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Sports Then and Now



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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5 Predictions for the 2018 NFL Season 1

Posted on September 08, 2018 by Dean Hybl

Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have a huge season in 2018.

Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have a huge season in 2018.

It is finally that time again, can you say “Are You Ready for some football?”

The 2018 NFL season should be an interesting one as the Philadelphia Eagles are the defending champions, the New England Patriots may finally be coming back to earth and the Cleveland Browns seem likely not to go 0-16 again.

For anyone looking to make a killing at 10 Bet Football below are five predictions for the 2018 season.

Buy Ezekiel Elliott and Sell Le’Veon Bell

Last year Le’Veon Bell was one of the best players in the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott suffered through a rough sophomore year that included a six game suspension.

After a full training camp, watch for Elliott to be focused on returning to the elite running back status he displayed during his first NFL campaign in 2016.

Conversely, Bell sat out training camp for the second straight year and after returning before the first game last year, he is not playing in the 2018 opener and could be out for a while.

Given that the prime performance years for running backs is historically short-lived, Bell is determined to get a large guaranteed payday while still at his highest level.

Last year he touched the ball more than 400 times, which is usually one of the major reasons that running backs don’t last. Knowing that the Steelers are not going to use him wisely once he joins the team, Bell and his representatives have decided that they need to take control by sitting for what appears to be multiple games.

So, my prediction for 2018 is that Elliott will be an All-Pro while Bell will not have a special season, but will likely position himself for a pretty good payday in 2019.

Watch Out For the Browns

I am tempted to predict that the Cleveland Browns will win more games than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, but that might be just a little too bold.

What does seem likely is that the 2018 Cleveland Browns will win more games than has been won in Cleveland over the last two seasons. Granted, they just need two wins to exceed that total, but I do believe the Browns have elevated their talent level and will be competitive this season.

Heck, even though they were the second team in NFL history to go 0-16 last year, head coach Hue Jackson had them playing hard almost every week. They just lacked enough talent to make enough great plays to win games. Read the rest of this entry →

2017 NFL Preview: 5 Bold Predictions 0

Posted on September 09, 2017 by Dean Hybl

One big question for 2017 is whether Marshawn Lynch can regain his past Beast Mode greatness after sitting out 2016.

One big question for 2017 is whether Marshawn Lynch can regain his past Beast Mode greatness after sitting out 2016.

The 2017 NFL season got off to an interesting start on Thursday night when the defending champion New England Patriots gave up three fourth quarter touchdowns in a 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

As we kickoff the full schedule Sunday, below are five bold predictions for the season as well as my picks for the playoffs and Super Bowl.

1. The 1972 Miami Dolphins Can Pop The Champagne Now – Based on some of their off-season moves, some thought that ten years after their undefeated regular season the New England Patriots might be poised for another run at perfection.

Well, that thought didn’t last long. The Chiefs exposed the New England defense and the offense showed that the losses of receiver Julian Edelman to injury and running back LeGarrette Blount to the Philadelphia Eagles are harder to replace than might have been expected.

While there are several other teams with talented rosters, including the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons, no team looks good enough to be a legitimate threat to perfection.

What may be in jeopardy this season is the 0-16 mark that has been achieved only once, by the Detroit Lions in 2008. While the Cleveland Browns, who went 1-15 last season, appear to be better and will probably win 3-4 games, the New York Jets could be a threat for dubious perfection. They have unloaded a number of talented veterans from their 5-11 team from last season and could struggle every week in 2017.

2. Ezekiel Elliott Will Struggle – After a Federal Judge granted the request by the NFLPA for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent the implementation of a six-game suspension for running back Ezekiel Elliott, it looks like the second year running back for the Dallas Cowboys could play the entire 2017 season.

Last year Elliott took the NFL by storm as he led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards while helping the Cowboys to a 13-3 record.

His off-season has not been as smooth. Elliott has been involved in a number of off-the-field incidents during his brief career and that culminated with a six game suspension from the NFL in August.

Though Elliott may avoid missing time due to the suspension in 2017, it doesn’t mean that the off-the-field issues will not be a distraction. Many players throughout NFL history have been unable to repeat great rookie seasons without the added pressure of the national media spotlight that Elliott has endured in recent weeks and will likely see throughout the season.

While having the great Dallas offensive line will certainly help, it would not be a surprise to see Elliott’s numbers decline a bit in 2017. Read the rest of this entry →

Did the Dallas Cowboys Go Right With Ezekiel Elliot? 1

Posted on August 05, 2016 by Andrew Scott

After being chosen with the 4th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, there is a lot of pressure on Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys.

After being chosen with the 4th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, there is a lot of pressure on Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys.

Conventional football betting wisdom suggested that the Dallas Cowboys should have gone with a QB in the 2016 NFL draft; someone that they could groom to become 36 year old Tony Romo’s near-future replacement. Notwithstanding that, having the 4th overall pick meant that top QB selections Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were pretty much out of their reach. Moreover, Cowboys management must have felt differently, because they waited until the fourth round to select Mississippi State’s quarterback Dak Prescott (the 135th overall pick). Others thought they should have added a defensive player. But most agreed that the offensive line was more than fine as it was.

At the end of the day, Dallas went with running back Ezekiel Elliot from Ohio State – which is a sort of compromise, if you think about it. While not a direct addition to an already stacked O-line (which includes Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Doug Free), Elliot is the kind of player that can make the most of arguably the best offensive line in the league. For example, the 21 year old can carry the load on a three-down basis for an offense that wants to return to a ground-and-pound style. By any measures, Elliot and the Cowboys are the right fit for both parties. Football betting experts have already pegged Elliot as an early candidate for the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year, as well as rushing champion and rookie rushing record. In any other team with a different O-line, expectations simply would not be as high for Elliot.

According to Romo, Elliot is adapting well in the Cowboys training camp. “He’s done a good job. There’s a lot to learn in the offense. It’s not easy coming into the NFL and having a system, especially like ours, where we ask you to do so much in the run game and the pass game.” the QB said. “I think he’s handled it well. You can see his ability. We’re excited about him coming out and playing good.” Romo added that Elliot has been asking the right questions, but could always ask more. Either way, the veteran quarterback is “in his ear enough.” Like an earworm? There is something not quite right about having Tony Romo serenading you right in the ear, so let’s not picture that, shall we? Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

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