Past Lessons Of Accountability

conviction, that you have done everything possible to be ready and that you will be there if they need you. You can be counted on.  

You will do nothing to ever hurt this team intentionally.  

In 1970, our team lost 38-0 on Monday Night Football, to the then St. Louis Cardinals. That dropped our record to 5-4. Everybody wrote us off. No one believed we had a chance. It was a carry over of the 60's: "Can't win the big one." 

Our team made a blood oath to one another to not talk to the press, not let anything bother us whatsoever. If we made a bad play, we would let it slide off. When the coach chewed us out for whatever, it would just bounce off. We had respect for our coach of course, but we were not going to let him "haunt" us.  

None of us ever read the paper. Guys gave up their radio shows, interviews and promotions. We all decided that we, only, can make this team work.  

It was borderline sophomoric, but we even had this silly way of greeting one another just to remind each other that we were in this thing together. It was called a "thick-skinned" handshake. I would tell you what it was but I fear Bob Lilly, Chuck Howley and Leroy Jordan finding out about it.  

And that fear that I speak of is the way we held each other accountable. Anyone caught cruising at practice, would be ear-holed on the next play.  

If someone would jump off-sides, he'd get blind sided before the practice was over. Dropped passes and missed assignments were handled the same way.  

We went on a roll and won out the season with seven straight wins to the Super Bowl.  

That formula encompassing an attitude adjustment, recognition of responsibility and commitment to one another has continued for the Cowboys until now, just as it did through the early 70's. 

In 1978 a similar phenomenon went down. It happened again in 1992. And now, it's time for "it" to happen again.  

Each time there was a crossroad. When the leadership recognized they were at that crossroad, the team had to rally around each other to change things for the better.  

There is enough carry over of lessons learned from the past to bridge the voids and pitfalls that could destroy future teams. 

I don't want to linger in the past and sell you on how much better the good ole days were, but you must learn from history. It's all a cycle.  

It's now time for this team to stop living up to the low standards it's setting for themselves. Do not leave any preparation to chance.  

Be accountable to yourself and to your teammates, not to some other agenda.  

No one is ever bigger than the team. Get your publicity by making plays and contributing to the team wins. Winning is much more fun than an end zone celebrations. 

Our storied franchise has no magical formula for success. It does, however, have enormous expectations. Distractions are just part of the Dallas Cowboy job description.  

Donning the simple silver and blue uniform with the starred helmet carries with it an unparalleled reputation.  

That reputation could be huge advantage, but only if the person inside that uniform and under that star recognizes that it is up to no one else but himself to change things.  

Each week the enemy's attacks are minimal chinks in the armor compared to the gashes caused by ourselves. Distractions break concentration and impair judgment.  

This Cowboy team is better equipped for success than any Bill Parcells has had to date. It's time for them to stop beating themselves. Listen to the lessons learned from the past and act on them.                         

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