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The Article Vault
Cowboys Stadium Tickets - Big D Has Lots to Prove
The Jerry Rhome Interview
Now What Do I Collect!? The "Must-Have" Non-Cowboys Cards List
Pocket Schedules: A Close Cousin to the Sports Card
The Tom Stincic Interview
A Collector's Toughest Decision
Restoring a Memory
Collecting Dallas Cowboys Football Cards
The New Home of the Dallas Cowboys
Making the Grade: Sports Cards in the 21st Century

Cowboys Stadium Tickets Big D Has Lots to Prove

With a very talented roster and high expectations, the Cowboys were hoping to rock Cowboys Stadium from the early portion of their schedule and establish themselves as one of the very best teams in the entire league. Though this didn’t quite happen early on, with a bevy of tough losses, the Cowboys still have all the pieces in place to make a real run at not only the playoffs but even potentially the Super Bowl. Whether home at Cowboys Stadium or on the road, the Cowboys are likely to remain a center of attention this season in the NFL. For the last two home games of the regular season, Cowboys Stadium Tickets are selling fast. Here’s a look at the marquee matchups at for the Cowboys late this season.

Week 10, Bills at Cowboys:

Before the start of the season, this would probably look like a laugher, though everything changed in September and October for the Bills. With a sharp quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick and a journeyman back producing in Freddy Jackson, the Bills will really test the Cowboys in a home game that Dallas needs to win if they are going to consider themselves a real threat to win the Super Bowl this year.

Week 11, Cowboys at Redskins:

After squeezing out a home win against the ‘Skins earlier in the season, the Cowboys need to show that they can go on the road and beat a tough but not quite as talented divisional opponent. The Redskins are that team exactly and the Cowboys won’t have much time in the second half to lose to teams they’re expected to beat. Having said that, divisional games in the NFC East tend to be very close no matter the circumstances, so expect this one to be a battle.

Week 14, Giants at Cowboys:

Cowboys Stadium will be absolutely bumping for a crucial home matchup with division rival New York, as the Giants have yet another team that looks like it will challenge for the NFC East. This one is also being played on Sunday night, which means that we’ll have a national audience as two of the more talented teams in the NFC square off with plenty of playoff implications on the road. Whichever team can get pressure on the opposing quarterback will probably end up on top in a physical game between two teams very familiar with each other.

Week 16, Eagles at Cowboys:

Though the Cowboys have a cushy schedule for much of November and December, they end with two very tough games to close out the season. The Cowboys come home to take on the Eagles, a team that started off slow amid enormous preseason expectations. No matter where these teams are in the standings, this game should be a very entertaining one between two of the more explosive teams in the league.

Week 17, Cowboys at Giants:

It’s never easy to go into New York and beat the Giants this late in the season, and it won’t likely get much easier this year either. The Giants and Cowboys could both be struggling tooth and nail to get into the playoffs, and they’ll be very familiar with their tendencies after squaring off in Week 14 as well. This one very well could decide the NFC East one way or another.


The Jerry Rhome Interview
By Steve Liskey
February 8, 2011
TheCowboysGuide.com
 

As some of you may know, I’ve been designing custom cards of former Dallas Cowboys players using Topps Vault images, and sending a select few out for autographs to players for whom I’ve been able to find addresses.  I contacted Jerry Rhome a few weeks ago to ask if he’d be kind enough to sign the cards I made for him.  Upon seeing the cards, he was blown away and had asked if I could use one of the designs to make business cards for him.  I did that using the 1965 Topps design, and he absolutely loved them!  In return, I asked if he’d be willing to answer a few questions for me over the phone so I could write an article.  The following is a result of my conversation with Mr. Rhome…a truly great guy with NFL experience that spans three decades.

                        

Background

Rhome attended Tulsa University and finished 2nd in the closest Hiesman Trophy voting in history.  The 1964 Hiesman Trophy went to John Huarte, Notre Dame QB - voting also included Craig Morton, who finished 7th.  He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Jerry Rhome was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 13th round of the 1964 NFL draft.  He was drafted in his junior year, which was a practice of the Cowboys (and a few other teams) back then, knowing he had one more year of eligibility.  Roger Staubach was picked 3 rounds earlier (also as a junior) in the same draft.  Rhome was also selected by the NY Jets in the ’64 AFL draft. He had no interest in playing in NY, so he was considering a deal that would land him with the Houston Oilers, where Sammy Baugh was head Coach.  The deal would include trading his rights to Houston, for the #1 pick in the ’65 draft, which would allow the Jets to select Joe Namath.  Three days before he signed with Houston, Baugh was fired, and Rhome signed with the Cowboys shortly after that.
Rhome played for the Cowboys from 1965-68, then was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1969, and had two more one-year stints with the Houston Oilers and Los Angeles Rams.
Rhome went on to hold several coaching positions in the NFL, and finished with 33 years of service.  His first NFL coaching job was with the expansion Seattle Seahawks in 1976, where he was the Offensive Coordinator.  He also held the position of offensive coordinator with the Cardinals, Oilers, Rams, and Redskins.  While with the Redskins, they won a Super Bowl in 1988.  He also held the position of QB’s Coach and WR’s Coach with a few teams.

Rhome continues to work with young QB prospects, WR’s and coaches.  His latest job came this past January when he went to Houston, TX to work with TCU QB Andy Dalton.  Rhome also holds a youth camp where he teaches the fundamentals of football.  He also collected sports cards in his youth and has assembled quite a collection over the years.

What’s your favorite sports card set, any sport? 
That’s easy, 1953 Bowman Baseball.  Those cards are beautiful.

Did you feel that coach Landry gave you a real chance to be the #1 QB?
Yes, I think so.  I think he had a really good player in Don Meredith.  It put some heat on him (Meredith) by having me and Craig Morton there.  Don ended up playing very well.  I had a fair opportunity.  I had a good relationship with Coach Landry; he hired me as his offensive coordinator in ‘89.  

Were you ever considered or interviewed for a head coaching position in the NFL?
Yes, it came down to me and Ray Perkins for the New York Giants job in 1983. I tuned down the Tulsa Outlaws (USFL, later became the Arizona Outlaws) offer when the Redskins job was over.  I just didn’t want to leave the NFL.  I came in 2nd for interviewing for the Phoenix Cardinals HC job in 1986. They ended up hiring my good friend Gene Stallings.  I was really close to getting the Raiders job in 1988, but Al Davis decided to go with a younger coach that they could kind of mold into the Raider way.  That young guy was Mike Shanahan.

How was your experience working with Jack Patera (another ex-Cowboy) in Seattle?
Patera was a good coach, and we did some good things with that team.  We lost a lot of good players from the ‘79 team because of injuries –the teams leading scorer FB Simms, starting center, and QB Zorn to name a few.  We had a hard time coming back from those injuries.

How was your experience working with Joe Gibbs?
He was fun and a really good man.  We worked long hours, well into the night.  He was very organized and listened to everybody…everyone got to contribute and it paid off.

Talk about your Ice Bowl experience…
I did play a few plays.  I was the holder for the kicker, so I was in for extra points and field goals.  As cold as it was, with no gloves on or anything and a frozen ball, made for all kinds of crazy things.  On the sidelines, it was hard to stay warm, but I had to be into the game mentally.  I was the back-up quarterback, so I had to be ready to go into the game if needed.  I was up and down the sidelines just like the coach.  Believe it or not, that game wasn’t the coldest I played in.  In college, there was a night game in Toledo, and it was -13°, -20° with the wind-chill.  I got hit in the face and it took a whole quarter to find my face.  I remember playing well, threw for 3 touchdowns, and we won the game.  It’s a lot easier to deal with the cold when you’re playing well.

Best QB prospect while in the NFL?
That’s a hard question to answer, but I’d say the best two that I worked with were Troy Aikman and Warren Moon in Minnesota (’94). I’d have to say the most fun I had was working with Doug Williams in ‘87 or ’88 when he was taking us to the Super Bowl.  He and I got pretty close.  He had a great year and kept winning, and played a great game in the Super Bowl.

Best current QB prospect, HS or college?
Andy Dalton (TCU) has a great chance. He’s very smart, talented, a good person.  I think ten years from now he’ll still be playing in the NFL.  Josh Portis is another one.  He’s Clinton Portis’ cousin, and came out of Florida with Tebow.  He played at Maryland for a year, quit football, came back to a Division 2 school and in his last two seasons he threw 68 TD passes, and just 9 interceptions. The NFL contacted him and invited to the combine.

I have a photo (1965 Team Issue) that shows you wearing #12.  When and why did you change your number?
I wore #12 my rookie year.  I wore #17 through college, but when I came to the Cowboys, Meredith was using that number, so I had to pick something else.  I didn’t care much for #12, so I changed the next season to #13.

Do you think Garrett is the right choice for the Cowboys right now?
Yes.  I don’t really think they had much of a choice, having paid him all that money to keep other teams from grabbing him.  They were planning on him being the next coach from the start.

Were you and Don Meredith friends? 
We were pals.  He ran with his own crowd, though.  People didn’t appreciate him when he played, and I think that was hard on him and played a role in his decision to retire early.  There was a game against the Browns I remember, a big game.  We were on their 1-yard line, 1st-and-goal, near the end of the game.  He called the play, and he saw the defense the Browns were in, and called an audible.  We were coached in that situation, when their middle linebacker was in a specific spot, to audible to a set play that would work for a TD to the TE.  He [Meredith] did exactly what he was supposed to do, but the MLB was out of position after the ball was snapped, and he threw an interception.  I would have done the same thing.  The fans were hard on him, but they just didn’t understand the details.  That pretty much summed up his career.

Can you give me one Tom Landry story?
I was in the room when Tom Landry got fired.  He had hired me to be his Offensive Coordinator three weeks prior to this and there were rumors that Jerry Jones was in town and he was buying the team, and possibly making a change at head coach.  Landry came to me that Friday afternoon and wanted to get together with me and watch film of what I did with the tight ends when I was with the Redskins.  Not very long after we got started, (Tex) Schramm came in and said “Tom, I need to see you a minute.”  He switched off the video and was gone five minutes.  Then came back in and sit down…just sat there for 15 seconds.  Switched back on the video…didn’t say a word.  I looked over at him and there were tears running down his face.  I said, “Coach, are you alright?” He turned the video off and said, “They just fired me.  You’re a fine young coach and I’m sorry I got you into this.”

Did Coach Landry’s Christian morals influence you or any of the other players?
He influenced me but I didn’t realize it at that time.  I played and coached for him, and his values showed in everything he did. Throughout the years, he influenced me and so did Joe Gibbs. The two of them were role models for me.  As far as other players go, you’re not sure who is being influenced, but everyone is watching how you conduct yourself.

 


Now What Do I Collect!? The "Must-Have" Non-Cowboys Cards List
By Steve Liskey
July 20, 2009
TheCowboysGuide.com

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So, now your vintage Cowboys collection is complete and your want list is filled.  You even went the extra mile and grabbed the purple sky variations to the 1963 Topps set.  Now what…Done collecting?  No way!  Here are a few ideas for you, and the nice thing about it is, most of these are easy on the wallet!  A complete checklist for each set mentioned can be found following this article.

Last year, I broke the surface on this subject in an article titled “A Collector’s Toughest Decision.” In that article, only a few of the sets and cards I’m covering here were mentioned.  This time, I really dug deep with some entries, stretching the boundaries of even my own common sense and collecting preferences.  The first area I would like to cover is cards with questions on the back.  You can find card backs with questions about NFL history, teams, and players that have nothing to do with the player featured on the front.  Several of those questions pertain to the Dallas Cowboys and it is those cards specifically that I want to point out here. 

1976 Topps Dick Himes

The 1976 Topps set has a series of clues titled “Who Am I?” The clues are numbered 1 to 10 and each team has a series.  Each clue starts with “Guess the mystery Cowboy, Bear, Colt, etc.,” and gives hints to guess the player.  The answer to the Cowboys mystery player in this series is Lee Roy Jordan.  Many cards can be found with general questions about players and teams that are not part of the “Who Am I?” series.  All answers to these questions are found upside-down under the question.  After inspecting approximately 75% of that set, I found 11 cards with questions related to the Cowboys.

1965 Philadelphia Gail Cogdill

I have covered the “Guess Who Quiz” cards on the backs of the 1966 Philadelphia set in a previous article mentioned above, so I won’t go into detail about that set here.  However, the year prior to that, (1965 Philadelphia) they were very clever and decided to hide their bonus goodies.  There are photos on the backs, but you have to do some work to reveal them.  At first glance, the card backs look to be blank below the player stats and comments – a rather large area of wasted space.  The key to what player is on which card is found in the red text above and below the blank area.  If you’re lucky, you may have a few you can make out without having to rub them.  The photo image and text will appear white in this case.  A couple of interesting facts about this awesome set are that the team cards have head coaches on the backs, and the card with the Don Perkins photo on the back (#64 Dick LeBeau) has Herb Adderley, Packers as the answer.

1962 Topps Jim Kerr

The 1962 Topps set is a vintage masterpiece: Black borders, a helmet-less head shot for the main photo, a color name plate, and a small black-and-white action photo.  It’s in those small B&W photos where you can find some Cowboys hiding.  This set also has cartoon illustrations with questions on the backs with the answers printed upside-down under the question.  So that’s two chances at finding a Cowboys nugget.  However, with only two years in the league and rarely winning games, the Cowboys were not a popular topic for questions in this set.  In the small action photo of the Jim Kerr card shown on the left, he is attempting to tackle L.G. Dupre.

The subject of checklists is a very gray area.  Who needs or wants the sometimes costly checklists that just list the players you already know you need or have?  Well, I’m including them in this discussion, anyway.  The inaugural season of the Dallas Cowboys didn’t provide us with a single trading card with a player pictured in a Cowboys uniform.  Topps didn’t bother to take new pictures of the nine players that were in that first set.  There wasn’t even a team photo card like the rest of the teams had in that set.  However, on the backs of those team photo cards you’ll find the series 1 and series 2 checklists.  These checklist cards are different than most.  They include the team name next to each player.  Topps never did it that way again.

1973 Topps Claude Humphrey

Another area to cover in the non-Cowboys topic is cards of other players that have Cowboys in the photo.  Number one on that list is the 1973 Topps #200 Claude Humphrey.  He’s an enormous defensive end for the Falcons that is pictured bringing down Roger Staubach.  These types of cards are few and far between because action shots were not the norm for photo choices on cards in the vintage era.  There are only five cards I have found that met this criteria between 1960 and 1979.  I’m sure that there must be others, so please let me know about any I may be missing.

1966 Philadelphia Perry Lee Dunn

By far, the least favorite cards in my collection are those with Cowboys players pictured in other team’s uniform.  As stated earlier, we have no choice in the matter for the 1960 Topps team set.  After that set, there are eight cards you can find with this annoying feature.  The 1961 & 62 Topps sets alone boast five of those eight instances; the first of note being our starting quarterback Eddie LeBaron in his Redskins uniform in the 1961 Topps set…Yuk!  So, if I have to see cards like that when I flip through my collection, what’s wrong with adding cards like 1966 Perry Lee Dunn?  Dunn was traded to the Falcons but his card pictures him in Cowboys blue.  There are eight cards you can find like this from standard card sets between 1960 and 1979, and three from non-standard sets.  After being traded to the Eagles, Sam Baker can be found on two cards donning the original Cowboys uniform.  The only other card that features a player in the original threads is the 1964 Topps Ed Husmann (Houston Oilers.)  At some point, Topps decided to air-brush cards to make up for the lack of a new photo for a player.  Since they were forced by the NFL to do it for helmet logos throughout the 70’s, I suppose they thought it would be okay for other quick fixes.  Finding cards like this are a bit more challenging.  You have to know a little more about the players and the teams they went to.  The 1975 Marv Bateman card is one that was air-brushed.  How can you tell?  Bateman is pictured wearing #81; he wore #7 for the Bills.  John Niland’s 1976 Topps card with the Eagles is the same photo from the year before.

Fleer Team Action

Between 1976 and 1988, Fleer came out with card sets called Fleer Team Action.  All of these cards were action shots and, in several cases, you can find Cowboys offensive or defensive players in the shot.  Fleer also had cards in these sets that were not team-specific, such as cards related to the Pro Bowl, or the card shown here with the caption “Men in Motion.”  In both of these cases, Cowboys players play a prominent part in the card design. 

So, what do you think?  Are any of these worthy of being part of your collection?  I just wanted to put this together for people that have completed their standard collection of Dallas Cowboys cards and want to continue to collect, but are not sure what avenue to pursue, or have little interest in the new stuff.  I had a lot of fun hunting for these cards on the internet, rubbing card backs and searching bargain bins at shows.  Below is the checklist from my effort.  I was unable to check every single card from every set, so there may be more to find.  Don’t look if you want to enjoy the hunt for yourself.  Admittedly, this topic or style of collecting isn’t for everyone.  It’s all about personal choices and what interests the individual.  It just proves that, with the sports card hobby, there’s always something to generate a renewed interest.

Click here to view the complete "Must-Have" non-Cowboys Cards Checklist.


Pocket Schedules: A Close Cousin to the Sports Card
By Steve Liskey
June 24, 2009
TheCowboysGuide.com

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1960 Falstaff Beer Dallas Cowboys

1960 Falstaff Beer

Pocket schedules have been used by all major sports for a very long time.  A take-anywhere type of reference guide for the sports fan.  Since the inaugural season of the Dallas Cowboys in 1960, there has been pocket schedules listing opponents to be played, kick-off time, and even a seating chart of the home stadium along with information on how to obtain tickets to see what was to become one of the greatest sports franchises in the world.

A popular choice of many team collectors is to include pocket schedules in their collections.  The similarities to football cards is obvious, and most can fit in pocket pages and binders to go right along with what is already common practice in collecting cards.

1962 Dallas Cowboys Pocket Schedule

1961 Dallas Cowboys Pocket Schedule

 It wasn’t long before photos of players could be found on these wallet sized cards.  After all, they were another marketing tool used to promote ticket sales.  The first individual player to be pictured on a Cowboys pocket schedule was Billy Howton in 1962.  A drawing of Eddie LeBaron dropping back to pass was used the following year.  Starting in 1968, a format was used that featured a single star player in a monochrome- style game action photo.  This style was continued through the 1982 season and is the closest in design to the football card.  Although the player’s name was never printed on the schedule, the player chosen for the honor was a recognizable star of the team.

1981 Dallas Cowboys Pocket Schedule

1979 Dallas Cowboys Pocket Schedule

Pocket schedules soon found their way into local convenience stores, liquor stores, and fast food restaurants.  You could just grab one for free on the counter on your way out.  As a result of this infiltration into our daily routines, company sponsors began to use them as a handy marketing tool, placing their brand name and logos on the schedules.  As the popularity of the Cowboys grew, demand for these handy little schedules also grew, and as a result, many sponsor variations can be found.  Some are identical on the front, while advertising for the many different companies are found on the back.  In 1980, sponsor variations reached its peak with as many as 20 different companies jumping in with their names and logo in the 1” space on the bottom reverse.  The most often found sponsors were beer companies, airlines and radio stations.  The Cowboys also used this small space below the list of games to advertise the Dallas Cowboys Weekly and provide ticket information.  You may find that some of the sponsor variations demand a premium.  This is simply due to the fact that a larger company could afford to produce more.  The sponsor with the longest run with the Cowboys was Braniff, the airline of choice for the team’s away games.  The Braniff name started appearing on schedules for the Cowboys in 1963 and didn’t stop until 1982 when Delta took over.  The AM radio station KRLD became the next front runner to sponsor schedules, beginning their run in 1974.

1967 Dallas Cowboys Pocket Schedule 1982 Dallas Cowboys Pocket Schedule 1971 Dallas Cowboys Pocket Schedule

Along with the common style of card-like schedules, there were many other designs.  There are types that have single or double folds giving the sponsor much more room to advertise.  The holy grail of Dallas Cowboys schedules is the 1960 Falstaff Beer.  It uses a four panel design with a third fold and is the only schedule to have featured a full team photo listing all the players.  You could expect to pay a hefty premium for this extremely hard to find schedule.  Another popular design used was the sticker design which was used primarily by Dallas area banks from 1977 to 1985. 

One of the toughest team schedule items to find is the broadside.  Broadsides are large scale versions of the pocket schedule, printed on medium gauge cardboard.  These large scale versions of the monochrome design were used as display billboards in ticket outlets.  At the time, tickets were only sold at the team offices, the stadium, and a few other approved locations such as Sears department stores.  Thus, very low productions of these were made.  Broadsides were manufactured in two sizes.  The larger version measures approximately 13.5” x 20” and the smaller broadside measures approximately 9 x 13 and has a fold-out stand that allowed it to be self-supported like a picture frame.  These were made between 1968 and 75 but so few were printed that you’ll be hard pressed to find them anywhere.  Only the home games were listed for the 1968-71 seasons, then starting in 1972, the entire season was printed on them.

In the winter of 2008, I had the pleasure of meeting Rick Haskins ( Dallas , TX ), an expert in the field of Cowboys pocket schedules. In the 1980’s, Rick spent hours on the telephone calling radio stations, department stores and Dallas area businesses, and logging many miles in search of Cowboys schedules.  His quest took him all over Dallas and the surrounding area going from place to place of businesses that were known to carry schedules, and always on the lookout for the yet to be discovered sponsor.  He amassed quite an impressive collection over the years and his knowledge on this topic is invaluable.  I currently credit Rick with the entire pocket schedule section of the Guide.  Before Rick, I had less than 40 entries of schedules from 1960 – 1990.  I now have over 450 within the same time span.  Rick is also an expert and dealer in Dallas Cowboys pennants.  I am currently working with him to update that section of the Guide, as well.  Both expanded sections will be available in Volume 5.

 


The Tom Stincic Interview
By Steve Liskey
November 16, 2008
TheCowboysGuide.com

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I recently had the pleasure of speaking with former Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Tom Stincic.  Our paths crossed when two items on eBay came up on my radar in October.  The items were Texaco Flip-charts.  These are one of my favorite collectables from the early 1970’s because they picture the entire starting offensive and defensive players matched-up against the opposing team’s line-up.  I was only aware of the flip-charts for the 1972 season, but the ones on eBay were from 1970 and 1971.  A new find…I had to have them!  Rare indeed, but not much interest was my guess for these, so I bid accordingly.  When all was said and done I had won both items but at a much higher price than anticipated.

The next day I received an email from the losing bidder asking if I would make a color copy for him and added that he would pay for any costs associated with making them and getting them to him.  He went on to explain that his father was pictured as the starting middle linebacker on both these items and was trying to win them for his dad.  I responded by saying it would not be a problem and I would be happy to make the copies and get them out to him right away.  The next day I received an email from his father, Tom Stincic himself.  He thanked me for obliging his son’s request and offered to speak with me about the good ole days of playing for the Cowboys and Super Bowls V & VI, and closed by including his phone number.

1970 Tom Stincic Team Issue Photo

Tom Stincic was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 in the 3rd round (68th overall).  At the time, the Cowboys linebacker corps included Lee Roy Jordan, Dave Edwards and Chuck Howley.  Stincic fit the mold of Landry’s vision for a middle linebacker –big and fast.  His career started as an outside LB, but was moved to the middle in his second year.

He decided to play out his option his third year with the Cowboys and ended up signing with the Saints for the final year of his NFL career.  His services were sought after by the Oilers the following year, but he decided to retire after the 1972 season.

The Interview…

Q:  What QB did you intercept in 1970?
A:  It was against the Eagles Norm Snead.  It happened early in the season so Jethro Pugh and I joked about being the league leaders for INT’s, until he grabbed another.  I had two others, but they were preseason games.
Q:  Tell me about playing in Super Bowls V &VI.
A:  In Super Bowl V, I recall playing really well, especially in goal-line packages, making a few key stops.  I was thrilled to have played so well, even though it was a loss.
Super Bowl VI, we just knew we would win.  Near the end of the game, I remember looking at the scoreboard and thinking, man 24–3, that’s about right.
Q:  What was the Staubach/Morton QB shuffle like?
A:  From my perspective, it wasn’t as big a deal as the press made it.  I think the older guys were more comfortable with Morton in there at first.  The best players played, there was no controversy.
Q:  Did you play other positions beside LB for the Cowboys?
A:  No.  I started at outside (strong side) linebacker and then moved to the middle my 2nd year.
Q:  What was playing with Mike Ditka like?
A:  He was a tough player.  One time at practice, Ditka punched me right in the face, made my eyes water.  The very next play, I returned the favor, hitting him as hard as I could, right in the face.  Ditka just said, “Good hit”, and walked away.  I knew I had made it.  He was at the end of his career, couldn’t run any more, but man he was tough, a great TE.  I had a poster of him in my room when I was a kid.
Q:  What was Tom Landry like?
A:  A very quiet man.  He believed in his system.  He believed his system won games, not the players.  All the players thought otherwise.
Q:  What was Bob Lilly like?
A:  I tell ya, there was no one better.  A truly great football player.  Funny story…Lilly and Neely (Ralph) used to have this joke.  For team photos they used to crouch down so they looked smaller than everyone else.  Look at some of those team photos, you’ll see Lilly with this big smile and about six inches shorter than the guys next to him.

1970 Dallas Cowboys Team Photo

1970 Team Photo

Q:  What turned the team around, what made the Cowboys winners?
A:  When Landry picked up the veterans.  Herb Adderley was the key on defense.  He came from a very successful program in Green Bay .  He instilled the winning attitude that we needed to get us over the hump.
Q:  Who was the toughest RB you played against?
A:  Oh that’s easy, Larry Brown.  He was so fast and elusive.  If you didn’t hit him the first shot you had, that was it, you didn’t get a second shot…he was gone.  Leroy Kelly was tough too.  And Jim Braxton from Buffalo .
Q:  What TE was the toughest to play against?
A:  Jackie Smith.  He was big, strong and could move.  He had great hands.  He was very hard to cover.  The perfect combination of size and speed.
Q:  What injuries did you sustain while playing?
A:  My first year, the rookie scrimmage against Oakland I hurt my knee.  That was the beginning of the end.  Then against the Redskins, someone hit me on the same knee and that was it.  I knew I would never be the same.  I had surgery, but it wasn’t like they can fix your knee now, not even close.  I had my hip replaced about four years ago.  I was pretty healthy until I hit 58.  I’m having my shoulder replaced next.
I played my entire 2nd season with mono.
Q:  What is your take on the Pete Gent story, North Dallas 40?
A:  Never really watched it.  I don’t like football movies.  They are never accurate.  All I remember is the players that were still on the team from when he played, were bitter towards Gent because of the things he wrote about them.
Q:  Who was your roommate?
A:  The first couple weeks it was Roger (Staubach), because of our last names.  Then I roomed with Halvor Hagen.
Q:  Do you collect memorabilia?
A:  A little.  Mostly Michigan stuff and a little Cowboys stuff from when I played.
Q:  Do you follow the Cowboys today?
A:  Oh yea, I do.  The game is very different from when I played.  I think the Cowboys have a lot of free spirits, guys with their own agenda.  They need to come together as a team.  They have a lot of talented players on that team and should be playing better.  You can’t just put a bunch of all-stars on one team and expect them to win.  It takes more than that.  The team when I played was just that, a team.
Q:  What do you do now?
A:  I’m retired.  I still buy and sell cattle a bit, but that’s about it.  In the 80’s I coached a little High School and college football.

We ended our talk by discussing the package he had just received from me.  I had sent him a copy of the 1970 Texaco flip-chart and the original for him to sign.  I also decided to give him the 1971 Texaco flip-chart along with a copy of my book, The Dallas Cowboys Complete Football Card Guide, and two T-shirts from my website.  Another item I sent for him to sign was a 1972 Topps Doug Cunningham card.  Cunningham played for the 49ers, but the card is an action shot of him being tackled.  Tom Stincic is prominently in the background as the tackle is being made by Lee Roy Jordan and another Cowboys player.

1972 Topps Doug Cunningham

1970 Texaco Flip-Chart

1972 Topps

1970 Texaco Flip-Chart


A Collector's Toughest Decision
By Steve Liskey
June 28, 2008
TheCowboysGuide.com

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As a sports card collector of the Dallas Cowboys, or any team for that matter, many of us struggle with where to draw the line with what we include in our collections.  When is a card not worthy of being considered part of our coveted collections?  With all the time spent putting binders together and the expense of card holders and display cases, can we justify adding a card that has another team’s name on it?  Sure he’s in a Cowboys uniform, but can we really tolerate a Washington Redskins card mixed in with our beloved Cowboys?  This occurrence was more frequent in the vintage years of card manufacturing.  Card companies either didn’t have the resources to keep up with trades or didn’t bother with getting new photos taken often enough.  They often relied on using photos already on file.  More recently, we had Emmitt Smith finish his career as an Arizona Cardinal.  Several cards of the all-time NFL rushing king in 2003 featured him with his new team but still donning the Cowboy threads.

1964 Philadelphia Gum Sam Baker

With the expense of some of the more valuable cards in our collections, what’s a few more bucks for that 1964 Philadelphia Gum Sam Baker.  Fresh from the trade to the Eagles, Sam is pictured in his Dallas Cowboys uniform.  We don’t hesitate if the player is pictured in another team’s uniform.  The entire 1960 Topps team set has every Cowboys player pictured in the uniform from the team they came from.  We can’t just leave that year empty in our binders and start with 1961.

The ‘play cards’ from the 1964 and ‘65 Philadelphia Gum sets have an entry or two worth mentioning.  The cards feature a play of significance from the previous year and mention the team the play was against.  The 1965 Eagles play card (seen below) is against Dallas.

1966 Philadelphia Bruce Gossett

Why would I have a 1966 Philadelphia Bruce Gossett in my collection?  He played for the Los Angles Rams at the time and was never pictured as a Dallas Cowboy.  The reason why is on the back.  Philadelphia Gum placed a ‘guess who quiz’ on the backs of all their cards in this set.  The question on this card is “Who is this coach?”  Pictured below the question is none other than Tom Landry.

1978 Topps Super Bowl XIII

Super Bowl or championship game losses cards are another area of personal preference.  The 1978 Topps set has a card featuring Super Bowl XIII.  Dallas lost that game to the Pittsburgh Steelers but it is a significant piece of Cowboys history.  There are several examples of these through the years - Fleer Team Action sets in the ‘70’s for example - and some of the time you’ll find Cowboys players on the card fronts.

1967 Philadelphia Obert Logan

There is also the rare and complicated occasion of a player pictured in a Cowboys uniform that never previously appeared on a Dallas Cowboy issue.  As is the case of the 1967 Philadelphia Obert Logan.  He was a RB for the Cowboys in 1965-66 and traded to the New Orleans Saints the following year.  Or, the case of a player having never been pictured on a major issue card in a Cowboys uniform until being traded to another team.  As is the case of the 1964 Topps Ed Husmann.  Ed was on the original 1960 Cowboys roster and did not appear in the Topps set in that inaugural season at all.  However he was included in the very first team issue set, 1960 Cowboys Team Sheets.  This example also highlights the laziness of card companies not getting updated photos.  Husmann was with the Oilers for four years when that card came out.  You can see both of those cards pictured below.

None of this should be surprising or new information to the vintage collector.  Chances are you’ve already made these choices for yourself.  Collectors that include everything have a lot more research to do if they are to find every traded player pictured in a Cowboys uniform, 1966 Philadelphia Gum ‘quiz back’ answer, ’64 play card, or the Super Bowl and championship game losses.  Perhaps now, after maybe seeing some of these cards for the first time, you’ll reconsider what should be included in your collection.

1969 Topps Mike Clark 1965 Eagles Play Card #140 1964 Topps Ed Husmann 1960 Cowboys Team Sheets Ed Husmann
1969 Topps Mike Clark in his Steelers uniform 1965 Eagles Play Card #140 1964 Topps Ed Husmann 1960 Cowboys Team Sheets Ed Husmann

Restoring a Memory
By Steve Liskey
May 29, 2008
TheCowboysGuide.com

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  The Dallas Cowboys won their first Super Bowl in 1972.  Coming off a disappointing loss the previous year to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V, they had something to prove. The Cowboys dominated the entire game on both sides of the ball.  Setting the tone early was a first quarter sack of Miami Dolphins QB Bob Griese.  Not just your ordinary sack however, Bob Lilly chased down the scrambling QB and finally took him down for a record 29 yard loss.


1972 Chiquita NFL Slides

1970 Chiquita Team Logo Stickers

  This play was captured on film and later produced what is now a very hard-to-find collectible.  The Chiquita Produce Company, new to the NFL as far as merchandise goes, produced a set of two-sided slides in 1972.  The set is comprised of 13 slides and featured color action shots of 26 NFL players, one from each team.  The yellow viewer and a set of slides could be obtained by sending 35-cents along with five team logo stickers from Chiquita bananas, and a receipt showing $15 worth of produce purchases.

  Chiquita only produced two types of collectibles for the NFL.  The 1970 Team Logo Stickers, and the 1972 NFL Slides.  The team logo stickers were labels found on bananas at your local produce store.  There was one sticker for each of the 26 teams in the NFL.  A complete booklet was available for 25-cents by mail-in offer.  A rather difficult item to find these days in the world of collectables, the complete set can be valued as high as $350, and individual stickers average between $12 and $20. The NFL Slides contained statistical and biographical information of the featured players.  The complete set of slides is valued at $300 while the individual slides vary greatly due to the players featured.  Here is a complete checklist for the 1972 NFL Slides (listed in pairs); 1 Joe Green & 2 Bob Lilly, 3 Bill Bergey & 4 Gary Collins, 5 Walt Sweeney & 6 Bubba Smith, 7 Larry Wilson & 8 Fred Carr, 9 Mac Percival & 10 John Brodie, 11 Lem Barney & 12 Ron Yary, 13 Curt Knight & 14 Alvin Haymond, 15 Floyd Little & 16 Gerry Philbin, 17 Jim Mitchell & 18 Paul Costa, 19 Jake Kupp & 20 Ben Hawkins, 21 Johnny Robinson & 22 George Webster, 23 Mercury Morris & 24 Willie Brown, 25 Ron Johnson & 26 Jon Morris.

  As rare as the slides are, I would imagine the viewers are even harder to come by.  That being the case, and the interest in displaying a key piece to my collection, I set out to get a clear image from the slide.  The slides are very small (1/2” x 7/16”) compared to a typical 35mm slide, adding to the difficulty of my project.  Using my scanner and a home-made device called a backlight box, I made my first scan.  Scanning at 1200dpi and with several adjustments to brightness and contrast I was able to get a decent image to start with.  Scanning with that high of a resolution was necessary to capture the tiny photo, but it also captured all the defects the slide accumulated over the years.  Now all that was needed was a little touch-up here and there and my job was done.

Super Bowl VI -Bob Lilly sack

Brought to life 36 years later for all the Dallas Cowboys collectors that may not have this gem in their collection, or have it and can’t get a good look at the image…here it is.

 

 

 

 


Collecting Dallas Cowboys Football Cards
By Steve Liskey
February 14, 2008
TheCowboysGuide.com

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  Card manufacturers were producing trading cards long before the Dallas Cowboys joined the NFL in 1960.  In the 1950’s Topps began packaging their signature product, bubblegum, with baseball and football cards.  From there, as football grew in popularity, players could find their likeness on items such as milk cartons, soft drink caps, cereal boxes and plastic cups.  The emergence of the AFL in 1960 allowed Topps competitors, beginning with Fleer, to make inroads in the business.  The 1961 Fleer set featured both leagues, and then they focused on the AFL alone.  Philadelphia Gum secured the NFL rights for 1964, forcing Topps to go for the AFL which left Fleer with no product in either baseball or football.  Philadelphia Gum produced football card sets featuring Cowboys from 1964 through 1967.  In 1982 Topps was licensed by NFL Properties for the first time.  Previously, team logos on helmets were removed by airbrush.  In the 70’s Fleer rejoined the ranks by producing sets of cards called Fleer Team Action and FTA Stickers.  They focused on NFL teams not individual players and were able to use team logos.  The “card explosion” started around 1989 with new companies joining the fold like Pro Set and Score.  By 1992 there were more than 30 brands of football cards.  It was a new era for the hobby.  You could all but forget about collecting all the cards of your favorite team, but now focus on a favorite player or two.  Just to put it all in perspective - with all the parallel, inserts, and variations - in 1995 there were over 250 different cards produced of Troy Aikman.

 The Cowboys were an expansion team in 1960. Their first roster was created by choosing 36 players from the 12 existing franchises (three per team). In the first set of cards featuring Dallas Cowboys players, 1960 Topps, all the players were pictured in the uniforms of the teams they departed. The next year they took part in the NFL draft and acquired Bob Lilly with their first ever draft pick. There have been many outstanding players through the years that have donned the blue star on their helmet, several of which are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Only one man held the position of head coach for the first 29 years of the organization - Tom Landry. Coach Landry led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles, five NFC Championships, 13 NFC East titles, 18 trips to the playoffs and 20 winning seasons.

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There were no plastic holders or sleeves to keep your cards from harms way in the early years. They were rubber banded together and tossed in shoe boxes and the stickers were stuck onto school notebooks or bike fenders. Cards were flipped and traded with your buddies and even thumb tacked or taped on bulletin boards. All these things lend to the value of the cards today. If you were lucky enough to have kept very good care of your cards when you were younger, and your mother didn't toss that shoebox in the attic out with the trash, you could already have a good start to your collection. Now with all the top-loaders, sorting boxes, screw downs and nine-slot binder pages available to the collector, it's much easier to take care of those gems. That is why I consider 1960 - 1990 the vintage years. Those older cards can sometimes be very difficult to find in great condition. That is not to say that the cards manufactured after 1990 have no value or collectible appeal. They just won't be as scarce or hard to find in great condition twenty or even fifty years from now. I encourage you to collect beyond 1990 and on. It's a whole new hobby now with more resources to fill your checklists like the internet and card shows.

 


The New Home of the Dallas Cowboys
By Steve Liskey
February 29, 2008
TheCowboysGuide.com

Back

  Jerry Jones, the owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, is known for his big Texas sized dreams and ideas. So when he decided it was time for a new home for his Cowboys he spared no expense. The new stadium, located in Arlington Texas, upon completion will be the largest domed structure in the world. The Cotton Bowl, located in Dallas Texas, was the first home of the Cowboys. The team played there from 1960 to 1970. Texas Stadium was opened in 1971 and Duane Thomas scored the first touchdown on a 56 yard run.

  The trademark "hole in the roof" of Texas stadium is as recognizable a feature in architecture as almost any large building or sports arena. That feature will live on in the new stadium. A retractable roof will open the top of the stadium while two structural steel arches will provide the look of the old steel girders that spanned the opening of the old stadium. To help give you a sense of scale of just how big the stadium is, the Statue of Liberty could stand inside with the roof closed and it is twice as long as the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

  The open air stadium feel will be realized as each end of the stadium will have glass retractable doors measuring 120ft high and 180ft wide. They will open to create two areas of nearly 10 acres of plaza space for pre-game gathering and interactive state-of-the-art NFL experience. Eight clubs and 200 suites will be included in the 80,000 seat stadium. The Hall of Fame suites will be located 20 rows from the field providing an experience unlike any other NFL stadium. Walking in from the ground level you'll find the panoramic view breathtaking as the field will be fifty feet below ground. To enhance your game experience even further there will be two 180ft video screens suspended 110ft from the field stretching from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The end zone seats won't be without screens of there own either with 48ft video screens.

  The great players recognized in the current Ring of Honor will be re-immortalized in this stadiums new Ring of Honor. A pro shop will also be on hand with innovative ways to display team history.
  Construction is currently on schedule for the opening of the 2009 season. The seating will be expandable to 100,000 for big events like the Super Bowl that will be held there in 2011.

 


Making the Grade: Sports Cards in the 21st Century
By Marty Ogelvie
July 2001

Back

Dallas Cowboys football cards

  One the biggest phenomena's in the sports card market today is having your cards professionally graded or the slang term 'slabbed'. For those of us who have been in the hobby for more than 15 years this can be a hard concept to grasp. Professionally graded cards were unheard of less than 15 years ago. You could spend hours at a sports card show with more than 100 or so tables and not find 1 graded card, not one. Then all of a sudden, almost in an instant, a graded card appeared. 'Where did that come from? That wasn't here before.' Then another, then another, and all of the sudden you can't visit one table at a show without seeing half a dozen or more PSA, BGS, USA, SGC, ABC graded cards. There are more companies grading cards today than there are making cards. Does anybody else see a problem here? How much does it cost to have a company professionally grade a card? $10? $20? $30? That depends on how fast you want the card back in your hands. You can go to some card shows and the grading companies are onsite, grading cards while you wait. Imagine opening up a new wax pack at a card show and finding a Michael Vick Rookie card and then immediately going to one of the grading card booths and have them grade your card. It comes back a MINT 9! It should be MINT 9 it just came out of the pack! I don't need a professional grading company to tell me that, much less, I don't need to spend any more money on the card than I already have. MINT, GEM MINT, PRISTINE, what the heck is that?

  Doesn't the term MINT imply perfect? I didn't know that you could improve on perfect. Apparently you can because most of the grading companies have MINT listed 2 levels from the TOP of their grading scale. Things used to be so simple. MINT was perfect, Near MINT was almost perfect and anything less was usually left at the table. I can spot a MINT card a mile away. At least I thought I could. I don't need a microscope to see if the corners are sharp. I'm not that blind, yet. I don't need a ruler to tell if the card is centered. Does a fraction of an inch really make a card worth that much more? Not in my eyes. It is simply insane to spend hundreds of more dollars for a card simply because some 3rd party says the card is GEM MINT versus just MINT! If the corners are sharp, the centering is centered, the edges are clean, and the surface is clean, then the card is MINT. Spending and extra $10, $20, or $30 to have someone tell you that it is MINT is like throwing money away. 99% of the hobbyist who are having cards graded, do so in order to obtain a larger profit from the card. Buy a Rookie card for less than book, have it graded, sell it for more. The problem is if the price for grading a card is $10.00 or more then the selling price has to reap more than book price plus the grading/shipping price. That sometimes just doesn't happen especially if the card comes back with a less than desirable grade. Most newly released cards have to obtain a grade of GEM MINT or higher in order to obtain a premium.

  I'm not saying that professionally graded cards don't have a place in our hobby. I personally love vintage (pre-1970) graded cards. I would certainly pay more for a 1965 Philadelphia common Cowboy card graded PSA 7 than I would the same card ungraded. The graded card carries a premium and deservedly so. My biggest problem with the grading companies is there are too many, there are too many inconsistencies in the grades, and too many collectors think that a Gem Mint grade makes a common card valuable, but what do I know?

 


Retrocards -Custom Dallas Cowboys Football Cards
1960T Jerry Tubbs
1960T
1966P Jim Colvin
1966P
1978T Randy Hughes
1978T
1982T Larry Bethea
1982T
1965T
1976T-NHL Roger Staubach
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