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Efren Herrera Trivia

I posted a link on Facebook yesterday to an article listing the Dallas Cowboys All Career-Year Team. I wouldn’t agree with every selection, but it is still an interesting piece.

One surprise was the selection of Efren Herrera’s 1977 season as the greatest ever. I call this a surprise because Herrera only hit 62.1% of his field goals that season (and missed two extra points), and he was gone one year later. (I would have picked Rafael Septien’s 1981 season.) Nevertheless, Herrera was an all-pro selection in 1977, so it was not as if he didn’t deserve consideration.

Now for some trivia: why did the Cowboys trade Herrera to Seattle?

The short answer is that Herrera was demanding too much money. In fact, he wanted to double his salary from 1976.

Double means going from about $40,000 per year to about $80,000 per year. In 2016 dollars, that would be like Herrera asking for a raise from $159,000 to $318,000. Of course, the current minimum veteran salary for a fourth-year pro (which Herrera was in 1978) is $760,000.

Salary of current kicker Dan Bailey in 2016? $3.3 million, including his prorated signing bonus.

Dallas traded Herrera to Seattle on August 14, 1978, in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. He played for Seattle for four years and became somewhat famous for his involvement with trick plays. In fact, he caught two passes for a total of 29 yards.

He played part of one season in Buffalo. He was signed by a couple of USFL teams but did not play in that league.

After the trade with Seattle in 1978, Dallas was left with unheralded Jay Sherrill and Skip Butler at kicker. Fortunately, the Cowboys were able to sign Septien as a free agent about two weeks after trading Herrera.

Dallas Cowboys Friday Photo Trivia: Cowboys vs. Chargers, 1986

The Cowboys faced the San Diego Chargers on November 16, 1986. The player featured in the puzzle below led the Cowboys in rushing during that game.

Two questions:

1. What was the significance of this game to the Cowboys?

2. What was the significance of this game to the player in the puzzle?

 




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Dallas Cowboys Most Obscure Player Awards for 1965-1969 (Recap)

mop.bmp

Here are the remainder of the MOP Award “winners” from the 1960s. This list includes seasons from 1965 to 1969.  I wrote several of these during the offseason in 2007 before I got a bit off track.

Click here for my previous recap covering the years 1960 to 1964.

1965: Pete Gent

North Dallas FortyHe is famous as the author of North Dallas Forty, but few remember his performances on the field. Gent 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.

 

 

1966: Willie Townes

Townes played three seasons with the Cowboys and started 25 games in the late 1960s. His first start came in 1966 in a game against the Steelers, and he was part of the NFL Championship Games against the Packers. However, he faded into obscurity after missing the 1969 seasons and playing six games for the Saints in 1970.

 

 

1967: Ron East

Ron East

East joined the Cowboys in 1967 from Montana State. He played with the Cowboys for four seasons before being traded to San Diego in 1970 along with Pettis Norman and Tony Liscio for receiver Lance Alworth. East played for San Diego for three years, then moved from Cleveland, Atlanta, and Seattle. Someone left this note about him after I named him the MOP Award winner for 1967:

Ron East is now a Real Estate Developer in Seattle, WA. He was the 5th D-lineman for the Cowboys 67-71. Ron was a backup for defensive tackles Lilly and Pugh. He and others felt that he won the starting job in 1970 However they gave the job to Pugh. Because of that Ron Asked for a trade after the 1970 season and it was granted. He and two other players went to San Diego for Lance Alworth in 1971. I attended the Tom Landry ring of honor dinner with Ron and met Bob Lilly. I saw heard Bob say to Ron “Thanks for winning our first superbowl for us when you asked for the trade.” Ron was a Devensive standout in San Diego and Seattle. He was noted for solidifying Earl Morral’s legacy by breaking Bob Greise’s ankle in game 5 of the 1972 season.

1968: Craig Baynham

Craig Baynham

Here is a blurb about Craig Baynham’s nickname, courtesy of Tim’s Cowboy’s History Page:

Baynham’s biggest moment came in the 1967 conference playoff game against the Browns when he filled in for the injured Walt Garrison. He scored 3 touchdowns in the 52-14 win. In 1968 he subbed for Garrison gaining 438 yards on the ground and grabbed 29 passes for 380 yards. He led the team in kickoff returns in 68 with 590 yards. He didn’t get much playing time behind a healthy Hill and Garrison in 69 and was traded to Chicago in 1970 and finished his career with St. Louis the next year. Nicknamed “John One Dozen” because he always signed footballs “Craig Baynham – John 1:12?, he became a pastor in later years.

Baynham caught a touchdown pass in the last Playoff Bowl game ever played between the Cowboys and Vikings. In the three seasons following his performance in 1968, though, Baynham amassed a grand total of 109 yards, including a loss of two yards on three carries in 1969.

1969: Dennis Homan

Dennis Homan was the top pick of the Cowboys in the 1968 draft. In his three seasons with Dallas, the 1969 season was his best, catching 12 passes for 240 yards, but no touchdowns. He lasted one more year with the Cowboys before playing two seasons with Kansas City.

Homan joined the Birmingham franchise of the World Football League, where he became a star! There is, in fact, an entire page (with pictures) focusing on his accomplishments with the WFL. I also learned from that page that Homan was a kick holder in his final season with Birmingham, which makes his selection all the more appropriate.

 

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San Diego 28, Dallas 20: So Much for Six Scoreless Quarters

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Tony Ro...

SAN DIEGO, CA – AUGUST 18: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 and head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys talk things over during a Cowboy drive in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on August 18, 2012 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 28-20. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

The first six quarters of the 2012 preseason gave Cowboys’ fans plenty of optimism about the defense. Dallas outscored two opponents 13-0 during those six quarters.

Then came the second half of Saturday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers. Stephen McGee committed two turnovers in the fourth quarter that led to two San Diego touchdowns, as the Chargers came from behind to beat Dallas, 28-20.

There were still plenty of positives for the Cowboys. Tony Romo led the starters on a 15-play drive in the first quarter, resulting in a field goal. Kyle Orton came in during the second quarter and led the team on its first touchdown drive of the preseason. His 35-yard pass to Kevin Ogletree set up a  two-yard touchdown by Jamize Olawale.

The touchdown drive was set up by an interception by new cornerback Brandon Carr, who also had a second pick later in the second quarter. The second pick nearly set up more points, but Orton’s pass to Andre Holmes was tipped in the air and picked off (narrowly, but confirmed under review).

The Cowboys continued to lead until the fourth quarter. Charlie Whitehurst threw two touchdown passes during that quarter as the Chargers grabbed a 28-13 lead.  Rudy Carpenter led Dallas on a late drive and threw a touchdown pass to Dwayne Harris.

Rookie Cole Beasley of SMU had a standout night, catching seven passes for 104 yards. He appears to be a long-shot to make the roster, but he had a night to remember on Saturday.

Dallas has its first home preseason game against the Rams on Saturday, August 25.

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