Dallas Cowboys 101...1987

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Row 1
    • 4 Mike Saxon, P
    • 9 Roger Ruzek, K
    • 11 Danny White, QB
    • 14 Paul McDonald, QB
    • 16 Steve Pelluer, QB
    • 19 Kevin Sweeney, QB
    • 23 Robert Williams, CB
    • 24 Everson Walls, CB
    • 26 Michael Downs, S
    • 30 Timmy Newsome, RB
    Row 2
    • 33 Tony Dorsett, RB
    • 34 Herschel Walker, RB, Pro Bowl
    • 36 Vince Albritton, S/LB
    • 38 Ron Francis, CB
    • 40 Bill Bates, S
    • 42 Darryl Clack, RB
    • 45 Manny Hendrix, CB
    • 46 Todd Fowler, FB
    • 50 Jeff Rohrer, LB
    • 53 Garth Jax, LB
    • 54 Randy White, DT
    Row 3
    • 55 Steve DeOssie, LB
    • 56 Eugene Lockhart, LB
    • 57 Ron Burton, LB
    • 58 Mike Hegman, LB
    • 59 Jesse Penn, LB
    • 60 Donald Smerek, DE
    • 61 Nate Newton, OL
    • 62 Brian Baldinger, OL
    • 63 Glen Titensor, G
    • 64 Tom Rafferty, G
    Row 4
    • 65 Kurt Petersen, G
    • 66 Kevin Gogan, T
    • 67 George Lilja, C
    • 68 Crawford Ker, G
    • 70 Bob White, OL
    • 71 Mark Tuinei, OT/DL
    • 72 Ed Jones, DE
    • 73 Danny Noonan, DL
    • 76 Jeff Zimmerman, G
    • 77 Jim Jeffcoat, DE
    • 80 Rod Barksdale, WR
    • 81 Kelvin Edwards, WR
    Row 5
    • Jerry Fowler, Equipment Assistant
    • 82 Mike Renfro, WR
    • 83 Kelvin Martin, WR
    • 84 Doug Cosbie, TE
    • 85 Steve Folsom, TE
    • 86 Mike Sherrard, WR
    • 87 Gordon Banks, WR
    • 89 Thornton Chandler, TE
    • 94 Randy Watts, DE
    • 95 Mark Walen, DT
    • 99 Kevin Brooks, DT
    • Buck Buchanan, Equipment Manager
    Row 6
    • Don Cochren, Trainer
    • Ben Agajanian, Coach
    • Alan Lowry, Coach
    • Paul Hackett, Coach
    • Al Lavan, Coach
    • Jim Erkenbeck, Coach
    • Tom Landry, Head Coach
    • Neill Armstrong, Coach
    • Mike Solari, Coach
    • Jerry Tubbs, Coach
    • Dick Nolan, Coach
    • Ernie Stautner, Coach
    • Bob Ward, Coach
    • Ken Locker, Assistant Trainer
    :star: 1987 Cowboys Draft :star:
    1…Danny Noonan, DT, Nebraska
    2…Ron Francis, DB, Baylor
    3…Jeff Zimmerman, G, Florida
    4…Kelvin Martin, WR, Boston College
    1 time All Pro...1992
    5…Everett Gay, WR, Texas
    6…Joe Onosai, G, Hawaii
    7…Kevin Sweeney, QB, Fresno State
    8…Kevin Gogan, G, Washington
    9…Alvin Blount, RB, Maryland
    10…Dale Jones, LB, Tennessee
    11…Jeff Ward, K, Texas
    12…Scott Armstrong, LB, Florida

    :star: 1987 Cowboys Schedule :star:

    9/13/87…Lost @ St. Louis Cardinals, 13-24
    9/20/87…Won @ New York Giants, 16-14
    9/2787…Game vs. Buffalo Bills cancelled by strike
    10/4/87…Won @ New York Jets, 38-24
    “Replacement game”

    10/11/87…Won vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 41-22
    “Replacement game”

    10/19/87…Lost vs. Washington Redskins, 7-13
    “Replacement game”

    10/25/87…Lost @ Philadelphia Eagles, 20-37
    11/2/87…Won vs. New York Giants, 33-24
    11/8/87…Lost @ Detroit Lions, 17-24
    11/15/87…Won @ New England Patriots, 23-17 OT
    11/22/87…Lost vs. Miami Dolphins, 14-20
    11/26/87…Lost vs. Minnesota Vikings, 38-44 OT
    12/6/87…Lost vs. Atlanta Falcons, 10-21
    12/13/87…Lost @ Washington Redskins, 20-24
    12/21/87…Won @ Los Angeles Rams, 29-21
    12/27/87…Won vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 21-16

    4-3 @ Dallas
    3-5 on the road

    Points scored...340, 22.7 ppg
    Points allowed...348, 23.2 ppg

    All time franchise record...247-149-6
    All time Post Season Record...20-16
  2. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    The 1987 season began with the threat of another players strike looming over the league. Danny White returned as the starting QB, Dorsett was still officially the starting RB with Walker coming off the bench. The Cowboys were thin at WR. The team cut Tony Hill in the off season and just a few days later promising youngster Mike Sherrard broke his leg in a freak jogging accident. The steady Mike Renfro, plagued with injuries himself at this stage of his career, was still a starter, but opposite him Dallas had to rely on the likes of Gordon Banks and Rod Barksdale. Kelvin Edwards emerged later in the season as another option, but none of the Dallas wideouts sparked fear in the opposition. Doug Cosbie was still a solid TE, but Walker was the only real offensive spark on the team.

    On defense, Dallas still relied on veterans from the 1970s, Randy White, John Dutton, and Too Tall Jones to anchor the line along with solid Jim Jeffcoat. Dallas drafted for defense at the top of the 1987 draft and CB Ron Francis stepped in as an immediate starter.

    The season began in St Louis against the Cardinals. Dallas seemed to be in control of the game for most of the afternoon. White threw a TD to Banks to put Dallas ahead 13-3 early in the fourth quarter. But then, an unusual sequence of events took place. At the two minute warning, Cardinal QB Neil Lomax hit Roy Green for a TD to make it 13-10. St. Louis quickly regained the ball and Green scored again. After a Dallas turnover, Earl Ferrell (who?) scored again. It was a 21 point flurry in the final two minutes of the game to send the Cowboys home as losers by a 24-13 score.

    The next week, Dallas went on the road to play the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. It was another hard-hitting turnover filled game similar to the one played there in 1986 between these two teams. Both starting QBs threw four interceptions, but Dallas managed to grab a two point lead in the fourth quarter. Then, Dallas put together a time consuming drive that made it all the way to the Giants one-yard line before stalling. Coach Landry had a choice on fourth down. Kick a FG to go up by five, or go for the touchdown to clinch the game. Landry called Walker’s number on a dive, but the Giants were ready and they stuffed the play. Simms then directed a hurry-up offense to the Cowboy 29 where they lined up for a last second game winning kick. It missed and Dallas celebrated. They were 1-1 on the year.

    The players strike came that week. The NFL came up with the idea of hiring replacement players, street free agents, that would come in and play the games. The Cowboys had already scouted for this possibility and came up with some decent players. QB Kevin Sweeny and WR Kelvin Edwards were two of these players that later stuck with the team. Dallas won their first replacement game easily, but dissension soon appeared as some regular players returned to the field, prompting harsh words from some of the striking players. Randy White and Too Tall Jones, for example, played in all of the replacement games. Danny White and Dorsett crossed as well, but saw little playing time until the third such game. The strike issue lingered and caused bad feelings for the rest of the year.

    The second replacement game sparked bad feelings in Eagle coach Buddy Ryan, who was angry that Dallas allowed the picket-crossing players to play in the game and he was also angry that Landry called a reverse to Kelvin Edwards (a replacement player) on the first play of the game that went for a long TD, but his concern over the reverse play has been forgotten over the years in lieu of a “running up the score” charge. I guess Ryan was really upset over Danny White throwing three passes and Dorsett carrying the ball four times. The last Dallas score came after an Eagle fumble was returned by a Dallas replacement linebacker to the one-yard line where a replacement RB dove in for the touchdown. That was in the third quarter. The Eagles put up 12 points after that play to close out the scoring and Dallas won 41-22.

    Danny White started ahead of Sweeney against the Redskins. Sweeney had played well and had chemistry with the other substitute players. I thought at the time that it was a mistake to start White because of this. White struggled and the Redskins (with none of their regular players in the game) beat Dallas 13-7. The Redskins only touchdown came on a reverse oddly enough. The strike ended with Dallas standing with a 3-2 record and a divided locker room.

    Dallas faced the Eagles, the regular Eagles, next week. Buddy Ryan took the chance to gain his own brand of revenge late in the game. Randall Cunningham knelt and downed the ball with the Eagles holding a 30-20 lead. With time ticking away, Cunningham faked a second kneel-down and flung a pass for the end zone. The ball fell incomplete but the refs called pass interference on Dallas. From the one, Cunningham leapt into the end zone for a rub-it-in TD. Ryan gloated in the post-game that “what goes around comes around.” Whatever.

    So Dallas was 3-3 and having to put up with that nonsense along with all of the other problems when the Giants were next on the schedule. The team talked about rallying and coming together for a big effort in this game. The Giants were in terrible shape, holding a 1-5 record and having major problems of their own. The Cowboys led at the half 14-10, but fell behind 24-14 thanks to a Lawrence Taylor interception and some long touchdown passes by Simms. Dallas kicked a FG to move closer. Then the game shifted. Simms dropped back and threw a pass. Too Tall Jones tipped the ball right to Jeffcoat who ran it in for a touchdown. It was a very similar play as in the 1985 game versus the Giants and it tied the game at 24. From then, it was all Dallas. The fourth quarter saw three Dallas sacks, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. Dallas won 33-24 and it was a very emotional win. The MNF cameras caught some Cowboys hovering around Landry with a Gatorade bucket and they speculated if the coach was about to receive an unexpected shower, but the bucket contained only white towels and Landry smiled when they dumped them on his head.

    Dallas was 4-3 and still in the playoff hunt. The next week they went into Detroit and laid an egg, losing 27-17. White threw four interceptions and Dorsett had a costly fumble. Landry said after the game that he could tell early on that his team was not ready to play. They were flagged for 11 penalties.

    The big move came the next week. Landry named Walker as the starting RB. The Dorsett/Walker debate was another of the things that divided the team in 1987, but this week at least it paid off. Dallas faced the Patriots in Foxboro. They committed 15 penalties this week, but overcame them with a superb rushing game from Walker and some timely heroics from White and Renfro. The Cowboys were behind 17-14 with time running out in regulation when they faced a fourth down and long. White threw a clutch 43-yard pass to Renfro to pick up the first down and put the Cowboys in field goal position to tie the game. In the overtime period, Walker broke free for a 60-yard touchdown to win the game. Walker gained 173 rushing yards for the game. White commented that Walker looked like a “blue flame” on the winning play.

    The next week was against Miami. Pelluer came in the game to replace the injured White and could only dink and dunk the ball. Meanwhile, Troy Stratford ran all over the Cowboys, who game planned to stop Dan Marino. Miami won 20-14.

    On Thankgiving, Dallas faced the Vikings in what turned out to be a classic shootout. Twice in the game Dallas clawed back from 14 point deficits to tie and found themselves behind 38-24 with less than nine minutes to go, but Danny White played a tremendous game, despite frequent booing from the home crowd, and threw two late touchdown passes to Renfro for the tie at 38 all. But in overtime, White threw his third interception of the day on a forced pass and the Vikings won the game. White was upset after the game and blamed himself.

    The next game was a flat loss to the Falcons. Tex Schramm said he was embarrassed by the team and owner Bum Bright questioned Landry’s play calling. It was a low point for the Dallas Cowboys. The next week, Dallas faced the 9-3 Redskins and somehow the Cowboys pulled themselves together for a gritty performance. There was a bench-clearing brawl late in the game after a White touchdown pass pulled the Cowboys to within four points. Following that, the Redskins ran out the clock aided by a close third and short play after the refs refused to measure the spot and called it a first down and a personal foul penalty on Bill Bates after another third down stop. The Redskins went on to win the super bowl.

    At 5-8, Landry decided to bench White for the season and give young Pelluer a shot in the final two games. The next opponent was the Rams, still clinging to a faint playoff shot. Walker and Dorsett, (whom the MNF announcers called “not a museum piece”) combined for 244 total yards and Everson Walls made a key interception late to win the game. There was a question about whether Walls had both feet in bounds and the replay clearly showed chalk flying up from Walls foot scraping the ground. The replay officials looked while Walls played the crowd and the cameras, holding the ball and pleading his case. Finally, the officials ruled in his favor.

    The last game of the year was a chilly afternoon in Dallas against the Cardinals. This was also the last game played by the St Louis football Cardinals. They moved to Arizona for the next season. Dallas won with a solid performance, holding Lomax out of the end zone in the waning seconds (knocking the Cards out of the playoffs) and getting a productive day from Walker. This was Tony Dorsett’s last game as a member of the Cowboys.

    1987 was a year of controversy and division off the field, and poor performance on the field. The team played “flat” for extended periods and the injuries and penalties piled up. With the current talent level, Dallas was going nowhere fast. Mediocrity defined the team in 1987, but soon things would happen that would make even mediocrity look good by comparison.
  3. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    I believe he broke it the first time in training camp and the second time jogging on the beach.

    You'll notice that Danny "Bust" Noonan is missing from that photo. He was still a holdout at that point. Very little is worth remembering save for Walker's OT run and the wild Thanksgiving shootout. That last White INT was a killer, though he threw for like a million yards. Funny how our most dominant stretch of football came with the scrubs.
  4. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    I can't really remember how he broke it, but I heard about it on the radio while having lunch at the local mall. I remember thinking, "this is bad."

    The whole season was pretty bad, except for a tiny handful of highlights.
  5. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    I was in boot camp during most of this season and didn't even know about the replacement players until the season was almost over.

    Sounds like it was a good season to miss. :laugh2:

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