Craig Morton was a good QB, but he did not have "it." He had no mobility. Roger did. I knew Roger had to take over. After a horrible 4-3 start to the 1971 season, including shuffling QB’s from play to play, Roger the Dodger, Captain America, the Heisman award winner from Navy, took command of the sputtering Cowboys; he provided instant lightning, was an impactful as any player in Cowboy history. If no one was open, this Dodger had RB moves as a scrambler to runs for a first down. He scoarched the Foreskins with a 29 yard touchdown run in the teams’ showdown.
He carried the team to 10 consecutive wins, dominating wins in that 1971 season some two scores and 12 years ago. His 85 yard bomb to Bullet Bob Hayes in NY was scintillating. He made Tom Landry smile, as I did 7 years later when I met him.
Roger had a great offensive line and a trio of RB’s, Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill and Walt Garrison. In New Orleans for the Super Bowl in January 1972 against the vaunted Miami Dolphin defense, the Boys rushed for over 250 yards; they ran at will; they knocked out Dolphins legendary run-stuffing LB Nick Buonoconti, and averraged over 5 yards a carry. Hall of Famers Lance Alworth and Mike Ditka caught TD passes.
I had goosebumps, electricty and euphoria flying all over my body and the ecstasy of a Super Bowk championship was in the bag for a team called : "Losers." "Next Year’s Team."
The Boys reached the pinnacle of greatness, and the legendary Bob Lily, who had a 29 yard sack of Bob Griese in that game to let the Phins know who was the boss, celebrated by smoking victory cigars after so many All Pro years without the championship.
In school, I was finally respected for wearing my Cowboys’ apparel. I was at the top of the world and it was a great feeling.
Although they did not make it back to the Super Bowl until after the 75 season, they were an exciting team with Roger at the helm and the original playmaker Drew Perason coming aboard in 1973.
Gil Brandt and Tom Landry did a remarkable remake of the team with great trades netting the Boys the Boys the #1 pick in the 1974 draft, Ed Too Tall Jones, a player larger than life; # 2 pick in 1975, Randy White, the best defensive player in college football, and the #2 pick in 1977, Heisman winner RB Tony Dorsett. They hit the jackpot with some imact players in the 73-75 drafts, including TE Billy Joe Dupree, DE Harvey Martin, the NFL defensive player of the year in 1977 with 23 sacks in 14 games, WR Golden Richards, LB’s Bob Breunig, Hollywood Henderson, Mike Hegman, Offensive linemen Pat Donovan, Herb Scott, Burton Lawless; super 3rd safety Randy Hughes. Charie Waters became a superstar who got lots of INT’s and made big plays.
These teams were exciting with some super elite players. Too Tall Jones blocked so many passes and caused so many INT’s; Harvey Martin was a pleasure, a pass rushing sack master; Randy White was the Manster, a dominating Hall of Fame DT who had 16 sacks one year; Tony Dosett had a rocket for acceleration giving the Boys the last thing they needed to win in all in the 1977 season. Denver had no chance that day. That Doomsday Defense put in a remarkable blowout. It seemed that Jones, White and Martin could do anything they wanted that day. The team was led by the winner who had "it." Roger was commanding America’s Team. The Boys were America’s favorite team.
I glowed all year long with Cowboy pride.
The next year, 1978, the Boys were great again, dominating. They went into LA in the championship game and shut out the Rams. LB Hollywood Henderson took an INT and with his 9.5 speed took it to the house and dunked the ball over the crossbar!! Tony Dorsett continued to be an impact RB. Drew Persom was Mr. Clutch and the first "playmaker" wearing number 88. The Boys dominated the TV ratings as much as the TV soap DALLAS did.
Well, the Super Bowl against the Steelers did not go our way. A bad pass interence call, a ref getting in the way of Charlie Waters tackling Franco Harris, who took it to the house, and the the great crusher, back-up TE Jackie Smith dropped an easy TD pass in the endzone. But it was great game, an exciting one.
From the 70-78 seasons, the Boys were in the Super Bowl 5 times. Those were the glory days my friends.
I must reminisce to get that joy, as Danny White was an over achieving weak armed QB, who was skinny, playing from180 to 192 lbs and did not have "it." Gil Brandt and Tom Landry got too old and had terrible, terrible drafts and drove the Boys into the ground until the saviors from Miami, Jimmy Johnson and his coaches, along with the blooming superstars Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith took the team from the pits to the zenith and euphoria of 3 championships in 4 years, 92-95 seasons.
Thank G-d, I have these great memories to fall back on. The NFL free agency rules have destroyed the team I love. Dak simply does not have "it."