New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 19, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
10A New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Wednesday, December 19, 1984Cowboys missed playoffs, but added guts
You can’t see it, of course, but I have just hoisted a Diet Coke in honor of the Dallas Cowboys, who finished their season with a 28-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins Monday night.
That seems a little strange: making a toast to a team which just finished its worst season in a decade. And before the day is over, I plan to hoist several more. It’ll mean typing with one hand, but that doesn’t bother me.
The Cowboys deserve it.
It’s ironic, l^st year at this time, the Cowboys were 12-4, and everyone was in a blue funk. This year, the Dallas wound up 9-7, missed the playoffs for the first time since an 8-6 season in 1974, and things seem upbeat.
They should be. The Cowboys played well at the end of the season. They lost their last two games, but they could have easily won both. And they fought hard.
Last year’s team had no character, no heart. Last year’s team beat people on sheer talent, and folded the final three weeks of the season against good teams, when talent alone isn’t enough.
This year, the Cowboys decided to get ornery. It was a good thing they did. Had they tried to get by on talent, the 1984Robert Johnson
Cowboys would have w’ound up 4-12. Instead, they came out hitting.
.The defense set the pace. Defensive coordinator Ernie Stauntner put two safeties on the center’s nose for a kamikaze blitz. He sent combinations of safeties, cornerbacks and linebackers after the quarterback. He played a “fire drill” defense, making hurried substitutions once he’d seen the offensive formation.
It didn't always work, but it unnerved some folks. Green Bay’s Lynn Dickey had to be pulled because he couldn’t get away from the blitz. New England’s Tony Eason was sacked IO times on Thanksgiving Day. New Orleans’ Ken Stabler gave up a touchdown sack to Randy White and retired. Washington’s Joe Theismann, one of the league's most mobile quarterbacks, was sacked eight times in Dallas’ 30-28 loss to the Redskins.
Let’s also give a little credit to the much-maligned offense, and to the battered of
fensive line. That group, with two starters gone and almost everyone hobbling and playing out of position by season’s end, did a heroic job.
And let’s hoist a case of Diet Cokes for Tony Dorsett, who suffered through the toughest season of his football career. Because of the chaos in the offensive line, Dorsett took some tough licks. He spent much of the season turning three-yard losses into no gains.
To make matters worse, his father suffered a stroke and passed away in midseason. But he kept at it, and emerged as a team leader.
The Cow'boys built some character this year, a quality they’ve 'ften lacked. The came together after losing ^ Buffalo four weeks ago, laying a foundation for licit year.
Now they face an important off-season building on that foundation.
First on the agenda: end the quarterback controversy. Both Danny White and Gary Hogeboom played shakily, knowing they might be yanked at any minute. Trade one of them, and put both out of their misery.
But to whom? And for what? To really get
a top-notch player, the Cowboys need to trade for one of the top draft picks. That means Buffalo, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis or Atlanta.
What I’d like to see Dallas do is wind up with Pittburgh’s Bill Frolic, touted as the greatest offensive lineman in college football history. Buffalo, which has the first pick, needs a quarterback, but the Bills probably won't trade their pick. But they don’t want Fralic; they want Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie.
Minnesota and Houston both have good quarterbacks (Tommy Kramer and Warren Moon, respectively), so they might not be interested. But there’s a chance neither will take Fralic. They need defensive help, so they might take Texas safety Jerry Gray or USC linebacker Jack Del Rio, two of the top-rated defensive players.
The Colts might be the best bet. They played quarterback roulette this year. They might take a Danny White — an experienced quarterback, a proven winner. Had Frank Kush stayed as head coach, the trade might have been even more likely, since White played for Kush at Arizona State.
But there's the rub. lf Dallas is serious
about a trade, it might take White to get a top draft pick. Although he lost some of his trade value this year, White is still a known. Hogeboom is an unknown.
Second, Dallas needs a good draft, top to bottom. I^ast year’s draft was pretty good, but it’ll take another one to continue the rebuilding process.
And last, an injury-free year wouldn’t hurt. Both White and Hogeboom were banged up much of the year. Tony Hill, the Cowboys’ only deep threat, separated a shoulder and missed six games. Offensive linemen Jim Cooper and Howard Richards missed the second half of the season. Cooper’s injury coming when he slipped in a nightclub and broke his ankle.
The defense wasn’t immune, either. Middle linebacker Bob Breumg’s bad back forced him out, and his career is probably over. Safety Bill Bates was hurt in preseason and missed several games. linebacker Billy Cannon Jr., the top draft pick, jammed his neck in midseason and was out for the year.
The Cowboys need some help, but they’ve made a good start. There’s no substitute for character, and the Cowboys have that. Finally.
Bullets' Shue wins 700th; San Antonio falls to Cavs
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Seven-hundred victories, 700 losses and 53 birthday candles. It all added up to quite a day for Washington Coach Gene Shue.
Shue became the first National Basketball Association coach to lose 700 games when the Bullets lost for the fourth consecutive time on Sunday night. But on Tuesday, he celebrated his 53rd birthday by joining Red Auerbach and Jack Ramsay in the 700-victory club as his team outlasted the New Jersey Nets 104-95.
“Winning 700 games doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Shue said. “The significance of winning this single game was breaking the four-game losing streak we had, not the 700th game.”
The Bullets trailed 80-71 with 3:18 left in the third period, but they held New Jersey to a 6-for-’24 shooting percentage over the final 15 minutes to win easily.
The Bullets got 30 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists from Cliff Robinson and 28 points from Gus Williams.
Cavaliers 118 Spurs 110
Roy Hinson scored 32 points against San Antonio to boost Cleveland to its fourth victory in 23 outings and second in a row.
Lakers 117 Hawks 116
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including two sky hooks in the last nine seconds, to lift Los Angeles past Atlanta.
The first hook gave the leakers a 115-114 lead, but Glenn Rivers’ two free throws put the Hawks in front with five seconds remaining. There were only two seconds left when Abdul-Jabbar hit the game-wmner.
Celtics 126 Knicks 108
I^arry Bird led four Boston players with 21 points or more by scoring 23, including IO during a 28-10 surge in the second quarter that broke open a close game against New York.
Bernard King haul 419 points and Darrell Walker 24 for the Knicks.
Kansas City 8 Pacific Division L A Lakers 17
Bv The Associated Press
L A Clippers 13
Golden State 8
Tuesday s Games
Bust rn 126, New York 108
Washington 104 New Jersey 95
L A Lakers 117. Atlanta 116
Cleveland 118, San Antonio 110
Indiana 88, Utah 81
Houston 104 Chicago 96
KansasCity 127 Phoenix 116
Milwaukee I IO. Dallas96
Denver 126 Golden State 122. OT
Seattle 109 Portland 99
Today s Games
Milwaukee at Boston
Washington at New Jersey
San Antonio ai Philadelphia
L A lakers at Houston
Detroit at Denver
Seattle at L A Clippers
Bucks 110 Mavericks 96
Milwaukee took over sole - possession of first place in the Central Division as Terry Cummings scored 29 points against Dallas
Rolando Blackman led the Mavericks with 24.
Rockets 104 Bulls 96
Houston scored the last nine points of the game to beat Chicago in tile first meeting between rookie sensations Akeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan.
Olajuwon. who scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, hit two free throws to put the Rockets ahead
for good at 97-96 with 1:18 left.
Orlando Woolridge scored 28 points for the Bulls, while Jordan had 18 before a season-high high crowd of 18.543 at Chicago Arena
Nuggets 126 Warriors 122
Wayne Cooper rebounded a missed shot and dunked to break a 122-122 tie with 1:20 left in overtime against Golden State.
Alex English, who led the Nuggets with 29 points, made two free throws with nine seconds remaining to clinch the victory. Purvis Short, returning from an injury that kept him out of two games, scored 38 points for the Warriors.
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Vikings re hire Bud Grant
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Less than a year after he retired, veteran coach Bud Grant says a lifetime contract and a personal appeal from the Minnesota Vikings’ owner were enough to lure him back to the team he guided to four Super Bowls.
The National Football league team announced Tuesday night that Grant, who compiled a regular-season record of 151-87-5 in 17 seasons at Minnesota’s helm, had agreed to return as hoad coach.
Grant’s surprise appointment came a day after the Vikings fired Les Steekel, who led the team in 1984 to its worst season ever with a 3-13 record.
“I missed the Sunday afternoons,” Grant said in accepting the offer to coach the Vikings, “but I admit I never missed the training camps.”
Grant added: “I can coach as long as I like under the terms of the contract.”
Vikings General Manager Mike Lynn and team owner Max Winter made the announcement at Twin Cities International Airport late Tuesday after a day of speculation on who wouJAgucceed Steekel. Grant, who had been watching his son play in a high school basketball game that went into double overtime, was a halfhour late for the news conference.
Marino named top NFL offensive player
NEW YORK (AP) Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins, who set a new standard for quarterbacks in only his second year in the National Football league, was named as The Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year.
In a season-long progression of brilliance, Marino not only broke a series of long-standing records he shattered them, averaging three touchdown passes per game
and became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season.
McEnroe, Narvatilova top tennis world
NORWALK. Conn. I AP) — John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova for the second straight year are the world’s the top male and female tennis play ers of 1984. according to the annual y ear-end rankings of Tennis Magazine.
McEnroe holds the No I spot among men, having won 13 tournaments, including the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. Navratilova, winner of three Grand Slam events in 1984. is ranked No. I among the women for the third straight year, losing only her first and last tournaments of the year.
Illinois rips Cincinnati. 87 65
Cincinnati knocked off a ranked team in its last outing with a 49-foot shot at the buzzer, but No 4 Illinois made sure the Bearcats didn t get another chance at an upset.
In fact. Illinois was in charge before halftime and strolled to an 87-415 victory that knocked Cincinnati, 5-1, from the unbeaten ranks. The Ullin, meanwhile, unproved to 11-1
In the only other lop Twenty game Tuesday night. John Salley scored 21 points as 13th-rated Georgia Tech crushed North Carolina A&T 81-43.
In other games, it was Harvard 67. Holy Cross 66; Michigan State 68, George Washington 54; Florida State 90. I’ennessee-MartuI 73; Tennessee 86. North I’arohna-Charlotte 76; Bowling Green 60, Princeton 59; Itoyoia of Illinois 78. Toledo66; Arkansas 74. Texas-San Antonto67. Oklahoma State 92. Oral Roberts 71, and Texas Christian 58. Campbell 42.
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