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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.

www.boblilly.com

AP: Cowboys Offseason Recap, Super Bowl Chances

Interesting read by the Associated Press on the Cowboys and their chances for another title.

Since the end of last season, and even before that, Jerry Jones has constantly reminded his Cowboys that Super Bowl XLV will be played at their own stadium in February.

“Our owner lets us know the game is at Cowboys Stadium and he would love his team to play in it,” Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. “We are doing everything we can get to get there.”

But long before the possibility of being the first host team ever in a Super Bowl, or even playing a 2010 regular season game, the defending NFC East champion Cowboys have quite a summer trip.

Training camp begins Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio. That begins a five-week stretch in which the Cowboys will travel more than 6,500 miles, practice in three different cities and play preseason games in four stadiums.

“We’re America’s team, everybody wants to see us,” receiver Roy Williams said.

Dallas will be the first full squad to begin camp, but Cleveland rookies report Friday. Rookies for New England and San Diego report Sunday, and every NFL team will be in camp by Aug. 1.

For the third time in four years, 17 of the 32 teams will conduct training camp at home. Just nine years ago, only five of 31 teams stayed home for preseason workouts.

Super Bowl champion New Orleans opens camp at home July 29. But before the Saints won the title last year, the previous three Super Bowl winners — Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and the New York Giants — had all held camp away from home.

For the Cowboys, the climate-controlled Alamodome will be their base for two weeks before going to Canton, Ohio, to play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. A few days at home and a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium follows that.

Then comes two weeks in Oxnard, Calif., a strech that includes a game at San Diego. They break their West Coast camp and head to Houston for a game before finally getting to settle in at their Valley Ranch facility to prepare for the home preseason finale and the start of the regular season.

“I’ve had some pretty strange years, but not moving like that,” said 13-year veteran Keith Brooking, going into his second season with Dallas. “I played in the Tokyo Bowl, 16-hour flight or whatever it was two weeks into training camp and still having four preseason games to play. But never two weeks at camp, then moving.”

“Nobody cares where we practice. People care about whether we win,” linebacker Bradie James said.

Jones raised the Lombardi Trophy three times in a four-year stretch in the mid-1990s. But the five-time champions have gone 14 seasons without winning a title and didn’t even win another playoff game until last January.

The 20-year owner could think of no better way to end the championship drought than by winning a Super Bowl at his $1.2 billion stadium that opened last season.

“They have the potential to get there,” said NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith, the three-time Super Bowl champion with the Cowboys who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next month. “Hopefully those guys have taken this offseason and said next year should be our time.”

With lofty expectations and their longest training camp in more than a decade ahead of them, it’s good for the Cowboys there are few issues and little drama. Just plenty of motivation.

“I really do feel that we’ve got top talent on the team, but this same talent, the majority of it, saw us fall short last year,” Jones said. “And that keeps anybody from getting too caught up in what this looks like. We’ve got a lot of work to do when we get to training camp.”

Here are some of the top storylines for the Cowboys so far:

• Doug Free gets the first chance to replace left tackle Flozell Adams, the expensive 35-year-old five-time Pro Bowler cut last spring. Free, going into his fourth season, started seven games at right tackle for injured Marc Colombo last year.

The Cowboys also acquired tackle Alex Barron, sending Bobby Carpenter to St. Louis in a trade of underachieving former first-round picks.

• After receiver Miles Austin went from relative unknown to Pro Bowl player and Dez Bryant was drafted in the first round, Patrick Crayton asked for a trade and skipped most voluntary offseason workouts. But Crayton, who could still end up playing for somebody this season, showed up for the final week of workouts and the minicamp, working like he always had.

• Safety Ken Hamlin, a 2007 Pro Bowler who like Adams had a contract through 2013, was also cut. Alan Ball, primarily a cornerback his first two seasons, is the likely replacement opposite Gerald Sensabaugh.

• Hamlin’s departure is the only significant change for coach Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, which allowed the fewest points in the NFC last season and ended the regular season with consecutive shutouts for the first time in the team’s 50-year history.

With Jason Garrett calling plays for Tony Romo and a record-setting offense, and Phillips settling into the dual role as the NFL’s only head coach-defensive coordinator, Jones is excited about the continuity of the coaching staff. He believes that is good for Phillips, who is 33-15 after three seasons in Dallas and finally has a playoff victory as a head coach.

“You can just sense it when you’re talking to him, he’s so comfortable in himself around this team,” Jones said. “I’m not talking about he’s laid back or taking things too easy. He’s just gotten very comfortable, exudes to me when I’m with him, the feel, that feeling he feels about his team.”

Who Will Be the Cowboys Mystery Youngster?

Each year all thirty two NFL teams begin on the same footing. No wins, no losses and no ties. Usually they all have their minor bumps and bruises as they progress through mini and training camps. Every owner, general manager, coach and player have the same goal in mind. Super Bowl Champion. That’s right all three words have a capital letter because it is that important. Each one of those four positions have some of their own duties that are different from each of the other four or at least not the same as the other four. One duty that they all share is how to make all the pieces come together so they can achieve that one goal that they start every year with.

Each off season all players move on to another season whether it be with another team, another step in their life as they retire or maybe even stay with the same team and try to build on the blocks that have already been assembled. For those special few though that are drafted out of college to start their childhood dream of playing for an NFL team they become those mystery players that every fan wonders if they will be able to make it in the NFL. Granted some of them were so well known in college and they were drafted in the first round of the draft but there are those that fly under the radar and no one sees it coming. They end up playing a significant part on their new team. Some take a year to gather all the information before it starts to click but occasionally a team will get that difference maker. Where everything clicks the moment they put that NFL helmet on. Each team has these players but more importantly every Super Bowl Champion has these players. So I venture into the NFL statistics vault to find out who some of these players were over the last five years and who might possibly be candidates for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010 as they drive towards the six-pack of Lombardi Trophy’s.

Over the last five years each NFL champion has had one or two players that were either in their rookie season or in their second year that made a difference on their run to a Super Bowl title. They may not have even started but they may have filled a hole in the lineup due to injury or maybe they were the situational player that wasn’t on the field every down. Either way they made a difference for their team. Last year there was a player on the Saints that many may not have heard of because his name isn’t announced very often and the only time you hear his name spoken is if he makes a mistake. The Saints second year player out of Nebraska, Car Nicks, came into last season and ended up starting all sixteen games of the regular season for them. In fact he had started 29 out of thirty games for them he has given up only two sacks over his first two years and only had his name called six times over two years for penalties while he held down that left guard position and help establish a rushing game and keep Drew Brees upright. The year prior Lamarr Woodley in his second year played fifteen games for the Steelers and racked up 11.5 sacks on their way to their title. Barry Cofield was fourth round pick for the Giants and playe din 16 games for them in their drive for the trophy. The year before that the Colts had two second year corners that played in almost every game during the regular season. Marlin Jackson sealed their victory of the Patriots on their way to the Super Bowl. Kelvin Hayden took a pick back for the Colts against the Bears for a touchdown to seal the win in that game. The Steelers fifth title was highlighted by two players, Ben Roethlisberger and Max Starks, that started 14 and 10 games respectively. Roethlisberger even won the Rookie of the Year trophy the year before.

Now you may start thinking to yourself(at least I did) … Who could be that player for the Cowboys this year? Well lets just say there isnt a lack of players that has the opportunity to do it. Between last years draft and this years draft there are definitely some players with the talent and ability to step up and make the difference during this season. Kevin Ogletree is one of the fastest players on the team and he was really starting to come on at the end of last year. Dez Bryant is fresh out of college and if his production matches his hype the NFC East will be in a world of trouble for years to come. Receivers and those skill position players are easy to pick out by just the average fan. I am looking for that player that comes from no where and as the season starts to progress they start to question… Where did he come from? This is complicated by the fact that the player will need to also have an honest chance at possibly making it on to the field. So below I have listed my top five players based on those two categories mainly but with other factors added in as well.

(1) David Buehlergranted almost every Cowboys fan knows who he is but he is taking on the actually kicker position for field goals as well. They brought in Chris Boniol to help coach him up as he has never really had any formal training by a kicking coach. Boniol, who holds the record for field goals by a Cowboy, has already been with him and working through the off season. With the type of offense many are expecting the Cowboys to have he could have an outstanding year when it comes to points. They really haven’t brought in any competition for him but if he starts to stumble I am sure Jerry will have no problem finding a replacement. That is the main reason he is at the top of this list. The job is his. All he has to do know is … Aim, Plant..   and Swing!!

(2) Michael Hamlin – a fifth round pick out of Clemson a year ago. He was making some strides until he broke his arm. He didn’t do much the rest of the season as he found himself just struggling to get on the field. He makes number two because he the starter from last year is gone. This basically brings the fight for the position to come down to the winner between Alan Ball and him. He is a little bigger than Ball and if he can somehow get his hands on the starting position. He couldreally make a name for himself. Thought they did sign Barry Church out of Toledo after the draft and he could be dangerous as he is talented has nothing to lose.

(3) Sean Lee – Drafted this year in the second round there were a lot of teams that thought prior to the college season that this could have been a sure fire first round pick. He comes form Linebacker U after all. Thinking of all the linebackers that have come out of Penn State just makes me smile when I think of this kid. His only downfall is his injury history. He played like a first rounder through college but had a torn ACL his junior year. Has enough speed to play all three positions in 4-3 defense but in the 3-4 he will be able to roam as an inside backer and with Brooking getting a little long in the tooth it might not be long before we start hearing his name announced in the starting lineup.

(4) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah- though I was initially a big fan of Scandrick when we drafted him this kid has more than just the ability to step in on passing downs and display his coverage ability. He also is a pretty electrifying return man in college. Granted his dancing feet wont work well in the pros he will how ever be able to make people miss no matter how close they are to him. He could make his impact felt not only in the secondary as a nickel corner but also in the return game. If he can beat out Scandrick or even just make it as one of the defensive backs on the team they could also use him as a possible candidate at safety thought he is only 6 feet tall. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do on returns more than anything and I believe he will be an upgrade over what we have now.

(5) Victor Butler- Many already know who he is the limited spot duty he was able to play last year. He came in as a pass rushing specialist to give Spencer and Ware a breather. He ended up tying for fifth in the league for in sacks by rookies and if he is able to improve on his coverage abilities which he has been working on during the off season with Reggie Herring(linebackers coach) and Anthony Spencer he could give Spencer a run for his money and maybe give the Cowboys a depth of riches at the position. Especially with fellow 2009 draftee Brandon Williams earning lots of praise already this year at the same position during off season workouts.

HERE KITTY KITTY!!!

C’Mon Now Fans!

Did we learn anything from last season?

Did we not learn that its not good to go all the way through Sept.,Oct. and Nov. with 12-0 and lose through Dec and into the playoffs?

What was it the media hyped up?

Cowboys were exposed!

Same goes for the… (God I hate to say this) New England, Patriots.

After that Super Bowl loss, everyone had their number. Take away Brady and Moss and they’re human.

Cowboys are no different. Take away this and that and we can beat them!

That is going to happen every game and by every team.

Sooo…  why show a potentially playoff opponent what we will do to them in a playoff game?

(Expose This Suckas!)

How’s that for game footage?

Sunday night, Nov.16th, will prove to be a greater game against the Skins than that of the (not gonna give ya anything to study) contest of last week.

I’m hoping so, because I hate losing to the Redskins!!

 

24 HOUR RULE IS WAY UP PEOPLE!!

I’m way over this last game!

I’m ready to get FIRED UP for the Bengals!!

Being born and raised in Northern Kentucky I spent a majority of my younger years traveling (via boat) this way and that, along the Ohio River. going from Louisville, KY to Cincinnati, OH.

I lived on a river town smack dead in the middle of the two.

There is no NFL team in KY.

UK Wildcats…  Well, everyone knows how passionate everyone in Kentucky can be about their Cats.

Whats left? The Bengals? 45 miles away and it would seem to be the pick of the litter but yours truly, naw, I preferred the sparkly stuff!  I loved the Bling Bling!  Slap that star on my head and let me rant to these kitty cats!

I followed the beacon of light to the great city of Dallas about 15 years ago and still to this day, I’m still battling these old town zebra wannabes. 

 Show us your stripes! Bring that leg licking, warm milk sipping, lay down in my lap and Purrrrrr, pussycat of a team!

Theres a New Cat in Town, goes by the name of Felix!

But.. that comes after the Cowboy kitty litter has been layed upon the scoreboard!

Have a good nap at TX Stadium!

MEEOWWWW!!

Cowboys – Redskins Rivalry: One of the Best of All Times

Good Morning Cowboy Fans:

When the Dallas Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team in 1960, they have enjoyed much success on and off the field and have enjoyed an avid following in the state of Texas, the United States at large, and internationally as well. Since their beginning the Dallas Cowboys have also enjoyed a great rivalry with the Washington Redskins. It is a rivalry that is considered one of the best in all of sports, that continues to this day and that is very much a part of Dallas Cowboys history.

Clint Murchison, a Texas oil tycoon wanted to bring an NFL team to the state of Texas but didn’t seem to be having much success. In 1958 he heard that the owner of the Washington Redskins, George Preston Marshall, was keen to sell his team. Murchison struck a deal for the team, however, just when the deal was about to be finalized Marshall changed the terms and a furious Murchison cancelled the deal outright. This was the precursor to what was soon to become a great sports rivalry. In the meantime, following a series of events, Murchison bought the rights to the Redskin’s fight song, Hail to the Redskins from the songs composer (and Redskins band leader) who himself had had a falling out with Marshall. The $2500 Murchison paid for the rights would prove to be worth so much more. As Murchison wasn’t having any luck buying a team he decided to start his own.

A proposition for an expansion team was presented to the National Football League owners. In order for the expansion team to become a reality it would have to meet unanimous approval from the owners. As it happened, all of the owners agreed to the expansion team except for one, George Preston Marshall. However, when Marshall discovered that Murchison had bought the rights to the Redskin’s fight song his opinion changed and a deal was struck. In return for Marshall approving the expansion team Murchison returned the song. Cowboy’s football became a reality and a rivalry was born.

When the Cowboys joined the league they were in a separate conference from the Redskins and played only once during the season. In 1961 they were placed in the same division and from that point on they have played each other twice every regular season. A rivalry that had its beginnings behind the scenes didn’t take long to present itself on the field and by 1972 the rivalry was in full swing. That year the two teams faced off in the NFC Championship game. The Redskins were victorious and went on to claim Super Bowl victory over the Miami Dolphins. Two other great games of note between the two rivals happened in more recent times.

In 2005 with the Dallas Cowboys dominating the play and leading the game 13-0 with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Washington Redskins made a comeback scoring two touchdowns to win the game. In 2006 the two rivals played one of the craziest games in their history that was called the “Hand of God” game. With the game tied, and only 31 seconds to go, the Redskins missed on a 49-yard field goal attempt. The Cowboys then worked their way into field goal range. With only seconds left on the clock the 35-yard field goal was blocked. The runback of the recovered block along with a facemask penalty assessed to the Cowboys provided the Redskins with another field goal attempt on the 47-yard line with no time left. On this attempt the Redskins were good and claimed the victory.

Between them, the Cowboys and Redskins have won thirty-one NFC Eastern Division championships and eight Super Bowls. The Cowboys edge out the Redskins in the latter category having claimed the title of Super Bowl Champions, five times. The overall record between these two rivalries consists of 55 Dallas wins, 36 Washington wins and two ties. The Redskins have beaten the Cowboys twice in post season play. Sports rivalries are a serious matter that once established take on a life of their own.

The Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins rivalry has spurned great competition and resulted in great success for both teams over a span of forty-seven years. It is a rivalry that is sure to continue for another forty years, and counting.

So this Sunday, when the “hated Redskins” come to “Big D” let’s take a moment, stare up at the “Ring of Honor” and remember all the great players that have made the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry what it is today.

Go Cowboys!!

A Few Minutes As An Eagles Fan

I admit that with a background in Biblical studies, theology, and philosophy I am not your typical sportswriter by any means.  Sometimes my blogs are a bit “over the top” when I apply Biblical analogies to the Cowboys and events surrounding them.   I have been a fan of the Cowboys since 1972 and get these crazy ideas and start writing until I gush with praise over their success (or I think Armageddon is just around the corner when they fail).  That’s just the way I think in my own little world inside my head and I share it with others in the hope that they might find it entertaining as well.  Do I really think God has a favorite team?  Not really.  I think God loves all people, without regard to their skin color or the uniform they wear.

So, today, I have decided to try something different in this blog.  I am going to try to lay aside any bias or prejudice I may have.  For a few minutes, I’m  going to pretend to be a fan of another NFL team and ruminate on our glorious history.  Now lets see which one I should pick…

The Buffalo Bills…with four straight Superbowl losses…Nah.

The N.Y. Giants…No.  Although, my hat is off to them for last year’s success, I’m still too bitter.

The Redskins…NO!  I can’t commit blasphemy even if it is just pretend.

I know…the Eagles!!!  Since we play them this Monday, they’re perfect.

Now lets think back over the grand and glorious history of the Philadelphia
Eagles…

We have gone to the Superbowl eight times and won five Lombardi Trophies…No. Wait.  That was that other team we hate so much.  We, the Eagles, have gone to the Superbowl…um…just once. It was 1980 and we made history by being the first team ever to lose to a wildcard team (the Oakland Raiders).

Remember when the Bills went to four straight Superbowls and lost all four? Each loss was to a team from the NFC East; once to the Giants, once to the Redskins, and twice to the Cowboys.  One of those should have been ours in order for the entire NFC East to have been represented.  Unfortunately, those damn Cowboys took more than their fair share.

OK, so Superbowl titles are not exactly our forte, but we do have three NFL Championships that we earned before the Superbowl was inaugurated.  These occurred in 1948, 1949 and 1960.  Unfortunately, since I am only 40 years old, I am not old enough to remember these “glory days.”   Then, in 1960, an expansion club (previously mentioned above) was started that sort of eclipsed us and we have been living in their shadow ever since.

This year is going to be different though. We opened last Sunday by obliterating the Rams 38-3.  Granted, the Rams are only a Junior Varsity team but I was really impressed. Now, we’re on our way to Texas to take on the Cowboys and that T.O. dude that we can’t stand anymore.  We Birds are ready to show “the Boys” what we have.

Awww hell, forget it – I can’t stand it!  I hope my Cowboys beat the wings off those Eagles!!!!

I am a Cowboy fan and proud of it. Forget this “New Age, get in touch with your enemy” crap. I am a one team, and one team only man.  The Cowboys are the only team I care about.  Give me the Silver and Blue. Give me the stadium with the hole in the roof and the Ring of Honor that makes me so proud. Give me the Star that some teams fear, some hate, but all respect.  Give me a “history of victory” and a destiny of future Lombardi Trophies down the road.  Give me the Dallas Cowboys – America’s Team – My Team.

To fans of other teams out there, God bless you. Keep supporting your team. Feel free to comment, brag on your team or bash mine. Diversity is what makes everything so much fun.  Stay loyal.  But just remember this – some call it arrogance, we just call it confidence. We know we’re good.  You support your team. I respect that and I respect you. But to paraphrase the book of Joshua from the Old Testament (Joshua 24:15), “Choose this day which team you cheer for, but as for me and my house, we will cheer for the Cowboys.”

Can I get an “AMEN” from the congregation?

The Dallas Cowboys, “The Dawg Pound” and a Little Bit of Brown’s History

Good Morning Everyone:

Well the Cowboys open up this Sunday with the Cleveland Browns and I for one can not hold back my excitement that the season is finally going to officially kick off. I feel like if the “Boys” play the way they are capable of playing they should easily handle the Browns. I also feel like this game will allow the Cowboys to eventually rest some people and maybe get a few more those nagging injuries healed up before they face some tougher opponents down the road.

Long gone are the days of the immortal Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly, and Ozzie Newsom. In 1948 when the Brown’s became a franchise, they were a powerhouse in what was called the old American Football Conference. The new rival league consisted of  7 teams. The Baltimore Colts, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Hornets, Los Angeles Dons, New York Yankees, San Francisco 49ers, and the Cleveland Browns. Hall of Famer Paul Brown was the coach which incidentally was how the Brown’s got their name. The were led by Quarterback Otto Graham, running back Marion Motley and Lou” the toe” Groza. The Browns won 4 consecutive AFC titles before the league was disbanded in 1950 and the NFL adopted 3 of the teams including the Cleveland Browns. In 1950 their first year they beat the Los Angeles Rams to capture their 5th title, but now as a NFL team.

In 1957 the Brown’s selected in the first round a player from Syracuse named Jim Brown who would eventually become for many years the all time leading rusher in the NFL. Only later to be surpassed by Walter Payton. Of course as Cowboy fans we all know who would eventually be the all time leading rusher to this day, the great Emmitt Smith. From 1950 to present day, the Browns have struggled through many seasons of new coaches, a new owner Art Modell, who would later try to move the team to Baltimore and many great well known players, but never would regain that championship form they once knew. In 1999, Modell took his team to Baltimore and became the Ravens while Cleveland got to stay in Cleveland and remain the Browns.

Through all of this, there was one entity that remained firm and that is the “Dawg Pound”. Now for those of you that are not familiar with this group of Cleveland fans, on Sunday you will get to witness a group of individuals that are among a very a unique group. They sit in the east end zone and even in the new stadium, sit in old style bleacher seats. Each “Dawg Pound” member are season ticket holders but tradition has it they pay an additional $40 per seat just to grace the “Dawg Pound” section. They come dressed complete with dog noses, heads, ears and some of the strangest game apparel you will ever see.

“Dawg Pound” fans quickly developed a reputation for misbehavior as well as vociferousness. Team officials banned the carrying of dog food into the stadium, as bleacher fans would shower the visiting team with Milk-Bones, along with other objects. “Dawg Pound” fans also consumed hefty amounts of alcohol, even one time sneaking a keg into the stadium inside of a doghouse. Eventually, the team lined the “Dawg Pound” with security personnel and had spies monitor the section from above to look for violations of ground rules.

On at least one occasion, “Dawg Pound” rowdiness had a concrete impact on the outcome of a game. In the fourth quarter of a 1989 game against the hated Denver Broncos, the rain of batteries and other debris coming down from the bleachers was endangering the safety of the players. To move the action away from the east end, referee Tom Dooley had the teams switch sides. That put the wind at the Browns’ back. The Browns won on a Matt Bahr field goal that barely cleared the crossbar.

At the final game at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1995, members of the “Dawg Pound” ripped the bleachers from the stands, throwing them onto the field.

“Here We Go, Brownies, Here We Go!”, followed by “Woof! Woof!” is the unofficial chant of the Browns.

So Cowboys fans, when we travel to Cleveland on Sunday it may not be much of game, but you can rest assured the “Dawg Pound” will be out in full force. Now the Brown’s have talent in QB Brady Quinn, Kellen Winslow III, Braylon Edwards, and 3rd overall pick in Joe Thomas, but I think in the end the Cowboys will beat the Browns easily to get their season started off right.

Who knows it might be a better battle between the Cowboy fans and the “Dawg Pound”!

GO COWBOYS!!

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.

Out With The Old, And In With The New!!

Happy New Year

2008 is here, and its that time of the year to make those New Years resolutions.  My resolution for this year is to finally stick to one of my resolutions for once.  I would probably have to say that I will scream less at the T.V. when watching any Cowboys bashing analyst. I started getting real bad in December. I’ll tell ya, if there was a such thing as being able to reach out and touch someone through the T.V. there would of been alot of people getting pimp slapped by me! Its a new year and time to enable a new attitude towards the non-Cowboy fan.  I give my new resolution maybe a week. I gotta set my goals small, cause this is gonna be a hard one!

Wow what a year 2007 was. It was a very memorable year for me. Maybe even one of the best. I want to share a part of my 2007 with you all that is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. Because thats what we are supposed to do on New Years day. (Reflect on the past and prepare for the Future year). 

I moved to Dallas 16 years ago from a very small town in northern Kentucky. As everyone knows there is no pro NFL team in Kentucky. The closest team to go for was the Cincinnati Bengals. That wasn’t happening for my family. My father was a die hard Cowboys fan and raised me the same.

It wasn’t until I moved to Dallas that I truly found my Cowboy heart. Living here and experiencing the love first hand was amazing. But after the years I took it for granted because I knew I would always be a Cowboy fan ’til the day I die. On August 7th, 2007 all that changed. I had to move to Denver, CO because of work for a couple of months, right at the beginning of the preseason.

I got to watch the first two games against Indy and Denver. And oh my God did we have a blast in Denver when they played the Cowboys! My Family and I were at a art festival in Golden CO, walking around town sporting our Cowboys jerseys. I thought for sure we were going to die! That day I met so many Cowboys Fans. I couldn’t believe it! I was amazed by all the people I met that were from Dallas or loved the Cowboys. I felt like I was back home!  I did meet the occasional Bronco fan that had to represent their team, but all in all they all had mad respect for the Cowboys, especially after that butt-whoopin’ the Boys put on them in pre-season.

I missed the last two pre-season games due to the fact that it wasn’t televised there and it was looking like I was gonna miss Week 1 if I didn’t get NFL Sunday Ticket soon. Even after that, I didn’t have the post game press conferences, and the locker room interviews with the players that I have been accustomed to watching for so long. I couldn’t stand it! And I had that feeling in my gut that 2007 was going to be a fantastic year for the Cowboys.

I just couldn’t fathom having to miss out on all the fun, and having to sit and listen to the local stations there talking nothing but Broncos crap. Thank the good Lord my job there was finished and we high tailed it back to Dallas for Week 4.

My point to the story is I am in awe for all the die hard Cowboys fans that live in other parts of the United States that have to go through the same things year after year. I tip my hat to you all I will make it a point to bring all you from other parts some Dallas love. Like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz said "There’s No Place Like Home"!

Time To Reflect

At the start of 2007, I was unsure of how the Cowboys were going to go into their next season. That heartbreaker loss in Seattle left a nasty taste in my mouth. Then Parcells holds the team hostage for weeks undecided on what he wanted to do, stay or go. He leaves, then GM Jones talks of making Jason Garrett (a former backup quarterback for Troy Aikman) a potential head coach. At that point I was thinking, ‘Jerry’s done lost his mind’.

Then comes in Coach Wade Phillips aka ‘Mr. Fix-It’, who had just came from a San Diego team that was leading the league in defense and went 14-2 the previous season to come in as head coach. Jones then appoints Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator and the pieces to the puzzle start to find their place. That is of course for the coaching staff.

Terry Glenn undergoes surgery on his knee that will place him on the injury report for what was only expected to be until mid season, but lasted until the season finale. Then there was the puzzle piece of Tony Romo. Was he was the QB for the future and could he bounce back from the muffed snap against Seattle? On top of that there was the contract talk for Romo that lasted until the middle of the 2007. Sign him now or wait? All the speculation ended on thier bye week when Romo signed his 6-year deal and became one of the highest paid QB’s in the league.

And who can forget all the T.O. talk? There were many that didn’t think Owens would make it through his first season with the Cowboys. The 1962 record by Frank Clark that T.O. broke with 15 TD’s this season will tell you that this man was breed to be a Cowboy!

Franchise records were broken left and right by this team. 11 players nominated to the Pro Bowl, one of them a so called back up that tremendously astonished me with his hard running and fight for every yard, running back Marion Barber, Jason Witten with his phenomenal season, the offensive line that gave Romo all the time in the world to throw, and that Defense! I could write on forever about D-Ware and Greg Ellis! And last but not least the rookie kicker Nick Folk! He played like he has been in the league for years!

I’m sure I missed out on a bunch of players and personnel that made 2007 such a great year. I really don’t think I have that much time to write about every mind blowing accomplishment the Cowboys had in 2007, and I don’t think I would have it any other way! Keep me busy Cowboys!! Now its playoff time, a new year and a brand new season is upon us. We have had our ups and downs. It is time now to be ‘Out With The Old, And In With The New!’

We have two weeks to get ready. Fine tune the things that got us to 13-3 this season, and get ready for the next goal. THE SUPER BOWL!! Happy New Year Everyone and may GOD bless us all with a 6th Super Bowl Win! Go Cowboys!!!

Heres a Video I found on YouTube of some Highlights of 2007 season. Some of you may have seen it already, but I found it appropriate for this blog. Happy New Year Everyone!