…will be played out again this weekend. That’s right folks, the Ohio St.-Michigan game is this weekend. Just kidding. Of course you know I speak of the Cowboys game, and it is a sign that those idiots who want to fire Joe Gibbs have been occupying my mind that I have been remiss in talking about it before. I’m ashamed to admit it but my fellow FSB blogger, Dan Zinski, over at The Viking Age compiled a must-read list that I wish I’d have gotten to first– the 10 biggest a-holes in Cowboys history. I’ll give the excuse that the Vikes played the Boys earlier than we did. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on it, and give my own list.
First, I’m shocked Herschel Walker wasn’t on the list. The Vikings trading for Herschel Walker single-handedly ruined the Vikings franchise for several years and gave the Cowboys 3 Super Bowl titles. And Herschel basically phoned it in once he went north. The irony is that every time I see Adrian Peterson he reminds me of Herschel. Maybe karma is finally paying the Vikes back.
I have to take exception with Nate Newton being on the list at all. Yes, he ran over more Redskins than the 7th Cavalry, but who can argue with getting caught with several hundred pounds of weed in your car? That is just cool. I’m sorry. This isn’t Michael Irvin getting busted with a crack pipe and claiming he was holding it for a friend. This was hard core. And I can’t find a link, but my favorite thing about this was explanation. In an interview after he got out (I think on ESPN) they asked him why with all of his millions he needed to deal drugs and he said, “I was a champ. I was this big football player. I didn’t have that anymore. I guess I wanted to be the big dope man instead.” That kicks ass. I don’t care that he’s a Cowboy.
Before getting to my own list, I just wanted to talk about one other thing from the post. While I wouldn’t put Tom Landry on this list (I do think he was a gentleman, and always treated us with respect), I get what Dan is saying here:
Yes, I know – he was a God-fearing man who fought in World War II and I’m a jerk for calling him an a-hole. Well, I’m sorry, but he just was one. You know it’s true too – that whole stoical, “Greatest Generation” thing he had going with the hat and never changing his expression in several decades. Oh, we know Tom – you grew up in the Depression. You’re so indomitable. Please. That was as much of an ego-driven act as anything T.O. or Michael Irvin or the rest of them ever pulled. It was all about projecting this kind of imposing, God-like sense of detachment – this quality of superior moral character. And yeah, I admit – it worked. He made his players fear and respect him, and they won because of it. But that doesn’t mean that, underneath the facade, Landy wasn’t as full of himself in his own way as every self-serving showboater under the sun. In fact, I think he may have been more full of himself. He may have had one of the most gigantic egos in the history of sports.
One of the things Dan didn’t talk about is how hard Bill Belichick has tried to copy this image. Up until getting caught cheating, Bill was always held up as this force for good– sacrifice for the team, low ego, all that crap. And the truth is that Bill ended up hogging the spotlight for himself while Tom Brady had to knock up a super model to get some headlines. I never saw the parallels before. Landry is a better dresser, for instance. But it is true. The two are more similar than I want to admit and hate them both more for it.
OK, given that I’ve given you a list to look at on another page and a bunch of comments, I’m only giving you 5 guys that I think are the biggest aholes in Cowboys history and then I’m going to talk about why a couple are missing.
5) Michael Irvin- I actually have to say that I liked his commentary. He’s a snappy dresser. I don’t really care about the crack pipe, but if I have to see one more tape of him pushing off Darrell Green for a TD, I’m going to scream. The man never caught a ball without committing offensive pass interference. And even without that, the fact that he got elected to the Hall of Fame before Art Monk puts him on this list automatically.
4) Emmitt Smith- I know everybody likes this guy. He won Dancing with the Stars and he smiles a lot. But I’m so freakin’ tired of hearing about him. He just wasn’t that good. He was running behind the best offensive line ever assembled outside of our own Hogs and was doing it when the best defenses in football were in the AFC. There is no way he deserves to be the NFL’s leading rusher. Had Barry Sanders not retired early , he never would have touched the record. Emmitt averaged a poultry 4.3 yards per carry in his career compared with 5.22 for Jim Brown, 4.9 for Barry Sanders, and 4.55 for the Cowboy’s own Tony Dorsett. There are plenty of other examples. And god, he can barely put two sentences together on ESPN now. Please, get him off my TV.
3) Barry Switzer- Not much of an a-hole really, more of a redneck moron. But you make this list the minute you “forget” to tell airport security that you are carrying a loaded gun. And talk about lucking into a situation. If I had inherited the team he did, I’d have won a Super Bowl ring, too. In fact, I think we ought to start a web site to campaing for him to give his back. And while we’re at it, let’s campaign to get Phil Jackson to give back all the rings he won when he had the greatest player in the NBA in a given year. Oh wait, that would be all of them.
2) Jimmy Johnson- The hair alone is worth it. But he cheated at the U of Miami and won a national title, then he gets a bazillion draft picks and wins a Super Bowl. The only sign of his real coaching ability was with the Dolphins where he stunk. Add that to his shameless “oh, shucks” pretend redneck routine on Fox on Sundays so he can rope in the truck driving demographic (yes, FOX, we get it, Terry and Jimmy are from the South and Howie is a tough guy, geeze.) and you have a number 2. He’d be #1 except…
1) Jerry Jones- Where do I start? Call your own plays, Jerry. Go ahead. We know you want to. Go for it. Try to be Al Davis. We dare you. Oh, and while you’re at it, why don’t you rehire Coach Landry so you can fire him again. Only someone like you could fire a legend just so you’d be the biggest game in town.
Honroable Mentions- Tony Romo is climbing fast. One more stupid ESPN commercial and I take Irvin off the list. Does Jerry Jones have tape of Chris Berman cheating on his wife or something?
Terrell Owens- Actually, I was going to put him on the list, but I can’t help thinking about that play years ago where he spiked the ball on the star at the 50 yard line. I can’t help but feel like I owe TO for my favorite anti-Cowboys moment not involving the Redskins.