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Cowboys Triviology: Fascinating Facts from the Sidelines

Cowboys Triviology: Fascinating Facts from the Sidelines

by Christopher Walsh

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Interspersing exciting history and fun quizzes, this trivia book ranges from basic facts to challenges that will teach even the most die-hard fans a thing or two about Dallas Cowboys football. The facts presented are grouped into such categories as famous firsts, stadiums, records, quotes, postseason runs, jersey numbers, drafts/trades and, of course, the players


Interspersing exciting history and fun quizzes, this trivia book ranges from basic facts to challenges that will teach even the most die-hard fans a thing or two about Dallas Cowboys football. The facts presented are grouped into such categories as famous firsts, stadiums, records, quotes, postseason runs, jersey numbers, drafts/trades and, of course, the players and coaches. Entertaining and educational, the book is ideal for both solitary instruction and group game play.

Product Details

Triumph Books
Publication date:
Triviology: Fascinating Facts Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Cowboys Triviology

By Christopher Walsh

Triumph Books

Copyright © 2011 Christopher Walsh
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61749-570-0


The Basics

In 1958, three wealthy Texas oilmen were looking to purchase struggling teams in the National Football League and move them to the Lone Star State, only to fail at landing the Cardinals and Redskins franchises, in addition to being rebuffed in their efforts to form new teams.

The men were Bud Adams, Lamar Hunt, and Clint Murchison.

When George Halas of the Chicago Bears, who had tremendous influence at the time, insisted that the NFL would remain a 12-team league, Hunt decided to challenge it and spearheaded the American Football League. While the NFL didn't have a presence in Texas, the AFL planned to immediately have two teams, Hunt's Dallas Texans and Adams' Houston Oilers. This in addition to franchises in Boston, Buffalo, Denver, Los Angeles, and New York.

Needless to say, the NFL took immediate notice, especially after the AFL signed a five-year television contract with ABC, for which each team received $150,000. Six months later, during the owners' meetings in Palm Beach, the NFL countered by awarding an expansion franchise in Hunt's backyard and subsequently added the Minnesota Vikings, which was originally going to join the AFL as its Midwestern anchor (but instead opened the door for Oakland), a year later.

Consequently, the Dallas Cowboys joined the NFL on January 28, 1960, with Murchison the majority owner in partnership with attorney Bedford Wynne. Murchison was 37 years old, and Wynne 46. One of their first moves was to hire Tex Schramm as team president and general manager, and he brought in Gil Brandt as the team's original scouting director.

The idea was that it would take years for the upstart team to be competitive, supported by a solid financial base. Between that and the brief time period to prepare for the 1960 season, the Cowboys were the only NFL expansion team not to have had the benefit of a draft its first year, but owners shrewdly made a couple of key signings to binding personal-services contracts before the team was officially created.


1. What's the logo of the Dallas Cowboys?

2. What does it represent?

3. True or false? The logo always had the outlining trim.

4. Before settling on the nickname Cowboys, what two other nicknames were considered?

5. What was the headline in the Dallas Morning News on December 29, 1959?

6. What was Tom Landry known for wearing along the sideline?

7. True or false? Tom Landry's 29 years with the same NFL team set an NFL coaching record.

8. How many Cowboys have their numbers retired? List them.

9. What year did the Cowboys begin the tradition of playing on Thanksgiving Day?

10. True or false? Dallas shut out its opponent when it debuted on Monday Night Football.

11. True or false? The Cowboys actually played five times on a Monday before Monday Night Football existed.

12. Who was known as Mr. Cowboy?

13. Name the two Cowboys named the Walter Payton Man of the Year.

14. Who is the only Dallas player to be named league MVP and also won the Super Bowl during the same season?

15. Who was the only Dallas Cowboy to be named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press? (Bonus: Name the year.)

16. True or false? Dallas was in half of the Super Bowls played in the 1970s.

17. Which occurred first, Bob Lilly being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame or Roger Staubach announcing his retirement?

18. When Dallas set the NFL record with its 17-straight winning season in 1982, which team previously had the record?

19. In 1983, where did the Cowboys break ground on a new headquarters and training facility?

20. Outside of Tom Landry, which head coach was with the Cowboys the longest?

21. What was Bill Parcells' nickname?

22. True or false? Dallas celebrated its 25 anniversary in 1984 by winning the Super Bowl.

23. True or false? The Cowboys have held training camp at home in Dallas.

24. In what year, and where, did the Cowboys hold their first in-state training camp?

25. True or false? Owner Jerry Jones tried to purchase the San Diego Chargers in 1967.

26. What connection did Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson have prior to the Cowboys?

27. What color jerseys does Dallas prefer to wear and why?

28. True or false? Since then the team motto has been "Good guys wear white."

29. Who were the triplets?

30. True or false? The Cowboys have always had cheerleaders like they do now at home games.

31. True or false? The Cowboys sold out every game, home and away, during the 1990s.

32. Who coined the term "America's Team" for the Cowboys?

33. True or false? Tom Landry initially didn't like the America's Team moniker because he thought it would inspire opponents.

34. What was the most number of wins in a season the Cowboys enjoyed during their first five seasons?

35. If the Cowboys are American's Team, what are the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders?


1. A blue star.

2. Texas is considered the Lone Star State.

3. False. Originally it was the blue star by itself.

4. Steers and Rangers.

5. "Rangers Hire Tom Landry" 6. A fedora.

7. True

8. Dallas has never retired a number.

9. 1966. Dallas defeated Cleveland, 26–14.

10. False. It lost to St. Louis 38–0 on November 16, 1970.

11. True. Its first Monday game was in 1965, when Dallas lost to St. Louis, 20–13. The Cowboys were 2–3 on Mondays before Monday Night Football was created in 1970.

12. Defensive lineman Bob Lilly.

13. Roger Staubach in 1978 and Troy Aikman in 1997.

14. Emmitt Smith in 1993.

15. Harvey Martin in 1977.

16. True. The Cowboys went 2–3.

17. Roger Staubach announced his retirement on March 31, 1980, while Bob Lilly was enshrined on August 2 of that same year.

18. The Oakland Raiders were the first team in NFL history to have 16-straight winning seasons.

19. Valley Ranch in northwest Dallas County. It opened a year later.

20. Jimmy Johnson, five years (1989–93).

21. The Big Tuna.

22. False. The Cowboys finished 9–7 and missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

23. False 24. 1990 at St. Edward's University in Austin.

25. True

26. They were roommates at the University of Arkansas.

27. White. Tex Schramm decided to have the team wear white at home in order to present fans with a consistent look.

28. False

29. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin.

30. False. The Cowboys have always had cheerleaders, but not always like the ones currently on the sidelines. The famous unit that resembles a dance line was introduced at Texas Stadium in 1972.

31. False, but the Cowboys were close. Dallas had a streak of 160 sold-out home and away games, including playoffs, which began on December 23, 1990, at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium and was snapped December 24, 1999 against New Orleans in the Louisiana Superdome.

32. Bob Ryan, the future vice president and editor-in-chief of NFL Films, coined the term "America's Team" while preparing and editing the Cowboys' 1978 season- highlight film.

33. True

34. Five. Despite that, Tom Landry was still given a contract extension.

35. America's Sweethearts.


League History

It all goes back to 1869 and the campuses of two rival Ivy League schools, when Rutgers and Princeton decided to play each other in a new sport that was a hybrid of soccer and rugby, but looked more like an organized riot. On November 6, they met using modified London Football Association rules and Rutgers won 6–4 despite one of its professors pointing his umbrella at participants and yelling, "You will come to no Christian end." There were roughly 100 people in attendance.

From there the game quickly began to evolve, with Walter Camp, considered the father of American football, setting down rules in 1876 and continuing to revise them until his death in 1925. His numerous innovations included one side potentially having undisputed possession of the ball until it gave it up or scored, and reducing the number of players on the field from 15 to 11. He also created the quarterback and center positions in addition to the forward pass.

Camp, who played and coached at Yale, also standardized scoring. In 1892, the equivalent of a field goal was five points, one more than a touchdown. A goal following a touchdown was two points, as was a safety. It wasn't until 1912, eight years before the creation of the National Football League, that a touchdown was rewarded with six points and a field goal three.

While football became a major attraction for local athletic clubs, with the Allegheny Athletic Association and Pittsburgh Athletic Club credited with having the first professionals, the first attempt at a pro league was made in 1902 when baseball's Philadelphia Athletics (managed by Connie Mack) and Philadelphia Phillies formed pro football teams, joining the Pittsburgh Stars.

After years of unsettled confusion — with salaries rising, players jumping from team to team and college athletes being used while still in school — an organizational meeting was held in 1920 at the Jordan and Humpmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio, to begin drawing up plans for a centralized league with one set of rules, the American Professional Football Conference. Two years later, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League.

The rest, as they say, is history.


1. A major reason for the creation of the Dallas Cowboys was for it to directly compete with which AFL franchise?

2. At the same meeting in Palm Beach during which the Cowboys were granted an expansion franchise, who was voted league commissioner?

3. How many Dallas Cowboys were in the initial Pro Football Hall of Fame class elected in 1963?

4. True or false? Just after winning the AFL championship, the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and were renamed the Chiefs.

5. True or false? The precursor to the AFL-NFL merger were a series of secret springtime meetings between Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and Tex Schramm, with NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle announcing the completed deal on June 8, 1966.

6. What was the temperature of the 1967 NFL Championship Game, nicknamed the Ice Bowl, in Green Bay?

7. When did the Dallas Cowboys make their first appearance in the Hall of Fame game and against what opponent?

8. True or false? Walter Payton set a single-game rushing record with 275 yards against Dallas in 1977.

9. How many consecutive Super Bowls had the NFC lost before Dallas defeated Denver in Super Bowl XII?

10. During ESPN's first year broadcasting NFL games, 1987, which team did Dallas host when the game drew a 10.2 cable rating in 4.36 million homes?

11. What was Tex Schramm named the president of in 1989?

12. Who succeeded him?

13. Who was the first head coach in NFL history to guide four different teams to the playoffs?

14. True or false? When the Cleveland Browns played for the first time since 1995 they defeated the Cowboys 20–17 in overtime at the 1999 Hall of Fame Game.

15. True or false? Heading into the 2010 season, Dallas had more Monday wins than any other team in the NFL.

16. True or false? The Cowboys had the league's best winning percentage on Monday Night Football.

17. How many times has a Dallas Cowboy been named the Associated Press' Defensive Rookie of the Year?

18. How much did H.R. "Bum" Bright buy the Dallas Cowboys for in 1984?

19. How much did he sell it for five years later?

20. True or false? H.R. "Bum" Bright had to sell the team to settle his divorce.

21. How did they settle the final $300,000 of the deal?

22. True or false? H.R. "Bum" Bright later purchased a two- headed quarter from a magic shop and sent it to Jerry Jones with the note "You'll never know," as a joke.

23. Which league innovation was applied to every team at the end of the 1993 season?

24. Who is the only player in NFL history to gain 4,000 yards three different ways (rushing, receiving, and kickoff returning)?

25. Which Cowboys were named to the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 1960s?

26. Which Cowboys were named to the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 1970s?

27. Which Cowboys were named to the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 1980s?

28. Which Cowboys were named to the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 1990s?

29. Which Cowboys were named to the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 2000s?


1. The Dallas Texans.

2. Pete Rozelle

3. None. The Cowboys were three years old.

4. True. The Dallas Texans defeated the Houston Oilers 20–17 after 17 minutes and 54 seconds of overtime on a 25-yard field goal by Tommy Brooker.

5. True 6. 13 below zero.

7. 1968, Dallas lost to the Chicago Bears, 30–24.

8. False. He did it against Minnesota.

9. Five

10. The Los Angeles Raiders.

11. The World League of American Football, with a six-man committee comprised of Dan Rooney, Norman Braman, Lamar Hunt, Victor Kiam, Mike Lynn, and Bill Walsh.

12. Mike Lynn, general manager of the Minnesota Vikings.

13. Bill Parcells, the fourth being the Cowboys in 2003.

14. True

15. True. The Cowboys were 42–29.

16. False. Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Seattle and San Francisco all had winning percentages above .600.

17. Zero

18. $80 million.

19. $140 million.

20. False, it was primarily due to the failure of his bank, Republic Bank.

21. Coin flip. Jerry Jones lost.

22. True

23. The salary cap.

24. Herschel Walker.

25. Tackle Ralph Neely and defensive tackle Bob Lilly. Cornerback Herb Adderley was also selected, but spent more time with the Green Bay Packers.

26. Wide receiver Drew Pearson, quarterback Roger Staubach, tackle Rayfield Wright, defensive tackle Bob Lilly and safety Cliff Harris were all first-team selections. Defensive end Harvey Martin was a second-team pick.

27. Defensive tackle Randy White was the only selection.

28. Running back Emmitt Smith and cornerback/punt returner Deion Sanders were first-team selections. Second-team picks were wide receiver Michael Irvin, guard Larry Allen, and tackle Mark Stepnoski.

29. The Cowboys didn't have any first-team selections. Second-team picks (those who at least played briefly with Dallas) were wide receiver Terrell Owens, guard Larry Allen, defensive tackle La'Roi Glover, linebacker Zach Thomas, and linebacker DeMarcus Ware.


Famous Firsts

In the late 1950s, the National Football League's popularity was beginning to soar and rival baseball as the nation's top sport. Attendance went from 1.98 million in 1950 to more than 3 million in 1958 despite having just a dozen teams.

The league actually began the decade with 13 teams, only to have the Baltimore Colts fold and the New York Yanks become the Dallas Texans in 1952. But when that franchise failed to catch on it moved to Baltimore, and this time the Colts took hold.

Few grasped that Texas, Dallas specifically, was about to become the front line of professional football, with teams from both the NFL and upstart American Football League fighting to control one of the nation's biggest and fastest-growing markets.

Not only were the Dallas Cowboys the NFL's first southern franchise, but the first modern-era expansion team. Within 10 years, the league would go from those 12 franchises to 26.


1. True or false? When Tom Landry was hired he was immediately named the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

2. Where did Dallas hold its first training camp?

3. True or false? The Cowboys won their first preseason game. (Bonus: Name where it was played)

4. True or false? The Cowboys won their first home preseason game.

5. Against what future Super Bowl opponent was the first regular season game played?

6. What was the first non-loss in franchise history?

7. What was the Cowboys' record in their inaugural season?

8. Which NFL statistical category did Dallas lead in its first season?

9. Who did the Cowboys record their first victory against?

10. True or false? In 1962, Dallas became the first team in league history to record two 100-yard touchdowns not only in the same season, but in the same quarter.


Excerpted from Cowboys Triviology by Christopher Walsh. Copyright © 2011 Christopher Walsh. Excerpted by permission of Triumph Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Christopher Walsh has been an award-winning sportswriter since 1990 and currently covers the University of Alabama football program for the Tuscaloosa News. His recent honors include the First Amendment Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors, two Pulitzer Prize nominations, the Herby Kirby Memorial Award—the Alabama Sports Writers Association's highest honor—and Enterprise Story of the Year from the Football Writers Association of America. He lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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