Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from September 14, 1985

Tony Hill: Always the Threat

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 September 14, 1985.

On the cover…

Tony Hill made the cover of the September 14 issue. He was in his ninth season in 1985. He became the team’s #1 threat the year before with the retirement of Drew Pearson and the team’s trading of Butch Johnson.

Happy Birthday, Joe

Washington QB Joe Theismann celebrated his 36th birthday by losing big to the resurgent Cowboys. Dallas snagged six interceptions along with a fumble in a 44-14 win. Tom Landry commented that the game was “[o]ne of the best opening nights we’ve had. It was a hot night and we were hotter.” According to Theismann,

This was a bad experience. It was a bad learning experience. But there’s a reason for a lot of things to happen….[The Cowboys] play smart football—tough football. If you give up the ball as many times as we did, you don’t deserve to win. It really got out of hand in the third quarter.

Dallas only held a 17-7 lead at the half, but by the end of the third quarter, the lead was 30-7.

Haggar Player of the Game

Mike Renfro was named player of the game against Washington. He caught five passes for a career-high 99 yards.

Veterans Cut

Before their win over Washington, Dallas had to make its final roster cuts. Two veterans did not make the team, including fullback Ron Springs and receiver Duriel Harris. Dallas had tried to work out a trade with Buffalo for Springs, but that fell through.

Frank Luska wrote a piece noting that Springs had become too big (225 pounds) to spell Tony Dorsett at halfback, but Spring still did not block well enough to fill in effectively at fullback.

Evolution of the Front Four

The magazine considered whether the front four of the 1985 Cowboys might be the best ever.

(No, seriously).

The team opened the season with a defensive line consisting of Randy White, Too Tall Jones, Jim Jeffcoat, and John Dutton. Coming off the bench was first-round draft choice Kevin Brooks.

A New Punter

Dallas had used John Warren as a punter in 1983 and 1984, but Danny White still handled the bulk of the punting duties. That changed in 1985 when Dallas brought in Mike Saxon, who had been an 11th-round pick by Detroit in 1984 before being released in training camp that year.

The Dodger

Here’s a comment that football historians (and only football historians) will enjoy. The magazine included some miscellaneous notes near the back. One of them focused on Roger Staubach.

Okay, we all goof now and then. USA Today noted recently that when Roger (The Dodger) Staubach was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Dallas bank took out a full-page newspaper ad praising the Cowboys—with a baseball twis: “Congratulations to the only Dodger ever to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. To all those Giants, Bears, Redskins, and Browns…add the only Dodger: Number 12, Roger Staubach.” They forgot there was once an NFL team called the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1930 to 1943 and that three of its players—quarterback Ace Parker, end Red Badgro, and tackle Frank (Bruiser) Kinard—are full-fledged members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Danny White” Tapes

A reader named Hugh McCollum from Virginia Beach, Virginia sent a letter to the editor regarding his collection of Danny White video tapes.

Many fans of the Cowboys often write and ask for video cassettes of past games from across the country. I’ve got a good collection of Danny White’s greatest failures: Dallas-Philadelphia in ’81, Dallas-San Francisco in ’82, Dallas Washington in ’83, and Dallas-L.A. Rams in ’84. In each of these games White can be seen missing wide open receivers, throwing interceptions, and fumbling the football away during crucial two-minute drills. I’ve watched these films many,  many times and these game failures always point to a quarterback who cannot win the pressure ballgames. But, Danny White is still a “Proven Winner” in some Cowboys fans’ opinions? It would seem that these fans have very short memories, especially about the true FACTS.

[Okay, so substitute the name Tony Romo and change a few games, and you have…?]

  • Jason Neighbors

    I still support Romo, but the fact is he hasn’t yet even done as well as Danny White. White led the team to 3 straight NFC championship games and 3 12-4 records in 4 years. But Romo is our QB for better or worse. We don’t have anyone better so we gotta ride with him.

  • Anonymous

    It’s really coming down to Romo’s decision-making on perhaps two or three plays a game (which was also White’s problem). The reason I’m especially frustrated is that Romo seems to be getting worse; it seemed as if he had turned a corner in 2009, but in several games last year and again in week 1 this year, he does something catastrophic that defies explanation. We can replace “No, Danny! No!” with something like “Ro-Mo…No!”

    Uh, that was bad.