Adversity measures greatness

All five of the greatest Cowboys teams in team history had one of the most important qualities of a truly great team: The ability to learn from and overcome adversity. Every one of those teams that raised a Lombardi had to overcome some major disappointments and adversity. It was part of what made them great. Greatness finds a way to overcome adversity.

Here’s what those teams had to overcome:

  • 1971 team- the Cowboys of the mid to late 1960s had lost heartbreaking close conference championship games, and despite often being considered “the most talented“ team in the league, they had the reputation of choking in the biggest games. They had made it to a SB in 1970, only to have 4 turnovers in a 16-13 loss in SB V to a much less talented colts team. In 1971, the Cowboys started 4-3, then rolled off 10 straight wins to win SB VI.
  • 1977 team- This team had acquired Heisman winner Tony Dorsett in the ‘77 draft and looked unbeatable. They had a dominating defense and the offense became great too with Dorsett behind Roger S. But in late Nov, the offense looked putrid in back to back losses to the cards and Steelers, scoring 30 points in two games. They went on tear after that winning 7 straight including a 27-10 whipping of Denver in SB12.
  • 1992 team- the core of this team had suffered mightily in 1989-90, losing 24 of 32 games. Most of the players later talked about how much the adversity of those tough years made them hungry to get better. The team certainly got better talent-wise but they also worked hard and used their setbacks as motivation to get better. This core went on to win 3 of the nest 4 SBs.
  • 1993 team- this team was highly favored going into ‘93 but they stumbled out of the gate while Emmitt S was in a holdout, losing first two. When Emmitt came back, they rattled off 7 straight wins. But in Nov, the offense went south for two straight weeks losing back to back games to the falcons and the dolphins, scoring 28 points combined in those losses.As They started Dec, they were 7-4. They won 8 straight including a dominant win over the bills in SB 28.
  • 1995 team- this team still had a great core, but they had to overcome the drama of the fight between Jimmy and Jerry which resulted in Jimmy’s exit in Feb.of ‘94. His replacement, Barry Switzer was very lax in his control of the team. The ‘94 team had been disappointed by their NFC championship game loss to SF in which some questionable calls were made by the refs. During the ‘95 season, the team often struggled and lost back to back games in Dec scoring a combined 34 points in those games. The rattled off 5 straight wins including a SB 30 win over Pitts.

Bottom line: If you want to be great, you have to be more than talented. You have to be able to overcome all adversities, including bad officiating calls, bad luck, unlucky bounces, a starter being out, etc. Adversity measures greatness.

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