Legends of the Star: Mr. Cowboy, Bob Lilly

Many great players have worn the Dallas Cowboys uniform with pride and distinction during the teams glorious 50 year history. None however, can lay claim to the ultimate team nickname, “Mr. Cowboy” save one, the great Bob Lilly.

Though there are many current and former Cowboys who deserve their due recognition for helping the Dallas Cowboys become and maintain the title of “America’s Team”. However, a strong case can be made that if not for Bob Lilly, it may have never happened.

Many of the newer and younger Cowboy fans have all heard of the great  Bob Lilly at one time or another. They may have even heard that he is considered by most to be the best Defensive Tackle in Cowboy history. A fact that cannot be disputed.

That said, it’s only a small part of Lilly’s amazing legacy and the impact he made on a young franchise that would soon become one of the juggernauts of the NFL.

Bob Lilly was born in 1939 and went to Texas Christian University where he became a star defensive end and was named to the All-America team. As part of this honor he received a camera as one of his awards, a gift that would surely impact the rest of his life.

In 1961 Bob was drafted with first overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys, thus becoming the first ever draft pick in franchise history. He would not disappoint.

Though he was originally drafted as a defensive end, in his third year with the Cowboys, coach Tom Landry switched his position to defensive tackle where he would become one of the best at his position in the NFL for many years to come.

Lilly was a punishing defender and his tough demeanor and sheer determination made him the undisputed leader of the Cowboys famous “Doomsday Defense’. Lilly was so unstoppable, that he was regularly double and triple teamed for the majority of his career.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl a then record 11 times between 1962 and 1973, and Lilly was also a seven time first team All Pro selection.

During his long 14 year Hall of Fame career he was as durable as they came missing only one game to a leg injury.

Lilly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility, and was the first player who spent his entire career with the Cowboys to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He is a member of the All Century Team and in 1999 was ranked number 10 on the “100 Greatest Football Players” by the Sporting News. Sports Illustrated calls him the greatest Defensive Tackle in NFL history.

In addition to being the Cowboys’ first ever draft pick, when all was said and done, “Mr. Cowboy” would also become the first player ever to be inducted into the “Ring of Honor”. He is the only Dallas Cowboy to wear the #74, and is the only number unofficially retired by the team.

Aside from football, Bob Lilly went on to become a noted photographer, a career that stemmed back to the day he began using the camera he won as an All-American. His interests included photographs of magnificent sunsets, majestic mountain ranges and scenic landscapes that captured all the natural beauty of the Midwest. He has launched a successful business where people can buy some of his most famous photographs.

50 Years of Cowboys Football Begins Saturday

We are coming up on the day we as Cowboy fans having been waiting for since Emmitt Smith retired in 2005. Saturday the great Emmitt Smith will join the other two Triplets when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s been a long time coming and it will be a very emotional day for all of us.

The current Cowboys team will be there supporting Emmitt and playing the Hall of a Fame game on Sunday. Interestingly enough, they will be facing the Cincinnati Bengals who now house a number of former Cowboys including Roy Williams and Terrell Owens.

Needless to say, this is our last week without football. This weekend the Dallas Cowboys kickoff the football season with a bang starting with Emmitt Smith and the Hall of Fame.

I couldn’t think of a better way to get the 50th year of Cowboys Football started.

Make sure you tune into the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday on ESPN coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. Central time. Followed by the Hall of Fame game Sunday evening on NBC, kickoff at 7 p.m. Central time.

FOOTBALL IS BACK! How Bout Them Cowboys!

You can find this mural and so much more at

Getting the Party Started In San Antonio

Training camp signifies the beginning of football season, and the Cowboys always know how to get the party started right!

I’d like to thank my good friend Becky for sharing these pictures via text as she enjoyed memorable moments down in San Antonio. Training Camp is open to the public with free admission so if you are in the area or have the chance to make a road trip down south, as you can tell from these pictures I have no doubt you will have a wonderful time.

San Antonio, Texas Training Camp: July 23rd through August 6th

Oxnard, California Training Camp: August 14th through August 27th

Rowdy on stage at the Kickoff Spectacular

Felix Jones taking some time to sign autographs for fans

Roy Williams signing autographs for fans in the stands

Dez Bryant getting attacked by the media at training camp

Mike Jenkins and others on the sideline at practice

Marion Barber and teammates at practice

Tashard Choice stretching in the endzone

Training Camp Kickoff Extravaganza

I can just hear all of the fans loading up their cars and heading to San Antonio as I write this – Road Trip! For those of you lucky enough to go to Training Camp you already know tonight is the big night, the Cowboys will kickoff in style.

Here is the information posted on the Cowboys official website:

2010 Training Camp Kickoff Spectacular

Friday, July 23rd
At the Alamodome
Free to the public
Doors open at 6pm
Event starts at 7pm

Duelo and Bowling for Soup

Also Appearing:
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
The Dallas Cowboys Players and Coaches

We are one step closer to football season and we are looking forward to a spectacular year!

If you have made plans to go sneak a peak at the 2010 Cowboys as they prepare for the season and want to share your experience with thousands of Cowboys fans, just send an e-mail to lonestarstruck at aol dot com, or click here to submit a message through our contact form.

Miles on SI Cover, Again

Congratulations is order once again to Miles Austin! The Dallas Cowboys number one wide receiver will be on the cover the the magazine that will hit newsstands on Wednesday.

If you remember Austin was on the cover back in January for the playoffs –

Gets me excited and ready for football season! I will be on the hunt for my copy of the magazine tomorrow.

Thanks to the Dallas Morning News for the heads up.

Diary of a Mad Cowboys Fan

I come from a huge family of Dallas natives who are all Cowboys fanatics, but I’d put money on it that if you asked any one of them who the biggest fan in the Horn family is, the majority of them would without hesitation say, “That would be Kelly Nell!” Ask anyone at my place of business and they wouldn’t think for a moment before saying, “Miss Kelly, of course!”

I’ve got Cowboys posters and memorabilia in my bedroom, a closet full of jerseys plus enough Dallas tees to wear a different one every day for weeks, and even a “Cowboys” silver car… not to mention my favorite addiction, this Cowboys website.

In my household, football season means Sundays are booked – no parties, no outings, no shopping, no work. Dinner is planned around the game. From kickoff until the clock reads 0:00, no one better get in front of the tv and I’m not answering questions, taking random phone calls, no cleaning, cooking, laundry… well I’m sure you get the point.

My teenage son, as amazing as he is, says “Go Cowboys” but I’m not sure he means it the way I do. I’ve bought him jerseys, jackets, etc. – but he’s just not that into football. I’ve been known to scream at the television and get a little bit vocal during Cowboys games. I’m pretty sure that’s why he hides in his bedroom at kickoff. But hey, I love him just the same.

Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten to know some amazing people who also love the Cowboys. I know people who hold season tickets year after year and people who travel clear across the country just to witness a Cowboys game. Although some of the biggest and craziest Cowboys fans I know have never even been to a game, but love ’em just the same.

I have friends whose homes are completely decorated in Blue and Silver, from the shower curtain to the sofa. I have friends who blog about the ‘Boys, and many who “vlog”, some designs graphics, and others spend hours on forums. Some of my Rowdy friends drive vehicles with players painted on them, decorated with star logos, and personalized Cowboys-themed license plates.

I have Cowboy-tattooed friends, and even some who name their children after players and coaches (I think Landry would be a cool boy’s name).

I think each of us has our own way to express our true blue enthusiasm. I’d rather not classify who is more of a fan, or less of a fan. I’m just happy to say I have been lucky enough to get to know some kickass people who I can relate to because of the Dallas Cowboys.

I feel honored to be able to share my love for this team with all of you through Lone Star Struck. I am so proud of the name we have built in the Cowboys online community and our amazing fan base that continues to grow daily.

From the average football fan to the obsessed die hard fanatic, you are important to the Cowboys organization, and the NFL for that matter.

Lil' Baby WittenRegardless of what kind of a fan you are, without all of us, and I mean every single one of us, there would be no team. Its the oldest principle in the book – supply and demand. We the fans demand some Cowboys football.

It may be offseason but being a Cowboys fan isn’t seasonal,  its a year round event. We are counting down the days until the draft, and looking forward to training camp. Some of us are already planning tailgate parties and road trips to visit Arlington or the closest football stadium that will be lucky enough to host the Dallas Cowboys.

Some rivals and opposing fans question why the Cowboys are America’s Team? Well the answer is crystal clear, WE are the reason.

My fellow fans span from California to New York and Illinois to Florida, not to mention the great state of Texas and its neighboring states (a big hello to my fellow Oklahomans). From sea to shining sea, we are loud and we are proud, we are Cowboys fans and I have to say it’s been a pleasure meeting all of you.

Note: We will be adding a fan gallery to the site this offseason and would love all of you to contribute your photos. Keep us in mind, and stay tuned for information on how to submit your Cowboys pictures.

Week 1 Preview: Cowboys at Buccaneers

The time has come my fellow football fanatics! Football season is officially here and the Cowboys first game of the year begins in less than an hour.

The anticipation has built up to the max and all we can do now is watch and cheer! I’ve been watching ESPN this morning, NFL Countdown. Don’t worry they still hate us. Funny how some things never change.

As for our team, everyone looks ready to go. Sam Hurd and Miles Austin are both ready to play and needed on special teams especially. That means that rookie Kevin Ogletree has been declared inactive for today’s game, after an amazing preseason I find that very odd.

The inactive list is as follows:

WR Kevin Ogletree
S Mike Hamlin
LB Jason Williams
G Montrae Holland
C Duke Preston
T Pat McQuistan
3rd QB Stephen McGee
OLB Curtis Johnson

There is a chance for rain today in Tampa Bay but the temperature will remain in the mid-80s. Unless thunderstorms strike heavy it should be decent weather.

We will be hosting a Live Game Chat starting at kickoff throughout the entire game. We invite you to join fellow Cowboys fanatics, LSS Staff and friends to discuss the game, cheer the Boys, and anything else that comes up over the course of 4 quarters.

My prediction: Cowboys 34 – Bucs 17

Forward Progress: An Opinion is Worth A Thousand Words

Hello to all. It’s me TD, and I would just like to take a brief moment to say hello again and welcome to my weekly column: Forward Progress. I will be sharing my thoughts and opinions with all of you, every Thursday, over the course of the roller coaster that is the NFL season. I will never claim to be all-knowing as this is just a place to speak my humble opinions and I hope that you all will correct me when you believe I am wrong and share your opinions on my opinions. Of course, I would like to thank Lone Star Struck for this amazing forum that all of us Cowboys fans should be thankful for. It continues to be an honor to be a part of the great team here at LSS!


 It’s funny that I mentioned opinions in my small introduction above, because that is exactly one of the things that I want to discuss. With training camp looming like a beacon of light to illuminate the darkness that is the off-season, I am reminded of all things good….and bad about football season. The good, well that’s easy, it’s optimism, it’s excitement, it’s the sharing of Sundays with family and friends, and the thrill of victory when our Dallas Cowboys pull it out in the end. The bad, well, it’s pretty simple…..the fair weather fans, the unwarranted ripping and criticizing of the players and coaches after a poor performance, and yes, the actual sadness of defeat when the good guys do lose.

There is no other sport as popular as football, at least here in the United States, and with all of that comes the wide range of things that come along with that kind of passion, you just learn to accept it I guess. I try my very hardest to not be a fair weather fan, but I do get really upset when we lose just like everyone else. I will rip someone for poor effort or quitting, but not for making mistakes. I just want to be clear that I am not saying anyone is a better fan than anyone else, because that is usually what people say as a defense if you criticize them for criticizing the Cowboys, if that makes sense.

I am just humbly sitting here in my living room, wondering how long will the honeymoon last, and how long until MySpace and Facebook and the chat rooms are calling for Romo to be cut and Wade to be fired? It’s just an amazing dynamic to witness over the course of the season. It’s going to be interesting, as the NFL did us no favors, and we will have to be ready to go as a team from the time we break camp, or we could be looking at a tough start to the season and we could see many seats available on the bandwagon, as people jump off as fast as they can. I am confident we will weather the early quarter of the season, and hopefully the worst case scenario will be a 2-2 start. Either way, I will be right here, riding shotgun on the Dallas Cowboys bandwagon. I hope the majority of Cowboys fans will do the same, and not let the small percentage of the negative fans ruin our spirit and/or take away our hope.

Another thing I was thinking about was playmakers. Who in your opinion is the Cowboys top playmaker? The one guy that is going to be there week in and week out, making big time plays when the team needs them the most? A dynamic, dominating player that makes the other teams gameplan around him?

To me, it is simple, there is no other player on our team like that other than DeMarcus Ware. He is a superstar that requires constant double and even triple teams at times to stop him, or should I say try and stop him, as he still led the NFL in sacks last year, and was robbed of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award by the anti-Cowboys media.

Yes, Romo is the QB and he touches the ball on every snap, and is an incredible playmaker, but let’s face it: Tony has to prove some things this year, he has to hold on to the football better, cut down on turnovers, and be consistent over the entire 16 game schedule to take his place among the “elite” quarterbacks. I believe he will do those things, and Felix Jones will get some chatter as a top playmaker with his big play ability and speed, but as of today….RIGHT NOW, DeMarcus is the team’s top playmaker.

Taking a quick glance around the NFC East and you see it is not a division filled with big play ability, you have a few speed guys like DeSean Jackson of the Eagles, and Santana Moss of the Redskins seems to always have his best games against the Cowboys, but mostly it is a division built around defense, grinding running games and above average quarterback play. That is why I don’t understand why people think that we are going to be so ineffective without “the player who will go unnamed” at the WR position. I have nothing against the guy, but you can win this division without the original 81, and you can also NOT win it with him.

Quick Hits:

  • Micheal Vick is reportedly hoping to speak with Commisioner Roger Goodell about a partial re-instatment allowing him to participate in a teams training camp while awaiting a final decision from the league, similar to what Pac Man had last year for the Cowboys. I just can’t see an NFL team giving him a shot. I may be completely wrong but I just don’t see any team wanting to go through the media scrutiny and the criticism from the public, just to have him in their camp. I Guess we’ll see.
  • Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams is undergoing training to become a massage therapist, according to the New York Times. Basically more well known for his off-the-field pot smoking antics than his football prowess on the field, Williams is looking towards his post-football career in holistic healing and medicine. He said he plans to play football for two more years and then retire. I was always a huge Ricky fan, and I give him credit for getting his life back in order. I hope he finds happiness in his career choice and stays healthy to finish out his career.
  • Former Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman has signed a one year deal with the upstart UFL’s Las Vegas franchise. He becomes the league’s marquee player, which is not saying much. The UFL’s inaugural season will last six games and end on Thanksgiving weekend. I am predicting that the UFL’s second season will be…..never.

New Cowboys Stadium Open For All To See!

The wonder that is the new Cowboys Stadium is on display for all to see.Regardless of your economic status, you can now visit and get an in-depth tour of the greatest sports venue in the world, for near the price of a movie ticket.

Tours are available seven days a week, with tours departing every 30 minutes, beginning at 9 AM (11 AM on Sundays). Of course, you can visit for all the fine print. The bottom line is, if you are an D/FW resident or plan to visit the area, make sure you take time to get a close look at the new home of the Cowboys! You will not regret it.

I have to issue a warning however, visiting the stadium will only make it harder to wait for football season to get here. Thanks to all of the friendly staff and tour guides that were working, it felt like they truly enjoyed their jobs, and who can blame them?

Our tour guide, Slim, had a few good jokes to throw in as well. Including the classic, “How do you keep a Redskin out of your backyard? You paint it like an endzone!” Good times.

Go COWBOYS! I can’t wait to see the stadium filled with Cowboys fans! Come on September!!!

Here are a few pictures from my tour this weekend:








United Football League Takes Cowboys Leftovers

According to ESPN’s Matt Mosley the United Football League has taken interest in nearly a handful of ex-Cowboys. Ronnie Cruz, Tyson Thompson, Brooks Bollinger and Rob Petitti have been drafted by UFL teams.

So you may ask, what is the UFL?

This info was found on the UFL website.

The UFL will play in the fall, during traditional football season, to establish the league as a viable entity and will offer real, 11-on-11, outdoor professional football in NFL quality stadiums/venues. The UFL will play its regular season games on Thursday and Friday evenings in the fall, with the first regular season game kicking off in October and the Championship Game scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend. 

In its “Premiere” season, the UFL will have four teams playing in seven cities. The four teams selected for 2009 are Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and San Francisco. The additional cities where games may be played include Hartford, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

 The UFL will play a six game season, compared to the NFL’s 16 game season.

There have been other attempts of leagues trying to compete with the National Football League. Needless to say none of them succeeded.

Fans may have a lot of issues and concerns with some of the rules and regulations in the NFL but at the same time every fan will admit it is and always will be the best, nothing will ever come close.

Good luck in the UFL Tyson, and the rest of the guys! (Tyson’s the only one on that list that I really enjoyed watching.)

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

If you’re like me, your Sundays just aren’t the same these days. Although there are many holidays, celebrations, and events that we attend throughout the year, there is no time of the year like football season and watching my beloved Dallas Cowboys on the football field. I think back to how and when I jumped on the bandwagon as we all have at one point or another. 

It was the 1977-78 season which was a great year to become a fan, of the Dallas Cowboys that is. My best friend Greg got a new game for his birthday and it was the coolest thing I ever saw. It was an electric football game with individual players that you could position and attempt to direct on a scaled down version of a football field (it didn’t always work so well). Once each player had it’s offense and defense set up, you would flick the switch and the field would vibrate causing your players to go or not go in the direction you chose. When we played my friend Greg always got to be the Dallas Cowboys. After all… it was his game. That year we watched the Dallas Cowboys go to Super Bowl XII and defeat the Denver Broncos 27-10. From then on, my life would never be the same.

 My heroes went from Batman and Superman to Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett. After all, at age 8, it was much more acceptable to wear a jersey than a cape to school. I remember guys like “Butch Johnson” (No. 86). Johnson’s touchdown celebration was known as the “California Quake”. He would simulate pulling guns out of holsters and proceed to shoot them and shake. When I played football with my friends and scored a touchdown, I would do the same. I remember my first jersey. No. 33 “TD” Dorsett. If I could have, I would have worn it everyday. One day it was thrown in the wash with a bright red shirt. UGH!! It came out pink. I wore it anyway.

 As I sit here in front of my computer writing my first blog and reminiscing, I remember watching the Cowboys every year on what has become my favorite holiday of the year..Thanksgiving! What fan could ask for more? I remember the heartbreaks and losses too…like the famous play in the 1982 NFC Championship game known as “The Catch”. Where one of my heroes Everson Walls, couldn’t jump as high as 49er Dwight Clark to catch Joe Montana’s miracle touchdown throw with 51 seconds left in the game. I cried and cried that day.

 I’ve grown up watching this team. Many great super bowl wins along with playoff losses too. Many years of great bbq’s or parties with friends and family. Watching my favorite players come and go. Now my two sons are Cowboys fans (of course) and the tradition continues. I have to try not to draft all Cowboys on my fantasy football team (it’s hard). It’s been some time since we’ve been to the big game but I feel we are very close and I just can’t wait for training camp. The Boys are loaded with talent, and with a healthy season, I feel our time is now. Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon and I never jumped off. I bleed blue and silver and like good ol’ Willie Nelson sang…My heroes have always been Cowboys.

We’ll Get Through It, It’s Just a Matter of Time

Sundays just don’t seem the same anymore. The hype has disappeared. Football season seems so short, just as it starts to get interesting, its over. Now we have to wait for spring and summer to pass before we get to enjoy our favorite pastime again.

But think about it…My niece Kinzie, she enjoys cheering on the Cowboys!

Preseason is in August… Training Camp is in July… then there’s mini camps that start as early as May and the NFL Draft in April. So, really we just have to get through the rest of February and March. February is half over now, free agency starts at the end of the month. Hell, by the time you get back from your Spring Break vacation it will be time to start studying the players again! See, nothing to worry about – football will be back in no time at all!

I know, I know… its not the same, but its always been this way. Maybe when you have such a good team you just can’t wait to see them out there playing again. Or just maybe when you have a great team that loses in the end when it counts the most, you just want to see them get another shot. Either way, I miss those Cowboys. I can honestly say I don’t miss the insane drama the media created for them, or that ‘one’ girl who presumably jinxed the team with a dream. But I miss the action.

I miss the escape moves pulled off by MB3 & Romo and the nearly impossible bombs that reached the end zone just in the "Nick" of time. I miss Terrell Owens’ big smile and his confidence that no one could tarnish. I miss the Helmetless Warrior and the "Ware" wolf and the Sack Monster. I miss hearing old Cowboy stars like Moose, Deion, Emmitt and Troy talk about the Cowboys before a big game, usually defending them when others would express only negative thoughts.

2007 was definitely a memorable year for Cowboys fans. Whether you choose to remember it for the good, the bad or the ugly is up to you. I, for one, will remember the great moments. I’ll remember when I first learned Tony Romo got his contract. And when he broke records, left and right. What about when Terrell Owens was named "NFC Player of the Month" last November. Yeah, I know, I’m an optimist. I always have been, and I don’t think its a bad thing really. It gets my heart broken every once in a while, but it also keeps a smile on my face and hope in my heart.


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