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Sports Then and Now



Finally! Congratulations to Hall of Famer Drew Pearson! 2

Posted on February 07, 2021 by Dean Hybl

The Pro Football Hall of Fame voters continued their recent trend of correcting the errors of past committees with the selection on Saturday of “Mr. Clutch” Drew Pearson as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

Ironically, the reality is the exact opposite as though Pearson (and other top receivers from his era) didn’t catch as many passes as the top receivers of the current NFL, the catches he did make were usually crucial to helping the Cowboys become perennial Super Bowl contenders.

Signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of Tulsa in 1973, Pearson, who had started his college career as a quarterback before transitioning to receiver, quickly became a key weapon for the Cowboys.  

As a rookie, Pearson caught 21 passes for 373 yards during the final six games of the regular season to become a favorite target of Staubach. He caught five passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season finale against the St. Louis Cardinals and the next week caught two passes for 87 yards and two scores in a playoff victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

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Happy Birthday Captain America! 2

Posted on February 05, 2021 by Dean Hybl
Captain America Roger Staubach.

Happy 79th birthday to one of the iconic figures in NFL history, the true “Captain America”, Roger Staubach.

Throughout his nine seasons as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Staubach was known for leading his team to late-game comebacks and improbable victories and thus was also often referred to as “Captain Comeback”.

He seemed to always have the uncanny knack of making the big play needed to lift his team to victory. He led the Cowboys to 23 fourth quarter game-winning drives during his career, including 15 times with his team trailing.

The Cowboys reached the playoffs in eight of his nine seasons as the starting quarterback and he led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl four times (they also reached the Super Bowl in 1970 when he was the backup).

He was named MVP of Super Bowl VI and also led Dallas to the title in Super Bowl XXII.

Staubach was a winner even before joining the Cowboys.

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Comeback Victory Latest in Cowboys’ Dramatic History 1

Posted on September 24, 2020 by Chris Kent

Great drama has always marked the Dallas Cowboys over the decades. In this, the franchise’s 61st season, the Cowboys have always stood out for better or for worse. The franchise has always made major headlines whether it be during the season or in the offseason. In the early 1970’s, legendary head coach Tom Landry went back and forth between Roger Staubach and Craig Morton as his starting quarterback – going as far as alternating them on each play during one game – before naming Staubach the starter. The volatile tendencies of linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson surfaced later in the decade over drugs, alcohol, his flamboyant play, and high visibility lifestyle. Dallas also played in five Super Bowls and won two in the 1970’s when the team became known as “America’s Team” and took on the persona of the team people love or love to hate which still exists today. The 1980’s saw good teams unable to get over the hump with three straight losses in NFC Championship games. There was also another quarterback controversy, this one between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom between 1983 and 1984. Pressure had mounted on White after losses in three straight NFC Championship games. While Landry appointed Hogeboom as the starter during part of the 1984 season, neither he nor White could lead Dallas to the playoffs that season. The decade ended with new ownership as Arkansas oilman Jerry Jones bought the franchise and hired Jimmy Johnson – his old college teammate at Arkansas – as head coach. That proved fruitful as the Cowboys became the first franchise in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span during the 1990’s when they were the team of the decade.

Dallas owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson parted ways shortly after Dallas won back-to-back Super Bowls in the early 1990’s.

Yet change also came about for the franchise in the 1990’s with the shocking and well-documented breakup of Jones and Johnson due to egotistical control issues. During the 2000’s, Dallas made only four playoff trips and won just one playoff game. While the Cowboys rebuilt in the early 2010’s, they were stuck largely in mediocrity with four 8-8 finishes in head coach Jason Garrett’s nine full seasons on the job sparking a yearly discussion about his job security. In more recent years, Dallas came under the microscope with legal issues off the field as star running back Ezekiel Elliott eventually served a six-game suspension during the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy based on allegations of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend dating back to 2016. Drama has always seemed to follow the Cowboys whether it has been good or bad.

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Dallas Cowboys Start New Era as 2020 Season Opens 0

Posted on September 13, 2020 by Chris Kent


It is the start of another new era in Big D for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 and the biggest change is at the head coaching spot. Former Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy replaces Jason Garrett who is now the New York Giants’ offensive coordinator. McCarthy, the ninth head coach in Cowboys’ history, brings a wealth of NFL coaching experience including a 13-year term as the Packer’s head coach from 2006-18. McCarthy lead Green Bay to victory in Super Bowl XLV following the 2010 season at AT&T Stadium, Dallas’ home facility in Arlington, TX.

Mike McCarthy was named the ninth head coach of the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 7, 2020.

McCarthy, who was released by the Packers following a 4-7-1 record 12 games into the 2018 season, inherits a team that is in win now mode under the management of team owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones. Now in his 32nd year with the Cowboys, Jones has grown the franchise into a multi-billion dollar enterprise on his shrewd and aggressive business style. That showed this offseason in making a head-coaching change.

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Randy White: The Manster 0

Posted on September 04, 2020 by Dean Hybl

In recognition of the start of football season, we have selected a two-time All-American from the University of Maryland who went on to earn a spot in both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames as our Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

Randy White actually came to the University of Maryland as a fullback, but as a sophomore new head coach Jerry Claiborne recognized that he had the skills to be a great defensive lineman and quickly moved him to defense.

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Predicting the 2019 NFL Conference Championships 0

Posted on January 11, 2019 by Kobe Bernard

Can Tom Brady and the Patriots make the AFC Championship Game for the 8th straight year?

Can Tom Brady and the Patriots make the AFC Championship Game for the 8th straight year?

The Divisional rounds are this weekend so it’s time to start looking at possible AFC & NFC Championships matchups and all of the historical data that comes with it.

Odds are out at the top betting site BetOnline as well as SuperBook and many others. At this point shortly before the Divisional Round plays out, the Kansas City Chiefs lead the pack at +160 to win the AFC. Not surprisingly, the New England Patriots are second at +200. The Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts are +450 and +500 respectively.

A Brief History of Conference Championships

Let’s look at the last four years of NFL Conference Championships and see if we can’t find anything that will point us in the right direction as far as predicting this season’s outcomes.

2018 Jaguars vs. Patriots & Vikings vs. Eagles

Ok. we all remember the amazing Jaguars defense that miraculously got Blake Bortles and a less than stellar Jacksonville offense all the way to the AFC Championship Game. Amazingly enough, Bortles passed for 293 yards and a TD without an interception, but it still wasn’t enough. Brady threw two TDs and the Patriots won 24-20 and went on to the Super Bowl.

Then we had the Vikings and their resurgent Purple People Eater defense playing against an Eagles team that had to throw a Nick Foles who hadn’t seen much action all season into the starting role. So the Vikings were three-point favorites, but Foles came out and dropped three TDs and 352 yards on Minnesota. He embarrassed the Vikings in a 38-7 Eagles win. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Mikita: Scooter Line Center
      February 7, 2021 | 11:49 am
      Stan Mikita

      As the 2021 hockey season heats up, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month one of the all-time greats in Chicago Black Hawks history.

      Spending his entire 22-year career with the Chicago Black Hawks, Stan Mikita was one of the best centers of his generation.

      Mikita joined the Black Hawks for the 1959-60 season and by the following season was a key player on a squad destined to win the Stanley Cup. He scored a team-high six goals during the playoffs as Chicago won their most recent cup championship.

      He became a star as center of the famed “Scooter Line“, (with right wing Ken Wharram and left wingers Ab McDonald and Doug Mohns).

      Read more »

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