New England Patriots
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Here’s an animated GIF from a game between the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. Some trivia question are below the image.
Here are the questions:
(1) What was the significance of this game?
(2) Who was the New England quarterback?
(3) True or false: The Cowboys did not lose another game during the season in question after beating the Patriots.
Nobody would seriously doubt how important Gil Brandt was to the development of the Dallas Cowboys as a consistent contender for more than two decades.
However, by the 1980s, Brandt’s magic was not what it was. Consider how the Cowboys approached the 1982 Draft.
Dallas had the 25th overall pick. Brandt referred to the draft as “unpredictable” that season, with player ratings varying greatly from team to team.
One player who stood out as a possible choice was Iowa linebacker Andre Tippett. However, Brandt apparently agreed with NFL scouts who thought that Tippett would not be able to grasp the Cowboys’ complicated defense.
Instead, the Cowboys took Kentucky State defensive back Rod Hill, who lasted two seasons in Dallas before leaving as one of the worst first-round busts in team history.
In the second round, Dallas took Yale linebacker Jeff Rohrer, who was presumably smart enough to master the team’s complicated defense.
Rohrer played six years in Dallas but hardly reminded anyone of Lee Roy Jordan.
How did Tippett do? Well, he went to the New England Patriots in the second round. He apparently figured out New England’s schemes, making the Pro Bowl five times. He was also elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008.
That is a bit better than Hill and Rohrer. The best player the Cowboys found that year was Notre Dame tackle Phil Pozderac. We can talk about him later…
The 1982 Draft did have one upside: the other name thrown around for the Cowboys was Arizona State tackle John Meyer. Brandt did not want to spend another high draft choice on an offensive lineman, having spent first-round picks on linemen in the 1979 (Robert Shaw) and 1981 (Howard Richards) drafts.
Meyer went to Pittsburgh in the second round but never played a down in the NFL. According to an Arizona State blog, the Steelers tried to convert him to defensive end, but his knees gave out on him.
The 1983 Dallas Cowboys had a few players even the most knowledgeable fans would have trouble remembering.
Punters Jim Miller and John Warren?
RB Gary Allen?
LB Scott McLean?
TE Cleo Simmons?
For the Most Obscure Player of 1983, we are going to go with a running back. At Clemson, Chuck McSwain gained a total of 2,320 yards in four seasons with the Tigers. He also had one of his biggest games during the Tigers’ National Championship season in 1981. Here is a snip from a Clemson fan site:
The Clemson tailback rushed for a career-high 151 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 29-13 victory over South Carolina to cap an 11-0 regular season in 1981. Six weeks later, Clemson beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to win the National Championship.
There is even a video of McSwain from that game against South Carolina:
The Cowboys took McSwain in the 5th round of the 1983 draft, and he made the team.
He played in a game, returning a kickoff in a week 3 win against the Giants.
And then, he tore a tendon on the ring finger of his right hand, and he was gone for the season. He returned in 1984 and returned 20 kickoffs in 15 games, but he never recorded a single rushing attempt.
Like another of our MOP Award winners (Angelo King), McSwain saw action as a replacement player in 1987. He played in three games for the New England Patriots. He gained a total of 23 yards on nine carries.
That ended his career.
He has since become a high school athletic director in North Carolina. Here is his bio page.
(Now why did I pick him? Because I found his bio page. That’s why.)
Dallas Cowboys: 4/1
San Diego Chargers: 13/2
Indianapolis Colts: 15/2
New Orleans Saints: 10/1
Pittsburgh Steelers: 10/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 13/1
New York Giants: 14/1
Philadelphia Eagles: 14/1
Green Bay Packers: 15/1
Minnesota Vikings: 15/1
New York Jets: 15/1
New England Patriots: 20/1
Carolina Panthers: 25/1
Denver Broncos: 25/1
Seattle Seahawks: 26/1
Buffalo Bills: 30/1
Tennessee Titans: 30/1
Chicago Bears: 35/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 40/1
Arizona Cardinals: 50/1
Cleveland Browns: 55/1
Baltimore Ravens: 60/1
Atlanta Falcons: 100/1
Cincinnati Bengals: 100/1
Detroit Lions: 100/1
Houston Texans: 100/1
Oakland Raiders: 100/1
San Francisco 49ers: 100/1
St. Louis Rams: 100/1
Washington Redskins: 100/1
Kansas City Chiefs: 150/1
Miami Dolphins: 150/1
Notes from the 2009 Super Bowl Odds Changes
* The new favorites are the Cowboys who went from 6/1 to win the Super Bowl to 4/1. The Cowboys are 9/5 odds to win the NFC.
* New England fell from 7/2 to 20/1. The Patriots were 2/1 odds to win the AFC again but are now just 9/1 odds to repeat.
* Buffalo went from 50/1to 30/1.
* Pittsburgh went from 18/1 to 10/1
* Philadelphia moved up from 25/1 to 14/1