Here is a great Q & A with author Jaime Aron of the newest and latest book celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History offers a complete and entertaining history of this iconic franchise’s first 50 years, celebrating the great players, teams, and moments through stories, stats, and almost 200 images.
Author Jaime Aron explores both on-field moments and off-field exploits to provide a thorough discussion of the events from each season that shaped the franchise from its dubious start to its championship rise and all sorts of twists and turns.
Special features include profiles of top players, coaches and front-office leaders, stories behind longtime rivalries and traditions, and closer looks at the greatest games in team history, including each of their Super Bowls.
With a foreword by Cowboys legend Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History is the ultimate celebration of the silver and blue for Cowboys fans of all ages.
What did you discover in researching this book that readers will be excited to learn?
There’s a clear pattern to Cowboys history that bodes well these days. Since its inception, this club has gone from struggling to soaring, then back again. This is clearly one of the up cycles, with Tony Romo in position to join Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as quarterbacks who’ve led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl championship. (Of course, he has to do it twice to truly enter the league.)
What differentiates this book from any other book about the Cowboys?
We break down the first 50 years by quarterback – a short-hand that makes sense in many ways. Think of 1964, realize it was the Don Meredith era and you have a pretty good idea of what happened. Ditto for 1984 and the Danny White years.
Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman each wound up with two chapters, which is sort of fitting. But it’s also functional, because their tenures needed to be divvied up. Roger went through the years he and Craig Morton battled for the job, then the glory days once he’d turned the Cowboys into “America’s Team.” Troy had the wild ride from 1-15 to multiple Super Bowl champions, then the years Jerry Jones spent trying to recapture that glory. Tony Romo has clearly earned his own era. But what about those years post-Troy, pre-Tony? Since there was no single player worthy of naming rights, we called it “Eight is Enough,” since that’s how many starters there were.
What is the thing that the media will find most interesting about the book?
I hope reporters will get out of it the same thing as readers: Reminisce about the years you were following the team, and learn about what happened when you weren’t. The extra benefit for reporters is that this book can be a handy reference tool because it brings to life, in pictures and stories, things that the media guide list as names and numbers – from players to games to seasons.
Tell me about the photography in the book.
There are some classic shots you’ve seen before – like Landry being lifted off on his players’ shoulders after winning the Super Bowl, Drew Pearson catching the Hail Mary and Jason Witten running down the field in Philadelphia without a helmet – but only some.
Instead, a variety of archives were searched for other, fresher images that tell the story just as well. Some of my favorites are Jim Brown running away from tacklers in a practically empty Cotton Bowl in 1960, Mel Renfro alone and dejected on the bench still wearing his helmet at the end of Super Bowl V, and Daryl Johnston flipped upside down, but still gripping the ball, during his heyday.
Another favorite is that on the pages featuring each of Dallas’ five Super Bowl wins, there are action shots and either the cover of the game’s program or a copy of the ticket.
What is your personal involvement with the subject?
I grew up a Cowboys fan in Houston, then moved to Dallas to work for The Associated Press in 1992 – just in time to see the Cowboys win the Super Bowl in three of the next four years. I became the AP’s beat writer for the Cowboys in 1999, so I covered every event in the book since then. I’ve gotten to know many of the folks from previous generations along the way, and by having written other Cowboys books, including one on Tom Landry.
What is your favorite part of the book?
I loved reading and writing about Clint Murchison Jr. What a clever, colorful fellow. Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban have nothing on ol’ Clint, mainly because he steered clear of running the team. He left that to Tex and Tom, and felt so strongly about it that he wanted the next owner to do so, as well.
I’ve said before that Murchison belongs in the Ring of Honor strictly for his role as the club’s founder. I think there might be a better chance for it if Jerry realized how much he and Clint are kindred spirits.
Is there anything else you would like to add about the subject or the book?
Something else that fascinated me was the 1971 team.
That was the most important season in franchise history, yet the team has become the most overlooked. It was important because they ended the reputation for “not being able to win the big one,” which quickly morphed this club into becoming “America’s Team.” Because that morphing was so quick, and there was so much success with so many colorful teams and players, the ’71 club was mostly forgotten.
Consider this: They started the year with their reputation as chokers, with Craig Morton as their quarterback and with the Cotton Bowl as their home field. They ended the year as Super Bowl champions, with Roger Staubach as their quarterback and Texas Stadium as their home field.
There is a lot more to the ’71 club and what a turning point that season was, on and off the field – so much that I’ve started writing a book about them that will be released by MVP Books next fall.
To purchase your copy, follow the link below: Dallas Cowboys: The Complete Illustrated History