With DeMarcus Ware blazing a trail to Denver, he’s leaving as the team’s all-time sack leader as well as a sure-fire Hall of Famer.
Millions of fans were shocked and saddened by the move. Most of those fans knew there was a possibility this day could come, but it was still a shock to the system, and the thought of him wearing another uniform was just sickening to most. So with reading and hearing the emotions of so many young fans I couldn’t help but think back to another Former Cowboys great who, at the tail-end of his hall of fame career, blazed his trail to Denver as well.
In 1977 the Cowboys made a trade with the Seattle Seahawks to choose Tony Dorsett as the second overall pick in that year’s draft. Dorsett came in with much more fanfare than Ware did, but most of that was because he just won the Heisman trophy in his last season at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dorsett came to a team that was loaded with all pros and future hall of famers; he didn’t have the same pressure like Ware or other high draft picks would normally have. But like Ware, he still busted his tail and gave everything he had.
Tony helped the Cowboys win their second Super Bowl his rookie year and went on to make the playoffs for seven straight seasons after that. Along the way he was putting up 1,000 yard seasons one after another, and of course let’s not forget about the 99 yard TD run in Minnesota in 1982.
Once the middle of the 1980’s rolled around you could see a change, and it’s a change all the greats go through after playing for so many years. And while this was happening, the team decided to bring in Herschel Walker who was supposed to pick up where Dorsett was leaving off.
Cowboys fans knew it was coming.
Fans were excited because of the explosive and younger Walker, however there was sadness because they knew the days of seeing greatness from number 33 were numbered.
Then on June 4th, 1988 that day came and Tony Dorsett was traded to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos were a Super Bowl contending team then and felt like Dorsett could get them to where they wanted to go.
I was watching my 20 inch TV – rabbit ears and all – when it was announced on CBS that he was traded. This was my hero, the guy I use to impersonate while playing football outside with my friends. This couldn’t be happening. I remember looking up at my Tony Dorsett poster on my wall and a tear coming down my face; I was devastated.
The only news about the trade I could hear back then was from my Dallas Cowboys Weekly and Sports Illustrated. But I didn’t need a Twitter account or Facebook page to know people were upset about the move. I could feel it, so I knew Cowboys Nation felt the same.
Fast forward 26 years later to March 12th, 2014: Fans everywhere heard the news Ware was leaving the Cowboys and another Cowboys great had blazed a trail to Denver. DeMarcus Ware was more than a favorite player, he was an idol, and he was the player kids wanted to be while playing football with their friends.
And just like that day on June 4th, 1988, I’m sure there were some tears rolling down a few faces and some were devastated. Even though most people have Twitter and Facebook to read and hear about how upset everyone is, like me over 25 years ago, you didn’t need to have any of those things to know the hurt Cowboys Nation was going through – you could just feel it.