When I was in elementary school there used to be a gum ball machine that yielded little helmets for all of the NFL teams. Every day I would beg my parents for a quarter so I could get a new one as I tried to collect them all. Of course while I ultimately wanted every team there was one that I wanted above all… the Dallas Cowboys.
After about 7 Broncos, 5 Packers, and 3 49ers I got it – the big enchilada.
Throughout this Countdown To Kickoff series here at Inside The Star we have covered a lot of greatness. We’ve had Pro Bowlers, All Pros, Super Bowl Champions, and Hall of Famers. Some numbers have stuck out a little bit more than others. 94 has two legendary pass rushers and Club 88 is all about being a big-time wide receiver.
Today, 22 in our Countdown To Kickoff, is the big enchilada.
The number 22 is arguably the greatest number in Dallas Cowboys History as it boasts two Pro Football Hall of Famers that played two different positions. Join me as we recount two of the most beloved players in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Following Players Have All Worn 22 For The Dallas Cowboys:
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
Legend Of #22: Bob Hayes
The NFL is filled with the finest athletes that the world has to offer. We’re talking about the most physically gifted individuals on the entire planet.
The biggest, the smartest, the strongest, and the fastest human beings all flock to the National Football League.
During the 7th round of the 1964 NFL Draft the actual fastest man on the face of the earth was drafted to play wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. What a wide receiver he would become.
Florida A&M – Robert Lee Hayes
Jump in my DeLorean and let’s go back to the Florida A&M campus in 1962 so we can see what this Robert Lee Hayes kid was all about. Don’t worry about that hoverboard or sports almanac; we’ll need those later (can you tell I love Back To The Future?).
Bob, as he’s known around town, doesn’t even need a DeLorean because he can reach 88 miles per hour by foot. In 1962 Hayes tied the world record for the 100-yard dash, running it in 9.2 seconds. He’d actually go on to break the record the following year with a time of 9.1 seconds, a record that would stand for 11 years. Bob also blasted through 200 meters in 20.5 seconds and 220 yards in 20.6 seconds (while running into an eight mile per hour wind, mind you). The words you’re looking for are, “holy crap.”
Konnichiwa! Tokyo, Japan played host to the 1964 Olympic Games when Bob Hayes became an official, and literal, worldwide sprinting sensation.
Bob Hayes won the Gold Medal in the 100m with a time of 10.06 seconds (tying the then world record). That’s faster than the time it took me to type that sentence!
Hayes also served as a part of the United States Men’s 4x100m Relay Team. When you’ve got Bob Hayes on your team you don’t need much else, as France’s Jocelyn Delocour put it, and with Hayes the red, white, and blue took gold… giving Bob his second Gold Medal in the Games.
Bob left Tokyo with two Gold Medals around his neck and returned home an American Hero. Two months later he would become a part of America’s Team.
1964 NFL Draft
The 1964 NFL Draft is arguably the greatest one to have ever taken place. It yielded 11 Pro Football Hall of Famers, more than any other draft class in history… three of them being Dallas Cowboys: Mel Renfro (2nd round), Bob Hayes (7th round), and Roger Staubach (10th round).
Bob, and Roger Staubach, were selected with “futures picks” which allowed them to be drafted by NFL teams before they finished their college eligibility.
Many wondered whether the track star, and Olympic Gold Medal Winner, Bob Hayes could succeed in pro football or not. I mean, sure the guy was fast, but could he catch?
Hayes sprinted into the NFL with force. He led the league in touchdowns in both of his first two years, with 12 and 13 respectively, while covering 2,235 yards in the process.
Bullet Bob Hayes
Bob Hayes was so fast that he was thought to be able to outrun a bullet, and he proved it on the football field. Hayes was the ultimate deep threat on the gridiron as evidenced by his league leading yards-per-reception in both 1970 and 1971, 26.1 and 24.0. Nobody could keep up with him.
The bullet speed of Bob Hayes forced defensive coordinators to adapt and completely change their defensive schemes. Teams had to move to a “zone” defense because Bob was going to beat whoever lined up on him in single man coverage every single time and therefore demanded deep, double man coverage schemes.
The “bump and run” technique was implemented largely to stop Bob Hayes. Defensive backs had to disrupt his route right off of the line of scrimmage just to have a chance at slowing him down. It was never any use and Bob Hayes ran past them all.
#22: Bob Hayes
The 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class featured the first man to win both an Olympic Gold Medal (1964) and a Super Bowl Ring (1971/Super Bowl VI). Bob Hayes posthumously joined the most elite fraternity in professional sports, his bust and memory being introduced by his quarterback, Roger Staubach.
Bob Hayes isn’t just one of the greatest Dallas Cowboys of all-time, he isn’t even just one of the greatest football players of all-time… Bob Hayes is one of the finest athletes to ever walk the face of the earth.
He was only the second Olympic Gold Medal Winner enshrined in the Hall of Fame, following Jim Thorpe… who serves as the inspiration for the Hall residing in Canton, Ohio.
The legend of Bob Hayes has rippled even into today’s NFL as the effect of his incredible speed serves as the foundation for so many NFL defenses. His career resume includes:
- 2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist (1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan)
- 365 Career Receptions
- 7,295 Career Receiving Yards (5th in Franchise History)
- 71 Career Receiving Touchdowns (1st in Franchise History)
- 20.0 Career Yards Per Reception Average (6th All-Time)
- 95 Yard Reception in 1966 (Longest Reception in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 3-Time Pro Bowl Selection (1965, 1966, 1967)
- 2-Time First-Team All-Pro Selection (1966, 1968)
- Super Bowl VI Champion
- Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, Class of 2001
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2009
Bob Hayes was one of the most magnificent wide receivers to ever play the game of football. He etched the number 22 into greatness, but another individual forever immortalized it.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to present, the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher…
Legend Of #22: Emmitt Smith
Despite 700 career attempts for 3,928 yards and 36 touchdowns… the University of Florida’s Emmitt Smith was thought to be “too small” for the professional game of football. This caused him to slip all the way to the 17th pick of the 1990 NFL Draft. Smith joined the Dallas Cowboys and was the final piece to what would become one of the most dominant teams in NFL History.
The new 22 joined quite the loaded team. He had an offensive line that was considered the best in the NFL, known as the Great Wall of Dallas, and he had a star quarterback named Troy Aikman who threw passes to the team’s number one receiver, Michael Irvin.
Other playmakers like Alvin Harper and Jay Novacek lined up on offense… but Smith, Aikman, and Irvin were a cut above the rest. “The Triplets” were about to dominate the game of football.
Smith put together 937 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first season, earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. After that is when things really got interesting.
1991 was the year that the Dallas Cowboys finally started cooking with gas and Emmitt Smith, to quote Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, took a FLAMETHROWER to it! Emmitt ran, ran, then ran some more, ran again, then kept running. Take a look at his stats from 1991-1995:
*Super Bowl Champions, NFL Leader
During this run Emmitt Smith became the first player in NFL History to rush for 1,400+ yards in five straight seasons, while leading the league in rushing in four of them.
This five-season window is also sandwiched between 1990 and 1996 when Smith had 11 and 12 touchdowns, respectively. That makes Emmitt one of three players to start their careers with seven straight ten-touchdown seasons; Jim Brown and LaDainian Tomlinson are the other two.
As you are probably well aware - the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1992, 1993, and 1995. This cemented them as a dynasty within the pages of Pro Football History, and the ink on the paper read Emmitt Smith.
In each of their Super Bowl seasons, the Dallas Cowboys were armed with the NFL’s rushing champion. Emmitt Smith and his Triplet Teammates made the Cowboys lethal from all aspects of the offense.
After winning their first title in 1992 the Cowboys, and Emmitt, wanted more in 1993. This became a historical year for Emmitt Smith as he became the first, and only, running back in NFL History to win in one season:
- NFL Rushing Title
- NFL MVP Award
- Super Bowl Championship
- Super Bowl MVP
Run, Emmitt, Run
After the Super Bowl victories Emmitt Smith was not done. He kept on running and uncovered yard after yard. He posted 1,000+ yard seasons all the way through 2001, which made him the first person not just to achieve 11 1,000+-yard seasons, but Emmitt achieved them consecutively!
Accolades like these obviously don’t happen to just any football player. It takes an enormous amount of grit, dedication, and durability to dominate such a physically violent game over such a long period of time.
Emmitt Smith was neither the fastest nor flashiest guy on the field, but he was the strongest. Smith had a will that absolutely could not be broken. Michael Irvin has long regarded that when Emmitt hit the field, he’d turn into Superman. It’s hard to dispute that as Emmitt was in fact a Man of Steel over the course of his entire career.
Once you reach the top of the mountain it’s hard to get back. We see every year how Super Bowl teams fall off because everyone is gunning for them. Even then, it’s human nature to get complacent once you’ve tasted the sweet nectar of victory. Not for Emmitt Smith.
Amidst all the awards, parades, and confetti showers... Emmitt Smith wanted more. There are many Super Bowl winners, there are plenty of NFL MVPs, but there is only one NFL All-Time Leading Rusher.
When Emmitt Smith entered the NFL the crown belonged to Walter Payton, and Emmitt knew it would take everything he had to win it. From the moment he had an NFL locker Emmitt Smith wrote down some goals that he wanted to achieve.
With such an illustrious career he had already accomplished a majority of them, now it was time to chase the big one.
After 11 straight 1,000+-yard seasons Emmitt Smith entered the 2002 season with the record in sight.
“Move Over, Sweetness! Make A Place For Emmitt!”
Through the first 7 games of the season, Emmitt chipped away. On October 27th, 2002 the Dallas Cowboys would play host to the Seattle Seahawks… and Emmitt Smith was 93 yards from Walter Payton.
I know that there are a lot of records in sports. I even know that a lot of them revolve around “iron man” type performances (Cal Ripken Jr. and Brett Favre come to mind). To conquer this record, and to unseat Walter Payton in doing so, took more will, drive, and durability than any of those in my opinion.
The running back position, especially in the days of Emmitt Smith, takes a beating. Even with a great offensive line and a fullback like Daryl Johnston, it’s a punishing gig. Only one man could have done it.
With approximately 10 minutes to go in the game, 13 yards away from glory, Emmitt Smith joined the huddle.
A short gain for 3 yards got the blood running of every football fan on earth. This is it. This is the drive. This is history.
Emmitt took the next handoff, hit the hole, bounced off a tackle, picked up a block, and stumbled off of the outstretched arm of a Seahawk. In typical Emmitt Smith fashion he placed his right hand on the turf just long enough to regain his balance and propel himself forward… into immortality.
Emmitt Smith had become the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher.
#22: Emmitt Smith
The career of Emmitt Smith far transcends what normal human beings are capable of doing. His accomplishments stretch almost as far as his career yardage total. They include:
- 8-Time Pro Bowl Selection (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999)
- 4-Time First-Team All-Pro Selection (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995)
- 4-Time NFL Rushing Leader (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995)
- 4,409 Career Rushing Attempts (Most All-Time)
- 349 Playoff Career Rushing Attempts (2nd All-Time)
- 164 Career Rushing Touchdowns (Most All-Time)
- 19 Playoff Career Rushing Touchdowns (Most All-Time)
- 175 Career Touchdowns (2nd All-Time)
- 21,579 Career Yards From Scrimmage (2nd All-Time)
- 1,586 Playoff Career Rushing Yards (Most All-Time)
- 201 Games Played (5th in Franchise History)
- 3-Time Super Bowl Champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
- 1993 NFL MVP
- Super Bowl XXVIII MVP
- Member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team
- Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, Class of 2005
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2010
- NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher – 18,355 yards (17,162 with Dallas)
It’s fitting that the number 22 belonged to both Bob Hayes and Emmitt Smith. Two twos compromise 22, and the two of these 22s took it all the way to the Hall of Fame... say that five times fast!
Bob Hayes set the foundation of greatness for the number 22, but Emmitt catapulted it into immortality. It is for that reason that Emmitt Smith is, and will forever be, the Greatest 22 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 21 in Dallas Cowboys History is!
Has the Time Come to Bid Farewell to WR Cole Beasley?
It was inevitable that we would reach this point eventually. I warned Cowboys Nation back in May to prepare yourselves that 2018 might be the last time we see Cole Beasley in a Dallas Cowboys uniform, and indeed that could be the scenario that plays out. Now a free agent, Beasley is free to sign with any team of his choosing.
The Dallas Cowboys have however shown an interest in bringing Cole Beasley back in the mix. They supposedly offered him a contract extension before the start of the season, but it was a number Beasley scoffed at. To me, this suggests the two sides may have a difficult time mutually agreeing on the money amount it would take to keep him in a Cowboys uniform for what could be the rest of his career.
Being a fan favorite too many Cowboys fans, it would be hard for many of us to see Cole Beasley playing in a different uniform. But more than that, his productivity in the passing game and bond with Quarterback Dak Prescott would surely be missed and not easily replaced.
As much as I hate to admit it, I have a hard time seeing the Dallas Cowboys extending Beasley's contract. Unfortunately, he's just not at the top of the list when it comes to handing out contract extensions. In fact, he could be at the bottom of the pecking order.
The Cowboys still have to extend DeMarcus Lawrence, Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott, and quite possibly Ezekiel Elliott and Byron Jones. All of these players are probably more of a priority than Beasley due to the positions they play and their age. That means No. 11 is likely the odd man out.
I'm not ruling out his return to Dallas just yet though. He may find the Cowboys previous offer was more than fair to the way other teams value him on the open market. That would certainly increase the possibility of him staying put and not having to uproot his family to another city.
There is no denying the Dallas Cowboys value Cole Beasley and what he brings to the passing game. His value may even rise a little now that Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan is no longer in the picture. A new OC definitely adds an interesting twist in determining Beasley's future with America's Team.
What do you think? Should the Dallas Cowboys extend Cole Beasley's contract?
Cowboys Chill While Pats & Rams Set to Thrill
If you were to check out the line on the Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, you might wander over to Sportsbook Review, where you could read a 5Dimes review and see what all the best online sportsbooks, first and foremost among them 5Dimes, are dealing on this intriguing matchup. Tom Brady and the Patriots, much to everyone’s chagrin outside the six New England states, are back in it – again – and are currently slight favorites over the emerging LA Rams.
In New England’s 37-31 victory over the Chiefs, the Patriots did what they always seem to do, which is rally late and win in dramatic fashion. It’s become almost a ho-hum experience in New England while the rest of the country bites on a bullet, cursing the embarrassment of riches and success that has been the standard of this Patriots’ franchise for two decades. But this was supposed to be the season that the dynasty would end after viewing Tom Brady’s often mediocre performances and his All-World tight end, Rob Gronkowski, hobbling up and down the field without the same reckless abandon as we’ve seen in year’s past. And then their only truly talented speed merchant capable of stretching the field, Josh Gordon, left the team under a cloud of suspicion.
Unfortunately for the rest of the nation, the Patriots' once porous defense coalesced into a rather stout unit and apparently, the two weeks between the end of the regular season and the start of the Patriots’ postseason was enough time for Brady to heal from his rumored sprained MCL that he had been dealing with in silence all season long.
Gronkowski must have also visited the same shaman as Brady because he looked as dominating as ever in ripping the Chiefs on every critical third-down throughout the final quarter. Finally, the conduit to much of Brady’s success, Julian Edelman, is now being mentioned as a Hall-of-Fame candidate when his run is done.
It’s all a bit much for everyone else, but not for Patriots Nation.
The LA Rams will be the Patriots’ latest foe on the league’s grandest stage as they have a burgeoning superstar in Jared Goff. Los Angeles tore through the regular season off of the golden arm of Goff and his Juggernauts, winning 13 of 16 and earning a first-round bye. Their first foray into the 2018 postseason was a 30-22 win over the determined but overwhelmed Dallas Cowboys. The Rams then traveled to the lair of Drew Brees and the Saints down on the bayou and came away with a 26-23 overtime victory.
However, had it not been for an inexcusable non-call, it is far more likely LA would be watching, rather than participating in this year’s Super Bowl. If you didn’t see it or hadn’t heard about it, then the question begs; why are you reading this article?
Of course, you know that LA’s cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman steamrolled New Orleans’ wideout Tommylee Lewis as Brees’ pass was descending toward Lewis inside the five-yard line. It was a penalty without a flag and that one blown call forced the Saints to settle for a field goal that pushed them ahead 23-20. Yet, there was still enough time on the clock to give Goff and his prolific Rams’ offense one last gasp at either tying the game or putting a dagger through the hearts of Saints’ fans everywhere with a touchdown in the waning moments.
It was the former and not the latter that occurred, but an errant pass by Brees in overtime sealed the deal as the Rams picked it off and ultimately ended the contest off the thunderous foot of Greg Zuerlein.
If you want to check out the line movements over the next two weeks for Super Bowl LIII then get on over to Sportsbook Review, read the 5Dimes review, and see exactly where the money is moving the spread as well as the total in the game. Buckle up Cowboys’ fans, it’s gonna get even more interesting as February 3rd draws near.
Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?
Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.
Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli
El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.
Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.
Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.
Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.
En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.
Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan
Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.
Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.
A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.
Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.
Head Coach Jason Garrett
El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.
Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.
Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.
Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.
Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.
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