Legends of the Star – Troy Aikman

As we get close to the end of our Legends of the Star feature, I finally get to profile one of my personal all time favorite Cowboys, Troy Aikman.
Troy was almost a legend even before he started playing professional football. As a college player, he played for both UCLA and the school he first enrolled with, the University of Oklahoma. While at Oklahoma he played for future Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer. Aikman was the teams biggest star, but because their offense wasn’t suited to his style of play, he transferred to UCLA a year later, where he gained national attention. He set over a dozen team records that still stand today and led the Bruins to the Aloha Bowl in 1987 where he compiled a 10-2 record. A year later as a senior, he won the Davey O’Brien Award which is given each year to the nations top quarterback. He was a consensus All-American, West Coast Player of the Year, and finished third for the 1988 Heisman Trophy.
In 1989, the Cowboys had a new owner in Jerry Jones, and a new head coach in Jimmy Johnson. That year the two of them drafted Troy Aikman with their first round pick in the NFL Draft. It was a move that would change the destiny of the franchise for the next decade.
Although Troy finished his first year with a disappointing 0-11 record, everyone could see that he was bursting with talent, and that he was a natural born leader. All he would need is a supporting cast, and the following season the Cowboys provided Aikman with everything he would need to lead the team into greatness.
In 1990, Aikman completed 226 of 399 passes for 2,579 yards and 11 touchdowns and the team improved to 7-9, but the following year he completed an NFC-best 65.3 percent of his passes, and the Cowboys improved again to 11-5 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
In 1992, everything started to come together for Aikman and the rest of the Cowboys as they were about to unleash their new high powered offense to the rest of the league. That year, the Cowboys rocketed to the Super Bowl with an explosive display of offensive power coupled with a bruising defense. The Cowboys finished the season with a 13-3 record, and Troy Aikman was named Super Bowl MVP.

For the next three seasons, the Cowboys compiled a 36-9 record, and snatched two more Super Bowl titles. Together with running back, Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver, Michael Irvin, the "Triplets" were football’s biggest stars. They were unstoppable and punished opposing defenses with a hard-hitting, lightning fast attack, that had not been seen in the game before, or since.

With 90 wins in the 1990s, Aikman became the winningest starting quarterback of any decade in NFL history. Unfortunately, during his final two seasons, injuries began to take a toll on him, and after sustaining ten concussions, the Cowboys’ six-time Pro Bowl selection announced his retirement from football.

His career statistics included a team record 32,942 yards and an amazing 165 touchdowns for a passer rating of 81.6. On September 19, 2005, during a broadcast on Monday Night Football, Troy Aikman was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor with his longtime teammates Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith. The following year, Troy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio and gave a teary eyed acceptance speech that no Cowboy fan can ever forget. He is forever, a true Legend of the Star.


Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders was and still is one of the most colorful and most polarizing players in sports. He started out his career in 1988 when he was drafted by New York Yankees. He was then drafted the following year by the Atlanta Falcons with the fifth overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. He showed up wearing thousands of dollars of diamonds and gold including a flashy silk shirt embroidered with the words "Prime Time." The name stuck with him.
Sanders had a very successful baseball career and went on to have an even better football career. He became a rare two sport star who made headlines with his play as well as his very controversial comments. He was loved and hated by millions of fans across the country.
For his first five seasons in the NFL, Deion Sanders played for the Atlanta Falcons and was the best cornerback in the league and one of the best return specialists in NFL history. He was as dynamic a player as there ever was in the game. He then signed a one-year deal with San Francisco, and became the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. His four tackles and interception helped the 49ers beat San Diego 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX.
Soon after that, in 1995, Sanders signed a huge contract to play with the Dallas Cowboys. He was to get a $13 million dollar signing bonus, but because Jerry Jones was superstitious, he received $12,999,999.99, a penny less.His presence at cornerback helped Dallas win the Super Bowl that season. In that game, he became the only player in NFL history to catch a pass and make an interception in the Super Bowl. In 1996, Sanders started all 16 games at cornerback and eight at wide receiver to become the first two-way NFL player in 34 years. But make no mistake, with eight Pro Bowl selections as a cornerback, defense is where Sanders really shined.
During his 14-year NFL career, Deion Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and one of the most feared pass defenders to ever play the game. He is the only player to have appeared in a Super Bowl and a World Series.



Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

The Future Looks Bright For The Silver And Blue

This is in response to a comment to the blog I posted yesterday. I was going to post it as a comment, but thought I’d share it with a larger audience instead. Here goes…

It’s OK to disagree. We all have the same goal and that is to see the Cowboys build a dynasty.

Dynasties are not built on a year-to-year strategy. They are built on a strategy that employs long term success based on moves that address not only the current needs but future ones as well.

You mentioned that the Cowboys needed an offensive playmaker and I remind you that the Cowboys had one of the best scoring teams in the NFC and certainly the best in their division.

Our collapse last year was on defense, NOT offense.

The Cowboys needed to shore that defense up and they made a major stride in doing that on Draft Day.

We have got ourselves a big playmaker on defense. If you love DeMarcus Ware, then wait until you see Anthony Spencer!

With regard to the 1st round pick in 2008, how will you feel if Cleveland does so bad they finish with a top 5 pick?

Are you saying this was not a great move by the Cowboys?

Believe me Cowboy fans, Jerry Jones is as shrewd a business man as there is in this world.

He built an empire by ensuring that his future would be better than the present.

That’s the way it works in sports as well.

The Cowboys are not looking for a one night stand in 2007. They are looking to reclaim the dynasty that we lost when we started playing from year to year and running in that same old threadmill.

We now have a strategy that will keep this franchise competitive for years to come.

It is built on young stars like Marion Barber (who was acquired in a similar Draft Day trade), Julius Jones, DeMarcus Ware, Bobby Carpenter, Tony Romo and others.

Our future is bright now and will be even brighter in the years to come!

I hope that the 5 people who read this blog will comment on it and let me know what you think!


Anyone Else Having Cowboy Withdrawals?

Can you believe it’s been over two months since the season ended? I can’t believe how quickly the off-season seems to be going. I guess we have Jerry Jones to thank for that. He really has made the off-season so much more interesting for us with the way he took his time searching for the best man for the job as our head coach, and all the off-season signings weren’t so bad either.
I am so glad that Julius Jones and Marion Barber will be together again in our backfield for the 2007 season! Well, maybe not at the same time, but who cares, it’s a lethal 1-2 punch!
I wonder if the media will finally stop obsessing over Terrell Owens once the pre season starts? I figure now that he has a season under his belt in Dallas that he won’t be such a hot topic anymore. Of course it’s also dependent on T.O. behaving himself, but come on, he’s really putting forth a great effort lately at being team oriented.
StarStruck is looking for a couple of writers who might be interested submitting a weekly column. If interested, please contact us for more details.
That’s all for now… GO COWBOYS!

Crayton For Another Year

Patrick Crayton signed the $1.3 Million Tender to continue to be the Cowboys third receiver behind Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn. He played in all 16 games last season and finished his third season as a Cowboy with career high stats.

Crayton completed 36 catches for 516 yards, along with 4 touchdowns in 2006. He also contributed 85 yards on 11 punt returns. With his numbers increasing every season, the Cowboys may be looking at a long-term deal with him next year.

Terry Glenn and Terrell Owens both have 11 years of experience under their belts. Glenn received his roster bonus in March and Jerry Jones assures us that Owens will receive his this summer. Needless to say, the Cowboys should have their eyes on some young receivers while planning for the future and Patrick Crayton is an excellent contender. 


Jerry Jones Honored by Irvin’s Request




The 10th member of the Cowboys to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is also the first to be presented by a team owner. Earlier this week Michael Irvin asked Jerry Jones to be his presenter this August at the Hall of Fame Ceremony. Jerry Jones was honored that Irvin chose him and accepted his request with great pride. Throughout Irvin’s career, Jones’ has had faith in him and stood by him through the good and bad. Now Jones will be the one to present the greatest football honor to the newest Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer. Congrats Michael!

A Texas-Size Running Back Controversy

Even before the Philadelphia Daily News posted the rumor that Julius Jones could be traded for the right price, we were talking about the Cowboys running back dilemma. Right after the season ended we asked this question:

1. I love both Julius Jones and Marion Barber equally, but both of them want to start and yet only one of them can. How does this situation resolve itself next season?

We didn’t get many responses, I think alot of people didn’t consider it an issue. Think about it though, we have two starters but only one of them can actually start. Yes, Marion Barber got most of the touchdowns, an impressive 16. Julius Jones only had 4 TDs but he racked up 1084 rushing yards in 2006. It was a nice 2-back system Parcells was running. But alot has changed since last season ended, and even more will change before training camp comes around. And don’t forget about Tyson Thompson. Tyson was placed on injured reserve after breaking his ankle in Week 8 last season. Prior to his injury he was turning a few heads with his kickoff returns and his speed. So we may see him in the mix in 2007.

I think with the success of the Dallas running game in 2006 it would be ideal to keep the 2 back system intact. In fact, Jerry Jones was quoted saying, "It’s likely that we’ll be going with the running back group we ended the season with," Jones said. "Hopefully we can have (Tyson) Thompson there that could give us a third back." I would love to see this happen. I think if Barber and Jones only improve during the off-season, they will be unstoppable together next season. It will all come down to how they handle the situation. If Jones accepts Barber gets most of the TDs, and Barber accepts that Jones is the starter, then its smooth sailing ahead; but if not, we will have ourselves a Texas-size running back controversy.


Legends of the Star – Crazy Ray Jones


This weeks Legend Of The Star is dedicated to someone who never played a down for the Dallas Cowboys, but was on hand for more Cowboys games than even Tom Landry, Emmitt Smith, and yes, Jerry Jones. Of course I am referring to Crazy Ray, who passed away Saturday morning after a prolonged battle with heart ailments and diabetes.

His passionate affection for the Cowboys made him a legend in his own right and gave a new meaning to the word fan. His passing will be felt by everyone in the Cowboys family and that includes players, coaches, and fans alike.

For over 40 years, Crazy Ray touched the lives of thousands of Cowboys fans, and seeing him decked out in his western attire with six-shooters blazing will be missed by all. His passion for the team made him a national celebrity who made numerous talk show and radio show appearances, which revealed a man whose passion for life was just as important to him as his passion for the game.

His overflowing enthusiasm was a model not just for fans of the Cowboys, but for people everywhere in all walks of life. There was a lesson for all fans, in the way Crazy Ray lived his life. And while football players are so willing to admit that they are not role models these days, Crazy Ray was indeed a role model for us all.

So Starstruck gives a huge Texas-sized farewell to a true Legend of the Star who will be missed by us all. He is now among the stars in heaven, and if I know Crazy Ray, those stars are all silver and blue.


Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Football Season’s Over? Yeah Right!



Well, I guess it’s safe to say that the football season is officially over… yeah, right! Who am I kidding? Football season is never over for a Cowboys fan, it’s a 24/7 365 days a week job staying on top of everything the team does, because it’s all about the "silver and blue" baby!

Let me be the first to say that our Pro Bowl Cowboys didn’t disappoint us in the least. Despite the loss, the only fighting chance the NFC had was due to our beloved Cowboys, and everybody knows it. I was totally impressed by Tony Romo, and I was happy to see him shake off the dust of that muffed field goal. We need Romo to get passed all that and it looks like Tony Romo is going to be just fine. And speaking of Tony Romo, several sources are reporting that Jerry Jones is going to sign Romo to a brand new contract extension and is 100% committed to Tony Romo leading the Dallas Cowboys for the rest of the decade.

As I look at the team now, I certainly have a few concerns, or should I say questions. Here are my top 5 questions for Dallas Cowboys as they enter into the new season.

1. I love both Julius Jones and Marion Barber equally, but both of them want to start and yet only one of them can. How does this situation resolve itself next season?

2. Wade Phillips is certainly the main man on the sidelines for the Dallas Cowboys, or is he? Can the laid back style of Wade Phillips be enough to temper the enigmatic Terrell Owens, or will the combination end up being lethal for one of them?

3. Can Wade Phillips rebuild the confidence of a defense that had a major meltdown during last 6 games of the season, and can he take players like DeMarcus Ware and Bobby Carpenter to the next level?

4. Speaking of defense, something’s gotta give in the secondary. There are too many questions regarding the effectiveness of Pat Watkins and Keith Davis. There are rumblings that Roy Williams may be asked to switch positions too. Should the Cowboys draft the best safety available in the NFL Draft?

5. What about all those Bill Parcell’s players like Aaron and Terry Glenn? Will they still be with us when the new season opens?

Sure there are many more questions than these to ponder for next season, but these are the ones that concern me the most right now. Yes, I also wonder if Martin Gramatica will be re-signed or do the Cowboys draft a kicker or, I shudder to think this, sign the best kicker in the free agent market?

We’ll see how it all plays out in the coming weeks, but rest assured I’ll be keeping my eyes open and my ears peeled for all the latest rumblings and grumblings from Valley Ranch.

Wade Phillips to be Cowboys Head Coach


  A formal announcement will be made today at 5 p.m., but reports are saying Wade Phillips is the Dallas Cowboys next head coach. Phillips was the only candidate who would keep the 3-4 defense and Jerry Jones did not want to have a losing record for 2 years while a coach came in and redesigned the team. Phillips was also supportive of Jason Garrett the new offensive coordinator hired by Jones.

The San Diego Chargers went 14-2 in the regular season with its defense run by Wade Phillips. Phillips was the head coach of Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills with a 48-39 record.

The Wait Continues…



Jerry Jones announced that the new head coach will not be named until after the Super Bowl. Its a great choice by Jones. I’m glad he’s not rushing into this but it certainly makes you wonder if Ron Rivera may be a candidate for a position. Rivera’s contract with the Bears expires after the Super Bowl. For those of you who are still rooting for Norv Turner as head coach, I hear he’s likes Ron Rivera for defense. So it would be logical for Jones to wait until Rivera’s job is done in Chicago before moving forward.

Future Looks Bright


The future is looking bright in Dallas. Norv Turner spent the day with Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells interviewing for what could be the biggest move of his career. Turner has an impressive resume and a history with the Dallas Cowboys that could be the decision maker. He has been the head coach of the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders, and the Offensive Coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and currently the San Franscisco 49ers.

Turner was with the Cowboys when they won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993. He guided hall of famer Troy Aikman during those years and could be quite an influence on the young Tony Romo. Alongside the new Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, Turner could help lead this team to a championship season. Garrett worked under Turner in the 90s and Turner tried to get Garrett on his team in Oakland. The two could work wonders for the Dallas offense. Which only leaves one question… Defense anyone?