Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from October 5, 1985

Mike Hegman: “The” Veteran at Linebacker

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 October 5, 1985.

Ask Tex Schramm: Why the Blackouts? 

A reader who was bedridden after an automobile accident asked Tex Schramm why the NFL blacks out home games. Schramm commented that the league had the blackout policy in place since the early 1970s and that he thought it was necessary to boost attendance. He also noted that the Cowboys had 15 consecutive sellouts at the time but that the last home game against Cleveland did not sell out until the morning of the game.

Cowboys Overcome Bad Day by Rafael Septien

Most considered Rafael Septien to be a reliable kicker, but he had all sorts of problems against Houston. He missed on kicks from 33, 36, 36, and 47 yards and called the name a “nightmare.” Fortunately for Dallas, the defense beat up on new QB Warren Moon, and the Cowboys came away with a 17-10 win. Tony Dorsett led the team with 159 rushing yards on 23 carries.

Dallas moved up to the #7 spot in the magazine’s Top 10 NFL Poll. Chicago took over the #1 position.

Thurman’s Band of Thieves

“Thurman’s Thieves” was off to a fast start in 1985, picking off nine passes in four games.

Dennis Thurman was only 170 pounds, but he had a knack for finding football. Between 1978 and 1985, he had picked off a total of 31 passes, returning three of them for touchdowns.

The magazine labeled the defense “Thurman’s Band of Thieves,” which was often shortened to Thurman’s Thieves.

As of week 4 of the 1985 season, Dallas led the league in interceptions with nine, including six against the Redskins in the opening game.

Old Man of the Linebacker Corps

Mike Hegman was a second-year player on the Super Bowl Champion Cowboys in 1977. At the age of 32, he was the old man of the 1985 group. One year earlier, he had one of his best seasons, recording 71 tackles, three and a half sacks, and three interceptions.

Hegman said the 1985 team reminded him of the 1977 squad because both teams played aggressively.

Fans Still Calling for Gary Hogeboom

Two fans sent letters to the editor arguing that Tom Landry had made a mistake by turning to Danny White instead of Gary Hogeboom. The editor’s reply: “Gary Hogeboom had ample opportunity to establish himself in the pre-season and didn’t do so.”

Danny White’s Father Held a Dubious Record

Danny White’s father was name Wilford White and went by the nickname “Whizzer” (not to be confused with Byron “Whizzer” White, who later held some sort of position as a judge or justice). Wilford last played in 1954, and during that season, he set an NFL mark that would be tough to duplicate.

White played for the Chicago Bears, and the play took place against the L.A. Rams. From the Ram 46, he took a snap out of the shotgun and immediately avoided the rush. He eventually ran backwards all the way to the other goal line, where he fumbled. A player named Andy Robustelli picked up the ball and scored. White therefore lost 54 yards on a single play, along with the fumble.

According to White, Chicago coach George Halas put his arm around his shoulder. Although some thought Halas was consoling White, the player said that was most certainly not the case.