Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboys

Jones, Jerry “Jerrah”

mem jerry jonesAcquired: IP 1991, Westlake Dallas Cowboys Scrimmage

Leaving the Dallas Cowboys autograph event at Westlake way back in 1991, I caught Jerry climbing up the bleachers. He was sucking in the limelight and gleefully signing things for fans and children. He gave me his autograph on this drawing I did- which is laughable now looking back.

Jerry purchased the team back in 1989 and immediately made waves. He fired longtime coach Tom Landry and brought in his own crony- longtime friend and former teammate at Arkansas, Jimmy Johnson, to coach the team. Johnson and Jerrah worked well together and had to take their lumps after making bold predictions of the franchise’s future winnings. Still after a 1-15 season, the team was able to right the ship slowly but surely. Jerry and Jimmy did well with in the draft, and made a killing on the Herschel Walker trade. The Cowboys won their first Super Bowl at the end of the 1992 season and followed this up quickly with another title in 1993.

Jerrah made bold predictions about how he could win without Johnson, and Jimmy at that point had enough and was ‘forced out’. Jones brought in Barry Switzer to coach the team. Switzer indeed did bring the Cowboys another title after the 1995 season. Switzer himself left the team after he was busted with a gun in his bag at the airport. The team has gone through various other coaches since then: Dave Campo, Chan Gailey, Wade Philips, and Jason Garrett.

Jones has received more and more criticism as the year goes on, much of it warranted. He does have the title of General Manager, and is one of the most hands on owners in all of sports. His appearance has also changed with more and more plastic surgery, and his frequent appearances on TV and in commercials don’t help either. Many fans feel that Jerrah only cares now about making money, charging fees to take tours off of the new stadium while the team is mired in mediocrity, and liken him more and more to the late Al Davis everyday- an owner that took Jones under his wing early on.

Jerry’s strength lies in his business skills and acumen when it comes to doing what’s best for his franchise.  He’s been able to get a new, amazing stadium built in Dallas, leveraged contracts with vendors to identify with the Cowboys’ brand, and mentored a lot of players with how best to use their money after retirement.  Although I am hard on him, admittedly, I must give credit where credit is due, and it is probably on the merit of the above, that he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2017 class as an owner. Jerry is also quite good to fans and honors all TTM requests through the Cowboys organization.

Weeden, Brandon ‘Weeds’

Card: Topps Valor 2013  (#68/70)
Acquired: 2017, Ebay

Brandon Weeden. What an interesting road it has been for him, and so, a fortuitous one for him and the Houston Texans. Weeds took a different approach to the NFL, as he was a baseball player first that was drafted in the second round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft by the Yankees. He pitched in the minor leagues with them, then later the Dodgers, the Royals, and after the 2006 season quit the sport all together to focus on football, enrolling at Oklahoma State where he was a 2 year starter. He posted some impressive numbers, and set school single game and season records for the Cowboys.

He’d become the oldest player selected in the first round (28), by the Cleveland Browns in 2012. The Browns have been a cesspool for quarterbacks since they returned to the NFL.  He’d beat out Colt McCoy for the starting job and after a rough start posted a club rookie record 3,385 yards passing- nevermind his 14 to 17 TD to INT ratio or his 5-10 record. The winds of Cleveland blew fiercely and the 3rd new head coach in 4 years (Rob Chudzinski) was not impressed by Weeds.  After 5 ineffective starts, Brandon was unceremoniously benched for Brian Hoyer.  Although Brandon was on pace to improve in only his second season as a starter in the NFL, it was obvious his time was short with the Browns. During that season with Cleveland, Brandon threw a 95 yard TD to lead the NFL.

It was a new world in 2014 for Brandon. Considered a part of Pat Shurmur or Rob Chudzinski’s aborted regimes, new head coach Mike Pettine cleared house.  Weeds signed with the Dallas Cowboys to compete with Kyle Orton for the backup job behind oft injured Tony Romo. Beating out Orton in camp, Weeden saw some limited playing time during his first season with the team. The Cowboys considered him a lucrative insurance policy for Romo.

The wheels fell off the Cowboys in 2015. With a season ending injury to Tony, Brandon assumed the role as the starting quarterback during week 2. After posting a 0-3 record as starter for the Cowboys, Brandon quickly found himself on the outside looking in, when Matt Cassel replaced him in the lineup- largely to the same results.  It must have been difficult for Weeds, as the coaches and ownership paid him plenty of lip service both in the clubhouse and in public- nonetheless, he was cut in mid-November.

The Texans have had a hard time keeping a quarterback upright for a full 16 game slate going back to 2012 (Matt Schaub).  2015 was no different. Ironically former Brown Brian Hoyer won the job in camp fighting off the imploding Ryan Mallett. The legend TJ Yates returned after the team had enough of Mallett, but after Hoyer was placed in concussion limbo, the team scrambled to find a backup for Yates. Enter: Brandon Weeden.

I remember when the Texans signed Brandon the following day after being cut by the Cowboys. Honestly, I was terrified.  He was a heartbeat away from being the Texans starting quarterback if Yates was injured. Houston controlled their own destiny to winning the division but was involved in a dogfight with the Colts.

It’d be in that game, in Week 15 against the Colts at Indianapolis- a place that the Texans had never won, that Weeden would finally come alive. With Yates tearing his ACL early in the game, Weeden came in and deftly executed the offense. He went 11 of 18 and threw for a TD to Jalen Strong early in the 4th quarter. The Texans, won 16-10 and took the driver’s seat for the division that the Colts had held nearly all season.  The following week the Texans dominated the hapless Titans 35-6. Weeds threw for 200 yards on 15 of 24 passing, including 2 passing TDs and a rushing TD. While he’d return to the bench the following week as Hoyer finally cleared the concussion protocol, Brandon Weeden cleared his little place in Texans lore that season- and earned a fair amount of respect from me.

Brandon in 2016 did not see any playing time behind the erratic Brock Osweiler or Tom Savage.  He’d be among the Texans final cuts before the season began in 2017 as many teams were only electing to keep 2 quarterbacks on their roster. A few weeks later he’d find a home and join the Tennessee Titans.

Reeves, Dan

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1990, ProSet 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 12/9    Received: 12/19   (10 days)

Dan Reeves has had a long and successful NFL career as both a coach and a player. The soft spoken quarterback went undrafted out of South Carolina in 1965. While with the Gamecocks, Reeves posted 2561 yards passing along with 16 touchdowns to 20 interceptions. He also rushed for 815 yards on 359 carries. The Cowboys liked Dan’s versatility enough that they signed him and converted him to runningback. He’d play with the Cowboys for 7 seasons from 1965-1972. His best season came in 1966 when Dan led the NFL with 16 total touchdowns. He also had a career high 175 carries for 757 yards, and 41 receptions for 557 yards. After a pretty solid followup season in 1967 (603 yards on 173 carries, 39 receptions for 490 yards, and 11 total touchdowns) Dan would see his playing time decrease thanks in part to a lingering knee injury.

In 1972 Reeves joined Tom Landry‘s staff as an assistant coach. A coveted member of the Dallas staff, Dan attracted the attention of the Denver Broncos who hired him as their head coach in 1981. At the time the move made waves as Reeves was the youngest coach in league history.  He was given sweeping powers at the time and made shrewd moves that changed the landscape of the NFL. Reeves brought winning ways back to Denver during his 12 years coaching for the Broncos. He identified numerous talent and fostered his own coaching tree. He engineered the trade that brought John Elway to Denver, and the Broncos made 3 Super Bowl appearances under his watch.  After a tumultuous 1992, Dan would be fired but quickly found a home with the New York Giants in 1993.

Reeves brought many of his former Denver castoffs to New York and rebuilt the franchise from the ashes of the Ray Handley debacle. He earned Coach of the Year honors for leading the Giants to an 11-5 record.  Dan coached with the Giants through the 1996 season.

Dan again found a new coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons. After a 7-9 campaign in 1997, he’d lead the team to new heights with a 14-2 record, with the Falcons making their first Super Bowl appearance in 1998, and Reeves again earning Coach of the Year Honors. He’d resign from the Falcons job in 2003, but his name came up constantly over the next 5-7 years for various vacancies.

In 2005 Reeves acted as a consultant for the Houston Texans. With the team showing poorly, Dan sat in the owners booth with owner Bob McNair to provide feedback on the coaching and overall organization. After the season concluded with a 2-14 mark, the franchise cleared house. While I would’ve been happy with Reeves coming in as head coach, the franchise opted for Gary Kubiak instead and hired General Manager Rick Smith. This laid the foundation for the Texans to get to a level of respectability in the NFL.

Since that time, Reeves has toyed with the idea of returning to the NFL, acting as a consultant briefly with Georgia State, flirting with the Cowboys as a consultant, and interviewing for the 49ers OC job in 2010.  He briefly dabbled in broadcasting and is very personable with his fans.

I never really considered getting Dan’s autograph until I came across his ProSet 1992 issue. It’s a great and poignant photo showcasing what a classy guy Dan is.

G/GS 100/39    RUSH 535     YDS 1990     AVG 3.7       TD 25    LG 67
REC 129     YDS 1693       AVG 13.1       TD 17      LG 60

W  190      L 165     T 2     PCT .535