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Cowboys CTK: Mike Gaechter Sprints To #27

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Mike Gaechter Sprints To #27 1

Back in high school I ran for student body president. My campaign centered around one main idea – if elected I would abolish Mondays from the school week and ensure three day weekends for everyone.

Unfortunately I lost and we all have to get the week going on Monday. This can be good news though, and today it means that we find ourselves 24 hours closer to the 2015 regular season. In fact, exactly four weeks from today you’ll be procrastinating work and figuring out your dinner plans for Monday Night Football!

One day before that the Cowboys will begin their quest for Super Bowl 50 against the New York Giants. That moment is 27 days away and we’re going to continue our Countdown To Kickoff series highlighting the Greatest 27 in Dallas Cowboys History.

The Following Players Have All Worn 27 For The Dallas Cowboys:

  • Courtney Brown, S
  • Mario Edwards, CB
  • Thomas Everett, FS
  • Ron Fellows, CB
  • Eric Frampton, CB
  • Mike Gaechter, CB/SS
  • Eddie George, RB
  • Tommy Haynes, CB
  • Keylon Kincade, RB
  • Singor Mobley, CB
  • Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB
  • Curvin Richards, RB
  • Bill Thomas, RB
  • Greg Tremble, CB
  • J.J. Wilcox*, S
  • C.J. Wilson, CB

*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony took place a little over a week ago out in Canton, Ohio. Among the members of the Class of 2015 was one of the finest centers to ever play the game, Minnesota Vikings Center Mick Tingelhoff.

The newest bust in Canton wasn’t even drafted in 1962, but still managed to put together a Hall of Fame resume. There were two other players that went undrafted that would find their way into the NFL… and specifically the Dallas Cowboys.

In 1962 The Greatest 34 in Dallas Cowboys History, Cornell Green, was signed to America’s Team after never having played football. The other? Well he was a University of Oregon Duck who ran track with another Pro Football Hall of Famer, Mel Renfro, that would go on to become the Greatest 27 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Mike Gaechter

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Mike Gaechter Sprints To #27

Undrafted rookies can go on to do amazing things in the NFL. Take a look at current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, he went undrafted and has become one of the top tier gunslingers in football.

When the Dallas Cowboys signed Mike Gaechter as an undrafted free agent in 1962 they saw results right away, specifically in Week 5 of his rookie year the Cowboys hosted the division rival Philadelphia Eagles at the Cotton Bowl.

Late in the fourth quarter Philly QB King Hill dropped back and threw towards the endzone. ‘Ol Mike Gaechter picked it off and ran it back - 100 yards for the score.

Gaechter The Strong Safety

The track background that fellow Duck Mel Renfro had helped him transition well to the cornerback position in the NFL. While track teammates at Oregon, the scampering Mike Gaechter was more cut out for the strong safety spot.

In 1963 he made the move and quickly developed a reputation as one of the more feared safeties in the league. In fact, in the 1966 NFL Championship Game Gaechter laid some serious wood on Boyd Dowler of the Green Bay Packers. Two weeks later in Super Bowl I Dowler was limited which allowed Max McGee to help lead the Pack to victory… despite a raging hangover (that’s a story for another day!).

#27: Mike Gaechter

The Dallas defense of the 1960s had 108 games influenced by the skills of Mike Gaechter. His 21 career interceptions are good for 13th in franchise history, and his 100-yard interception return was the longest in franchise history until Bryan McCann broke it in 2010.

Mike Gaechter helped the Dallas Cowboys last until the 1970s when the NFL merger happened and they really established themselves as one of the league’s most elite teams. His contributions are enough to establish Mike Gaechter as the Greatest 27 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 26 in Dallas Cowboys History is!

 

UPDATE:

Tragically Mike Gaechter died as a result of heart failure on Monday, August 17th, at his home in Dallas. All of our thoughts and prayers here at Inside The Star are with his family during this time.


Want to share your opinions on who should be featured on our Countdown To Kickoff? Email me at rjochoa@insidethestar.com or Tweet @rjochoa.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys CTK: Mike Gaechter Sprints To #27" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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3 Comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/DallasCowboyBooksBlog Fred Goodwin

    RJ:

    I thought it was ironic that you named Gaechter the greatest #27 on the very day he died. I’m sure he would have been pleased had he seen it.

    • RJ Ochoa

      Thank you very much, Fred.

      I read about his passing at around 11pm that day. It hit me a little hard because of the post that had happened earlier. Thank you very much for the kind words, we’ll all miss Gaechter.

  • Rusty Gaechter

    RJ,
    Thank you so much for the recognition you have given Mike and his contributions to the Cowboys. Mike was my uncle and I’m very appreciative for your mentioning him and his accomplishments. He is deeply missed by all.

    Rusty Gaechter

Star Blog

Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?

Brian Martin

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Can Dak Prescott Regain His Mojo Against Atlanta?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.

It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.

Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.

Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.

Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.

Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:

24 starts
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating

Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:

17 starts
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating

As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.

Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

Now, he just has to go out and prove it!

Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?



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Star Blog

How Cowboys Could Regain a 2019 1st-Round Draft Pick

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - 5 Cowboys Players That Could Be Traded
Matthew Edmonds-USA Today

The Dallas Cowboys are currently without a 2019 first-round draft pick after acquiring Wide Receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders, but what if I were to tell you there was a way to regain another first-rounder? Well, with a little outside the box thinking I think there could be a way to accomplish just that.

It's completely hypothetical, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly regain a first-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with little finagling and good luck. Everything would have to fall into place perfectly, but I think it's definitely doable.

Remember, this is completely hypothetical with a lot of "what if's" involved, but the Cowboys could regain what they lost acquiring Amari Cooper and come out of it no worse for wear. I think there are a lot of different scenarios that could accomplish this feat, but only one of them that doesn't hurt the team in my opinion and it centers around Right Tackle La'el Collins.

I know you're probably going to think I'm crazy, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly land a 2019 first-round draft pick if they decided to trade away RT La'el Collins. Trust me, I wouldn't suggest this if I didn't think there was somebody capable of stepping in and playing just as well.

Enter Connor Williams.

Connor Williams

Dallas Cowboys LG Connor Williams

I always believed Connor Williams' best position in the NFL was at right tackle, not on the inside at guard. And yes, I was one of those advocating for Williams to play RT and Collins to move back to LG before the 2018 season started. I thought that gave the Cowboys their best starting five.

Williams has been serviceable at LG this season, but has been overpowered at times. His athletic ability would've been much better served on the outside at tackle, which is where I would play him next season, making La'el Collins expendable.

Again, I know what you're thinking. If you move Williams to RT and trade Collins, there is now a void at LG. Well, that's where Xavier Su'a-Filo comes into play. He is coming off a fantastic performance against the Philadelphia Eagles and a lot of Cowboys Nation is already advocating that he remains the starter over Connor Williams.

If Su'a-Filo can maintain the same level play he did against the Eagles, he probably remains the starter for the rest of the 2018 season. If this is indeed what happens, he could end up being the starter once again next season, making my plan of trading La'el Collins more feasible.

Were you able to follow all of that?

Keep Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard

Move Connor Williams to right tackle

Trade La'el Collins

Like I said, this is all hypothetical, but something that could feasibly happen. Now we just have to wait and see if Xavier Su'a-Filo can continue to play like he did last week, because without him sticking at left guard none of this is possible.

I told you it was some out-of-the-box thinking.

Would you go along with the scenario to regain a 2019 first-round draft pick?



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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su’a-Filo at Left Guard?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su'a-Filo at Left Guard? 1

Don't look now, but we may have another Ron Leary/La'el Collins situation unfolding before our eyes with Xavier Su'a-Filo and Connor Williams. Who ends up starting at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys the rest of the 2018 season is up in the air right now, but might not be for long.

Remember a few years ago when La'el Collins started the season at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys, but then had to miss time due to a toe injury. Ronald Leary took over during his absence and never looked back. It even earned him a big payday with the Denver Broncos.

Déjà vu anyone?

Yes, I'm talking about the hot topic of the hour as to whether or not the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard or reinsert Connor Williams once he is healthy enough to return to the lineup? As with any debate, there are two sides of the coin.

Honestly, I can make an argument for both sides here. These are two different players and both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Su'a-Filo isn't as agile as Williams and relies more on his strength and power, whereas Williams is almost the complete opposite. Depending what the Cowboys coaching staff wants out of their LG, either player makes sense.

Xavier Su'a-Filo

Dallas Cowboys LG Xavier Su'a-Filo

I could go into a long debate as to who I believe the Cowboys should start at LG moving forward, but I think that would be a waste of our time. I think this is a situation that will work itself out one way or another this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Nothing is set in stone right now, but I have a hard time seeing Connor Williams being ready to play this week after having knee surgery. It would be unwise to rush him back before he's 100% healthy, especially after the way Su'a-Filo preformed against the Eagles. And if Su'a-Filo plays well once again, Williams may not get his starting job back.

See, I told you it was looking like a Ronald Leary/La'el Collins situation all over again.

This is a situation that many of us will be following closely this week and it may not only have ramifications on the rest of the 2018 season, but it could carry over into next year. Maybe Xavier Su'a-Filo remains at LG next year and Connor Williams moves to his more natural position (right tackle), making La'el Collins expendable. But that's a debate for another time.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at LG?



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