Twenty-five years ago today, Jerry Jones publicly announced his purchase of the DALLAS COWBOYS.

Twenty-five years ago today, Jerry Jones publicly announced his purchase of the DALLAS COWBOYS.
At the time I was a columnist for a group of small newspapers owned by one big one (the Dallas Morning News), and the following is my Garland Daily News column from March 2, 1989. Some of the references are very out-dated (such as references to local media and celebrities – and $5 movie tickets?). And for the record, I really do regret the cheap shot at Jimmy Johnson, whom I now respect. However, the sentiment (of the day) is clear:
The headline, as always, was written by my editor (Daniel Behringer, now with the Las Vegas Review):
Mega-dollar Cowboys sale goes down in a cheap manner
Randy Galloway is paid a LOT of money to write with a particular knowledge and insight about sports. Bob St. John refers to the former Dallas Cowboys coach as “My friend Tom Landry;” Scott Murray “broke” the story; and Dale Hansen is always the Last Word.
So, I won’t be offended to learn you haven’t been waiting all week for my non-sports enthusiast perspective on the Cowboys sale and subsequent firing of the team’s only coach – to date.
However, you might note the aforementioned writers’ audience numbers into the millions, while I have reason to believe my personal readership may be hovering into the upper single digits. The fore, I am at little risk when making an observation like: Now we know why Mr. Bright was dubbed with the nickname “Bum.”
Additionally, the hiring of college coach Jimmy Johnson has got to make this one of the all-time highest paid “on-the-job” training positions.
OK! OK! Those were cheap shots. But, despite the $130 million sale price, the whole deal was handled in a pretty cheap manner.
You may have guessed that, although I was never a football fan, I always admired the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, I’ve been saying for the past couple of years that the current team is not the Cowboys. Sure, they’re wearing the blue and silver uniforms. But, the REAL Cowboys roster included at least some names like: Roger Staubach, Cliff Harris, Charlie Waters, Golden Richards, Drew Pearson, Thomas Henderson…
As far as I was concerned, Tom Landry was about the only vestige of the real time I had known and loved. In recent years, I have paused only briefly before the television, to watch Herschel Walker perform – usually in a style befitting the REAL DALLAS COWBOYS.
In a special channel 8 program, Cliff Harris made the observation that, like so many players, Landry had been “cut.” However pragmatic, it sure put things into perspective. I was reminded of the scene in “Lonesome Dove,” where Gus hangs his old buddy Jake with the indictment, “You ride with outlaws, you die like one.”
One need not have a remarkable memory to recall that less than six months ago, a great many “fans” in this very community were calling for the firing of “Coach Landry.” But, that sentiment is easily rationalized: He was OURS to fire – not Jerry Jones’!”
When I was a little girl, I hung around with my older brother and his friends, who would occasionally take the liberty of telling me to shut up. M brother immediately came to my defense, “Hey! Don’t you ever tell my sister to shut up!” Then, he’d turn to me and say, “Shut UP, Nancy!” Blood is not only much thicker than water, but a certain level of kinship is also a license to criticize.
Furthermore, there are underlying issues in this situation which go beyond the big business of professional sports.
While relatively few ever achieve the high profile of Tom Landry, there is certainly something in his smarting pride that touches a chord deep inside all of us. And although being a “regular Joe” keeps us from collecting a million dollar annual salary, at least we are spared from televised coverage of our darkest, most humbling moments.
Another point of empathy is the prevailing universal sentiment: “I hate to see a grown man cry.”
The feeling is not limited to grown men – it applies to anyone who is otherwise a pillar of strength; to those who do not ordinarily succumb to tearful display.
Though the more melodramatic among us relish any opportunity to squeeze out a teardrop before an audience, others would almost rather die than “lose it” in front of a single soul.
Unfortunately for Coach Landry, “goodbyes” rate highest on the Ideal Situation for Pubic Tears Scale. So, despite his reputation for stoicism, his media-blitzed goodbye to the only life he had known for the past 29 years never had a chance.
As part of my own Paid-Avoidance-Plan, I have shirked many a memorable moment for fear of choking – or worse. In 1968, when my brother was on his way to Vietnam, I knew there was no way I could just shake hands, tell him to “break a leg,” and not to expect me to take the trash in his absence. I knew there was no humorous way to bid that farewell.
Jerry was scheduled for a very early flight. So, I figured I’d accidentally oversleep, and then write him a long letter. But, he second-guessed my chicken way out, and caught me the night before. In retrospect, I can see it was probably more difficult for him than it was for me. Yet, for whatever stupid reason, some of us over-estimate ourselves, and feel obligated to be strong for everyone else that any show of emotion will reveal some serious crack in the foundation.
The accounts of Coach Landry’s goodbye to his team indicate a significant outpouring of moist emotion – so much, that it was hard for the players to look at their former leader. I can just imagine – it was hard for me to read about it with dry eyes.
And so, the deed is done. An NFL franchise was sold for a sizable sum and through swift, icy sleight-of-hand, a man was forced to lower the curtain on 29 years of his life. Yet, in the closing of the deal, the ever-present tightly woven thread of human empathy was revealed. The business act, so void of compassion was repaid a thousand-fold with impassioned loyalty. And it was refreshing for a change, to witness people reacting emotionally to real life, instead of paying $5 to allow a Hollywood product to manipulate their feelings.

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About nancsue

Writer - Former newspaper columnist - lover of all things nostalgic, collies, music, humor, snowy places, & grateful to those who defend American citizens at home and abroad.
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