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Fantasy Values of Your Dallas Cowboys

Just slightly outdated.

Several Cowboys players had decent fantasy games last week. Below is a summary of what the various players did and how they are projected to do this week. Points are based on standard scoring in leagues. Rankings are based on the composite rankings available at FantasyPros.

QB Tony Romo

Last week: 18.58 points

Romo threw for 342 yards with two touchdowns, so even with a fumble and an interception, he put up good numbers.

Rank for week 2: 7th.

Most of the better experts expect Romo to have a solid game against the 49ers, who were poor against the pass last year.

RB Felix Jones

Last week: 10.60 points

Jones only managed 66 total yards, but his touchdown run helped.

Rank for week 2: 19th

Some experts have Jones ranked in the top 10 for this week, while others have him ranked lower than 30th. This will be an interesting game.

WR Miles Austin

Last week: 15.00 points

Austin had a good game with 90 yards and a touchdown. This was much better than several of his games from last year, where he often disappeared with Jon Kitna at QB.

Rank for week 2: 9th

Several have noted that if Austin can play well against the Jets while injured, he will do just fine against the 49ers.

WR Dez Bryant

Last week: 13.10 points

Bryant pulled in the other Romo score. He did all of his damage on the team’s opening drive.

Rank for week 2: 12th

Hard to say how many receptions Bryant will have. However, he is always a threat to break a long one, so he will likely get yards and is a good bet to score. He may not return punts, which hurts his value in league that include return yards.

TE Jason Witten

Last week: 11.00 points

Witten had a good game that could have been great with a TD. Had he cut back on the long pass in the fourth quarter, he might have scored.

Rank for week 2: 3rd

Although Romo notoriously does not look at Witten in the red zone, Witten is a big target who can put up yards. Even the better defenses have a hard time stopping him.

K Dan Bailey

Last week: 6.00 points

Bailey made a field goal with three extra points.

Rank for week 2: 27th

Bailey will not likely have value this year. David Buehler will probably get the nod for long attempts, so unless the Cowboys kick three or four field goals from inside the 40, Bailey will probably not get more than 10 points at the most.

Cowboys D/ST

Last week: 8.00 points

The Cowboys had four sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery while giving up 27 points.

Rank for week 2: 7th

The high rank is more of a reflection of a bad San Francisco offense. However, Dallas did better against the Jets than most expected, so perhaps there is some value.

Other Offensive Players

Nobody. Kevin Ogletree might get 10 to 20 receiving yards. That is probably the best output anyone could expect from other members of the Cowboys.

Cowboys Individual Defensive Players Players

The big player on the IDP front for Dallas was linebacker Sean Lee, who had 10 tackles, 2 assists, and an interception. Had he score on the interception return, he would have had a 20-point game by himself.

Anthony Spencer had a decent game with three tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. DeMarcus Ware also had a good game with two sacks along with three tackles.

None of the other Dallas defensive players did anything worth mentioning.

Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from September 14, 1985

Tony Hill: Always the Threat

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 14, 1985.

On the cover…

Tony Hill made the cover of the September 14 issue. He was in his ninth season in 1985. He became the team’s #1 threat the year before with the retirement of Drew Pearson and the team’s trading of Butch Johnson.

Happy Birthday, Joe

Washington QB Joe Theismann celebrated his 36th birthday by losing big to the resurgent Cowboys. Dallas snagged six interceptions along with a fumble in a 44-14 win. Tom Landry commented that the game was “[o]ne of the best opening nights we’ve had. It was a hot night and we were hotter.” According to Theismann,

This was a bad experience. It was a bad learning experience. But there’s a reason for a lot of things to happen….[The Cowboys] play smart football—tough football. If you give up the ball as many times as we did, you don’t deserve to win. It really got out of hand in the third quarter.

Dallas only held a 17-7 lead at the half, but by the end of the third quarter, the lead was 30-7.

Haggar Player of the Game

Mike Renfro was named player of the game against Washington. He caught five passes for a career-high 99 yards.

Veterans Cut

Before their win over Washington, Dallas had to make its final roster cuts. Two veterans did not make the team, including fullback Ron Springs and receiver Duriel Harris. Dallas had tried to work out a trade with Buffalo for Springs, but that fell through.

Frank Luska wrote a piece noting that Springs had become too big (225 pounds) to spell Tony Dorsett at halfback, but Spring still did not block well enough to fill in effectively at fullback.

Evolution of the Front Four

The magazine considered whether the front four of the 1985 Cowboys might be the best ever.

(No, seriously).

The team opened the season with a defensive line consisting of Randy White, Too Tall Jones, Jim Jeffcoat, and John Dutton. Coming off the bench was first-round draft choice Kevin Brooks.

A New Punter

Dallas had used John Warren as a punter in 1983 and 1984, but Danny White still handled the bulk of the punting duties. That changed in 1985 when Dallas brought in Mike Saxon, who had been an 11th-round pick by Detroit in 1984 before being released in training camp that year.

The Dodger

Here’s a comment that football historians (and only football historians) will enjoy. The magazine included some miscellaneous notes near the back. One of them focused on Roger Staubach.

Okay, we all goof now and then. USA Today noted recently that when Roger (The Dodger) Staubach was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Dallas bank took out a full-page newspaper ad praising the Cowboys—with a baseball twis: “Congratulations to the only Dodger ever to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. To all those Giants, Bears, Redskins, and Browns…add the only Dodger: Number 12, Roger Staubach.” They forgot there was once an NFL team called the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1930 to 1943 and that three of its players—quarterback Ace Parker, end Red Badgro, and tackle Frank (Bruiser) Kinard—are full-fledged members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Danny White” Tapes

A reader named Hugh McCollum from Virginia Beach, Virginia sent a letter to the editor regarding his collection of Danny White video tapes.

Many fans of the Cowboys often write and ask for video cassettes of past games from across the country. I’ve got a good collection of Danny White’s greatest failures: Dallas-Philadelphia in ’81, Dallas-San Francisco in ’82, Dallas Washington in ’83, and Dallas-L.A. Rams in ’84. In each of these games White can be seen missing wide open receivers, throwing interceptions, and fumbling the football away during crucial two-minute drills. I’ve watched these films many,  many times and these game failures always point to a quarterback who cannot win the pressure ballgames. But, Danny White is still a “Proven Winner” in some Cowboys fans’ opinions? It would seem that these fans have very short memories, especially about the true FACTS.

[Okay, so substitute the name Tony Romo and change a few games, and you have…?]

Trivia: Blowing a 14-Point Lead

Tuesday trivia, one day late.

The Cowboys infamously blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter in their loss to the Jets on Sunday night. This marked the first time in franchise history that Dallas had lost a game while leading by at least 14 points in the fourth quarter. The franchise record in such games is now 240-1-1.

Today’s trivia: which team tied the Cowboys when the Cowboys led by at least 14, and in what year did that game take place?

* * *

Incidentally, the last time a regular-season Cowboys’ game ended in a tie was November 27, 1969 against this week’s opponent, the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas fell behind in that game 14-0, but by the third quarter, the Cowboys led 17-14 thanks to a touchdown pass from Craig Morton to Bob Hayes. San Francisco regained the lead later in the third, but Dallas managed to tie it up at 24 when Morton hit Lance Rentzel on a touchdown pass. The 49ers blocked a late field goal attempt by Mike Clark to secure a tie

The Romo Blame Game

Tony Romo is now 40-26 as a starter, including playoff games.

In less than six full seasons as the Cowboys’ starter, Tony Romo has started 63 regular-season games and 4 playoff games. He has lost a total of 26 of these starts.

After the dreadful fourth-quarter performance last night, most are remembering that Romo has cost the team some games. This is especially true of his last several starts dating back to last season.

Here’ s a question that this post attempts to answer: how many of those 26 losses can be attributed to Romo? Of course, all losses are team losses, so no single player is ever completely responsible for losing a game. However, more so than any other player, the quarterback can have a direct effect on whether a team wins or loses.

According to the summary below, I would blame Romo for 12 of those losses. Included in this is the playoff loss at Seattle, which was not really Romo’s fault as a quarterback but was his fault as a holder.

So overall, for anyone who agrees with my summary, Romo in his six-year career as a starter hasn’t frequently made the kinds of critical mistakes that cost the team on Sunday night. What is troubling, though, is that Romo seems to be more to blame for more recent losses than he was when he was a new starter.

Nov. 11, 2006: Washington 22, Dallas 19

Romo to blame? No.

The Cowboys were in position to win the game, but a botched field-goal attempt followed by a penalty led to Washington’s game-winning kick.

Dec. 12, 2006: New Orleans 42, Dallas 17

Romo to blame? No.

Romo didn’t set the world on fire, but the defense had no answer for the Saints.

Dec. 25, 2006: Philadelphia 23, Dallas 7

Romo to blame? Yes, partially

Jeff Garcia generally outplayed Romo in another December loss for the Cowboys. Romo threw two interceptions in the game.

Dec. 31, 2006: Detroit 39, Dallas 21

Romo to blame? No.

Romo nearly brought the Cowboys from behind, but the defense could not stop Jon Kitna, who threw for four touchdowns. The legendary Mike Furrey had 102 yards on 11 receptions.

Jan. 6, 2007: Seattle 21, Dallas 20

Romo to blame? Yes, as a holder.

Romo drove the Cowboys to what appeared to be a game-winning drive. But Seattle kept the Cowboys from scoring a touchdown, and when Romo took the snap for the field goal…well, you probably know the rest.

Oct. 14, 2007: New England 48, Dallas 27

Romo to blame? No.

Romo needed to throw for about 500 yards to keep pace with Tom Brady, who sliced and diced the Cowboys defense all day.

Dec. 16, 2007: Philadelphia 10, Dallas 6

Romo to blame? Yes.

The Cowboys came off a come-from-behind win over the Lions with a poor game against the Eagles. Romo completed less than 50% of his passes and threw three picks.

Dec. 30, 2007: Washington 27, Dallas 6

Romo to blame? No.

Romo played part of the first half and didn’t look good. But the Cowboys really never made much of an effort in this loss, which seemed meaningless at the time.

Jan. 13, 2008: N.Y. Giants 21, Dallas 17

Romo to blame? Yes, though debatable.

Romo only completed 50% of his passes in this gut-wrenching loss. However, had Patrick Crayton not dropped one critical pass and failed to run the proper route on another, the Cowboys might have won.

Sept. 28, 2008: Washington 26, Dallas 24

Romo to blame? No.

Romo had a good game on paper (300 yards, 3 TDs), but the Cowboys had no rushing game.

Oct. 12, 2008: Arizona 30, Dallas 24 (OT)

Romo to blame? No.

Yet another good game on paper (321 yards passing, 3 TDs). But Romo was injured in overtime, and the Cardinals returned a blocked Mat McBriar punt in overtime for the game-winning touchdown.

Dec. 7, 2008: Pittsburgh 20, Dallas 13

Romo to blame? Yes.

In what could have been a signature win for the 2008 Cowboys, Dallas took a 13-3 lead into the fourth quarter. But Pittsburgh chipped way at the lead and tied it at 13. Dallas got the ball, and Romo promptly found Deshea Townsend, who returned the pick 25 yards for the game-winning score.

Dec. 20, 2008: Baltimore 33, Dallas 24

Romo to blame? No.

Romo didn’t have a great game and threw two picks to Ed Reed in the first half. But Romo also put the Cowboys in position to take control of the game. The Dallas defense gave up two long runs in the fourth quarter, ending last game at Texas Stadium in sickening fashion.

Dec. 28, 2008: Philadelphia 44, Dallas 6

Romo to blame? Yes, along with everyone else.

Romo was horrible, but the entire team was so bad that no quarterback would have been successful.

Sept. 20, 2009: N.Y. Giants 33, Dallas 31

Romo to blame? Yes.

Romo only managed 127 passing yards and threw three picks. The Giants returned one of them for a go-ahead score. Another was a bit of a fluke (bounced off Witten’s foot) but led to another TD. The third came late in the third quarter with Dallas leading by four. He ran for one score and drove the Cowboys to a go-ahead touchdown late. However, his overall game was poor.

Oct. 4, 2009: Denver 17, Dallas 10

Romo to blame? Yes.

Romo threw a pick in the red zone and fumbled the ball to set up a Denver touchdown. His fourth-and-goal pass with five seconds left was swatted down by Champ Bailey.

Nov. 11, 2009: Green Bay 17, Dallas 7

Romo to blame? Yes, at least arguably.

Roy Williams had a cricial fumble in the first half. Dallas otherwise had trouble moving the ball. The Cowboys did not manage a third down conversion until the third quarter.

Dec. 6, 2009: N.Y. Giants 31, Dallas 24

Romo to blame? No.

Romo threw for 392 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. However, the defense had no answer in an ugly loss at the Meadowlands.

Dec. 13, 2009: San Diego 20, Dallas 17

Romo to blame? No.

Romo didn’t commit a turnover in throwing for 249 yards. The Dallas defense just didn’t step up.

Jan. 17, 2010: Minnesota 34, Dallas 3

Romo to blame? No.

Romo didn’t set the world on fire, but this game got away from the Cowboys thanks to a terrible defensive effort. Sidney Rice looked like a guy named Jerry.

Sept. 12, 2010: Washington 13, Dallas 7

Romo to blame? No.

Tough to blame Romo when it looked as if he completed the game-winner with time expiring. Easier to blame a missed field goal, a bad screen pass at the end of the first half, and Alex Barron.

Sept. 19, 2010: Chicago 27, Dallas 20

Romo to blame? No.

Romo had a huge game on paper, throwing for 374 yards on 51 attempts. However, the defense could not slow down the Bears.

Oct. 10, 2010: Tennessee 34, Dallas 27

Romo to blame? Yes.

Romo brought the Cowboys from behind, but he also threw two critical second-half picks that helped kill the team’s chances.

Oct. 17, 2010: Minnesota 24, Dallas 21

Romo to blame? Yes.

With the game tied at 21, Dallas got the ball at its own 14. Romo tried to get the ball over the middle to Jason Witten but never saw E.J. Henderson, who picked the pass off. The result was what turned out to be the game-winning field goal.

Oct. 25, 2010: N.Y. Giants 41, Dallas 35

Romo to blame? No.

Romo had a good start but was injured in the first half. The injury cost him the rest of the season.

Sept. 11, 2011: N.Y. Jets 27, Dallas 24

Romo to blame? Absolutely yes.

Romo’s fumble with the team leading by seven and about to go up by two scores was a killer. Even worse was Romo’s interception that set up the game-winning field goal.

N.Y. Jets 27, Dallas 24: Romo, Among Others, Taketh Away

Tony Romo threw for more than 300 yards, but his two turnovers were very costly.

As far as dejected looks go, few NFL quarterbacks can match Tony Romo’s.

We got to see it when Romo threw his first interception of the season, coming with 59 seconds left in a game that was tied at 24. Romo tried to hit Dez Bryant, who was suffering from cramps and who barely turned around to try to catch it. Darrelle Revis picked off the pass and returned it into Dallas territory. The play set up what turned out to be the game-winning field goal by former Cowboy Nick Folk.

The game marked the first time in team history that Dallas had lost a game that it led by at least 14 points in the fourth quarter. Al Michaels called the Jets’ win “improbable.”

We’ve seen losses that felt very much like this one, though. The opening-day loss to Washington last year comes to mind, but there are plenty of others. This one was supposed to be a statement game. That statement—the Cowboys still don’t know how to win.

For three quarters, this was a beautiful game from the Dallas perspective. The Cowboys opened by driving 74 yards. Bryant caught three passes, including a touchdown reception to give Dallas a 7-0 lead.

The offense had one more good drive in the first half, as Dallas moved to the Jet 16. That drive resulted in a field goal to increase the lead to 10-0.

The Jets managed to close the gap to three late in the first half, and it appeared that New York might take the momentum. But Dallas came out in the second half and drove to the Jet 36. From there, Romo threw the ball toward Miles Austin, who practically stole the ball from Antonio Cromartie and rolled into the end zone for a touchdown.

The Jets cut the Dallas lead to 17-10 after the next drive, and then the Jets held the Cowboys.

When New York got the ball back, Sanchez went to work by hitting Plaxico Burress. However, on the next play, Sean Lee dropped into coverage and made a great play on a pass over the middle. Lee returned the ball for what appeared to be a touchdown. Later review showed that he stepped out at the one, but Felix Jones scored early in the fourth quarter, giving Dallas a 24-10 lead.

The Jets took advantage of injuries to the Dallas secondary, which featured Alan Ball and Bryan McCann. New York marched on an 84-yard drive that took less than three minutes to play.

Dallas could have put the game away on the next drive. Romo found Witten on a deep slant, and Witten raced all the way to the Jet 3. Two plays only yielded one yard. On third down, Romo moved to his right and then tried to drive for a touchdown. He was stripped of the ball, though, and lost the fumble.

The Jets moved the ball to Dallas territory, but Danny McCray stripped Sanchez on a sack. Lee recovered the fumble, which gave Dallas the ball at the Jet 47. The Dallas offense, though, moved backwards thanks to two penalties.

Mat McBriar had dropped two punts inside the 20, but he didn’t get a chance. Joe McKnight split the line and blocked McBriar’s punt, and Mardy Gilyard took the ball 18 yards to score and tie the game at 24.

The Cowboys needed a hero. Nobody stepped up.

Dallas moved the ball 20 yards and faced a 2nd and 2 from the Dallas 40. Runs by Jones and Tashard Choice failed miserably, and Dallas had to punt.

The Cowboys defense did step up, making a key stop to force a punt. Dallas got the ball back at the Jet 41.

Then Romo did his magic. Bryant had not caught a pass since the opening drive, and he was obviously having trouble running his routes. Romo’s pass never had a chance to hit anyone other than Revis, who put the Jets in position to win.

Simulation Saturday: Jets Favored Over Cowboys on Sunday Night

The Cowboys caught the injury bug this week, and even before that happened, most predicted that Dallas would struggle against the Jets on Sunday night.

AccuScore: Jets 22, Dallas 20

In the AccuScore simulations, the Cowboys had trouble running the ball. Felix Jones managed only 40 rushing yards on average. Meanwhile, the Jets used a strong running game to win 54.9% of the simulations.

AccuScore is forecasting a close game with the Dallas Cowboys winning 45% of simulations, and the New York Jets 55% of simulations. In close games, turnover margin is especially important. The Dallas Cowboys commit fewer turnovers in 39% of simulations and they go on to win 67% when they take care of the ball. The New York Jets wins 71% of the simulations in which they commit fewer turnovers. Felix Jones is averaging 40 rushing yards per sim. If he can have a great game with better than average rushing yards and at least a 1 rushing TD (14% chance) then he helps his team win 67%. Shonn Greene is averaging 67 rushing yards per sim. If he can have a great game with better than average rushing yards and at least a 1 rushing TD (25% chance) then he helps his team win 76%.

What If Sports: N.Y. Jets 26, Dallas 20

The Cowboys didn’t fare much better in the What If Sports’ simulations. Jones only averaged 38.6 yards in the simulations, forcing Tony Romo to throw an average of 40 times per game. The Jets outgained Dallas 131 to 55 on the ground, helping New York win 67.1 percent of the contests.

Tecmo Super Bowl 2012: Dallas 28, N.Y. Jets 14

Fortunately, the Cowboys fared better in the most important and most accurate simulation: the 2012 version of Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES.

Dallas jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and then held on for a 28-14 win. Here are the highlights:

Friday Fun: Cowboys vs. Jets Crossword Puzzle

The puzzle below focuses on past games between the Cowboys and Jets. The teams have met nine times in the past, with Dallas holding a 7-2 record.

The hints in the puzzle include the following:

1. In 1971, this Dallas running back scored 3 TDs
2. This Dallas QB threw for 3 TDs vs. Jets in 1971.
3. Dallas QB threw a TD vs. Jets in 1975.
4. Dallas safety who returned a pick for a TD in 1975.
5. Starting Dallas QB vs. Jets in 1978
6. Dallas QB in 1987 during strike game vs. Jets
7. Scrub WR caught 2 TDs vs. Jets in 1987.
8. NY kicker who hit game-winner in 1999.
9. Dallas DB who returned INT for TD in 2007.
10. Dallas CB scored on INT return vs. Jets in 1993.

Cowboys vs. Jets crossword puzzle game » crossword maker

Outside of CBS, Cowboys Rank in Middle of the Pack in Power Rankings

The Cowboys were a 6-10 team last season, and at times the team looked like it firmly belonged among the worst seven or eight teams in the league. Dallas signed some of its own important free agents, let go of aging and declining players, and brought in new defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

The result from the power rankings perspective is that most think Dallas falls somewhere right in the middle.

The exception: Pete Prisco of CBS, who put Dallas at #7.

We’ll start with him.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) 

Prisco has the usual teams in the top six—Green Bay, New England, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, San Diego, New Orleans. You might expect to see Philadelphia, Baltimore, or either of the New York teams next.

However, Prisco put Dallas at #7.

They have Tony Romo back and they will have an improved, aggressive defense under Rob Ryan. The offensive line is young, but there is talent to overcome it.

This was posted on September 6, before Tyron Smith went down with a knee injury. The likely starter at right tackle: Jermey Parnell.

ESPN (staff) 

ESPN’s take on the Cowboys is more consistent with most opinions.

With no offseason to speak of, it might take awhile for the defensive players to get used to Rob Ryan’s schemes. Once they do, the Cowboys could be scary good on defense. (Fox)

Scary good is…well, good.

Fox (Brian Billick)

I was not aware that Billick wrote anything for Fox, but he wrote this week’s power rankings.  One thing that plays in the Cowboys’ favor: their schedule.

Will talent finally prevail? I’m worried about keeping Tony Romo healthy, with raw rookie right tackle, Tyron Smith. He has all the skills, but he’ll experience a noticeable learning curve. Their schedule, including the anemic NFC West, will help.

Some bad news if WhatIfSports is accurate at all. According to the simulations run by that site (and published on Fox), Dallas only ranks 21st.

Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly from September 7, 1985

“Old man” John Dutton, age 34, appeared on the cover of the Sept. 7, 1985 issue

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 7, 1985.

Tex Schramm: Get Used to Television Screens at Stadiums

One reader noted that a bunch of fans at Texas Stadium spent more time watching the DiamondVision screen rather than the action on the field. The reader asked Tex Schramm whether this might be a distraction. Tex’s response:

Large television-type screens, whether DiamondVision or another product, are going to become standard features in most stadiums. Attending a game in person should be as entertaining and informative as staying at home and watching the television set….You are going to see the players, particularly those on the bench, glancing up to watch the replays….Once these large screens have become a routine enhancement at all sports events, I don’t believe it will prove to be a distraction to the players. It will just be something they will have to learn to live with and overcome.

[Can’t help but note that Tex never lived to see the screen at Cowboys Stadium, but he would hardly be surprised]

Undefeated Preseason

The Cowboys beat the Houston Oilers 17-10 in the final preseason game to give Dallas a perfect 4-0 preseason record. It was the third time in team history that the team had accomplished this feat (1966 and 1971 were the other two).

Jesse Penn continued to impress, picking off his second pass of the preseason. Running back Robert Lavette also looked good, gaining 61 yards on 9 carries.

Of the 50 players who suited up against the Oilers, 18 had never played in a playoff game.

Cowboys Gear Up to Face Redskins in Opener

For the second time in three seasons, the Cowboys would open their season against the Redskins. Washington had won three straight games, including two in a row at Texas Stadium. The three-game streak was the longest for the Redskins in the history of the rivalry.

Strength: Short Yardage Defense

The Cowboys were especially confident of their short-yardage defense heading into the 1985 season. According to Everson Walls,

The short yardage was the strongest thing we had, even last year. Not many people did very well against us. We stopped lots of people on third down, and sometimes fourth down. So that’s a carry over. We’ve always played well on short yardage and goal line.

John Dutton: “Elder Statesman”

John Dutton was the most experienced player on the 1985 Cowboys. He entered the league in 1974 with the Colts and joined the Cowboys in 1979.

His experience made him the team’s “elder statesman,” and the magazine said that we should “now praise older men.”

Dutton was 34 at the time.


Cowboys Crack the Top 10 in NFL Poll

The Cowboys Weekly published a poll of the top 10 teams heading into the 1985 season. Those polled included writers from a number of large newspapers across the country. Dallas ranked 9th, tied with the L.A. Rams.

The list was as follows:

1. San Francisco

2. Seattle

3. Miami

4. Washington

5. Denver

6. L.A. Raiders

7. Chicago

8. St. Louis Cardinals

9. (tie) Dallas

9. (tie) L.A. Rams

According to oddsmakers in Nevada, the Cowboys had between 10:1 and 12:1 odds to win the Super Bowl. The favorites were San Francisco (3:1) and Miami (4:1). Chicago had 10:1 odds in Las Vegas, while New England’s odds were 50:1.

Tuesday Trivia: The Last Time the Cowboys Traveled to Play the Jets

This week’s trivia question focuses on the Cowboys’ 17-6 win over the New York Jets in 2003. That was the last time that the Cowboys faced the Jets at the old Meadowlands.

Here is the question:

The Cowboys trailed early in the game, 3-0, when one of the Jet players fumbled and the ball was recovered by a Dallas linebacker. That play set up a 31-yard touchdown run by Troy Hambrick, and the Cowboys never trailed again.

Who was the Jet player who fumbled, and which Dallas linebacker recovered?

* * *

Before the game in September 2003, there was an interesting exchange between former Jet coach Herm Edwards and former Cowboy coach Bill Parcells.

Parcells had returned to the Meadowlands in two consecutive weeks (with a bye in between), as the Cowboys beat the Giants in a thriller in week 2 and then came back to play the Jets. Edwards was in his third season with the Jets, having led the team to the playoffs for two consecutive years.

Edwards was 49 at the time, and he said he would not last as long in the NFL as Parcells, who was then 62.

”I promise you, I won’t do it to myself,” the 49-year-old Edwards said. ”I don’t have enough energy to last that long. I sleep four hours a day. I give everything I can to this team. You won’t see me at 60. In New York, it’s like dog years. I’ve been here three years, it’s really been six. When you start off like we start off, it’s like 10 years.”

Parcells didn’t buy it, replying:

‘Herm said no way he could be coaching when he’s 60?” Parcells said. ”You tell Herm that I made that statement, only it was 50. You get into the game, it beats you down and it eats you alive and then you find out. At some point, the game ceases to be a job and it becomes your life. And at some point, you no longer are ashamed of that. You say, ‘I can do it one more time.”’

Of course, Parcells had been involved when Edwards came on board because Parcells was still the Jets’ general manager. Edwards’ offensive coordinator in 2003 was, incidentally, former Cowboy offensive coach Paul Hackett.

Edwards lasted three more seasons in New York and then spent three years in Kansas City. His final season as a coach was 2008 when he was 54. Parcells coached until the end of the 2006 season when he was 65.

Both Parcells and Edwards went on to work at ESPN.