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The story of Tom Landry’s contract extension following the 1963 season has become part of the Dallas Cowboys’ folklore. Dallas had suffered through a 4-10 performance that season, which was one game worse than the season before. The Cowboys responded by tying him up with an 11-year contract that was unheard of– then or any other time. The contract ran through the 1975 season, and did it get results?
Record: 113-52-3 (67.3% winning percentage)
Winning Seasons: 11 in 12 years
Playoff Appearances: 9 in 12 years
NFL/NFC Championship Game Appearances: 7 in 12 years
Super Bowl Appearances: 3
Super Bowl Championships: 1
I’d say so.
By Gart Cartwright, Dallas Morning News
February 6, 1964
Rumor mongers were half right: the Dallas Cowboys won’t renew coach Tom Landry’s contract in 1965.
In fact, the subject won’t even come up until 1976 because Landry signed a new pact Wednesday in the office of multi-millionaire owner Clint Murchison Jr. and entwined his future with the Cowboys for at least then next 11 years.
The new contract, probably the longest in National Football League history and certainly one of the longest and most attractive in any sport, is for 10 years. Landry still has one year to go on his original 5-year contract.
In a brief, happy announcement, Murchison said, “Tom has been with us for four years and this will round it out to an even 15. This is in line with my philosophy that once you get a good man, hold on to him.”
As is customary after a poor season (The Cowboys won four, lost 10) stories circulated freely that Landry would be drawing unemployment checks unless he produced solidly next fall. These rumors not only collapsed with a monumental rattle but Murchison told reporters that he tried to offer Landry a new 10-year contract a year ago.
Landry refused. He said Wednesday, “Even though I had great confidence in the future of the Cowboys I felt we first had to get over the building program. I refused for the benefit of both myself and the club.”
Obviously everyone associated with the club viewed the new contract as an overture to future greatness despite the young club’s dismal four year record of 13-38-3.
But as Landry pointed out, only one other club in NFL history (Minnesota) has started from absolute zero, and even the Vikings got to participate in a draft before their first season.
When Landry originally signed with the Cowboys after a brilliant career as an assistant with the New York Giants, he spoke of a 5-year plan.
Wednesday, he said, “Even a coach taking over a lower established club needs five years to turnover what you don’t like, and another three to perfect what you have and get to a point where you can win the close ones.”
Unless you were, say, running a university’s faculty senate meeting for three hours or working on a consulting project until the wee hours of the morning, you know that Brett Favre has retired. It is pretty rare that a team has such great success beating up a future hall-of-famer whenever said hall-of-famer comes to town.
Favre visited Texas Stadium nine times, including a trip to Irving during the 2007 season. He never won. Three of those games during the 1990s were playoff games, and Dallas won the Super Bowl after winning two of those three.
1993: Dallas 36, Green Bay 14.
1993 (Playoffs): Dallas 27, Green Bay 17
1994: Dallas 42, Green Bay 31
1994 (Playoffs): Dallas 35, Green Bay 9
1995: Dallas 34, Green Bay 24
1995 (NFC Championship Game): Dallas 38, Green Bay 27
1996: Dallas 21, Green Bay 6
1999: Dallas 27, Green Bay 13
2007: Dallas 37, Green Bay 27
When the Cowboys played the Packers last November, I put together a video clip of highlights from the 1995 NFC title game. Below is that clip as it appears on YouTube. Note that around 3:15 of the clip, Favre is picked off by defensive tackle Leon Lett. Great play.
I’ve never been a big Brett Favre fan, but he deserves the accolades he’s getting. He isn’t the type of player that the NFL is going to replace, so farewell.
While we wait on free agent signings, here is a good clip focusing on those players in the Ring of Honor:
Here are 10 trivia questions focusing on the Dallas Cowboys of the 1960s.
Here is the last of the 1967 Dallas Cowboys highlight film, focusing this time on the two playoff games. Most of it shows highlights from the Cowboys 52-14 win over Cleveland in the divisional playoff round. The game the followed, of course, was the Ice Bowl.
For previous highlight clips, see:
The big news of the week is that the Cowboys have resigned Flozell Adams to a six-year contract, meaning that Dallas will have both security on the left side of the line along with periodic false starts.
Adams was one of the best draft picks (if not the best) for the Cowboys during the last half of the 1990s. And you know your trivia if you can answer this: what three positions did Adams play that season? Keep reading…
Here is the Dallas Morning News blurb on Adams when he was selected in the second round of the 1998 draft:
* Position: Offensive tackle
* Height: 6-7 * Weight: 335
* Age: 22 * School: Michigan State
* Drafted: No. 2 (38th overall)
* Notable: Has a slight hearing impairment in his right ear, which scouts say may hurt his ability to play left tackle . . . Apparently dropped to the second round because of lingering concerns about a severe ankle sprain suffered in the pre-season . . . Three-year starter and first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection as a senior . . . Named Big Ten offensive lineman of the year by the league’s coaches . . . Shifted to left tackle as a senior and recorded 91 knockdowns blocks while the Spartans averaged 199.5 yards per game rushing . . . Had 14 knockdown blocks against Notre Dame last season in a 23-7 Michigan State victory that saw the Spartans run for 222 yards . . . Second-team All-Big Ten as a junior and sophomore at right tackle . . . Voted the team’s most improved player as a sophomore along with wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, now of the Carolina Panthers . . . Recently timed at 5.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash and bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times . . . Cousin of Seattle SuperSonics guard Hersey Hawkins . . . Criminal justice major born in Chicago.
. . .
Where will he play?
Coach Chan Gailey said his goal is to get the Cowboys’ five best offensive linemen on the field.
If second-round pick Flozell Adams is one of them, then so be it.
Adams, who played tackle at Michigan State, said he can learn to play guard if he has to. Two seasons ago, Baltimore put tackle Jonathan Ogden at guard for a season until he moved to left tackle.
“I think we’re wrong if we don’t consider everything,” Gailey said. “We have to put the best players on the field.”
Moving Around During His Rookie Season
As you can see from the video below, Adams lined up at tight end for his first NFL play on September 6, 1998. About a month later, Adams was called upon to fill in for Everett McIver at right guard, a position you can see him play on the same clip. In addition, Adams played a little bit at right tackle in 1998, filling in for an injured Erik Williams.
Here is a short article on Adams that appeared after his first start at right guard on October 11, 1998 against Carolina in a 27-20 Dallas win.
Flozell Adams made his regular-season NFL debut at right guard Sunday afternoon in the Cowboys’ 27-20 victory.
But he did not want to discuss it too much.
He uttered the usual phrases about the game being a learning experience and trying to improve, before quickly leaving the locker room.
His teammates were a lot more vocal.
Right tackle Erik Williams said Adams is only going to get better, bad news for opposing defenses. Dallas rolled up 428 yards of offense with two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard running back against Carolina.
“Flozell is going to be a great one,” Williams said. “He showed a lot of poise out there, and he’s far more advanced than most rookies.
“He should have been a first-round pick, probably in the Top 10, but those rumors started that he couldn’t hear out of one of his ears. I’m glad we’ve got him.”
Center Clay Shiver said aside from a couple of communication miscues, he and Adams worked well together.
“He stepped in and did a tremendous job,” Shiver said.
Adams, a second-round pick from Michigan State, is replacing Everett McIver, who sprained his knee last week and is expected to miss 5-7 weeks.
Adams, 6-7 and 335 pounds, is a tackle who showed he could play guard during training camp, when McIver sustained a deep cut to his neck during a dormitory incident.
Adams started two pre-season games and played well, which helped make Gailey’s decision about whether to start Adams or Mike Kiselak pretty easy.
“My initial impression is that Flozell played a good game,” offensive line coach Hudson Houck said. “He didn’t have any false starts or holding penalties, and I didn’t notice any mental errors. I’m not surprised, I thought he’d play well.”
Adams was simply one member of a unit that played one of its best games of the season.
The offensive line gave quarterback Jason Garrett time to throw and Emmitt Smith room to run. Smith and receiver Michael Irvin each had 100-yard games for the second time this season and the 19th time in their careers.
Dallas is undefeated when that happens.
“I think we’re feeling pretty good about what the offensive line is doing so far,” Houck said. “The important thing is that we’re getting better every week.”
The biggest improvement from last season has been in the Cowboys’ pass protection and run blocking.
Dallas has allowed only seven sacks this season, and Sunday’s performance marked the fourth time this season the Cowboys have rushed for more than 150 yards.
Last season, it happened twice.
“I don’t want to hear all this stuff about how great the line is,” Williams said. “Last year, you guys said we were fat, out-of-shape and couldn’t block our way out of a wet paper bag.
“One game doesn’t make a great line. It takes time and preparation for that to happen. I see our line getting back to the way we were in 1992 and 1993, but we aren’t there yet.”
This is the third part of the 1967 Dallas Cowboys highlight film, focusing on the regular season. The highlights begin with the week
The complete results for 1967 were as follows (games featured in this clip appear in bold).
Sep 17 W 21-14 at Cleveland Browns
Sep 24 W 38-24 vs New York Giants
Oct 1 L 35-13 vs Los Angeles Rams
Oct 8 W 17-14 at Washington Redskins
Oct 15 W 14-10 vs New Orleans Saints
Oct 22 W 24-21 at Pittsburgh Steelers
Oct 29 L 21-14 at Philadelphia Eagles
Nov 5 W 37-7 vs Atlanta Falcons
Nov 12 W 27-10 at New Orleans Saints
Nov 19 L 27-20 vs Washington Redskins
Nov 23 W 46-21 vs St. Louis Cardinals
Dec 3 L 23-17 at Baltimore Colts
Dec 10 W 38-17 vs Philadelphia Eagles
Dec 16 L 24-16 at San Francisco 49ers
Here is part 2 of the 1967 Dallas Cowboys highlight film, focusing on the offense. The team finished 5th in the league out of 16 teams on offense, which was a step back from the 1967.
Players featured in this clip include:
WR, #22 Bob Hayes
LT, #72 Tony Liscio
LG, #76 John Niland
C, #53 Mike Connelly
RG, #62 Leon Donohue
RT, #73 Ralph Neely
TE, #84 Pettis Norman
TE, #82 Frank Clarke
WR, #19 Lance Rentzel
WR, #35 Pete Gent
QB, #17 Don Meredith (11)
QB, #14 Craig Morton (3)
RB, #30 Dan Reeves
RB, #46 Craig Baynham
FB, #43 Don Perkins
Last year at this time, I ran a post that summarized the results of about 100 mock drafts. As of the time of that post (Feb. 25, 2007), Texas tackle Justin Blalock was the clear leader. Blalock eventually fell to the second round, where the Atlanta Falcons selected him with the 39th overall pick. He started 14 games in 2007.
How worthwhile was that effort on my part? Here’s an clue: none of the 27 mock selections in the 100 mock drafts was Purdue linebacker Anthony Spencer. This immediately makes me second-guess my current post.
But it’s too late. I reviewed a sampling of 100 mock drafts from FF Toolbox and My Mock Draft to identify players that various draftniks have chosen in advance on behalf of the Cowboys. I did not include those mock drafts that expect Dallas to trade the 22nd and 28th picks in the first round. From this review I have identified 30 players who were picked in either position in the first round.
Key: Name, Position, College (number of mock drafts selecting this player in either position of the first round). Click on the links to visit NFL.com’s profiles of these players.
Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona (13)
Reggie Smith, CB/S, Oklahoma (13)
Limus Sweed, WR, Texas (13)
Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan (13)
Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas (12)
Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy (11)
Early Doucet, WR, LSU (11)
DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal (8)
Rashard Mendenall, RB, Illinois (8)
Jeff Otah, T, Pitt (7)
Sam Baker, T, USC (6)
Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida (5)
Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma (5)
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon (4)
Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn (2)
Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech (2)
Kenny Phillips, S, Miami (2)
Derrick Harvey, DE, Miami (1)
Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana (1)
Gosder Cherilus, T, Boston College (1)
Keith Rivers, OLB, USC (1)
Marcus Griffin, S, Texas (1)
Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas (1)
Matt Forte, RB, Tulane (1)
James Hardy, WR, Indiana (1)
Dan Connor, LB, Penn St. (1)
Dre Moore, DT, Maryland (1)
Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina (1)
Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St. (1)
Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt (1)
Defensive Backs: 11
Wide Receivers: 7
Running Back: 5
Defensive Tackles: 2
Defensive Ends: 1
* I have no doubt that Dallas needs help in the secondary, but I think it will be an enormous mistake if the team focuses once again on the defense in the first round and ignores its pressing needs on offense. I would personally like to see the Cowboys take a receiver and would not mind at all if the first two picks were a running back and a receiver, in either order.
* Along those lines, if Dallas uses either of those picks on a defensive lineman or a linebacker, I will be just as sick as I was on January 13 after the Giants game. Only one of the mock drafts anticipated the Cowboys taking Penn State linebacker Dan Connor, but at least one of the draftniks thought Conner was the best selection. I know there was a day when a team may have benefited from cornering the market on Big 10 linebackers, but today ain’t that day.
* Of the five running backs on the list above, Jones’ time in the 40 ranked fourth. The fastest was Jamaal Charles, who recorded a 4.38. Jones performed better in other events, especially the 20-yard shuttle. Here are the complete times.
* Another player who may get some good looks is Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart. The 235-pound back ran a 4.48 and completed 28 reps on the bench press, both very impressive. Here is more on Stewart.
* A few receivers that impressed those in attendance (and who do not appear on the list above): Eddie Royal (Virginia Tech), Andre Caldwell (Florida), and Maurice Purify (Nebraska).
* Two receivers who could see their stock rise after the combine: James Hardy (Indiana) (6’5, 217 pounds, 4.48 in the 40) and Devin Thomas (Michigan State) (6’2, 215 pounds, 4.40 in the 40).
* DeSean Jackson (Cal) was the fastest of the receivers, running a 4.35 in the 40.
* One player who may be slipping: Mario Manningham of Michigan, who only managed a 4.59 in the 40.
* Three receivers who appear on the list above– Limas Sweed (Texas), Malcolm Kelly (Oklahoma), and Early Doucet (LSU) — did not participate in drills.
Cornerbacks and safeties will perform on Tuesday, so I will have a follow-up afterward.
This is part of a series of posts that provides an in-depth look at the Cowboys of the 1960s.
The title of the 1967 Dallas Cowboys highlight film was “Appointment with Destiny,” referring to the team’s run for an Eastern Conference title and a second showdown with the Green Bay Packers in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The clip below focuses on the defense, which had already earned the nickname “Doomsday.”
1967 Dallas Cowboys Defense
The 1967 Dallas Cowboys ranked seventh out of 16 teams in total defense in 1967, giving up 276.5 yards per game. The team allowed 268 points, 6th best in the NFL, and led the league in run defense, as opponents managed only 3.2 yards per carry.
Here are the starters for that season:
LE, #71 Willie Townes
LT, #75 Jethro Pugh
RT, #74 Bob Lilly
RE, #66 George Andrie
LLB, #54 Chuck Howley
MLB, #55 Lee Roy Jordan
RLB, #52 Dave Edwards
LCB, #34 Cornell Green
RCB, #23 Mike Johnson
SS, #27 Mike Gaechter
FS, #20 Mel Renfro
All-Pros on this unit included Andrie, Green, Howley, and Renfro.