline or up in the box, John Elway, had those things said about him his entire career. He was a great player and we all know that, and he ultimately got his Super Bowls and they don’t say that about him anymore.”
Shanahan said today that the comparison was a fair one.
“I don’t think there’s any question about it. That’s everybody’s goal, to win the Super Bowl, and unless you do it, you’re always going to have people second-guessing yourself,” he said. “John had that as well, and when he did win the two his last couple years, back-to-back, that quickly goes away. But until you do it, you’re always going to have that tag.”
Elway was the poster child for big game disappointment for much of his legendary career. Prior to winning two Super Bowls in his final two seasons, he managed a so-so 7-8 postseason record for the Broncos.
Most notable among those eight losses were a trio of lopsided Super Bowl defeats. Elway led Denver to the Super Bowl after the 1986, 1987 and 1989 seasons, where the Broncos were defeated by a combined score of 136-40.
Shanahan was Elway’s offensive coordinator for the first two Super Bowl losses, and he was the Broncos’ head coach for the two wins, after the 1997 and 1998 seasons. (Editors comment: Think of Jason Garrett’s legacy with his ‘potential’ comparison to Shanahan. Garrett has been Tony Romo’s offensive coordinator and/or head coach from the beginning of Romo’s career).
“I think the people that see Tony practice every day and the teammates know what he can do. But you do it as a team. Everybody’s got to do it together,” Shanahan said. “When I was with John, going into the 15th, 16th year, you had the same people saying that he couldn’t do it throughout his whole career. Then when he does do it, everybody says ‘Ah, yeah. We knew he could do it.’ I mean, it’s the same old thing.”
Of course, Romo still has a bit of catching up to do. The Cowboys’ quarterback has appeared in just four playoff games with one victory, and consequently has not reached the Super Bowl. That said, Shanahan said the process remains the same.
“You’ve just got to fight through it, you can’t listen to the critics and you’ve got to believe in yourself, and I’m sure that’s what Tony’s doing,” he said.
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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).
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.
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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.