Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from December 14, 1985

Tom Landry: The 20-Year Winner

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 December 14, 1985.

Another Blowout Loss

For only the third time in its history, Dallas gave up 50 points in a game. And for the second time in four weeks, the Cowboys suffered a blowout loss.

Cincinnati routed the Cowboys, 50-24. The defense gave up 274 yards on the ground, along with another 296 passing yards.

Dallas fell behind early thanks to a safety, followed by a Bengal touchdown. By the end of the first quarter, it was 22-0 in favor of Cincinnati.

Ray Horton (a future Cowboy) said, “The Cowboys are like Coca-Cola. They think they’re the real thing.”

Tough words, Ray. Tough words.

NFC East Up for Grabs

The Dallas loss left the Cowboys at 9-5, and the Cowboys were scheduled to face the Giants at Texas Stadium the following week. With both teams entering at 9-5, the winner would take the division title.

At that point, the Cowboys had not secured a playoff berth, which would have happened with a win over the Bengals. Nevertheless, Dallas could still secure a playoff spot even if the team finished at 9-7.

Tom Landry: A Winner for 20 Seasons

The Cowboys’ win over the Cardinals on Thanksgiving Day gave Dallas nine wins, guaranteeing the team its 20th consecutive winning season. Despite the team’s loss to the Bengals, the cover of the Dec. 14 issue featured Landry.

Tex Schramm said the ninth win had great significance.

I’ve been thinking about it for some time, because it is a game that represents a very important milestone for the organization.

At that time, the Cowboys’ streak was the longest active streak in professional sports. In terms of all-time records, only the New York Yankees (39 consecutive seasons) and Montreal Canadians (32 consecutive seasons) had longer streaks.

Madden: Bears are the Best Team by Far

CBS analyst and former Raider coach John Madden sat down to talk to Brad Sham. According to Madden, the Bears were the best team and that a large gap separated Chicago from the rest of the league.

Madden grouped Dallas with such teams as the Giants, the 49ers, and the Rams.

Robert Lavette: A Long-Time Cowboys Fan

Rookie Robert Lavette waited a long time to join the Cowboys. He had been a fan since he was eight years old.

He suffered an injury that ended his 1985 season. He had served as a kickoff returner, a role he had not had since his freshman year in college.

How did the rookie live during his first year as a pro? He had a two-bedroom apartment, had purchased a stereo, and planned to buy a few albums.

(Lavette spent one more full season with Dallas in 1986. He played four games with the team in 1987 as well).

Hollywood Henderson Not Happy About Omission

Hollywood Henderson had not been a member of the Cowboys for six years by 1985. The Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly had published a list of former first-round picks and inadvertently omitted Henderson from the list.

Henderson wrote to the magazine, saying he assumed “contempt” for the omission.

(He wrote this letter two years after being convicted for threatening and sexually assaulting two teenage girls. He remained sober after the 1983 incident.)