Impressions of the 96 Cowboys

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by CoCo, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    Pulled out the 96 season playoffs from the archives yesterday and sharpened up my memory on a few things.
    • This team has a long ways to go to simply match the level of play of our crippled 96 team that lost in the divisional round of the playoffs.
    • Remember what good QBing looked like in Dallas? Go watch some old film of Aikman. OMG he was good. He made ridiculously precise passes that had no business being thrown much less completed. Thanks to Eric Bjornson, many of them weren't.
    • Oh, yeah. In 96 Aikman still had VERY good mobility.
    • I never was a huge Switzer fan but he is not the reason we lost in 96. We were incredibly snake-bit injury wise though some absences were certainly self-inflicted (Lett, Irvin, Carver) .
    • Haley, out with back surgery.
    • Carver missed early games, Lett late games due to substance violations.
    • Pup was coming back from achilles rupture.
    • Irvin missed 5 games to suspension early and broke the clavicle early in the Carolina playoff game.
    • Novacek watched the whole season from the sideline trying to heal his back.
    • Emmitt was hobbled all year by pain in the ankles. Even hobbled, wow, he's not the all-time rush king for no reason.
    • Brock Marion was hurt (don't recall what) - replaced by Teague.
    • Herschel was Emmitt's backup that year and a key return man. I LOVED having that additional weapon.
    • Larry Allen used to get into the 2nd level of the D to throw another block after clearing the opposing lineman first.
    • George Teague vs Vikes in PO's. Now THAT is ball-hawking.
    • Were there ever better ST's than what Avezzanno fielded in the early to mid 90's? Whoa!
    • Aikman to Irvin - Wow! If you haven't watched it recently, pull out a tape.
    • Watch Chris Boniol kick to remember what a steady unspectacular kicking game looks like.
    • Definition of role player = Kelvin Martin.
    • Definition of Greatness = Cowboys of the early to mid-90's.
  2. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Not the only time we accomplished that.
  3. calico

    calico Well-Known Member

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    I disagree about Switzer. Horrible coaching finally caught up to the talent of the team because of injuries and depth.
  4. jcblanco22

    jcblanco22 Active Member

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    Hard to believe that Novacek's last game was the January 1996 Super Bowl against the Steelers. Who would've ever guessed that while watching that victory?
  5. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    When a team wins, the coach is heralded as if he invented football.

    If the team loses, he is chided for his ineptness.

    In your comment, you suggest the team won inspite of the coach.

    Name me one team that has ever done this.

    Players are put in place to execute.

    If they fail to execute they lose.

    It is the coaches responsibility to put those players in the right place.

    So in 1995, the team won a championship because Campo and Zampese were the coordinators.?

    Or Jimmy's ghost was guiding the team?

    Horse feathers.

    I always despised Switzer, because I am a die-hard Texas fan.

    But Jimmy Johnson was not on the team, and Campo and Zampese were not the leader of this team from the coache's rank.

    People try to take the credit away from Switzer.

    But Emmitt Smith commented while being interviewed a few years ago about the fourth and one. And how Barry stepped up in the lockeroom and told the team he called the play twice because he so believed in them.

    He then stated he would take the flack and that they should not hang their heads. They were winners in his eyes.

    Emmitt said that speech was what galvanized the team.

    They did not lose again that season.

    I don't believe the all-time rushing leader would make these claims if he didn't believe Switzer had a hand in the championship.

    Only fans will rewrite history to fit their agendas.
  6. jcblanco22

    jcblanco22 Active Member

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    For years I've been able to count on reading a logical and thought-out perspective from you on all matters Cowboys, TD. Often they are perspectives that have gone way against the popular internet message board opinion, but you've put them out there regardless. I think you make another excellent point here.
  7. Billy Bullocks

    Billy Bullocks Active Member

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    Chalk Irving being out the 1st 5 games. Injuries all around and you can see how we lost out that year. Despite all that, if Tijay Armstrong makes that catch against Philly this is a 11-5 team right there.

    EMMITTnROY Well-Known Member

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    great, great, great post.. agreed my friend.. if not for some stupid mistakes made by our PLAYERS in the first few minutes and that non-call against Deion in the 1994 NFC Championship game, Switzer very well may have won 2 Super Bowls.. the man has always been a winner.. but replacing Jimmy after two Super Bowl wins, he was put in a no-win situation.. if he wins, its because he inherited the team.. if he loses, he is an absolute idiot..
  9. skinsscalper

    skinsscalper Well-Known Member

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    Another thing I remember about that playoff season was the alleged rape allegations that come out the week prior to the game in Carolina (I beleive it was Erik Williams and another O-lineman implicated) The case was (of course) later dropped and the woman admitted that nosuch crime was ever comitted. That's when the Cowboy hate was at an all time high. And, I still have my suspicions about the orchestration and timing of the rape allegations. Then I knew it was the beginning of the end for that particular Cowboy run. I'm not going to claim to be a fortune teller, but I remeber turning to my GF at the time and saying "The Cowboys won't be good again for another ten years."

    It's year ten and I'm sick of waiting.......

  10. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Nina Sharavan stated Erik Williams raped her as Michael Irvin filmed it.

    She was later deported to her homeland for prostitution.

    Larry Allen was also implicated that season by a dancer from a strip club on Industrial Boulevard for rape.

    he supposedly held a knife to her throat as he assualted her.

    It came out that they were having an affair and she was trying to cash a check after he called it off.

    But the idea of a Larry Allen needing a knife to force a woman into sex is the height of humor.

    He could growl and get his way with 90 % of the women on this planet.
  11. wick

    wick Active Member

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    A couple of things stand out for me about the 1996 team. One, I thought it was the best defensive team we fielded in the '90s. The stats may or may not show it, but we won a bunch of low-scoring games in which the defense just shut down the opposition. In half of our games the opponent scored 10 points or less. Two, the win in Miami against Jimmy Johnson's Dolphins was the best display of passing I ever saw from Troy Aikman. I don't know what his stats were, but he must have hit that intermediate out about a dozen times in the game, and each pass was absolutely perfect. He just carved up the Dolphins in that game.

    In some ways, the 1996 team was like Pittsburgh's 1976 team: great defensively but just not enough offense to put us over the top. I think we definitely win the Colts and Bills games if Irvin was playing, and we probably win the Carolina game if Irvin doesn't get hurt. That would have given us a crack at Green Bay at a time where we had won something like seven straight over the Packers.
  12. TheSkaven

    TheSkaven Last Man Standing

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but 1996 was the year that Dallas blew Minnesota out of the playoffs and then lost to Carolina in the divisional playoffs. As bad as the team played that year (compared to the season before), I agree that they had some bad breaks. If Michael Irvin doesn't go down early in the playoff game against Carolina, they win that game and probably beat Green Bay to go to the Superbowl (Dallas owned Green Bay during that time).

    Oh yeah, and if Jimmy Johnson stayed on I still maintain Dallas would have won five straight Superbowls, 92 through 96.
  13. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    Thta was the point of this whole thread. Go back and review what went on personnel-wise with this team in 96 and you soon realize that Jimmy would not have been the difference maker in 96. There were simply too many injuries and suspensions.

    Anthony Thomas, the Carolina RB in case the name escapes you, gutted us up the middle with Lett suspended. Yes, if Mike doesn't get hurt, I think we might sneak by Carolina. But if Jimmy is here it doesn't bring Lett back from suspension, nor keep Irvin from breaking his collarbone, nor Deion from breaking his orbital (Carolina game) nor Haley & Novacek from their bad backs. And on and on it goes.

    We're gonna go into Lambeau and beat a very good GBay team without Irvin, Deion, Haley, Lett, Novacel etc. Sorry I don't think so.

    Now if we were healthy, or reasonably so... But we weren't, and that gets lost amidst the Jimmy melodrama.
  14. jcblanco22

    jcblanco22 Active Member

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    Coco, it's Anthony Johnson you're referring to in the Carolina game as the running back, and yes, you just reminded me of how badly he did run over us that day!
  15. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    Our depth was gone by 1996. Deion was our starting WR. Erik Bjornsen was not an adequate replacement for Jay ... even though he finished with 46 receptions, he just didn't move the chains like Jay did.

    Kevin Williams proved that his strong 2005 finish really was a fluke, and Switzer embarrassed himself as usual when Stepfret Williams made his first and only catch of the season.

    The Offense fell to 26th in the league. But the D still finished #2 in the NFL.

    We finished with 10 Pro Bowlers

    Troy Aikman (qb), Larry Allen (ol), Ray Donaldson (ol), Nate Newton (ol), Deion Sanders (db), Jim Schwantz (lb), Tony Tolbert (dl), Erik Williams (ol), Darren Woodson (db).

    Nevertheless, we still have miles to go just to match this watered down 1996 team. Luckily, the entire NFL is watered down so getting to the same spot may not take as much muscle as before.
  16. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    Very true. Goddfrey was young, Deion and Woody were in their prime, and Leon Lett was a man among men in the middle of that DL. They wouldn't get much pressure, but you could find no place to throw the ball so it didn't really matter. Lett made it impossible to run the ball.

    After he was suspended for the final few games you could see the gaping hole he left behind.
  17. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    That was the one year that the Deion and Kevin Smith CB combo really worked. In later years, the refs started calling PI on Smith so often that the opposing team began lobbying for it after every incompletion to Smith's man.

    The shame about Lett in 1996 is that he was having a great season up till the suspension.
  18. jcblanco22

    jcblanco22 Active Member

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    Wick, one thing that stands out for me regarding games where the defense shut down the opposition that season: Remember when we beat BP's and Bledsoe's Patriots 12-6 late in the year at Texas Stadium? The defense frustrated them so completely that day that Parcells took a rare media shot at the officials, saying that their receivers "were tackled" by our corners on their last gasp, 4th down incompletion at the end of the game.
  19. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives. Zone Supporter

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    I remember that game. The only game I ever saw at Texas Stadium. I remember it being 70 degrees on Saturday and 30 degrees and sleeting the next day.

    My GF figured she didn't need a jacket for the trip...she was right, she wore mine and I frooze my butt
  20. jcblanco22

    jcblanco22 Active Member

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    Eddie, agreed about Bjornson. He came closer in performance to the guy who was Jay's teammate in Phoenix and who we picked up in Plan B the same year as Jay, Rob Awalt, than he did to Jay, LOL. My biggest beef w/ Bjornson was that he seemed to constantly have nagging ankle injuries that seemingly stretched from '96 clean through to all of the '97 season.

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