FRISCO, Texas – Do you remember . . . .
How 'bout dem Cowboys!
Wednesday, Jan. 17, marks the 25th anniversary of Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson uttering those infamous words following the Cowboys' 30-20 beating of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game that 1992 season at a muddy Candlestick Park to send the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl in 15 years.
That was the coming out party for those Cowboys teams of the '90s which became the first team in NFL Super Bowl history to win three titles in four seasons, and distinctly remember everyone across the country insisting the Cowboys were still a year away from winning the NFC title and beating the seasoned 49ers (14-2) even though they were coming off a 13-3 season.
Year away this.
Why Troy Aikman came of age that dreary, drizzly day, completing 24 of 34 pass attempts for 322 yards and two touchdowns, and setting up two others with 38-yard and 70-yard passes to Alvin Harper.
So, did the Cowboys' No. 1-ranked defense from that season, holding the likes of Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ricky Watters, Brent Jones and John Taylor to just 20 points, only two other teams that season holding the Niners, winners of Super Bowls following the 1988 and 1989 seasons, to less than 20 points that year.
Thus, the changing of the guard in the NFL, the 49ers bowing out as the team of the '80s and the upstart Cowboys becoming the team of the '90s.
And in the pandemonium after the game, Johnson, never one to mince words, concluding his press conference in a tiny, cramped room adjacent to what had turned into a boisterous locker room saying what had already told his team afterward when he said to his players, "You did one helluva job, and the only other thing I've got to say is, 'How 'bout dem Cowboys,'" and then he repeated those words for all to hear as evening was setting in . . . .
"How 'bout dem Cowboys."
The same year if I remember correctly Mick Shots was born in a little fax publication called The Insider, since reviving them this season.
- Body Parts: These past couple of weeks following the conclusion of the 2017 season with the 6-0 victory over Philadelphia to finish 9-7 has been body repair time for the Cowboys. A few we already have heard about: Zack Martin having an elbow cleanup surgery; Maliek Collins having surgery to repair a stress reaction to his fifth metatarsal in his left foot he first began having problems with back on Oct. 26; and the fractured bone in Joe Looney's left wrist – all expected to have recovered in time to begin offseason workouts.
- Repair Shop: Now here are a few lesser-known surgeries having taken place: Guard Jonathan Cooper had surgery to repair the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, along with some other cleanups in the knee, likely needing four to five months of rehab. The others are basically cleanup surgeries, these players expected to return in time for offseason workouts: Kavon Frazier, left knee scope; Geoff Swain right knee scope; Ryan Switzer, scope to remove bone spurs in his left ankle; and Brian Price, right knee scope.
- Departing Times: Sure hate to see linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, he one of the assistant coaches with an expiring contract, apparently heading out to door to join Josh McDaniels as his defensive coordinator wherever he lands a head coaching job, either with the Colts or Titans is the word. Flus is ready to break out from under Rod Marinelli's shadow. He's an up-and-comer the Cowboys were trying to keep.
- Average Dez: Now I get it, Dez Bryant, the Cowboys' all-time leader with 73 career touchdown receptions in eight seasons, surpassing Bob Hayes' 71 in 10 seasons, didn't live up to his previous season standards when he finished the season with 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns. Pretty average. And I understand the drops. But check this out, over his previous seven seasons Dez has averaged 66 catches for 946 yards and 9.6 touchdowns. Also noticed this: Bryant's six touchdown receptions ranked eighth among NFC wide receivers and tied for 20th in the NFL, one short of tying for 14th. Not good enough for sure, but not as gosh awful as everyone seems to be portraying. Just average.
- PSA: Since we opened with the 25th anniversary of the Cowboys' NFC Championship victory over the 49ers following the 1992 season, check out Wednesday's Hanging With The Boys *podcast, with Nate Newton and special guest Leon Lett reliving that game. Also, can catch *Cowboys Legends Show on the 25th anniversary of the Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII victory season airing next on Fox Sports Southwest Thursday, Jan. 18 at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Set your DVRs. And the link to the 30-minute documentary will be posted to DallasCowboys.com in the next day or so. To watch "Hanging with the Boys" Click Here.