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Stories about Dallas Cowboys history featuring several quotes.
In light of the NFL’s announcement that the Cowboys will face the New York Giants to open the 2012 season, here is a Dallas Cowboys history in quotes entry focusing on the Cowboys and Giants.
“The understatement of the year would be that Dallas just has a pretty good defense. It’s the best defense I’ve ever seen them play.”
Giant QB Fran Tarkenton after the Cowboys routed the Giants 25-3 on October 27, 1969. The Giants only managed 166 yards in the loss.
Source: Associated Press, October 28, 1969
“When you play like this and win, it makes everybody feel good. It’s nothing to jump up and down about though, because we’re still in second place and we’ve got to go play the division leader next week.”
Dallas RB Tony Dorsett after the Cowboys beat the Giants 28-7 on December 3, 1979. Dallas beat the Eagles a week later to set up a season finale for all the marbles against the Redskins.
Source: Associated Press, Dec. 4, 1979
“We’re always appreciative of anyone who feels that way, but our focus is on our team.”
Giants general manager George Young, who said his team had no interest in acquiring Herschel Walker in 1989 after Walker expressed interest in playing for New York. The Giants eventually signed Walker in 1995. Dallas traded Walker to the Minnesota Vikings just one day later.
Source: New York Times, Oct. 12, 1989
“All you have to do to stop Emmitt is keep going to the ball. Keep him from cutting back.”
Giant LB Mike Croel before the Cowboys faced the Giants on Monday Night Football to open the 1995 season. Emmitt Smith rushed for 163 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-0 Dallas win.
- Long Live Football. Football Is Dead? (fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Story of the 1971 Dallas Cowboys (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Early Team History (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Signing Don Meredith and Don Perkins (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Tom Landry’s Innovations (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- 10 Most Memorable Season Openers In The History Of Your Dallas Cowboys (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants to Kick off Season on a Rare Wednesday Night (bleacherreport.com)
- This Day in Cowboys History (truebluenation.wordpress.com)
Continuing to focus on early Dallas Cowboys history. Today’s quotes are about players from the 1960s and early 1970s.
“I hope I can hit him. I’ve been throwing to LeBaron, and you can’t hardly throw any lower than that.”
Don Meredith about throwing to receiver Cleveland (Smiley) Jones, who was three inches shorter than Eddie LeBaron, who was 5’7″. Jones did not play for the Cowboys outside of training camp.
Source: Sports Illustrated, July 16, 1961
“This ought to teach us one thing: if we ever trade any more ballplayers, we sure don’t want to send any silver-tongued orators.”
Defensive end George Andrie regarding inspirational talks given by former teammates Tommy McDonald and Jerry Rhome.
Source: Sports Illustrated, November 17, 1969
“He told me I was one of the best defensive backs he had ever coached or had ever sen. That really made me feel good.”
Defensive back Cornell Green about what Tom Landry said to him after Green retired following the 1974 season.
Source: I Remember Tom Landry (2001).
More on Cornell Green…
Green is one of the most underappreciated players in team history. I played both cornerback and strong safety and made the Pro Bowl at both positions. He was also named All-Pro three times in the 1960s.
If that occurred today, he would be at the top of any list for Ring of Honor consideration, and he would have a good chance to make the Hall of Fame.
Few losses in Dallas Cowboys history were as frustrating as the team’s loss in Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts. Dallas held a 13-6 lead at halftime and should have increased that lead to 20-6 if not for a bad call on a goal line fumble. The Colts tied the game at 13 in the fourth quarter before winning it on a field goal by rookie Jim O’Brien.
Here are some quotes about that game:
“So it became the Stupor Bowl, with the new world champions giving up the football on seven turnovers–four lost fumbles and three interceptions–which theoretically should have meant a rout. And the losing Cowboys, obviously superior in personnel except in the vital offensive spot, turning over the ball four times themselves, getting nicked for 120 yards in penalties and even ticking the ball into the hands of alert John Mackey for one of the two Baltimore touchdowns.”
Columnist Murray Olderman, who did not think highly of Dallas QB Craig Morton. Other writers called the game the Blunder Bowl, which stuck.
Source: The Sumter (S.C.) Daily Item, Jan. 22, 1971
“My arm was the same as it has been the last few weeks.”
Morton after the loss.
Source: Toledo Blade, Jan. 18, 1971
“That would be something between inadequate and terrible.”
Ohio-based writer Tom Loomis about Morton’s comment.
Source: Toledo Blade, Jan. 18, 1971
“Frustration. I did it out of frustration.”
Bob Lilly about why he threw his helmet 25 yards though the air (some say it was more like 50 yards) after the Cowboys lost to the Colts.
Source: Toledo Blade, Jan. 18, 1971
Did You Know?
Morton completed just 12 of 26 passes for 127 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions against the Colts in Super Bowl V. Many put the blame on him for the loss. One year later, Roger Staubach earned MVP honors but completed the same number of passes (12) for fewer yards (119).
Of course, Staubach threw two key touchdown passes in the win and did not throw a pick. Moreover, Dallas rushed for 252 yards, which was a record at the time and remains the fourth highest total in Super Bowl history.
I recently wrote a review of Breakthrough ‘Boys: The Story of the 1971 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys, written by Jaime Aron of the Associated Press. This is a very good book about the 1971 Dallas Cowboys, the first team in franchise history to win a Super Bowl title.
For Dallas Cowboys history in quotes today, here are some quotes from the book.
“I ain’t going back down there, I tell you that, folks.”
Don Meredith to the audience on a Monday Night Football game on November 16, 1970. The Cowboys lost 38-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals, and the crowd started chanting for Meredith’s return.
“Well, Walt, we took a look at you and you weren’t any good.”
University of Texas coach Darrell Royal to Walt Garrison, who only received one college football scholarship offer, and that was from Oklahoma State University. Despite his lack of size and speed, the Cowboys took Garrison in the fifth round of the 1966 draft.
“If somebody did one hundred sit-ups, Roger was going to do one hundred and one. If somebody ran a mile in six minutes, Roger would do it in five fifty-nine. If somebody threw the ball sixty yards, he wa going to throw it sixty one.”
Garrison about Roger Staubach and his work ethic. Bob Lilly added that Staubach would sometimes race Bob Hayes in 100-yard dashes.
“There’s not much difference between them.”
Tom Landry about Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters, who battled for one of the safety spots. Harris was the started opposite Cornell Green and also became the primary punt and kick returner.
“I could see him getting panicky, knowing he was so close to the end zone. He wanted to dump the ball, but he never had a chance.”
Lilly about his famous sack of Bob Griese, which cost the Dolphins 29 yards in Super Bowl VI. Miami only managed three points and remain the only team in Super Bowl history to fail to score a touchdown.
Did You Know?
Running back Duane Thomas caused so many problems in Dallas that the Cowboys traded him to New England. The trade sent Thomas, lineman Halvor Hagen,and receiver Honor Jackson to New England for a first-round pick and running back Carl Garrett. The Patriots nullified the trade just days later.
Garrett remained in New England and played there in 1971 and 1972. He later played with the Jets, Bears, and Raiders.
Hagen also remained in New England and played through the 1975 season with the Patriots and Bills.
Jackson played for the Patriots and Giants between 1972 and 1974.
Several fans repeated a sentiment throughout Marion Barber’s career in Dallas: physical runners like him do not usually last long in the NFL. He took a beating, even when he wasn’t a starter, and his productivity suffered. He became a starter in 2008 after the team parted ways with Julius Jones, but Barber frequently suffered through injuries. Dallas released him before the 2011 season.
Barber played one year in Chicago but announced his retirement today.
Barber’s 47 touchdowns rank third in team history behind Emmitt Smith (153) and Tony Dorsett (72). Barber finished his Dallas career with 4,358 yards, ranking sixth in team history in that category.
Here are some quotes about Barber, whom the Cowboys took in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.
“It wasn’t something that popped into my head. I’m strong in my decision. It’s been a very difficult process, and the support I’ve had throughout has gotten my through it.”
Barber about his decision to forego his senior season at Minnesota to enter the NFL draft in 2005. Barber left as the all-time leading rusher with the Golden Gophers with 3,276 yards.
Source: ESPN.com, Jan. 17, 2005
“I know he is a well-prepared player. Plus, his experience of having pro football in his family was another thing that kind of made me think this kid will be down the road further than the average rookie. And really he is.”
Bill Parcells about Barber, whose father played with the Jets for seven years in the 1980s. Barber’s brother Dominique is a defensive back with the Houston Texans.
Source: Associated Press, 2005
“He ran so hard. I’m shocked we couldn’t execute in the second half.”
Guard Leonard Davis about Barber’s performance against the Giants in the 2007 playoffs. Barber rushed for 129 yards on 27 carries and appeared to be unstoppable in the first half. However, Dallas fell to the Giants 21-17.
Source: New York Times, January 14, 2008
Poll: Ranking Marion Barber
Here is what may be a tough question: where does Marion Barber rank among running backs in Dallas Cowboys history?
Consider a few facts before completing the poll. Barber ranks sixth in rushing in team history, trailing Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Don Perkins, Calvin Hill, and Robert Newhouse. Hill rushed for more than 1,000 yards twice, which was an accomplishment that Barber never had. Newhouse never exceeded 1,000 but had 930 yards in 1975, which was a Super Bowl season. Barber also never went over 1,000 yards and also never came close to a Super Bowl.
The other players in the top 10 in rushing yards include Walt Garrison, Herschel Walker, Julius Jones, and Felix Jones
More Dallas Cowboys history in quotes, with today’s entry focusing on the team’s signing of quarterback Don Meredith of SMU and running back Don Perkins of New Mexico to personal-services contracts before NFL owners had awarded a franchise to Dallas.
“Who does Chicago have as quarterback? I really don’t know anything about professional football.”
Don Meredith, whom the Bears took with a third-round pick in the draft held in December 1959. At the time, the Bears had Ed Brown, Zeke Bratowski, and Rudy Bukich at the quarterback position. Meredith had previously signed a personal services contract with the company owned by Clint Murchison, and Chicago’s George Halas traded Meredith to the Cowboys for a third-round pick in 1962.
Source: Dallas Morning News, Dec. 2, 1959
“All we’ve got is a coach and a pitcher, but that’s a start. Now we’ve got to get some more players.”
Tom Landry about having Meredith under contract at the time the Dallas franchise hired Landry in December 1959. At the time, the Dallas franchise was known as the Rangers.
Source: Dallas Morning News, Dec. 29, 1959
“(Meredith and Don Perkins) will be expensive salesmen if we don’t get in this league now. It will cost us in six figures over-all if we fail to make the grade.
“Incidentally, we have no intention of suing anybody if things go wrong.”
Tex Schramm after the Cowboys had signed Meredith and Don Perkins of New Mexico to personal services contracts before league owners had approved the Dallas franchise. Approval occurred just after Schramm made this statement.
Source: The Windsor Star, Jan. 28, 1960
Did You Know?
Two teams received draft picks in exchange for the Cowboys receiving the rights to Meredith and Perkins. However, neither of those teams benefited from those picks. With the third pick in the 1962 draft, the Bears took an end from USC named Jim Bates, who never played in the NFL. The Baltimore Colts picked up the Cowboys’ ninth-round pick in 1962 and took a Purdue running back named Roy Walker, Jr. Walker likewise never played in the NFL and instead became a high school coach in Ohio.
An addition to the series on the Dallas Cowboys history in quotes. Here are three quotes about some of Tom Landry’s innovations.
“I would rather call my own plays. I talked to Landry about it in the offseason. But he feels it…is a trend in football.”
Roger Staubach about Landry’s system where he would send plays in from the sideline. At the time, most coaches let their quarterbacks call plays.
Source: Kentucky New Era, January 14, 1976
“Whether anyone else will use the Shotgun in the future, I don’t know, but it’s been a good weapon for us and I enjoy it.”
Landry about the Shotgun, which he installed into the Dallas offense in 1975. Every modern NFL team uses the Shotgun, and most use it much more heavily compared with the Cowboys of the 1970s.
Source: The Day (New London, Conn.), Jan. 7, 1976
“You have to change your blocking structures. That’s one of the Cowboy philosophies. They want to make your change what you do best.”
Pittsburgh coach Chuck Noll about the Flex Defense, which the Steelers had to face in Super Bowl X.
Did You Know?
Noll and the Steelers expected the Cowboys to throw the ball extensively in Super Bowl X because the Dallas running game was so weak. However, Dallas ran the ball 31 times while only attempting 24 passes. Staubach threw three interceptions to go with his two touchdown passes.
Continuing with the quote trivia series, this post focuses on three players who made the news during the mid-1970s. The first two players had contract problems, while the third was a legend who tried to keep the peace with management.
“This is to inform you per your telephone conversation July 16th that I have retired from the Dallas Cowboys. I seriously regret that nine years of loyalty to such a great team should have to end on such a note.”
Center Dave Manders in a telegram to Tex Schramm in July 1973. Manders ended up playing two more seasons, retiring after the 1974 season ended.
Source: Bangor Daily News, July 16, 1973
“Most of the guys are unhappy when they find out what others around the league are making. Most feel used…taken advantage of. There’s pride involved, too. They feel like managements’ dragging its feet on contract negotiations.”
Jethro Pugh about contract problems several members of the Cowboys were having before the 1973 season. At the time of the comment, the Cowboys had not resigned either Pugh or cornerback Charlie Waters.
Source: Bangor Daily News, July 16, 1973
“That little bit of quickness. That milli-second of quickness I’ve lost through the years.”
Bob Lilly about why he decided to retire before training camp in 1975.
Source: Beaver County (Pa.) Times, July 21, 1975
Did You Know?
Lilly considered playing in 1975, and Tom Landry wanted him back. However, tests showed that Lilly could suffer permanent neck damage if he decided to play.
Few big-name cornerbacks in Dallas Cowboys history have arrived either through trades or through free agency. Brandon Carr is among a small handful of corners who have made headlines by signing with Dallas.
Here are quotes focusing on three of the big-name acquisitions at cornerback. No, Ray Horton did not make the list.
“I’m very grateful to Coach Bengtson for giving me the opportunity to play in another Super Bowl game. The way things were gonig I figured I’d wind up with a second division club. But with the Cowboys, I feel we have just as good a chance to go all the way as anyone.”
Herb Adderley after the Green Bay Packers traded him to the Cowboys in September 1970. Adderley had denounced Bengtson and the Packer coaching staff after the 1969 season because he was not selected for the Pro Bowl. He later refused to attend training camp and announced his retirement in August 1970. He joined the Cowboys a month later and remained there for two years. After three seasons in Dallas with two trips to the Super Bowl, he finally retired.
Source: The Robesonian (Lumberton, North carolina), September 2, 1970
“As long as San Francisco ain’t got him, it enhances our chances of matching up better with them. I don’t care if Deion don’t suit up, don’t do nothing. I just want to know they ain’t got him and we do. My biggest deal, I’ve always said, is get ( Sanders) away from San Francisco.”
Guard Nate Newton about Deion Sanders, whom the Cowboys signed in September 1995. Most Cowboys were happy with the signing, even with a deal worth $35 million over 7 years.
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 10, 1995
“Just the entire aspect of being a Cowboy, he’s so thrilled about being a Dallas Cowboy. A lot of teams around the league wanted him to be a starter. He feels this team can win, win now and will continue to be committed to winning.”
Jerrold Colton, agent for Anthony Henry, who signed with the Cowboys in March 2005. Dallas signed Henry a month before the draft, meaning that Dallas did not have to use a draft pick to take a corner.
Did You Know?
At the time he signed Deion in 1995, 47% of fans gave Jones an A as a owner, while 30% gave him a B and 14% gave him a C. However, in the same poll, 70% said that Jones had spent too much money to acquire Sanders from the San Francisco 49ers.
I have posted many polls to this site, and while some of them have had 300 or so responses, none has come close to the poll I ran yesterday about whether Terence Newman underachieved in Dallas.
A total of 689 visitors responded to the poll. Of these, 530 (77%) said “yes” while only 142 (21%) said “no.” Sixteen either did not answer or stated another response.
In 2003, most viewed the Dallas draft as a success. Here are a couple of quotes from the time of the draft.
“A second straight good draft could spell big things for Dallas this season and beyond. No. 5 overall Terence Newman is a future Pro Bowler and third-round pick Jason Witten could get there as well. Second-rounder Al Johnson will be the starter at center while fourth-rounder Bradie James could make a spot for himself in the linebacking corps. “
A review by a writer in Corpus Christi. To their credit, Newman, Witten, and James became starters for a long time. Johnson, however, played for three teams in five seasons and was out of the league after 2008.
Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Tuesday, April 29, 2003
“His burst and catch-up speed does remind me of Deion Sanders. What stood out early is his speed at 10 to 20 yards. Then, you look at how he returns punts, his instincts and skill. “
Jerry Jones about Newman, who returned a total of 38 punts during his career in Dallas.
* * *
Another underachiever who is no longer with the Cowboys is tight end Martellus Bennett, who signed with the Giants on Wednesday. The Cowboys needed to take a receiver in 2008 but instead grabbed Bennett, an athletic tight end from Texas A&M. Dallas had created a need a tight end by trading a former draft pick, Anthony Fasano, to the Dolphins.
Some quotes from and regarding Bennett:
“I think this is a good spot for me. Jason Witten is a proven Pro Bowler. I can learn how to be a Pro Bowler.”
Bennett, who had a total of 85 receptions with Dallas in four seasons. Witten surpassed 85 receptions in both 2009 and 2010.
Source: Houston Chronicle, April 27, 2008
“He’s going to add a dimension to our offense.”
Wade Phillips about Bennett, who turned out to be a decent blocker.