I grew up in Texas City, and was one of the few Houston Oilers fans on my street. When my family moved to Ohio, I celebrated the Love ya Blue years going to see my Oilers in Cincinnati and Cleveland dressed in my Oilers gear to watch Dan Pastorini hand off the football to Earl Campbell. Regular seasons were great. The playoffs – including games with playoff implications – hurt.
I grew up in Texas City, and was one of the few Houston Oilers fans on my street. When my family moved to Ohio, I celebrated the Love ya Blue years going to see my Oilers in Cincinnati and Cleveland dressed in my Oilers gear to watch Dan Pastorini hand off the football to Earl Campbell. Regular seasons were great. The playoffs Ė including games with playoff implications Ė hurt.
So, Cowboys fans, I know your pain. All I can suggest is throw off the blanket of mediocrity because itís not going to get any better unless Cowboys owner Jerry Jones takes a more hands-off approach.
This is a pain caused by Jones, and in my case Bud Adams. Both are excellent businessmen, but the NFL allows them to operate in the one realm where they feel they do not have to answer to anyone. Consequently, the Oilers/ Titans are still searching for a Super Bowl championship and the Cowboys can measure the time between Super Bowl wins in generations.
I know your pain. I felt it in 1979 when Mike Renfro did make the catch for a touchdown against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. I felt it again in 1993 when Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Frank Reich led his team to the greatest comeback win in NFL history against my beloved Oilers.
I felt it in all those years in between when the Oilers crazy owner, Bud Adams, did crazy, unexplainable things, such as fire a great coach in Bum Phillips; gut the Astrodomeís charm to put in more seats; hired a lunatic, loudmouth defensive coordinator in 1993 without consulting his head coach, the late Jack Pardee. Buddy Ryan went on to get into a fistfight with offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride during that season.
My allegiance to the Oilers didnít follow the team to Tennessee in 1997. Moving the team was exactly the wrong thing to do, but it was Bud Adams team, and he didnít ask me what I thought. In protest of his decision, every year during the Super Bowl I wear some of my original Oilers gear.
Bud Adams and Jerry Jones seem to be kindred spirits, even though they are separated by a generation. Jones comes from Arkansas, Adams from Oklahoma. Both made their money in the oil and gas industries. Both play in the NFL sandbox instead of the NFL boardroom because team ownership does/ did not seem to be a business to either of them Ė beating the other NFL owners seemed a tad too personal for Jones and Adams. Despite this approach, both of their teams had success in the early days of their ownerships.
The Oilers won the first two AFL Championships in 1960 and 1961. The team lost in the 1962 AFL Championship to the Dallas Texans (which later went on to become the Kansas City Chiefs) 20-17 in two overtimes.
The Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowls in 1992, 1993 and 1995 after Jones bought the team in 1989.
After both franchises initial successes, both owners caught the championship itch and the only way to scratch that itch apparently was to meddle. Adams was a famed tightwad who had to approve almost all team expenditures personally.
After the Cowboys second Super Bowl title, Jones famously said that any of 500 coaches could of won with the talent he assembled. That statement didnít set well with Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, who is widely considered the architect of the 1990s Cowboys Super Bowl teams. Johnsonís teams won the first two Super Bowls, and the Cowboys last title came under the direction of Barry Switzer.
Both owners hired and fired coaches and assistant coaches. When both decided to take a step back, they enjoyed some success. The Tennessee Titans made it within a yard of winning the Super Bowl in Super Bowl 34, losing to the St. Louis Rams. The Cowboys hired Bill Parcells and let him make most of the player-personnel decisions. It was mostly a Parcells assembled team that accounted for the Cowboys last playoff win against Philadelphia in 2009.
Of course both owners like to hire coaches with the last names Phillips and Ryan. The Oilers hired the originals; the Cowboys hired their sons.
So, Cowboys fans get used to the mediocrity Oilers fans endured for years. The 2014 team will probably go 8-8 under its affable head coach Jason Garrett.
Garrett will work with the coaching staff and the talent pool Jerry Jones assembles for him, while Jones happily goes about the business of being an owner of an NFL franchise and answering to no one.