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This is part of a series of posts that provides an in-depth look at the Cowboys of the 1960s. Several will provide comprehensive statistics.
Bob Hayes is widely regarded as the best receiver in Cowboys history prior to the arrival of Drew Pearson, but Frank Clarke needs to be mentioned any time that this conversation arises. Clarke was, of course, the first player in team history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season, and his 14 touchdowns in 1962 remained the standard until 2007.
That said, the team’s passing game took off once Hayes arrived. In 1964, when the Cowboys featured such players as Clarke, Tommy McDonald, and Pettis Norman, Dallas averaged 179.71 yards per game. These number climbed to 237.93 yards per game in 1966 once the Cowboys had added Hayes, Pete Gent, and running back Dan Reeves. Lance Rentzel later emerged as a major target and became the third player in team history to gain more than 1,000 yards in a season.
|Team Receiving Totals: 1960s|
|Total Combined Receptions, 1960s|
|Dunn, Perry Lee||10||104||10.4||1|
|Conrad, Bobby Joe||4||74||18.5||0|
|Top Annual Receiving Totals|
|1965||Dunn, Perry Lee||8||74||9.3||1|
|1969||Conrad, Bobby Joe||4||74||18.5||0|
|1964||Dunn, Perry Lee||2||30||15.0||0|
Notwithstanding my recent trip back to the decade before I was alive, there is some Cowboys news to report.
Barber’s Contract Talks
Romo’s Possible Proposal
Now here’s a sudden change in direction for this blog: From 1960s Cowboys rushing statistics to Tony Romo’s love life. Someone from US Magazine.com sent me a link to this story, so I feel somewhat obligated to share it:
Jessica Simpson is head over heels in love with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo – and close pals say an engagement might be around the corner.
“I think they’re going to get married,” Romo’s close friend of three years, Michael Starr, says in the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
Starr’s prediction comes on top of Romo’s former fling Sophia Bush telling Us, “I think they could go the distance.
“They’re perfect for each other,” the actress, a mutual friend of Romo and Simpson, added. “They’re both funny and wonderful and kind. I’m rooting for them.”
Even Simpson’s ex, Nick Lachey, has chimed in to add his blessing. “I wish her nothing but happiness,” he told Us. “If she’s found that… good for her.”
I personally know far more about Jim Lachey of Washington Redskins fame than I do about Nick Lachey, but I suppose this is indeed news.
Flozell and the Free Agent Market
Apparently this draft has quite a number of candidates at the tackle position, but I am not pleased about the possibility of losing Flozell Adams is troublesome. Here is a blurb from the DMN:
The team has some concerns about signing Adams. Signing an offensive lineman in free agency is doubtful unless it’s an upgrade over what they have or finding someone better than Adams. But taking one in the second day of the draft is possible.
The report says that Dallas will start Pat McQuistan if Flozell leaves. Not good.
This is part of a series of posts that provides an in-depth look at the Cowboys of the 1960s. Several will provide comprehensive statistics.
By today’s standards, the Cowboys’ rushing statistics in the 1960s are hardly impressive. But for that era, the Cowboys were consistently one of the best running teams in the league, even though Dallas was in its first decade of existence. As you can see from the first table below, the Cowboys’ ranking in rushing yards climbed steadily, and the team finished first or second in the league in rushing yards during three of its four most competitive years between 1966 through 1969.
Don Perkins currently ranks 62nd on the all-time rushing list, with 6,217 yards on 1500 carries. At the time of his retirement following the 1968 season, however, Perkins ranked fifth on the all-time list, even though he had only played eight years. The other players ahead of him included Jim Brown (12,312 in 9 years); Jim Taylor (8,597 yards in 10 years); Joe Perry (8,378 in 14 years); and John Henry Johnson (6,803 in 13 years). So if anyone should want to question why Perkins is in the Ring of Honor, that gives a pretty good reason for it.
|Team Rushing Totals: 1960s|
|Year||Att.||Yards||Ave.||TD||Yds. Per Game||NFL Rank|
|Total Combined Rushing Yards, 1960s|
|Dunn, Perry Lee||80||274||3.4||3|
|Top Annual Rushing Totals|
|1965||Dunn, Perry Lee||54||171||3.2||2|
|1964||Dunn, Perry Lee||26||103||4.0||1|
This is part of a series of posts that will provide an in-depth look at the Cowboys of the 1960s. Several will provide comprehensive statistics.
In looking at the passing statistics of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, it is plainly obvious and not surprising that Don Meredith leads every major category in terms of single-season stats and in terms of stats for the entire decade. What is somewhat surprising is that Eddie LeBaron, who played on some pretty awful Dallas teams from 1960 to 1962, generally outperformed Craig Morton, who saw a significant amount of playing time in 1967 and 1968 and who started in 1969.
For some context, consider these facts:
The 1961 season was the last year that LeBaron served as the primary starter (10 of 14 games). The Cowboys finished 4-9-1 and finished with the following rankings on offense:
Passing Attempts: 3rd out of 14 teams (422)
Passing Yards: 6th out of 14 teams (2661)
Rushing Attempts: 10th out of 14 teams (416)
Rushing Yards: 10th out of 14 teams (1819)
In 1969, when Morton started 13 of 14 games, the Cowboys finished with these rankings:
Passing Attempts: 12th out of 16 teams (355)
Passing Yards: 4th out of 16 teams (2846)
Rushing Attempts: 1st out of 16 teams (532)
Rushing Yards: 1st out of 16 teams (2276)
Morton finished with a better passer rating during the decade, but also had a much better offensive line and all-around talent with which to work than LeBaron. Morton played four more seasons with Dallas during the 1970s, and though he had his best year with the club in 1970, his overall stats were not much better than what he compiled in the 1960s.
Below are total stats for the decade and top 10 performances by season in the various passing categories.
1960s: Career Passing Statistics
|1964||Perry Lee Dunn||2||0||0.00%||0||0||0||39.6|
1960s: Season Passing– Attempts
1960s: Season Passing– Completions
1960s: Season Passing– Percentage (min. 100 att.)
1960s: Season Passing– Yards
1960s: Season Passing– TD
Season Passing– Interceptions
Season Passing– Rating
Once upon a time, I owned a Sega Genesis. Some time later, Sega introduced an add-on called the Mega-CD, which featured some games that had short videos (and not much else). I bought the thing thinking that the games would be much better than the Genesis itself, but there wasn’t much to these games. (YouTube has a clip of Joe Montana’s NFL Football on Sega CD… not impressive).
The one game that was worthwhile at the time was the one for NFL’s Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993. According to Elitist Gaming, this game allowed you to call plays and then watch video clips of actual games between the Cowboys and 49ers. The clips were spliced together so that it was really a simulation. Thus, you could call a play for Roger Staubach to throw a pass and then watch Michael Irvin catch it. The concept sounded better than the actual game, but I got a few hours out of it.
Here is a video clip showing the introduction of the game.
I recall that there was an arcade game similar to this featuring the Raiders and Chargers. With today’s technology, it kind of makes me wonder what the tech folks could do now.
Here is a trivia question that I bet nobody could answer: who was the first official historian of the Dallas Cowboys?
For the answer, check out this story from May 28, 1961:
Teen-Ager Named Cowboy Historian
May 28, 1961
Judith McKinna, a 16-year-old National Football League fan, Saturday was named official historian of the Dallas Cowboys.
Miss McKinna, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William McKinna, 6964 Bob-O-Links Drive, was appoitned by Gen. Mgr. Tex Schramm when he discovered she had a better set of scrapbooks on the team and the league than the club itself.
Here is an image of the article itself:
I am seriously considering a title change around here– Know Your Dallas Cowboys: The Search for Judith McKinna’s Scrapbook.
How’s that for obscurity?
The Redskins this week hired Jim Zorn as their new head coach. This move was rather surprising, given that Zorn has had little experience with the type of head coaching duties that he will assume, but I don’t exactly feel sorry for Washington.
Some know this, but Zorn originally tried to latch on with the Cowboys in 1975 before getting his break the following year with the upstart Seattle Seahawks. Zorn had a good preseason in 1975 and very nearly made the Dallas team as the third-string quarterback. However, just before the regular season began, Zorn was cut to make room for running back Preston Pearson after the Steelers cut the versatile back. As it turns out, Pearson was a starter with Dallas for a couple of seasons and continued to contribute until the 1980 season, while Zorn was the starter for the Seahawks from 1976 through 1982.
Here is a classic article about Zorn’s chances of making the team in Dallas (the headline kind of gives it away):
Chances Slim for Jim Zorn
July 28, 1975
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.– If your last name start with “Z,” being last in line or at the bottom of a list is as natural as snow on Kilimanjaro.
So of the four quarterbacks remaining in the Dallas Cowboys camp here, Jim Zorn is, of course, number four.
He not only realizes he’s last, but sort of expects it . . . for now, anyway. He is, you see, the only survivor among the several rookie quarterbacks that charged up one of pro football’s aspiration hills here. And since there is only only Roger Staubach, Clint Longley and Leo Gasienieca in line in front of him and there are a million or more passes to be lofted before this training camp breaks, Zorn awakes daily telling himself he can overcome the seemingly impossible odds.
Weighing in those odds– depending on how one looks at it– is the fact that the 6-2, 195-pound free agent from Cal Poly Poma is a lefthander. Between Frankie Albert and Ken Stabler, successful NFL quarterbacks who fired from port have been about as numerous as declarations of war in Switzerland.
“Most teams are right-handed,” Zorn rationalized. “They have righthanded quarterbacks and defenses are used to working against them. A lefthander can confuse defenses. We bring the ball back a little differently before we throw. They can’t tell as early where we are going to put it.”
Zorn made Dallas’ list of desirable free agents because he is an all-around athlete. There is talk of trying him at other positions here– most natural for converted quarterbacks seems to be the defensive backfield– if the scythe man decides he must wield the blade on him as a QB.
There were words and looks of disbelief when the youngster from Artesia, Calif. finished so far ahead of his rookie mates in the cross-country that was part of the first day of orientation and testing here.
“When I was in high school,” Zorn grinned, “I was a skinny runt and hadn’t planned to go out for any sports. A good friend of mine was running in the cross-country and he finally got me to run with him just for the company.”
“To participate in athletics at our school, you couldn’t have long hair. I hated it, but it got a butch and wore it teh rest of the time in high school.”
He played football and basketball, too. At Cerritos Junior College for two years, he also was a multi-sport participant. By the time he entered Cal Poly, he was no longer a skinny runt.
He had a good junior year, but not as much as a senior,” recalled Gil Brandt, club vice president and scouting director. “He didn’t have much of a team to work with his senior year. He was a good athlete and that’s the way we’ve usually drafted, or selected free agents . . . by their athletic ability and potential.”
Zorn was into such sports as speed skating, badminton and javelin throwing at Cal Poly. He gained 1300 yards on the ground as a collegiate quarterback, which may be the reason he identifies more readily with Bobby Douglass than the most famous lefty, Stabler.
Zorn’s handicap is a lack of experience, of course. He is a rookie while Gasienieca is not “pure.” Leo has been with other NFL teams the past two years, although only briefly.
“You can’t tell about Zorn,” Coach Tom Landry said. “He shows promise. He could be the type of prospect Clint Longley was a year ago. And right now Longley is looking very good out there.”
“Of course,” Landry went on,” Gasieniesca has it on him now a bit of experience. We aren’t sure yet our third quarterback will come from either of them but, if so, Leo is ahead of Jim.”
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a story entitled “Rangers Hire Tom Landry,” noting that the Dallas franchise had originally borrowed the name of a minor league baseball team with the name “Dallas Rangers.” By March 1960, the new Dallas team had selected a new name, the Dallas Cowboys, even though the city of Dallas was known more for its banking and skyscrapers than for its cattle. The name, of course, stuck.
Bill Rives, then editor of the Dallas Morning News, applauded the name change. However, he apparently thought that “Dallas Cowboys” was too long of a name for those in the newspaper industry. Here is his post:
‘Ray for the New Name
by Bill Rives, Dallas Morning News Sports Editor, March 22, 1960
Thank goodness the National Football League team here has changed its name. There would have been constant confusion with two teams, in different sports, being called “Dallas Rangers.”
Although Dallas isn’t exactly the center of the livestock world, there’s a catchy name which has been chosen to replace “Rangers” — “Cowboys”
The Dallas Cowboys will get some mileage out of that, particularly in the East. There is still glamour and excitement in the Western connotations, and both the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Texans will be able to capitalize on them.
The Cowboys are likely to run into some problems from time to time with newspaper headline writers. Short names are always at a premium with those men who push pencils over copy paper. In order to get the news into the headline, it often is necessary to use contractions or similes of briefer length, or short nicknames, like Ike Eisenhower, Steers for Texas Longhorns, etc.
Sure as shootin’, a headline like this is going to show up in some paper this fall:
DALLAS BOYS PLAY GIANTS
. . .
I suppose this is the origin for referring to the team as the ‘Boys, but I am not sure I follow the problem here. “Rangers” has as many letters as “Cowboys,” and “Cowboys” has only one more letter than “Texans,” “Eagles,” “Browns,” or “Giants.” And I am quite sure that the 13-letter Dallas Cowboys also faced the 18-letter Pittsburgh Steelers and the 18-letter Washington Redskins in 1960, and neither name gave rise to too much trouble.
I started to become slightly impressed with my collection of 36 (and growing) books about the Dallas Cowboys, but then I came across a recent post on the forums of Cowboy Cards that stopped me from being so impressed. A Cowboys historian named Fred Goodwin, who has posted several comments on this blog recently, has a list of more than 200 titles about the Cowboys, including more than 170 that he owns personally. So if you want a checklist of Dallas Cowboys books that you can use in building your own collection, this would be the place to get it.
You will need to register for the forums. Once you do, here are the links to the specific post pages:
Mr. Goodwin is also one of the Dallas Cowboys experts on AllExperts.
Here is a list of the books that I own personally, stressing (probably only to myself!) that I have a long way to go.
Tom Landry Era
1. 1981 Whittingham, Richard. The Dallas Cowboys: An Illustrated History. NY: Harper & Row. 1st “coffee-table” sized hardback. Reviews each year from ’60-’80, including ’52 Dallas Texans (later Balt. Colts) (L)(OP).
2. 1984 Stowers, Carlton. Dallas Cowboys: The First Twenty-Five Years. Dallas: Taylor Publishing. 25th anniversary album; also looks at team organization and management; has a trivia section; and covers fans, Cheerleaders, and media (L)(OP).
3. 2005. Golenbock, Peter. Landry’s Boys: An Oral History Of A Team And An Era. Triumph Books. Compilation of player interviews spanning from 1958 to 1989.
4. 1969 Perkins, Steve. Next Year’s Champions: The Story of the Dallas Cowboys. NY: World Publishing. 1st published account of the Cowboys; covers 1968 season (OP).
5. 1972 Perkins, Steve. Winning the Big One. NY: Grosset & Dunlap. Followup to “Next Year’s Champions”; reviews 1971 season and Super Bowl VI victory (OP).
6. 1997 Gruver, Ed. The Ice Bowl: The Cold Truth about Football’s Most Unforgettable Game. Ithaca, NY: McBooks Press. Much better than the Shropshire book, the author is a member of the Pro Football Researchers Association (PFRA).
7. 1986 Perkins, Steve. The Official 1986 Dallas Cowboys Bluebook, Vol. VII. Dallas: Taylor Publishing (L)(OP).
8. 1972 Rentzel, Lance. When All the Laughter Died in Sorrow. NY: Saturday Review Press. Poignant auto-bio of former wide receiver; 1st (non-juvenile) player bio (OP).
9. 1974 Staubach, Roger, Sam Blair & Bob St. John. Staubach: First Down, Lifetime To Go. Waco, TX: Word Books. 1st of two non-juvenile bios; not his favorite (OP).
10. 1975 Toomay, Pat. The Crunch. NY: W. W. Norton. By a former defensive lineman, covers his 5-year career with Dallas (OP).
11. 1982 Stowers, Carlton. Journey to Triumph: 110 Dallas Cowboys Tell Their Stories. Dallas: Taylor Publishing. Series of player vignettes (OP).
12. 1985 Pearson, Preston. Hearing the Noise: My Life in the NFL. NY: William Morrow. Pearson is a former Cowboys running back and 3rd-down specialist; also played for Baltimore (led NFL in KO returns ’69) and Pittsburgh; played in 5 SBs (3, 9, 10, 12 and 13)(OP).
13. 1988 Garrison, Walt & John Tullus. Once a Cowboy. NY: Random House. Walt is a former Cowboys fullback, and a cowboy in real-life (OP).
14. 1990 Klein, Dave. Tom and the ‘Boys. NY: Kensington Publishing. Opinions of players (Lilly, Staubach, Dorsett, et al.) about Landry and his firing, as well as local reporters Blackie Sherrod and Frank Luksa.
15. 1988 St. John, Bob. Tex! The Man Who Built the Dallas Cowboys. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Only bio of former GM Tex Schramm.
16. 1990 Bayless, Skip. God’s Coach: The Hymns, Hype, and Hypocrisy of Tom Landry’s Cowboys. NY: Simon & Schuster. An irreverent view of the “man in the funny hat”.
17. 1990 Landry, Tom & Gregg Lewis. Tom Landry: An Autobiography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 4th bio overall; 3rd “post-JJ”
18. 1986 Stratton, Gary & Robert Krug. Dallas Cowboys Trivia Challenge. Dallas: Taylor Publishing. Prize was $10,000! Krug wrote a column on Cowboy collectibles for the Dallas Cowboys Weekly team newspaper (OP)(P).
19. 1973 Gent, Peter. North Dallas Forty. NY: William Morrow. Best known fictional work loosely based on the Cowboys; Gent is an ex-Cowboys receiver (OP).
20. 2003. Harris, Cliff and Charlie Waters. Tales from the Dallas Cowboys. Sports Publishing. The former Dallas stars offer up a hilarious collection of stories and memories spanning nearly two decades of Cowboys history, from the “Dirty Dozen” to the “Doomsday Defense.”
21. 2002. Towle, Mike. Roger Staubach Captain America: Captain America Personal Memories and Anecdotes About the Super Bowl-Winning Quarterback of America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. Cumberland House Publishing
22. 2003. Sham, Brad. Stadium Stories: Dallas Cowboys: Colorful Tales of America’s Team. Globe Pequot. Description: “For forty years, the Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most glamorous and fascinating teams in the NFL and all of American sport. In this book, author Brad Sham, the Voice of the Cowboys and a member of the team’s radio broadcasts for 25 years, shares behind-the-scenes insights from his unique bird’s eye view.”
23. 2006. Burton, Alan. Dallas Cowboys: Quips & Quotes. State House Press. A compilation of quotes from coaches and players.
24. 2006. Buchanan, Buck. Glory Days: Life with the Dallas Cowboys, 1972-1998. Taylor Trade Publishing. Buck Buchanan was the beloved equipment manager for the Dallas Cowboys for 25 years, during which time the Cowboys won four Super Bowls. Written with the consent and support of the Dallas Cowboys organization, Buchanan provides a unique behind-the-scenes look–from the logistics of moving equipment for away games, to the proclivities and needs of individual players. On the sidelines for every Cowboys game, he also describes how the coaches and players interacted during some of the team’s most legendary moments.
25. 2000. Kasai, Jennifer B. The Book of Landry. “Book is rich with inspirational Landry quotes, stories and testimonials from former assistant coaches and players such as Dan Reeves, Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, and Drew Pearson.”
Jerry Jones Era
26. 1996 Guinn, Jeff. Dallas Cowboys — Our Story: The Authorized Pictorial History. Arlington, TX: Summit Publishing. Coffee-table sized and massively illustrated; only the second official history of the Cowboys. (Note: appendix lists ’62 roster of the Dallas TEXANS, not the Cowboys!) (L)
27. 1993 Fisher, Mike. Stars and Strife: Inside the Dallas Cowboys Reemergence as America’s Team. Ft. Worth, TX: Summit Group. Review of ’92 season by a reporter for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.
28. 1998 Aikman, Troy. Aikman: Mind, Body and Soul. Hollywood, FL: EGI Productions. Coffee-table sized pictorial (L).
29. 1993 Johnson, Jimmy & Ed Hinton. Turning the Thing Around: Pulling America’s Team Out of the Dumps – And Myself Out of the Doghouse. NY: Hyperion. Traces his career from Port Arthur, to Arkansas, to Miami and to Dallas; probably not the last we’ll hear from Johnson.
30. 1994 Novacek, Yvette, ed. The Dallas Cowboys Wives’ Family Cookbook and Photo Album: Southwestern Cuisine Edition. Ft. Worth, TX: Branch-Smith (P).
31. 1996 Donovan, Jim, Ken Sins & Frank Coffey. The Dallas Cowboys Encyclopedia: The Ultimate Guide to America’s Team. Seacaucus, NJ: Citadel Press. From A-to-Z, covers most players and answers almost every question about the Cowboys (P).
32. 1996 Stratton, Gary. Dallas Cowboys Facts & Trivia. South Bend, IN: E.B. Houchin Co. This book is littered with mistakes and typos. Beware (P).
33. 2007. Hitzges, Norm and Ron St. Angelo. Greatest Team Ever: The Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990s. Thomas Nelson. An illustrated book that chronicles the 1990s Cowboys, arguing that the Dallas dynasty was the greatest ever.
34. 2006. Taylor, Jean-Jacques. Game of My Life: Dallas Cowboys. Sports Publishing. Written by a Dallas Morning News beat writer, this title follows some of the more famous stories in team history.
35. 1995 Aikman, Troy with Greg Brown. Things Change. Dallas: Taylor Publishing.
36. 1971 Lipman, David & Ed Wilks. The Speed King: Bob Hayes of the Dallas Cowboys. Putnam (OP).
Here is a video set to Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best”: