Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from September 21, 1985

Sept. 21, 1985 issue: “Michael Downs: Co-Captain, Defense”

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 21, 1985.

Ask Tex Schramm

One reader asked which former player had been injured in a farm accident about five years earlier. Schramm replied that it was Burton Lawless, who had been part of the “Dirty Dozen” draft of 1975. Lawless was not expected to walk again, but by 1985, he was on his feet and living in Waco, Texas.

Ugly Day in Detroit

The 1985 Detroit Lions were on the rebound from a 4-11-1 season in 1984. Dallas helped the Lions to a 2-0 start by committing five turnovers in a 26-21 Detroit win. Though Dallas had 33 first downs to Detroit’s 13, the Lions jumped out to a 26-0 lead. Danny White and Gary Hogeboom combined for 62 pass attempts and 481 yards in the loss. Both Tony Hill and Doug Cosbie had 11 receptions.

Top 10 NFL Poll

With the loss, the Cowboys slipped out of the Top 10 NFL Poll run by the magazine. The top team after week 2 was Seattle, which was out to a 2-0 start.

Cowboys Elect Captains

The team voted on captains for the 1985 season. For the first time in his career, center Tom Rafferty was selected. He was joined as offensive co-captain by quarterback Danny White. On defense, the team selected Randy White and safety Michael Downs, while Bill Bates earned the nod as the special-teams captain.

Football Writers Round Table

A popular show on Monday nights was the Football Writers Round Table, which featured several prominent Cowboys beat writers. Included on the show were Jim Dent of the Dallas Times Herald; Gary Myers of the Dallas Morning News; Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; and Steve Perkins of the Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly. The moderator was KRLD sports director Brad Sham.

Moving Away from the Flex?

Sham interviewed Dallas cornerback Dennis Thurman. In the interview, Sham asked of the scheme were moving away from the traditional flex.

[Yes.] We’re trying to do some things with Randy White that the New York Giants have done with Lawrence Taylor. Move him around like a chess piece, never let the offense know where he’s coming from. If we can do this and not tip our hand, in the places that he lines up that we’re playing a certain defense, I think we can be successful.

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