More Talent Than We Knew? Probably Not.

Andre GurodeWe learned today that Cowboys center Andre Gurode was named to the Pro Bowl, replacing Olin Kreutz of the Chicago Bears. That means that seven members of a 9-7 Cowboys team are going to Hawaii.

Gurode is one of four players making his first Pro Bowl appearance, along with Tony Romo, Mat McBriar and DeMarcus Ware. Flozell Adams and Jason Witten are going back for the third time, while this will be the fourth straight appearance for safety Roy Williams.

Gurode started all 16 games this season at center, after playing mainly guard during his previous four seasons with the Cowboys. He is one of seven unrestricted free agents the Cowboys have heading into the off-season.

He becomes the fourth center in Cowboys history to make the Pro Bowl, along with Dave Manders, Mark Stepnoski and Ray Donaldson.

In 1993, the Cowboys sent 11 players to Hawaii following their 30-13 win over Buffalo in Super Bowl XVIII in Atlanta. Perhaps you can see where I’m going with this…


Ron RiveraYou probably already know that Bears’ defensive coordinator Ron Rivera arrived in Texas on Tuesday to interview for the Cowboys’ head coaching job. The Cowboys are also scheduled to interview Colts’ assistant Jim Caldwell. You can read more here.

What caught my attention, though, was the Dallas Morning News article focusing on how former quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman wanted the Cowboys to find a winner.

Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach are like any other Cowboys fan: They’re eagerly awaiting word on a new coach.

The two former Super Bowl MVPs were at Staubach’s office Monday, discussing football and stock car racing as their NASCAR team, Hall of Fame Racing, enters its second season of Nextel Cup competition.

Both want the Cowboys to find the coach who can deliver postseason success and a return trip to the Super Bowl. And both agree that Dallas has the talent to again join the ranks of the NFL elite.

“It’s a playoff team now with high-caliber players,” Aikman said. “Anyone in this job is taking over a playoff team, and if they don’t win in the playoffs, it will be viewed as a failure. It’s a good job for somebody, but a tough job.”

When asked about Norv Turner, Aikman heaped praise on his former offensive coordinator.

“I think there were circumstances that kept him from having more success as a head coach in Oakland and Washington,” said Aikman, who chose Turner as his presenter when inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I think in the right situation, he can be successful. I think it would be great for the organization and great for Norv.”

Staubach met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over Super Bowl weekend and said the two talked generally about the search. Staubach stressed the importance of X’s and O’s and the ability to hire a good staff.

“I think there’s enough talent now to have a good ending to this decade,” Staubach said. “This will be the first decade we haven’t [won] in the playoffs if we don’t do something.”

The Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game since 1996 and are in the third week of their search for a replacement for Bill Parcells. Aikman said Jones made the right choice four years ago in hiring Parcells, who Aikman said improved a Cowboys organization that was in “total disarray.”

“As a former player, I’d like to see the Cowboys have success,” Aikman said. “I think for those of us that were a part of helping build something here, we’d like to see it continue.”

Cowboys’ All-Time Record vs. Eventual Super Bowl Winners

165.gifMickey Spagnola reminded us today that the Cowboys were the first team to beat the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts this season. This marks the first time in 10 seasons that the Cowboys have defeated the eventual Super Bowl champion and led me to wonder what the Cowboys all-time record in this obscure category might be. Here it is–

* In the regular season since the beginning of the Super Bowl era in 1966, the Cowboys are 6-16 against teams that eventually won the championship. This includes four seasons during which the Cowboys played the eventual winner twice because those teams were in the same division as Dallas.
* The Cowboys have lost eight times in the playoffs to the team that won the Super Bowl. This includes the three times that the Cowboys were the Super Bowl losers.
* Between 1960 and 1965, the Cowboys went 0-3 against teams that later won the NFL title.

The all-time record:

Pre-Super Bowl
1960– vs. Philadelphia, L 25-27
1964– vs. Cleveland, L 16-20
1965– vs. Green Bay, L 3-13

Regular Season
1973– vs. Miami, L 7-14
1979– vs. Pittsburgh, L 3-14
1980– vs. Oakland, W 19-13
1981– vs. San Francisco, L 14-45
1982– vs. Washington, W 24-10
1983– vs. L.A. Raiders, L 38-40
1985– vs. Chicago, L 0-44
1986– vs. N.Y. Giants, W 31-28
1986– vs. N.Y. Giants, L 14-17
1987– vs. Washington, L 7-13
1987– vs. Washington, L 20-24
1989– vs. San Francisco, L 14-31
1990– vs. N.Y. Giants, L 7-28
1990– vs. N.Y. Giants, L 17-31
1991– vs. Washington, L 31-33
1991– vs. Washington, W 24-21
1994– vs. San Francisco, L 14-21
1996– vs. Green Bay, W 21-6
1998– vs. Denver, L 23-42
2000– vs. Baltimore Ravens, L 0-27
2003– vs. New England, L 0-12
2006– vs. Indianpolis, W 21-14

1966– vs. Green Bay (NFL Championship), L 27-34
1967– vs. Green Bay (NFL Championship), L 17-21
1970– vs. Baltimore Colts (Super Bowl V), L 13-16
1975– vs. Pittsburgh (Super Bowl X), L 17-21
1978– vs. Pittsburgh (SuperBowl XIII), L 31-35
1981– vs. San Francisco (NFC Championship), L 27-28
1982– vs. Washington (NFC Championship), L 17-31
1994– vs. San Francisco (NFC Championship), L 28-38

Michael Irvin Videos, and So Forth

Michael Irvin on Saturday became the tenth member of the Dallas Cowboys organization to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He joins Tom Landry, Tex Schramm, Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, Tony Dorsett, Mel Renfro, Randy White, Rayfield Wright, and Troy Aikman in Canton. Here is his acceptance speech– And a great highlight film: There […]

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Know Your Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings?

It’s been a couple of weeks since the highly anticipated launch of Know Your Dallas Desperados site (eight visitors a day! a total of 141 visitors since launch! I am personally 120 of those visitors!). And today I received something of a gift: a grand idea for an AF2 blog, Know Your Bossier-Shreveport Battlewings! Why? […]

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Should We Approach Gary Fencik?

So now that Jerry is extending the coaching search to last until after the Super Bowl, I offer these very random thoughts about the combination of geniuses and the former members of the 1985 Chicago Bears. (a) We didn’t have the luck for which we had hoped (note I didn’t say failure this time) with […]

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Surprisingly High Level of Support for Singletary

I was going to lay off this subject, but I was a little bit surprised by the results of a poll on the Dallas Cowboys Fan Zone regarding who should be head coach. After 92 votes in what I would imagine is not a proper sampling, here are the results: Mike Singletary: 51.1% Norv Turner: […]

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Tony Romo Vids: The Good and the Botched

As a Baylor employee, I should be far more excited that Mike Singletary is interviewing with the Cowboys. But other than the speculation, I’ll wait for commentary until after I hear an announcement. Here is the story from the official site. Oops. I just said I was a Baylor employee. Next thing you know, I’ll […]

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When Journalists Become Bored

I have apparently agreed one time too many with Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News, for today I read his piece about how Jerry Jones should be coach three times before realizing that there may not be a punch line. There’s just no good way to spin Norv Turner’s 58-82-1 coaching record. None of […]

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Would “The Glare” Help as Head Coach?

Just read about yet another interviewee as head coach of the Cowboys. The Cowboys have confirmed that Mike Singletary, Hall of Fame linebacker and 49ers assistant head coach the past two years, will interview for the Cowboys’ vacant head coaching job Tuesday. Singletary, of course, played at Baylor and was a member of the Chicago […]

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Should Aikman Get His Way?

I seem to remember the talk in 1997 was that Troy Aikman openly campaigned for Norv Turner to be hired as head coach once Barry Switzer was fired. The Cowboys instead hired Chan Gailey, and Aikman was largely responsible for Gailey’s failure in Dallas (I don’t think I’ll get into a debate about that, but […]

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