It’s the off-season, the draft is over, free agency has died down, so things can get a little boring. I can watch old Dallas games on DVD, read about the draft class or challenge myself to list every single Dallas playoff game since 1966 without looking. Which I’m happy to say I can do with my eyes closed. So I had an idea to list some things that some people may not know about the Cowboys or maybe just have forgotten over time. Enjoy!
1. On December 28, 1959 Tex Schramm introduced Tom Landry to the media as the head coach of the new Dallas Rangers. They were originally going to be called the Dallas Steers. After realizing that there was a minor league baseball team from Dallas called the Rangers, Schramm announced that the new Dallas franchise would be called the Cowboys.
2. The new Dallas franchise was almost voted out in 1960 because of then owner of the Washington Redskins George Marshall. Before the owners meeting to discuss expansion Marshall fired the Redskins music director who just so happened composed “Hail to the Redskins”. The music director retaliated by selling the song’s copyright to an attorney on behalf of Dallas owner Clint Murchison. The attorney denied George Marshall and the Redskins the right to play “Hail to the Redskins”. This left Marshall no choice but to vote in favor of an expansion team in Dallas and in return for his vote “Hail to the Redskins” was returned to Marshall.
3. During the 1971 training camp the running back competition was between Duane Thomas and Calvin Hill. Dallas ended up trading Duane Thomas to the New England Patriots for Carl Garrett and two other players plus the Patriots top pick in 1972. Thomas reported to Patriots training camp, but was thrown out for not following instructions during running drills. Commissoner Pete Rozelle negated the trade and sent Thomas back to the Cowboys and the Cowboys had to send the players they received and the draft pick back to the Patriots.
4. October 24, 1971 Texas Stadium opened. Dallas entered the game against the New England Patriots with a 3-2 record. They beat the Patriots 44-21 with Duane Thomas scoring the first ever Texas Stadium touchdown on a 56 yard run just 2 minutes into the first quarter. Dallas would not lose in the new stadium in 1971 on their way to victory in Super Bowl VI against the Miami Dolphins.
5. In 1971 the Dallas Cowboys wowed the world with the opening of Texas Stadium. In 1972 they would wow the world again. This time they introduced a more glamorous concept…The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Tex Schramm wanted to change cheerleading. He said that fans wanted to enjoy the sights of attractive young women who danced instead the usual “Fight, team, Fight!” cheerleading the league was use to. They would wear outfits in traditional Dallas colors of blue and silver and have choreographed routines. Their appearance at Super Bowl X made them a national phenomenon. They also became the subject of two made-for-TV movies.
6. Before the draft in 1977 Dallas pulled off a trade with the Seattle Seahawks who were 2-12 during the 1976 season, which was their first as an NFL expansion franchise. Dallas traded their own first round pick which was the 22nd overall and three second round picks. In exchange Dallas would get Seattle’s first round pick which was the 2nd overall. Dallas watched as Tampa Bay who had the first overall pick select running back Ricky Bell. That put Dallas in position to select the man they wanted in running back Tony Dorsett who would go onto a Hall of Fame career with the Cowboys.
7. January 3, 1983 with Minnesota leading Dallas 24-13 in the final Monday Night Football game of the season, Dallas found themselves on their own one foot line. Danny White brought the offense to the line not realizing there were only 10 players on the field. The missing player was fullback Ron Springs who was standing on the sideline watching. Danny White hands off to Tony Dorsett who explodes through the middle of the line and through the hole. Then turns towards the right sideline as Drew Pearson blocks for him and then Dorsett tightropes his way into history with a 99 1/2 yard touchdown run. A record that will never be broken. Not realizing what he just did Dorsett drops the ball in the end zone. Even with a history making run and 153 yards rushing in the game Dallas still loses to Minnesota 31-27.
These are just some of the things that come to mind about the Dallas Cowboys. A team rich in history, but not without some strange happenings through the years. I know I can think of many more things that have gone on in Dallas Cowboys history and with a few months left until preseason starts I’m sure I will have time to write about them.