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The Ralph Neely Bowl and the Governor’s Cup

Cowboys fans no need to worry or go find the highest building with a very small ledge. A 0-2 start in pre-season, as long as it’s not accompanied by crippling injuries, means absolutely nothing. I think all coach Phillips really wants is to get to the Sept. 7 opener in Cleveland with all hands on deck.

I think the coaching staff has been very encouraged with camp and the pre-season so far. The Cowboys have definitely upgraded their personnel over the one that posted a 13-3 season in 2007 and at this point good health is all that counts.

So this brings us to Friday night when the state’s two NFL teams collide on national TV  at Texas Stadium. As preseason football goes, this will be as good as it gets. I have heard that both teams plan to play their starters into the third quarter. There may even be more than the usual intensity.

After all, the Governor’s Cup is on the line!!

As far as bad blood, however, none really exists between the two teams. The Texans, though they are responsible for the single most embarrassing moment in (what a lot of football purist say) Dallas’ history they will never be a rival to “America’s team”. Still Jerry will not ever forget what happened in 2002 when the Texans became the first NFL team in 41 years to win an expansion season opener at the expense of our beloved Cowboys.

Jerry Jones has never been one to take anything lying down. The Cowboys have since rebounded to become one of the top three or four teams in the NFL and they are playing their final season in Texas Stadium. Next year they move into the spectacular “JerryWorld”, which by most accounts is the be all and end all of modern stadiums. So Reliant stadium get ready to take a back seat again!

Now lastly let me close with some history that most Cowboy fans may or may not know. Back in the mid 1960’s when the Houston Oilers (now Texans) were part of an upstart American Football League. I have to tell you it was all out war between the AFL and the NFL. The two operations held separate drafts and were hot on the heels of college stars like Billy Cannon and Joe Namath.

But it was an offensive lineman from Oklahoma named Ralph Neely who turned the Oilers into longtime Cowboy’s owner Tex Schramm’s mortal enemy. Both Houston and Dallas signed Neely. At that time Oiler’s owner Bud Adams promptly filed suit against the Cowboys.
In a Houston courtroom, Dallas seemingly won the battle and lost the war. Neely was awarded to the Cowboys, but at a steep price. The judge ruled that Houston would get Dallas’ No. 1, No. 2 and its two No. 5 picks in the 1967 common draft between the newly merged NFL and AFL.

As if the draft choices weren’t a bitter enough pill for Schramm and the Cowboys to swallow, the judge decreed that Dallas must play five preseason games against the Oilers, with three of them in Houston. Nevertheless, the Cowboys dutifully came to Houston to play the Oilers at Rice Stadium in 1967 for the first of a series of exhibitions that came to be known as the Ralph Neely Bowl. Neely, by the way, quickly became an All-Pro tackle and started 12 years for Tom Landry.

They have played over 30 more times in pre-season since that 5 year shotgun wedding we had to go through.

The Governor’s Cup still means a lot to some, but will never mean what it meant to Tex Schramm and Bud Adams.

Bledsoe Announces Retirement

Drew Bledsoe announced his retirement Wednesday, April 11, 2007. Bledsoe played in the NFL for 14 years, spending the last two with the Dallas Cowboys. He ranks fifth in NFL history in passing attempts (6,717) and completions (3,839) and seventh in passing yards with 44,611.

"I feel so fortunate, so honored, to have played this game that I love for so long, with so many great players, and in front of so many wonderful fans," Bledsoe said in a statement issued by his agent. "I fulfilled a childhood dream the first time I stepped on an NFL field, and the league did not let me down one time. I retire with a smile on my face, in good health, and ready to spend autumns at my kids’ games instead of my own. I’m excited to start the next chapter of my life."

Drew Bledsoe started all 16 games in 2005 as his first year as a Cowboy. In his second year, he was replaced by Tony Romo during halftime in Game 6. Bledsoe never played again but remained the offensive captain for the rest of the season.

Despite the way his career ended, Bledsoe was a Cowboy. We want to thank him for his hard work and dedication in Dallas. Bledsoe is a admirable man, he held his head up and watched from the sidelines while people booed him and Tony Romo took over. I think the way he handled it says alot about his character. Drew, we wish the best in all that you do! God Bless. 

 

Parcells Retires

Bill Parcells has retired Monday, according to a press release from the team.

 "I am retiring from coaching football. I want to thank Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones for their tremendous support over the last four years," Parcells said in a statement. "Also, the players, my coaching staff and others in the support group who have done so much to help. Dallas is a great city and the Cowboys are an integral part of it. I am hopeful that they are able to go forward from here."

 "I am in good health and feel lucky to have been able to coach in the NFL for an extended period of time," Parcells said. "I leave the game and the NFL with nothing but good feelings and gratitude to all the players, coaches and other people that have assisted me in that regard."

The Cowboys went 34-30 and 0-2 in the playoffs in Parcells’ four seasons in Dallas.