MOP Award for 1965: Pete Gent


North Dallas FortyIn 1964, the Dallas Cowboys signed a free agent named Pete Gent, a basketball player from Michigan State. This is what Peter Golenbeck wrote about Gent in Landry’s Boys: An Oral History of a Team and an Era:

When Gent arrived at camp, Tom Landry had little use for him. However, the Cowboys offensive coordinator, Red Hickey, saw in Gent the making of a fine receiver. Hickey liked his soft hands and his aggressiveness, and he kept Landry from cutting the effervescent, free-spirited free agent. Thanks to Red Hickey, Gent became a Cowboy in 1964, and he remained on the team through the 1968 season, long enough to see the highs and lows of the great years of the Don Meredith Cowboys.

mop.bmpGent caught his first pass in 1965, finishing with 16 receptions for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns. His best season was 1966, when he caught 27 passes for 474 yards, a 17.6-yard-per-catch, but he only caught 25 more passes in his last two years with the team.

So why “honor” him with the first retrospective Most Obscure Player Award since September? Well, Grizz at Blogging the Boys mentioned the book North Dallas Forty in a post the other day, and so I might as well do something with this blog now that I am becoming my only reader!
And who is Pete Gent, you ask? He wrote North Dallas Forty

After Gent retired from football, he wrote a controversial, hard-edged novel, North Dallas Forty, a book about how a football team takes advantage of its players and treats them like faceless cattle. In the book, Gent used all he saw and heard, adding embellishments for dramatic effect. Cowboys owner Clint Murchison, himself a rebel, loved North Dallas Forty. Tex Schramm and Tom Landry, who were protective of their image and were portrayed as manipulative, uncaring men, passionately hated it.

The 1965 season itself started promising, with the Cowboys winning over the Giants and Redskins to begin with a 2-0 record. But a five-game losing streak caused the Cowboys to fall into the cellar, and though Dallas won five of their final seven games, the 7-7 record has been viewed in history as a disappointing one. On the other hand, the Cowboys would not suffer another losing season for 20 years.

[tags] Dallas Cowboys, North Dallas Forty, Peter Gent, Tom Landry [/tags]


Lessons from This Weekend?


165.gifSome of this is just conjecture on my part, but I think we might have learned something from each of the games this weekend:

(1) Indianapolis 15, Baltimore 6: We learned that it was probably good that the Colts defense wasn’t playing this well when the Cowboys faced them.

(2) New Orleans 27, Philadelphia 24: We learned that the two teams that taught others how to dismantle the Cowboys were pretty even when it came right down to it. And we learned that we might have had more brains on the sidelines last season than we did this year.

(3) Chicago 27, Seattle 24: We learned that the Bears defense would probably do quite a number on the Dallas offense had the Cowboys traveled to Chicago this weekend. Or maybe not.

(4) New England 24, San Diego 21: We learned that so long as Marty Schottenheimer is still coaching, there will be at least one team that is more cursed than the Cowboys. We also learned that a certain former defensive assistant is one good playoff coach, at least when his quarterback is named Brady.

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The big news from Cowboys camp? T.O. got his finger fixed.

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Randy Galloway continued using his own finger to point at Bill Parcells, this time in the context of Mike Zimmer’s departure:

The Cowboys’ former long-time defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, says “blame me for December.” He’s preaching to the choir, of course. Many people, at least fans, do blame Zimmer, and applauded his Valley Ranch exit last week.

But others, with more inside knowledge of the situation, are quick to cite other factors beyond Zimmer’s control for a stunning belly-up December display by the defense.

Such as:

Bill Parcells’ stubbornness in refusing to allow needed adjustments in the basic concept of Big Bill’s beloved 3-4 alignment, particularly in pass coverage.

Safety Roy Williams’ declining work ethic, centering, of course, on diminishing pass coverage skills over the last two seasons. “Roy has gone from being acceptable in coverage, to a joke,” said one voice. “It’s like he thinks he’s an entertainer now, looking to make SportsCenter with his hits, while blowing off what he needs to be concentrating on.”

Linebacker Bradie James’ sudden “confidence plunge” once opposing teams started isolating him in pass coverage. “That No. 56 looked like he didn’t know where he was about half the time,” said Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna, the week after the Lions lit up the Cowboys’ defense in the regular-season finale.

Marcus Spears, a former No. 1 draft pick for the defensive line, failing to display “any fire in his butt,” according to one observer. “I don’t want to call him a bust just yet, but Spears is now at a crossroads in his career.”

The failure to develop defensive lineman Chris Canty. “We limit him too much,” said a voice. “Turn this kid loose. He’s a player.”

Cornerback Anthony Henry, while hampered with injuries, probably played himself out of a job, at least at that position. A move to safety is now being considered.

Sticking with the Startle Gram, Jennifer Floyd Engel tells Parcells to quit waffling but not coaching. I finally disagreed with something she said, though:

I don’t care what CP’s detractors — and he has amassed many in his Cowboy days — say. He’s better than this. Every Cowboys fan has to remember his Giants teams, and any NFL fan remembers his Patriots teams. Even his Jets days were impressive. And this is why Owner Jones wanted him. Why all of Cowboy Nation did.

What he did 20 years ago does not erase what he hasn’t done here. But one thing is clear enough: we didn’t lose today!

[tags] Dallas Cowboys, Bill Parcells, NFL playoffs, Marty Schottenheimer [/tags]


The Official Know Your Dallas Cowboys “We Should Be Playing Tomorrow” Post

I think this is the longest post title in the four-month history of this blog. Forced myself to watch the Saints-Eagles game tonight (and also required myself to pull for the Saints out of pure hatred for the Eagles), but tomorrow will be tough. Sigh. So how’s about some topics that have nothing to do […]

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More Tuna, for Lack of Other Topics (Like Football, Perhaps?)

It is bad when the NFL Network shows a replay of last year’s Super Bowl, and I can’t watch it because (a) I am still sickened about last week’s loss, and (b) the game featured the Seattle Seahawks, and, well, you know who won last week. ERRRRR…. So let’s keep talking about Bill Parcells, shall […]

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Tuna Treading Water in the Popularity Department

I haven’t paid as much attention to the NFL Coach Ratings on ESPN as I thought I would when I discovered it, but at least I remembered to check at the end of the season. I have a few redeeming qualities, though I should note that I am awake at 5:41 a.m. because I can’t […]

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There’s That Word Again: “Dog-Butt”

I won’t pretend for a moment that anyone from the real media reads this blog, but just as soon as I say that Jennifer Floyd Engel made the best use of the term “dog-butt” ever, I see it once again in a post by Randy Galloway. Here is his rambling about how Tony Romo will […]

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Look! A Dallas Cowboys Coordinating Pillow Sham from The Locker Room Collection by Kentex

Want to find something not-very-out-of-the-ordinary but with such a long name that it seems out-of-the-ordinary. How’s about a Dallas Cowboys pillowcase that goes by the proper name of the Dallas Cowboys Coordinating Pillow Sham from The Locker Room Collection by Kentex? That’s right! For only $24.99, you can have a pillowcase…. with logo…. Um, there’s […]

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Trivia Question About a Now Familiar Topic

Here’s a trivia question for anyone who remembers the Monday Night Football game in 1997 when the Eagles’ holder dropped the snap on a 22-yard field goal attempt by Chris Boniol, giving the Cowboys a 21-20 win (sound familiar?). This is especially for those Eagles fans who are gloating over Tony Romo’s dropped snap against […]

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But Who’s Going To Call Our Base 3-4 Defense?

As most of you are aware, you can scratch Mike Zimmer off of the list of those to roast in the off-season, as he has accepted a position as defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons. I have personally gone sort-of back-and-forth about Zimmer: I didn’t think he was as good as some thought when he […]

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Now Frank… Er, Mr. Luska, Don’t Say That!

Ninety-nine percent of the time, I agree with Frank Luska, given that the man has covered the Cowboys for 11 years longer than I have been alive and given the fact that I wouldn’t want some punk blogger disagreeing with me if I had covered the team for 47 years. But here is one instance […]

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