Story of '71 Cowboys Team A Must Read

While the focus this week seems to be squarely on Saturday's upcoming matchup with the Eagles, in a game that could decide the Cowboys' playoff fate and possibly lead them to an NFC East title, it's still Christmas. It's still that time of year to get some last-second shopping.

And if you're still scrambling out there, trying to find a gift for a football fan, especially a die-hard Cowboys fan, then you might want to check out Breakthrough 'Boys*, *the story of the 1971 Cowboys.

Personally, I'm currently about halfway through the book, written by Jamie Aron, a longtime writer for The Associated Press who has written a handful of sports books in the last decade.

But this one right here hits home more than any other I've read in a while because even though it's been 40 years since the Cowboys' first title, so many things happened that season that can be related to today's game.

Even if you don't remember the Cowboys or the NFL back then, or in my case, weren't even born yet, there are some reference points to consider.

Imagine the Danny White-Gary Hogeboom quarterback controversy, the presence of Terrell Owens on and off the field, the opening of Cowboys Stadium and just the steady pressures of trying to get over the hump and finally win a playoff game. Those are things this team has faced over the years as some of the bigger storylines in franchise history.

And things like that actually all occurred there in 1971. You had Tom Landry trying to make up his mind about the quarterback position, flipping back and forth between Craig Morton and Roger Staubach. Then there was the saga of Duane Thomas, who distanced himself from the team but his talents on the field couldn't be ignored.

It was also the first year Texas Stadium opened and the Cowboys moved from the historic Cotton Bowl to the state-of-the-art stadium that was the most unique sporting venue in the world and certainly ahead of its time. We experienced the excitement of that just two years ago as well.

And if all that wasn't enough, just imagine what it was like for a Cowboys team labeled "Next Year's Champions" that finally became "America's Team."

It all happened in 1971 and it's all chronicled in *Breakthrough 'Boys. *This might not be the Super Bowl season you remember the most, but it's the one that actually started it all.

For more information and some fun facts about the book, check out the Facebook page for *Breakthrough 'Boys, *which also can be purchased online.    

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