What is this game they call the Super Bowl?

The date was January 15, 1978. I was only nine years old and could not tell you what a third down conversion was, what it meant to blitz the quarterback or even what a quarterback was. I was about to sit and watch something called the Super Bowl on a day they called Super Sunday. As long as this game didn’t interfere with me watching Bugs Bunny or The Flintstones, then I was fine with watching it. Why would I miss this Super Bowl thing considering the brand new coffee table in the living room was filled with chips, pretzels and a lot of other stuff to eat and drink? I also had this magazine my Mother got from McDonald’s that listed a few of these Super Bowl games and I was looking through it only because it had some really cool color pictures in it.

My father sat in his favorite place in the living room, which was on the floor, with his back against the couch right next to the new coffee table that my parents just bought. I will tell you that they didn’t want to buy a new table; they needed to buy the new coffee table due to a little accident, which did not involve me. You see, my father was a huge Giants fan and later in life after I became a football fan I found out that the Giants weren’t very good in the 1970s. While my father was watching a Giants game one Sunday he got so angry that he slammed the coffee table with such force with his fist that he split the table in two pieces. To say that my Mother wasn’t happy with what happened is an understatement. Now the new coffee table sat where the old one had been. My father sat ready for the game along with one of my brothers and a few of his friends. They were about to cheer for this team dressed in orange shirts called the Denver Broncos. Who? From what my family was saying these Broncos were the team that was going to beat up on the other team that was playing. The Orange Crush is what I heard them all yell as they sat on the couch, but as I looked over at the new coffee table I saw none of that orange soda anywhere and I really wanted some. What were they talking about? I was a very confused, but I sat down in front of the television and started to watch.

I will be honest and tell you that I had no idea what was happening during the game. Yes, my father was a lifelong Giants fan as well as my brothers, but I never had any interest in football up to that point. All I cared about were my Matchbox cars and cartoons. To take me away from those things was very difficult. As I sat there watching this game I noticed something that I thought was really cool. There were these bright and beautiful blue stars on the helmets of the other team. These stars were like bright lights that I couldn’t look away from. Now I started to pay a little more attention to what was going on. I asked who the other team was with the stars on their helmets and with a groan from the others watching they said “Dallas”. Hmmm. Dallas sounded nice, so I decided to stick around to see what these blue stars were all about. I really didn’t get any more information out of anyone, so I decided to just sit and watch as I kept reaching for the chips. One reason for the lack of information to my questions was because the game was on, which meant talking to the TV was more important than talking to me. The second reason was because there seemed to be an overwhelming hatred towards this Dallas team called the Cowboys. Why? Why so much hate? What did this team do to be hated so much? Due to the fact my questions were being ignored and most of the chips were being inhaled by these people, I wanted very much for these guys with the blue stars on the helmets to do something good, whatever that was.

As the game was being played this Dallas team scored something called a touchdown. The moans and groans started from behind me, which told me that a touchdown was something good. There were no curse words from anyone because my father would never allow it and there was no slamming of fists on the coffee table because my mother would not allow it, for obvious reasons. OK, I was on to something now with this Super Bowl game. My father, brother and his friends hated when the Dallas team did something good. I could have joined in with them and cheered for this Denver team who had really ugly orange shirts on. But like I said before, being ignored didn’t sit well with me. I had questions and wanted answers, especially when it came to those guys with the blue stars on their helmets. So I decided to go against this crowd sitting in my living room as they continued to eat all the chips and pretzels. I became a pain in the butt nine year old and every time I heard moans and groans from those cheering for Denver, I would just turn around and smile at everyone. Almost as if I knew what was going on in the game.

This Super Bowl game reached something called halftime and both teams left the field. Was the game over? If it was then the Dallas team with the nice blue stars on their helmets had 13 points and the Denver team with the ugly orange shirts had no points. I guess that was a good thing, but I wasn’t sure if everything was over. Could I go back to playing with my Matchbox cars now? My father said it wasn’t over yet and sure enough the teams started playing again soon after that. I continued with my own little show of smiling every time I heard the moans and groans from the crowd behind me. As the game played on and the yelling started to increase, my smiles became larger because I knew Dallas was doing well. I also found it funny that everyone was yelling at the television almost as if those guys playing the game could hear them. My father and my brother along with his friends were not happy as they talked about what a joke this Orange Crush was. Again, I looked over at the new coffee table for that orange soda that I really wanted, but still didn’t see any.

I found it amazing that I was doing something other than playing with my Matchbox cars or watching cartoons and I was actually having fun. I never would have imagined that happening. Watching this Dallas team with the bright blue stars on their helmets was very addicting after a while. I kept looking through my McDonald’s magazine hoping to see a few pictures of players with stars on their helmets, while I continued to glance up at the television to see what was happening.

At one point there seemed to be a lot more people on the field and not all of them had uniforms on. Now what was happening? Then I looked behind me and my brother and his friends had finally removed themselves from my couch. The same couch that no one offered me to sit on in my own house, which was why I was on the floor. My father told me that the game was over which would explain why all those people were now on the field. Then I noticed a man wearing a hat on the shoulders of a few Dallas players. Wow, I thought to myself. How cool is it to be carried like that and who was this guy? This Dallas team must have done something pretty good considering all the attention they were getting. I also could not get out of my mind how nice those blue stars were and how shiny they were.

I had fun watching this game called the Super Bowl. I also had fun being a pain in the butt nine year old to these guys sitting behind me as they moaned and groaned in frustration as the Cowboys did something great, I think! Or was it because this Denver Broncos team did not do as well as my family had hoped for? They seemed to have high hopes when the game first started just hours before. But now as everyone got up to leave the living room, all I heard was grumbling about how Denver messed everything up and that the Orange Crush was a big joke. Well, it must have been a joke because once again I looked over at the new coffee table for the orange soda that everyone kept talking about, but I could never find. There was so much I just didn’t understand.

So many famous and popular Cowboys finished their careers with other teams

With the way Free Agency is today in the NFL it’s very hard to get attached to many players because it’s so uncertain that players will stay with the same team their entire career. Those times that fans do get attached to some players they end up leaving and fans are left with those players jerseys hanging in their closets. Every offseason fans watch as players move from team to team. It’s amazing how the game has changed from when I was growing up. For the most part in the 70s and 80s players didn’t really move around a lot from team to team. Players on your team stayed for their whole careers for the most part or until they got older and management thought it they couldn’t help the team anymore. Since another round of Free Agency is coming up soon it got me thinking about the Cowboys Hall of Fame players and some popular Cowboys players over the years and how their careers ended.

– Hall of Fame wide receiver, Bob Hayes played for the Cowboys from 1965-1974. Hayes finished his career with the 49ers in 1975.

– Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett played for the Cowboys from 1977-1987. Dorsett finished his career with the Broncos in 1988.

– Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith played for the Cowboys from 1990-2002. Smith finished his career with the Cardinals from 2003-2004.

– Offensive lineman John Niland played for the Cowboys from 1966-1974. Niland finished his career with the Eagles in 1975.

– Quarterback Craig Morton played for the Cowboys from 1965-1974. Morton then played for the Giants from 1974-1976 and finished his career with the Broncos from 1977-1982.

– Running back Calvin Hill played for the Cowboys from 1969-1974. Hill then played for the Redskins from 1976-1977 and then finished his career with the Browns from 1978-81.

– Wide receiver Golden Richards played for the Cowboys from 1973- 1978. Richards finished his career with the Bears from 1978-79.

– Linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson played for the Cowboys from 1975-1979. Henderson then finished his career with the 49ers and Oilers in 1980.

– Running back Ron Springs played for the Cowboys from 1979-1984. Springs finished his career with the Buccaneers from 1985-1986.

– Cornerback Dennis Thurman played for the Cowboys from 1978-1985. Thurman finished his career with the Cardinals in 1986.

– Wide receiver Butch Johnson played for the Cowboys from 1976-1983. Johnson finished his career with the Broncos from 1984-1985.

– Cornerback Everson Walls played for the Cowboys from 1981-1989. Walls then played for the Giants from 1990-1992 and finished his career with the Browns from 1992-1993.

– Cornerback Michael Downs played for the Cowboys from 1981-1988. Downs finished his career with the Cardinals in 1989.

– Cornerback Ron Fellows played for the Cowboys from 1981-1986. Fellows finished his career with the Raiders from 1987-1988.

– Defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat played for the Cowboys from 1983-1994. Jeffcoat finished his career with the Bills from 1995-1997.

– Linebacker Eugene Lockhart played for the Cowboys from 1984-1990. Lockhart finished his career with the Patriots from 1991-1992.

– Offensive lineman Nate Newton played for the Cowboys from 1986-1998. Newton finished his career with the Panthers in 1999.

– Running back Herschel Walker played for the Cowboys from 1986-1989. Walker played for the Vikings from 1989-1991. He played for the Eagles from 1992-1994. He played for the Giants in 1995 and finished his career back with the Cowboys from 1996-1997.

– Wide receiver Kelvin Martin played for the Cowboys from 1987-1992. Martin then played for the Seahawks from 1993-1994. He played for the Eagles in 1995 and then finished his career back with the Cowboys in 1996.

– Linebacker Ken Norton Jr. played for the Cowboys from 1988-1993. Norton finished his career with the 49ers from 1994-2000.

– Offensive lineman Mark Stepnoski played for the Cowboys from 1989-1994. Stepnoski then played for the Oilers from 1995-1998 and finished his career back with the Cowboys from 1999-2001.

– Cornerback Kenny Gant played for the Cowboys from 1990-1994. Gant finished his career with the Buccaneers from 1995-1997.

– Wide receiver Alvin Harper played for the Cowboys from 1991-1994. Harper then played for the Buccaneers from 1995-1996. The Redskins and Saints in 1997. He finished his career back with the Cowboys in 1999.

– Defensive lineman Russell Maryland played for the Cowboys from 1991-1995. Maryland then played for the Raiders from 1996-1999 and finished his career with the Packers in 2000.

– Cornerback Larry Brown played for the Cowboys from 1991-1995. Brown then played for the Raiders from 1996-1997 and finished his career back with the Cowboys in 1998.

– Offensive lineman Erik Williams played for the Cowboys from 1991-2000. Williams finished his career with the Ravens in 2001.

– Defensive lineman Leon Lett played for the Cowboys from 1991-2000. Lett finished his career with the Broncos in 2001.

– Offensive lineman Larry Allen played for the Cowboys from 1994-2005. Allen finished his career with the 49ers from 2006-2007.

– Linebacker Dexter Coakley played for the Cowboys from 1997-2004. Coakley finished his career with the Rams from 2005-2006.

– Offensive lineman Flozell Adams played for the Cowboys from 1998-2009. Adams finished his career with the Steelers in 2010.

Many of these players I remember leaving for other teams, but there were a few that caught me by surprise. There are not too many players in the NFL who will stay with the same team for their entire career. Some of the all-time greats have left over the years like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Earl Campbell, Franco Harris, Roger Craig, Bret Favre, Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen and so many others. So, whenever you start thinking that there is no way your favorite players would ever leave for another team, just remember this list.

 

 

State of the Cowboys as they enter the 2013 offseason

2010: 6-10

2011: 8-8

2012: 8-8

No Playoffs in the last three seasons.

Three straight third place finishes.

Two straight years losing the final game of the season with the NFC East title on the line.

Horrible game management from the head coach at times. Receivers running the wrong routes.

There was Confusion on defense at times, while also getting the team into large deficits and as well as surrendering leads.

That pretty much sums up the Dallas Cowboys over the last few seasons. Of course with all of that Jerry Jones figured that changes were needed within. Running backs coach Skip Peete was let go and so was special teams coach Joe DeCamillis to go along with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Of course there is also the question whether an offensive coordinator will be hired so that Jason Garrett can focus on being just the head coach. I’ve read reports that Garrett won’t be letting go of the play calling and I’ve also read reports that Garrett is open to doing anything in the best interest of the team.

My opinion is that letting Rob Ryan go was the right move. I understand that he did a decent job in 2012 after losing starters on defense like Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Barry Church. But the fact is that between last season and this season there were countless times were the defense looked confused. Players seemed like they didn’t know where to line up. Players were seen pointing at each other as if they weren’t sure of their assignments. Not to mention the many times that Ryan admitted that he had horrible game plans as his defenses time and time again could not hold leads or were even beaten soundly over the course of the last two seasons.

On the other side of the ball is how Jason Garrett calls a game. From a fans point of view his play calling is horrible most of the time. His game management is even worse. At times it seems as though he has no game plan at all. He just seems to pick plays off of his play sheet randomly. Maybe he just has two much on his plate as far as being the head coach and offensive coordinator. Let’s not forget that Tony Romo should not have to tell his receivers were to line up. These are not new receivers and they should know what they need to do when the play is called.

Now that the Cowboys are into the offseason the questions about this team have multiplied.  How many more coaches will be let go? Now that Monte Kiffin is the new defensive coordinator, does the team have the right personal to make the switch to the 4-3? How long before players catch onto the new defensive system? What about the Cowboys list of free agents like Anthony Spencer, Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins? The Cowboys are $18 million over the salary cap at this point. Where do they get the money to pay for any of these players or any outside free agents? Do they franchise Anthony Spencer again and pay him over $10 million in 2013 if they cannot get a long-term deal done or do they just let him walk? They also have to deal with the second part of the $5 million cap penalty from last season. If all their key free agents leave due to lack of money, then they are dealing with even more depth issues. Do they sign Tony Romo to a contract extension as he goes into the final year of his contract? Knowing that they have the 18th overall pick in this year’s draft, do they select the best player on the board or trade down to get more picks?

With all the unanswered questions regarding this Cowboys team, I guess it’s not fair to look ahead to 2013 and who the Cowboys will be playing, but let’s do it anyway. Outside of their divisional games, they have home games against the Packers, Vikings, Rams, Broncos and the Raiders. Then they have to travel to play the Bears, Lions, Saints, Chiefs and Chargers. As many of us do we can run down the list of teams and say this is game is a win and that game is a win. Fans can also say that the Cowboys will have no trouble with the Rams or Chiefs. But remember one thing about this Cowboys team over recent seasons, they make nothing easy.

What’s my point to all my rambling in this article? Well, with all these questions how can Cowboys fans expect anything better than another 8-8 season in 2013? With the recent history of the Cowboys I would think that none of what I’ve mentioned in this article will be easy to address and the 2013 season will be a difficult one. I really hope I’m wrong, but at this point I really don’t think so. This team just might have to deal with getting worse in order to start getting better. That is a horrible thought, but it also could be a realistic thought.

In Romo We Trust

Huge debate among Cowboys fans, “Trust Romo” or “Blame Romo”? I think my stance is clear…
Trust Romo

Monte Kiffin: New Defensive Coordinator

 

On January 11, 2013, following the 2012-13 NFL regular season, Monte Kiffin was hired as Defensive Coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.

Monte Kiffin

Jason Garrett

From Sea to Shining Sea

It’s a great debate amongst NFL football fans however the nickname that was given to the Dallas Cowboys back in 1978 holds strong today.

They appear on television so often that their faces are as familiar to the public as presidents and movie stars. They are the Dallas Cowboys, “America’s Team.” – Bob Ryan, NFL Films

Like it or not the Dallas Cowboys will forever and always be known as “America’s Team”.

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AP’s All Pro Team 2013

Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware were named to The Associated Press 2013 All-Pro Team. Both were picked to the second-team.

This is Ware’s 6th consecutive selection, every year of his career thus far. It is Witten’s 3rd time to be chosen for the AP team.

Congratulations once again Ware and Witten!

allpro13witt allpro13ware

Pro Bowl Cowboys

Pro Bowl 13

 

Jason Witten and Demarcus Ware were the only 2 Cowboys selected for the 2013 Pro Bowl.

This will be TE Witten’s 8th Pro Bowl appearance, and LB Ware’s 7th straight appearance.

Many feel there were several snubs in this year’s selection, most notably Dez Bryant, Dan Bailey and Anthony Spencer.

However Ware and Witten are most deserving and we would like to congratulate them on their honors.