Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from August 31, 1985

Randy White made the cover of the Aug. 31, 1985 issue.

A reader named Bruce Lombard earlier this year most generously sent me a stack of copies of the old Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from the 1985 season and 1986 offseason. Each Wednesday, we will take a look at some interesting tidbits in these issues.

The focus this week is in the issue published on August 31, 1985.

Ask Tex Schramm

A reader asked Tex Schramm what his opinion was about illegal college recruitment. Schramm offered a few ideas, but he generally thought that it would be difficult to stop the practice.

The desire to win and the pressure to win is so great! I was talking not long ago to a new president of a small but established college in the midwest. After being named president, he took a tour of the state. When he returned, he told me, the first thing he did was call in his football coach and inquire, “What kind of team are we going to have this year?” He said wherever he went, nobody wanted to discuss the new library, or the status or calibre of the professors in this department or that. They wanted to know if the football team was going to win.

So long as that was the case, Schramm wrote, it would be tough to stop illegal recruiting.

Dallas 15, Chicago 13

Rafael Septien’s 24-yard field goal with three seconds left lifted the Cowboys to a 15-13 win over the Chicago Bears. Gary Hogeboom started in place of an injured Danny White and helped the Cowboys gain 256 yard through the air. Tony Dorsett saw his first action of the summer, gaining 36 yards on nine carries.

The game was marred by several fights. Per Tom Landry:

It was an interesting night. I don’t think I’ve seen that many fights in one game, but it was competitive. Everybody was out after everybody.

Randy White

In an effort to stop opponents from double-teaming Randy White, Dallas planned to modify its defense so that White lined up in different places. In fact, he lined up in an upright stance in the first preseason game against San Diego, which confused commentators Pat Summerall and John Madden. Some wondered whether Dallas had installed the “Manster Defense.”

Still Talking About Jesse Penn

Rookie linebacker Jesse Penn was still turning heads. Linebackers coach Jerry Tubbs said Penn was the best athlete at the position since Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson.

Suicide Joke in a Letter to the Editor

John Creicar of Manitowoc, Wisconsin apparently had a dry sense of humor. He wrote the following to the editor:

I was thinking┬ácommiting (sic) suicide the other day; but then I remembered I’d never again see the Cowboys win another Super Bowl, let alone another game. Needless to say, I changed my mind in a second. I guess I literally do live for the Cowboys.

Seriously now, I can’t remember ever being as anxious for the season to start as I am this year. It must be because we missed the play-offs last season. If not for the vacation in Buffalo and the unbelievable happenings in the second Redskin game, we would have been right there. So let’s start this year off right and do a hatchet-job on those nasty ‘Skins.

My 2011 response to John: I hope you survived not only the 1985 season, but also the down years that followed. If you were going to kill yourself over the 1984 Cowboys, the 1989 team would probably lead you to bury yourself alive.

  • Jason Neighbors

    This is a pretty cool feature. I hope you keep posting these looks back at these old mags.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. I was going to run this series during the offseason, but I just couldn’t sustain my own interest in football in general. These issues are great to read, and I’m looking forward to running this series throughout the season. Glad you like it.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. I was going to run this series during the offseason, but I just couldn’t sustain my own interest in football in general. These issues are great to read, and I’m looking forward to running this series throughout the season. Glad you like it.