State Your Case: Why Lee Roy Jordan belongs in the Hall


Photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys of 1966-78 were one of the most successful teams ever assembled.

Those Cowboys of Tom Landry advanced to the playoffs 12 times in 13 seasons, won 10 NFC East titles and played in nine NFC championship games. They won five NFC titles but only two Super Bowls.

There were two heart-breaking losses to Green Bay in NFL title games in 1966 and 1967. The Packers escaped with a 34-27 victory at the Cotton Bowl when Don Meredith threw an interception from the Green Bay 2 in the final moments. The Packers escaped the Ice Bowl with a 21-17 victory at Lambeau Field the following season on a quarterback sneak by Hall-of-Famer Bart Starr for a touchdown in the closing seconds.

Then there was the 16-13 Super Bowl loss to the Colts in 1971 when Jim O’Brien kicked the game-winning a 32-yard field goal, again in the closing seconds. There also were two Super Bowl losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers, one in 1976 and the other in 1978. The 1976 loss came by a 21-17 score with the Cowboys in the Pittsburgh end of the field throwing into the end zone on the final play looking to steal a victory. The 1978 loss was again competitive with the Cowboys again coming out on the short end, 35-31. Hall of Fame tight end Jackie Smith dropped a touchdown pass in the Pittsburgh end zone in that game.

“We lost a couple to Green Bay that could have been our Super Bowls and our championships,” Cowboys middle linebacker Lee Roy Jordan said. “We lost a couple to Pittsburgh that could have been our Super Bowls and our championships. We made them (Steelers) the team of the century.”

And to the victor go the spoils. The Steelers have nine players enshrined in the Hall of Fame from a team that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. The Cowboys have seven players enshrined from that era – and two of them collected their busts as senior candidate after-thoughts (Bob Hayes and Rayfield Wright).

Had the Cowboys won one of those two evenly-played Green Bay games and/or one of those two evenly-played Pittsburgh games, they’d undoubtedly would have a more sizable contingent in Canton.

Wide receiver Drew Pearson and safety Cliff Harris are the only two members of the 1970s NFL all-decade first team not enshrined in Canton. Second-team all-decade performers OT Ralph Neely and DE Harvey Martin have never been discussed as finalists, and linebackers Chuck Howley and Jordan also deserved better fates.

Jordan was a great college player who became a great pro player. He was a first-team All-America at Alabama in 1962 who was named the MVP of the Orange Bowl in his final college game when he made 31 tackles against Oklahoma. He became the sixth overall pick of the 1963 draft by the Cowboys and that summer played on the College All-Star team that upset the world-champion Green Bay Packers.

Jordan stepped in at weakside linebacker for the Cowboys as a rookie and then moved to the middle in 1966 after Jerry Tubbs retired. Jordan went to five Pro Bowls and retired as the franchise’s all-time leading tackler with 1,236 in his 14-year career. He also came up with a whopping 50 takeaways on 32 interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries. Ray Lewis is the only middle linebacker in NFL history with more career takeaways (51).

Jordan once intercepted three Ken Anderson passes in one quarter.

“I was always hustling to be around the ball, being there when things happened, being close enough to make a reaction – to jump on a fumble or clean up on a tackle,” Jordan said. “Being in the vicinity to help my teammates make plays was always the most important thing to me.”

What’s most impressive about Jordan’s productivity is his size – or lack of it. He stood in the middle of the Dallas “Doomsday” defense at just 6-1, 220 pounds — hardly the prototype in an era when Hall-of-Famers Dick Butkus was playing at 245 and Ray Nitschke at 235. Yet Jordan was the leading tackler on units that led the NFL in run defense five times in seven seasons (1966-72) and led the NFC an additional time (1971). And that was during an era when football was played on the ground, not in the air.

“Our run defense was the catalyst to our success,” Jordan said. “That was our primary goal every week, every season – stop the run — because it was a much more of a running league back then than it has been the last 25-30 years. We took great pride in shutting down and controlling some of the great runners in the league.”

And the Cowboys were successful, winning 66.1 percent of their games during the Jordan era. But he had the misfortune of having a career that ran almost concurrently with that of Butkus. It’s difficult to make Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams when Butkus was penciled in as the NFL/NFC middle linebacker every year from 1965-72.

Twice Butkus was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, and he was voted to the NFL all-decade teams of both the 1960s and 1970s. Twice Jordan intercepted six passes in a single season, the final time in 1975 on a Super Bowl team. And he didn’t even make the Pro Bowl that season.

The presence of Butkus and Nitschke didn’t leave much acclaim for the other talented middle linebackers of that era. Tommy Nobis, Bill Bergey, Mike Curtis and Jordan all were multiple Pro Bowl selections who remain on the outside looking in at Canton. Jordan has been enshrined in the College Hall of Fame, however.

“I’ve tied myself to college football more strongly and identified with it more than I do with the pros,” Jordan said. “The NFL seems to be driven a lot more on individual accomplishments. The colleges are the old `team’ concept. When the team wins, everybody wins. Sometimes it’s not quite that way in the pros any more.”

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138 Comments

  1. February 28, 2017
    Reply

    Yes – Lee Roy Jordon deserves to be in the HOF , I think Randy Gradishar should get in 1st though. Easley getting in this year as a senior candidate was a slap in the face to both these guy’s , Easley had a shortened career and was never a HOF finalist and played after both these guys. It makes you really , really wonder about the Senior Committee.

    • bachslunch
      February 28, 2017
      Reply

      I don’t agree that Easley’s getting elected was a “slap in the face” to anyone. He was arguably the best safety not in (4/5/80s and reportedly looks excellent via film study) — and at a position that is badly under-represented in the HoF, which is not the case with MLBs from the 60s-70s. Short career or no, I think he was very highly deserving.

      I too wonder about the Senior Committees nominations in many instances lately (Goldberg, E. Thomas, Stabler, Little, LeBeau), but not in this case.

      • Joseph Wright
        February 28, 2017
        Reply

        What’s questionable about Stabler? It’s questionable that he did not get in earlier–definitely earlier than Bob Griese, who was GIVEN Stabler’s spot in 1990. Great used car salesman job, Edwin Pope!

        • bachslunch
          February 28, 2017
          Reply

          Stabler’s stats adjusted for era in rankings I’ve seen are below what’s considered usual HoF level — unless you have 2 or more title wins (Layne, Griese, Bradshaw) — with the sole exception of Namath, who arguably has more narrative stuck to his candidacy than anyone, and isn’t a good HoF choice either. Stabler’s one title and level of adjusted stats are about at the level of Joe Theismann and Charlie Conerley, who nobody’s breaking down the door to induct.

          • February 28, 2017

            If you don’t think Namatah belongs in HOF you don’t understand what an HOF is. Namath was not only a great QB and winner of the mot important SB yet played, he was a historic figure whose signing kept the AFL in business and ultimately beganthe process of forcing the merger. History, and your importance to it, counts.

          • Joseph Wright
            February 28, 2017

            Don’t sweat it, RB. This guy probably thinks Wes Welker was better than Paul Warfield, even with the “era-adjusted numbers.” LMAO,SMH.

          • Joseph Wright
            February 28, 2017

            I can see you read the Cliff Notes (On-Paper Statistics: Lazy Man’s Observation) of Stabler’s career. Try reading the whole book and every chapter next time. Theismann nor Connerly have any history-making highlights in the NFL Film library. Stabler has several (No, Theismann’s career-ending play at the hands of Lawrence Taylor doesn’t count). Reply to me on my email, because after all, this is L.R. Jordan’s story not Snake’s.

        • February 28, 2017
          Reply

          Nothing. Not one thing.

  2. bachslunch
    February 28, 2017
    Reply

    Agreed that Lee Roy Jordan (2/5/none) has a case about like Tommy Nobis’s (2/5/60s), though he does have more career length than Nobis. I agree that both should wait for Randy Gradishar (4/7/none) to get in first. Also think more OLBs from the era need to be elected first (Howley, Baughan, and Brazile for sure, maybe also Fortunato, Grantham, and Forester) as that position is still not well represented in the HoF and MLB is heavily so. Would be fine with Jordan and Nobis getting in if that happens.

  3. February 28, 2017
    Reply

    Yes , Easley deserved to get in the HOF , Yes the safety position is vastly under represented , But No way No how should he have gotten into the HOF before Randy Gradishar period!!!!! The fact that the Broncos are still waiting for that 1st Defensive Player to get into the HOF is amazing beyond words after (8 SB’s) Gradishar should have never had to wait to be a Senior Candidate period!!! He should have made it in Long , Long Ago!

    • bachslunch
      February 28, 2017
      Reply

      If the overriding criterion is to get in the deserving Senior candidate who has been waiting the longest, the top 7 biggest player injustices would more or less be in descending order: Lavvie Dilweg, Duke Slater, Verne Lewellen, Ox Emerson, Mac Speedie, Al Wistert, and Riley Matheson. All have strong HoF cases and played back in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

      But definitely agree that Gradishar should have been elected long ago. There are just way too many deserving Seniors out there.

  4. bachslunch
    February 28, 2017
    Reply

    Ron: Re Namath, there’s no question his HoF case is very heavily narrative based, maybe more so than any other member of the PFHoF. I’m a big Hall guy, but I’m not sold on the notion that narrative should push a player into the HoF if his more tangible arguments aren’t especially strong. Not everybody sees it that way, of course. By numbers adjusted for era, Namath’s regular season stats just aren’t especially impressive. He only won one title, but it was indeed the one that established the AFL as on a par with the NFL. Is it enough to make up the difference? Perhaps, but not sure on that one.

    Sure, I can see why he’s in. But there’s also a reasonable argument to make that says he wasn’t an especially strong choice.

    • Joseph Wright
      March 1, 2017
      Reply

      “Numbers,” “Numbers,” “Numbers.” It is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame. SMH.

      • bachslunch
        March 1, 2017
        Reply

        Joseph, it’s not clear to me what you think HoF induction criteria should be. I prefer to use objective means, and prefer a combination of

        -postseason honors, especially for non skill positions (1st team all pro selections/pro bowls/all decade teams)
        -stats used in good context for skill position players
        -good quality film study like that found at Ken Crippen’s website, if available

        for this purpose.

        Just curious: are you a Raiders fan?

        • Joseph Wright
          March 1, 2017
          Reply

          My criteria is this: There are four standards that are in play to be a Hall of Famer. If you can meet two of the four you are a HOFer.

          Criteria 1) Was Player X a standard bearer? Was he considered the best or in the argument for being the best in the league? Did he lead the league in a favorable category(s) significant to his position (In the case of receivers, multiple times)? Did he establish records? Did those records stand for at least five years, are you listening Art Monk (If the record falls a season later, that’s an indictment–BIG TIME. Are you listening, Cris Carter)? Was he a DOMINATOR en route to his career numbers (milestones were accomplished in 10-12 years: Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Reggie White) or was he an ACCUMULATOR (milestones reached because he stayed WAY past his prime–Emmitt and Bruce Smith, Vinny Testaverde) to acquire numbers greater than TRUE all-time greats. For Dominators, think Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, O.J. Simpson, Walter Payton, Reggie White, Dan Marino, Eric Dickerson, “Night Train” Lane, Lester Hayes, Mark Gastineau.

          Criteria 2) Was Player X a revolutionary? Did he change the way the game or his position was played? Did he influence future generations of great players by his new style of play? Were rules changed because of his dominance? Think Gale Sayers, Fran Tarkenton, “Deacon” Jones, Lawrence Taylor, Randall Cunningham, Jack Tatum, Joe Namath, Lynn Swann, Lester Hayes.

          Criteria 3) Impact on playoff history. Did Player X have a memorable playoff moment/game/play that helped his team win? Did he turn the balance of power or dethrone a defending champion with his play in a playoff game? Was he a key, vital contributor to championship teams? Was he clutch? Think Jerry Kramer, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, L.C. Greenwood, Dave Casper, Kellen Winslow, Lester Hayes, Dwight Clark, Drew Pearson, Joe Jacoby, Art Shell, Lynn Swann.

          Criteria 4) Honors. How many times was he named All-Pro? How many Pro Bowls was he voted into by his peers and coaches throughout the league (Yes, I understand. Last-minute Pro Bowl invitations don’t count. Sorry, Mike Boryla)? How many League MVPs or nationally respected awards did he receive? Think Joe Greene, Merlin Olsen, Ken Stabler, Lester Hayes, Randall Cunningham, Mark Gastineau.

          Yes, I am a Raiders fan. But Steeler players, management, and fans pushed for Stabler to be in the Hall as well as Roger Staubach, Jack Youngblood, and Nick Bontaconti–BEFORE he died. Notice how Lester Hayes meets all four criteria? Does Aeneas Williams even meet my two criteria minimum? As you well know, Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus meet three. They never made the playoffs. This also works for basketball, baseball, and hockey.

          • Rasputin
            March 1, 2017

            Emmitt Smith won 4 rushing titles, 3 Super Bowls, a Super Bowl MVP, and an NFL MVP in his first 6 seasons (the great Payton won one rushing title, for the record), and had set the single season rushing TD record. He would have still been a dominating, “TRUE all-time great” if he had retired in 1999 after 10 years with 13,963 rushing yards, 16,691 yards from scrimmage, and 147 TDs.

            Bruce Smith may not have been the greatest pass rusher of all time, but he was selected first team AP All Pro 8 times, so apparently those voters, rightly or wrongly, thought he was in the argument for best at his position for a good stretch long before he set the career sack record.

            I’m glad you’ve decided that numbers are useful to consider after all (among other things), but don’t just narrowly zone in on a single metric like that and assume those guys’ cases for greatness rest entirely on those famous career records.

            PS – Emmitt Smith even inspired a rule change about ripping your helmet off on the field, lol, which sort of meets your #2 if you consider that a less dominant player wouldn’t have had the profile or huge number of opportunities to celebrate triumph (especially after TDs).

          • bachslunch
            March 2, 2017

            Lots to talk about. First, it looks like we fully agree on postseason honors (all-pro, all decade, etc.). And as Rasputin rightly pointed out, it looks like you do indeed make use of stats, so there is some overlap on the “standard bearer” issue. But we disagree otherwise.

            I do not subscribe to the notion of things like signature plays, because there’s too much subjectivity involved and the potential for bias and PR influence is great. And I tread very cautiously with things like revolutionary status. For me, it’s at most an enhancer for someone who I think already is HoF worthy. In fact, there are several so-called revolutionary players for whom I’m not sure that term correctly applies. Examples: Lawrence Taylor was very likely the greatest pass rushing OLB ever, but as the example of Robert Brazile shows, he wasn’t the first example, nor was he even the first with a good HoF argument. Fred Dean is in the HoF primarily because of his supposedly revolutionary status as an “Elephant” dedicated pass rusher, when in fact several players preceded him in this role (Cedrick Hardman, Claude Humphrey, Pat Toomay, Tony McGee) without the fancy term label. Any argument touting Jack Tatum’s DB hard hits as revolutionary need only look back to Dick Lane as a clear precursor, plus Cliff Harris was as hard hitting as any safety and was an exact contemporary of Tatum. And Bob Hayes was not the first speed-burner receiver in NFL history (see Harlon Hill and Ray Renfro), nor was the zone defense created to stop him (Steve Owens’s umbrella defense, created to counteract the Browns passing attack, is a zone defense in all but name). If I learned nothing else from the example of Bill James, it’s that it’s wise to examine one’s assumptions with care and be ready to revise your thinking if merited. Sometimes it is.

            I also do not weigh postseason play heavily into HoF cases except where the Hall has set precedents for its use, specifically for QBs with less than elite stats who get a boost in with multiple championships (Layne, Griese, Bradshaw qualify). Non QBs with such a boost are rare and vary by position: Terrell Owens, Lynn Swann, maybe Charles Haley. Plus there were several fine players who played on mediocre to bad teams and got little to no chance in the playoffs: Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Roger Wehrli, Dan Dierdorf, Aeneas Williams, Morten Andersen, and Claude Humphrey among them. Unfortunately, you can’t choose your teammates, and if a player is otherwise qualified, I see no reason to hold it against them.

            I’m also not a fan of crowd sourcing who should and should not get into the HoF (re the Steeler/Stabler mention). Some fandoms are notoriously aggressive about pushing players from their teams at the expense of others just as or more qualified, plus I’m not convinced most folks possess good knowledge in this area or have the discipline to obtain it. There’s no better example than Jim Marshall, who has been heavily pushed by several folks for years as a gross HoF oversight when he’s nothing of the sort.

            Also not sold on the idea that a player holding a career record must have it stand for a long time to merit HoF worth. Again, you can’t control what happens after you retire. And if staying past one’s prime matters a lot in HoF arguments, how do you reconcile inducting Ken Stabler given his play with Houston and New Orleans? By the way, I agree that Vinny Testaverde has no business in the HoF; his stats adjusted for era are lousy.

            Re Lester Hayes, I’m okay if he gets in but not convinced it’s a crime against humanity if he’s left out. He did play at a very high level for a few years (1980 in particular), but his honors are a little thin at 2/5/80s, plus his best level of play coincided with his stickum use. For me the biggest CB Senior snubs are Lemar Parrish (3/8/none and a fine KR) and ex-Raider Dave Grayson (6/6/allAFL and also a solid KR), with Abe Woodson (4/5/none), Bobby Boyd (4/2/60s), Louis Wright (4/4/70s), and Hayes also in the mix.

            And in case you think I’m anti-Raiders or something, consider that I think both Grayson and Cliff Branch are highly HoF deserving, with Hayes and Todd Christensen deserving of a look as well.

            More as time allows.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 2, 2017

            A) Revolutionists are absolutely important because they effected change and influenced the play and players you see today. LT had a much huger impact than Robert Brazile on outside linebacker play. Are you going to tell me Andre Tippett, Derrick Thomas and Pat Swilling came out of Robert Brazile? Really? BTW, to heck with this reply board’s original intent–Lee Roy Jordan’s NEVER getting into the Hall of Fame. As for Tatum vs. Cliff Harris, Tatum was definitely a revolutionary in that he was a defensive back who was compared to linebackers for his ferocious hitting. He was feared by fullbacks and tight ends. The litmus test is Lynn Swann. The Steelers’ receiver ran free, smashed Super Bowl records, and won games with Cliff Harris in the Cowboys’ secondary. He treaded cautiously, heard footsteps and was virtually a non-factor in playoff games vs Jack Tatum and the Raiders secondary.

            B) “I also do not weigh postseason play heavily into HoF cases.” OH, MY GOODNESS! Get this man out of the room–NOW! Post season performances often (obviously, not always) separates the great (Stabler, Swann, Drew Pearson, Joe Greene, Reggie White, Ray Lewis, Lester Hayes) from the others. Without the postseason, you would not have documentation of who the great teams and, ultimately, the great players were. If you read my criteria again, it says “Impact on Playoff History” (Stabler, Swann, Winslow, Ray Lewis, Lester Hayes), not “being there” (Griese, Jim McMahon, Art Monk, Jim Mandich, Lee Roy Jordan, Larry Brown–the fake Super Bowl MVP means nothing to me). Re: Players on bad teams. Remember, I said if Player X matches 2 of the 4 criteria, he’s in. Player X won’t be penalized if his performance was high-quality (Sayers, Butkus, Simpson, Barry Sanders, Gary Barbaro).

            C) Length of time record stands. The longer a record stands shows how high Player X set the bar (Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Night Train Lane–14 INTs in one season, Dickerson’s 2,105 yards in one season). In 1994, the NFL puts restrictions on the bump-and-run rules, Cris Carter catches 122 passes in 1994, then Herman Moore catches 123 the very next year and I’m supposed to call CC’s performance “great?” Please. And, no, I’m not saying Timmie Smith should be in the HOF because his 206 rushing yards in the Super Bowl record still stands 30 years later.

            D) The Lester Hayes debate has always fascinated me. He was elected to–by his peers and opposing coaches–five consecutive Pro Bowls and during that time in the ’80s was considered by many–not just Raiders fans–the best coverage man in all of football. Deion Sanders claims him as an inspiration. Yet he is knocked because he wore stickum, which was LEGAL at the time. Clarification: Hayes had 19 INTS in 21 games in 1980-81 (regular season, postseason, Pro Bowl). In the immediate off-season the substance was banned–and he made four more consecutive Pro Bowls. What’s more, he gained an ally in Mike Haynes and spearheaded (with Marcus Allen on offense) another Super Bowl run, shutting down Art Monk (1 catch) without the sticky stuff on football’s biggest stage. Fred Biletnikoff (who introduced Hayes to stickum) is revered for wearing the sticky stuff (for his entire career, by the way) AND his pass catching while Hayes is almost reviled for wearing stickum and his coverage is looked at cynically. When the sticky stuff was banned, he continued to shut down his side and dominate. And to be fair, the INTs came down not only because he was without stickum but because QBs were reluctant to throw his way–like Night Train Lane. Biletnikoff and Hayes both used stickum legally: One to catch passes, the other to pick them off. What’s the difference? The motives and actions are interchangeable. Right?

            E) Great players playing past their prime happens all the time (Namath, Stabler, Favre, Rice). These players, if they have established them (within or near their prime), may even pad their record (Walter Payton, Rice, Favre). I have no problem with that because it is THEIR record to pad. What I don’t like is when players play WAY past their prime to break a record or move into the top ten or five (Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith, Vinny Testaverde). That bastardizes the narrative of the game’s history and younger people who are given the keys to sustain the chronicling of the game may give undeserved anointing to someone unworthy. Don’t you remember, two years ago when Testaverde was ridiculously nominated for the Hall of Fame. No doubt because some uninformed kid looked at the “numbers” and saw that he threw two more TD passes than Joe Montana. “Wow, he must have been great.” Jeez!

          • Rasputin
            March 2, 2017

            The 1977 Broncos passed for 217 yards in beating the Raiders in the AFC Championship game. Dallas held them to 35 yards passing in the Super Bowl. Cliff Harris knocked Rick Upchurch unconscious that game, something he did to a lot of receivers over the years, so I’m unimpressed with your cherry-picked “litmus test”. HoF safety Larry Wilson said, “I feel Harris is the finest free safety in the business today. He changed the way the position is being played. You see other teams modeling their free safeties around the way Harris plays the pass, and striking fear in everyone on the field because he hits so hard.”

            They called him “Captain Crash” for a reason.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 3, 2017

            Cherry-picking? I saw where you got the “testimonial” from Larry Wilson and the undeserved SB XII knockout of Rick Upchurch: http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2015/6/6/8739257/cowboys-midsummer-madness-round-one-cliff-harris-vs-nate-newton. A fan reply? How weak are you? For the record, it was “Hollywood” Henderson who knocked him out, not Harris. In the Sports Illustrated 1984 NFL Preview issue, former Broncos assistant coach Myrel Moore recalled the time when Upchurch was asked to run a slant pattern against the Raiders and the receiver replied, “Uh-uh. I’m not going in there,” because of Jack Tatum. Additionally, Tatum among other things once KO’ed nine players in one season–documented by both Who’s Who in Football (1974) and The Complete Handbook of Pro Football (1978). “Captain Crash” was a Cowboys nickname (local). “The Assassin” was Tatum’s NATIONAL nickname. Ronnie Lott, Ken Easley, and Steve Atwater were inspired by Jack Tatum. In fact, Atwater’s nickname was “The Smiling Assassin.” Tatum impacted the game FAR more than Cliff Harris. His omission from the ’70s All-Decade Team is purely political (Raiders association; unfortunate paralysis of Darryl Stingley).

          • bachslunch
            March 3, 2017

            So let’s see. Bruce Smith and Emmitt Smith do not deserve to be in the HoF because they played a few years past their prime, while Walter Payton and Brett Favre do even though they also played a few years past their prime — and how well they played before their decline phase apparently doesn’t matter because one was padding his own record while the others were chasing one. Jack Tatum is an innovator and revolutionary because he was a hard hitting DB, even though Dick Lane preceded him and Cliff Harris was his nearly exact contemporary. This is precisely why I do not like using subjective criteria of this sort as an important part of deciding PFHoF worth. It’s far too easy to do this kind of intellectual fudging and justify it as legitimate.

            And if we’re talking “revolutionary,” I think one can certainly argue that Robert Brazile is and Lawrence Taylor is not. The OED definition of the word is “radically new or innovative; outside or beyond established procedure, principles, etc.” and there’s no question both players were accomplished pass rushing OLBs and that Brazile’s career predates Taylor’s. The point was “revolutionary,” not “greatest ever,” which I think we can all agree Taylor was (I’m certainly happy to substitute someone for Brazile who had such a role before he did, if someone like that exists – feel free). To say otherwise is to ignore NFL history and confuse the two terms. In fact, not all “revolutionaries” are even in the HoF nor do they deserve to be; best I can tell, Harlon Hill was the first real speed-merchant WR in the NFL, but injuries regrettably cut his Hall-bound career short.

            Re playoff success and the HoF: as said before, this has never consistently been a deal-breaker in either direction from membership except perhaps the QBs I mentioned earlier. In fact, better than one-quarter of HoF QBs never won a title (Tittle, Tarkenton, Jurgensen, Fouts, Moon, Marino, Kelly). Sure, plenty of HoFers were excellent in the playoffs, but they got in because of their regular season play and irrespective of their postseason play, except for the six examples I listed earlier. If you don’t like it, feel free to bring it up with the HoF, but that’s clearly been their practice.

            Re Hayes: his honors profile is 2/5/80s, which is actually kind of thin compared to other HoF DBs — though like I said, I won’t complain too awful much if he gets in. I’d have to research it, but I don’t remember there being too many HoF DBs who went to five or fewer pro bowls or had two or fewer 1st team all pro selections. In fact, those honors are closer to DB HoF mistakes Emmitt Thomas (2/5/none) and Dick LeBeau (0/3/none) than anyone else. I would also like to see confirmation (that is, good quality documented film study evidence) that Hayes was the best cover corner of his time, especially since he was a contemporary of Mike Haynes. Maybe he was, but given some of the eccentric positions you have, I’m very reluctant to take your word for it.

            Fact is, the Joseph Wright Pro Football Hall of Fame is welcome to have whatever standards it wants. But given its membership, the PFHoF’s standards in Canton don’t necessarily coincide with yours.

            More as time allows.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 3, 2017

            Like an ant at a nudist colony, I don’t know where to begin. Bruce Smith was essentially Dexter Manley with a bigger mouth (and that’s saying A LOT!) playing in a weak AFC. So he got to be the “big fish in a small pond.” When he was matched up against the NFC East offensive lines in four straight Super Bowl losses, BS–appropriate initials–was exposed BIG TIME. These were OLs that Reggie White consistently dominated, against the pass AND the run, on a yearly basis with the Philadelphia Eagles. Four consecutive times, Smith was knocked on his backside, flat on his back, all the while lying to anyone who would listen, saying he was better than Reggie White. Then, he stays five years after White retires to get the sacks he needs to “break” the record. Disgraceful. Thankfully, people outside of Buffalo aren’t buying into, dare I say it, BS.

            Emmitt Smith was a functional running back benefiting from a great, overpowering OL. Put Herschel Walker or Barry Sanders in that spot and the Cowboys have the same success–or better. And Payton’s record falls years before Emmitt turned the trick.

            Revolutionary is one who is radically different and influences change that becomes standard. Lawrence Taylor did that. Robert Brazile did not. No one ever said “Lawrence Taylor is another Robert Brazile.” Robert Brazile was not revolutionary, or even a pioneer. The first Pro Bowl blitzing LB was Dave Robinson with the Packers but he–nor Brazile– didn’t open the floodgates for blitzing LBs like LT did.

            Night Train Lane was a hard-hitting corner but he is more noted as a revolutionary, shutdown corner and pass thief. Tatum opened the floodgates for hard-hitting safeties: Ronnie Lott, Kenny Easley, Steve Atwater, John Lynch, Brian Dawkins, Troy Polamalu etc. You’re telling me those guys came out of…Cliff Harris? OK, ok. And Kam Chancellor comes from Dick Anderson. LOL!! And I’M eccentric?

            Just because Player X was the first doesn’t make him a revolutionary. Pioneer, yes. Revolutionary, no. A pioneer (Dave Robinson) is the first who opposes or is different from a standard (Andy Russell). A revolutionary (LT) changes the standard (Jack Ham) to a new standard (Derrick Thomas).

            In Don Heinrich’s Pro Preview Magazine (a respected football publication that came from NY–that’s the East) that came out from 1981-1993, Heinrich (a former NY Giant backup QB) would rank the top 10 at every position. In the years 1980-84, he ranked Hayes ahead of Haynes four straight years. Yes, Haynes’ time as a top-ranked corner was longer than Hayes’. However, during Hayes’ five-year Pro Bowl run, many people had him ranked as the top corner, higher than even Haynes. As far as the ’80s All-Decade corner rankings are concerned, the HOF writers are covering for their mistake on the ’70s team. The CBs were: Willie Brown, Jimmy Johnson, Louis Wright, and Roger Wherli. NO WAY Wherli was a better ’70s CB than Mel Blount. Ridiculous. And Mel Blount was not as dominant in the ’80s as Lester Hayes. Frank Minnifield getting more ’80s votes than Hayes is absurd.

            My HOF DOES have standards. You just refuse to look at the truth. The four criteria holds up. If a guy meets two of the four, he’s in. Based on “numbers,” impact on playoff history, and honors–thanks to the Great Wall of Dallas– sure, put Emmitt Smith in. Even though Roger Craig, Chuck Foreman, and Edgerrin James were better backs. Same with BS–although L.C. Greenwood, Harvey Martin, and Dexter Manley had greater, more favorable impacts on playoff history.

            By the way, way to duck my stickum question regarding Hayes vs. Biletnikoff.

          • bachslunch
            March 3, 2017

            What about the phrase “More as time allows” don’t you understand? Re stickum use, it was legal during all of Fred Biletnikoff’s career, but was outlawed during Hayes’s playing days, in 1981. In 1980, Hayes was DPOY and named 1st team all pro by five organizations. After that, he was named 1st team all pro by only one organization each over a four year span, in 1981 by Sporting News, 1983 by Pro Football Weekly, and in 1984 by Pro Football Writers. Still good, but a dropoff in level of play nonetheless. And yes, I realize I made a mistake earlier in counting honors for Hayes — that’s 4/5/80s, which is better than I remembered, and makes his a far stronger HoF case. Happy to correct myself when I’m wrong.

            Re Bruce Smith. You’re confusing pro bowls, which are conference limited, and 1st team all pro selections, which can come from anywhere in the NFL. And Smith was named a 1st team all pro nine times. This isn’t Ruben Brown we’re talking, who thanks to being the third best guard in a conference not deep at the position, ended up with honors of 0/9/none. Your description of Smith as “Dexter Manley with a bigger mouth” is indefensible (Manley’s 1/1/none profile is light years behind Smith’s 9/11/80s90s).

            Re the CBs on the all-70s team: if we look at 1st team all pro and pro bowl selections during that decade, the odd man out is definitely not Roger Wehrli. It’s Louis Wright. Numbers: Wehrli (5/7), Brown (4/4), Johnson (3/4), Blount (3/4), Wright (2/2). Wright has the misfortune to straddle his honors evenly across two decades, a problem shared by several players. But I agree, Blount is a better choice for the 70s team than the 80s.

            More as time allows.

          • Rasputin
            March 3, 2017

            LOL! For the record I wrote that “fan reply”, and as you can see it was sourced with a link that at the time led to an article. That website has since changed but you can find the quote online elsewhere, since your point is presumably that it may just be made up. Here are a Dallas Morning News article and 2008 press release:

            http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-cowboys/cowboysheadlines/2015/10/30/honor-roll-ex-cowboys-great-darren-woodson-set-enter-ring

            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=93345

            For you to google that quote and only spend a couple of seconds trying to figure out where I got it before leaping to the wrong conclusion was lazy and weak on your part.

            You’re completely wrong about Super Bowl XII. Harris knocked out Upchurch. Youtube’s time specific linking doesn’t seem to be working today, but skip to 1:54:40 and see it for yourself.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ES28KSI0Cs

            Pat initially wrongly credits Mark Washington with the hit because he was sort of hanging around on the screen at the end, but you can clearly see from the live shot and replay that Harris (#43) delivers the blow by himself and Upchurch is on the ground a while. Thomas Henderson isn’t even in the shot. “Dick Anderson”, lol? Thank you for confirming that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

            You’re a Raiders fan and a blowhard, but it’s almost endearing that you feel this is just about who “inspired” a couple of kids coming up. Tatum benefited from some of that Raiders hype, no question, but I’m quoting Hall of Fame contemporaries and could add coaches and media analysts, and plenty of kids were inspired by both players.

            Look, no one denied Tatum was a hard hitter, but Harris was a hard hitter AND great in coverage, and has a better claim to that revolutionary combination. He analyzed opponents to find their weaknesses. Harris was more prominent and a better player. Sports Illustrated Paul Zimmerman (Dr Z) called Harris the best hitter/cover combo guy ever.

            http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000212189/article/dallas-cowboys-alltime-underrated-overrated-players

            In fact Harris was the FS on the SI All Time Dream Team in 1997, and is the aforementioned Dr Z’s all time team FS.

            Some bonus for fun:

            “Perhaps what made Harris notorious was his hard-hitting, knockout play for which there were no official statistics. According to Waters, who played in the Cowboys defensive backfield with Harris from 1970-81, the two had a “mystery stat” of how many times Harris knocked out the best opposing player Dallas head coach Tom Landry said the defense had to key on that particular week.

            “We went through it and Cliff’s record was seven games in a row where he would knock out the one player that Coach Landry would put in the game plan and we would have to pay attention and neutralize this player,” Waters said. “Well, Cliff would do a little bit more than neutralize them. He would put them into another zip code.””

            http://www.wfaa.com/sports/cowboys-great-cliff-harris-was-more-than-just-captain-crash/367443015

          • Rasputin
            March 3, 2017

            Your anti-Emmitt Smith comments are even funnier than your faceplants about the safeties. The low brow myths you repeat confirm that you’re just a shallow glance guy who’s actually guilty of some of what you’ve falsely accused Bachslunch of. With the RBs you’re still all about the career yardage “record”….the “numbers” you bemoaned earlier….arguing Smith down by claiming he wouldn’t have that “record” if Sanders had played longer and giving his O-line all the credit. That’s grade school level commentary. But the kicker is when you ludicrously claim guys like Chuck Foreman, Roger Craig, and Edgerrin James were better backs.

            First, Emmitt Smith was the best RB in the country in both high school and college. Did the same offensive line follow him throughout his life? Only one member of the “Great Wall of Dallas” is in the HoF, and Larry Allen didn’t even show up until after Smith had already won 3 rushing titles. Jim Brown’s line was full of HoFers; go look it up. And yet you hypocritically cite him as an “all time great” in supposed contrast to Emmitt Smith.

            Second, while the Cowboys O-line did eventually become great, what did the Great Wall of Dallas accomplish between Walker’s departure and Smith arriving, when most of their pieces were already in place? Answer – not much. Emmitt rushed for almost 1,000 yards as a rookie on a losing team and won his first NFL rushing title the following season.

            What happened in 1993 when Jerry Jones thought like you did and refused to pay Smith what he wanted, prompting a contract hold out? They started 0-2, a fact celebrated by Bills fans with signs after that second game (which would prove hilariously ironic at the season’s end). Poor Derrick Lassic couldn’t do anything behind the “Great Wall of Dallas”. So they signed a deal with Smith, who came in and led them on a long winning streak. He won the rushing title again despite missing the first two games. Then he secured home field advantage in the finale against the Giants when he carried the team despite a separated shoulder. Then, with Aikman still suffering the effects of a concussion, he led the team’s comeback in Super Bowl 28 and was the easy MVP choice for the game. He was also named NFL MVP for the season, and there has never been a clearer choice.

            I actually don’t necessarily completely disagree with you about Sanders. Smith did win 4 rushing titles while he and Sanders were both in their primes (Sanders won once in that span), and Sanders might have declined rapidly after his mid to late 90s burst, so we don’t know for sure, but it’s possible that both of these statements could be true:

            1. Barry Sanders would have the career yardage record if he had played as long as Emmitt Smith.

            2. Emmitt Smith was a better RB than Barry Sanders.

            Emmitt Smith was more physical and consistent than Sanders, especially in his prime. Opposing players talked about how much it hurt to have to tackle him over and over in a game. His most important contributions weren’t those long highlight runs you see on youtube, though he had his share of those, but all those tough 4-8 yard gains he got that kept the chains moving. That’s how your win championships. Standard deviation of gains, though it’s almost never mentioned, should be considered an important complement stat to total yards and even yards per gain. Imagine a RB who gains 150 yards but mostly does it in 8 big carries out of 30 total. That leaves a lot of unproductive plays. His team will be punting a lot. Now imagine a RB who gains 150 yards but gets exactly 5 yards a carry on all 30 carries. If you’re gaining at least 5 yards on every carry your team can’t be stopped, barring a turnover. That’s the value of consistency.

            By contrast Sanders was a home run hitter. He had the sensationalistic highlight runs, but he also holds the NFL career record for negative plays, and his playoff record was dismal while Smith rewrote chunks of the postseason record books.

            The O-line excuse is crap. You’re wrong about the Cowboys doing better with Sanders. He didn’t fit their system as well as Smith. Aside from the fact that Sanders’ line is underrated and included Lomas Brown, a 7 time Pro Bowler, the Lions became a spread team and those open spaces better suited Sanders’ more scat back style. With Sanders instead of Smith maybe the Cowboys win one Super Bowl, but not three.

            Sanders couldn’t have done what Emmitt did in 1993, carrying the team in the brutally strong NFC East against ferocious defenses in a power run system, separated shoulder and all. He couldn’t have been as dominant as Smith routinely was in inclement weather. Of course both Smith and Sanders are all time greats regardless of which one someone prefers, but the others you listed aren’t.

            Maybe you only watched the Cowboys in the late 90s after Smith prolonged his career by altering his playing style, if at all, but at his peak Smith had the best combination of power, balance, agility, and vision any RB ever has. His movement was extremely efficient. He almost never fumbled. He had deceptive speed, which is why he had so many long runs. He was extremely durable. He was also an excellent receiver and the best pass blocking RB I’ve ever seen.

            Regarding the RB/O-line question, as with Jim Brown, it took both being great to accomplish what no one else ever has and possibly never will again. I don’t care how good your O-line is, you don’t dominate the way Emmitt Smith did unless you’re one of the greatest of all time.

          • Rasputin
            March 3, 2017

            My reply correcting your blatant errors on the Cliff Harris subject is “awaiting moderation” because of its links to supporting evidence, Joseph Wright, but stay tuned.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 4, 2017

            I’ll be here waitin’, junior. (YAWN)

          • bachslunch
            March 4, 2017

            Note also that the first pro bowl blitzing OLB doesn’t appear to have been Dave Robinson. In fact, things appear to be more complicated on this question in general. I asked about this at the pfraforum yesterday and got a really good reply from John Turney, as follows:

            “It wasn’t Dave Robinson.

            “Players who got quite a few sacks as OLBs: Wayne Walker, Matt Hazeltine, Chris Hanburger. The thing is, they had varying totals year-to-year. All these were weak side linebackers, and it was a trend in the 1960s to dog that player and all of them were in 4-3 defenses. And really, the “rush backer” is usually associated with 3-4 defenses. The Oilers when they went to the 3-4 did have Brazile in the 2nd year, but in 1984 Ted Washington had 11 sacks. He is the first of the 3-4 LBs to have double digit sacks. In the 4-3 Walker and Hazeltine had double digit sacks at least once. The first OLBer to have a monster year was Joel Williams in 1980 when he had 16. Lawrence Taylor didn’t surpass that until 1984.

            “If you go way back, in the old 5-3 defenses of the 1950s, the DE was more akin to Lawrence Taylor. The best was Len Ford, who was most of the time in a 2-point stance. He was more of a traditional DE when they moved to a 4-3 defense.

            “So it’s not one of those easy answers, it’s looking at the film and seeing similarities in schemes over generations.”

            I think what we’re seeing here is a long running issue containing players of varying degrees of accomplishment as well as different wrinkles on actual expression. And I’d argue that’s true of hard hitting DBs as well as outside pass rushers. To single this or that player out as deserving of special recognition seems arbitrary — Len Ford is a HoFer after all and I don’t see that he’s undeserving.

          • bachslunch
            March 4, 2017

            More things.

            The point was not that the standards for your personal HoF are inconsistent. The point was that the priorities for your HoF membership aren’t consistently in line with Canton’s. If they were, we’d see more than six players with marginal careers and a playoff boost in the real HoF.

            If we’re citing experts on coverage corners, Paul Zimmerman said in an SI article that the two best cover corners he ever saw were Jim Johnson and Deion Sanders (he also listed Dick Lane and Willie Brown as the two best bump and run types), then went on to describe what he called the “three great technicians”: Mike Haynes, Roger Wehrli, and Albert Lewis. He doesn’t mention Hayes. And when did Don Heinrich morph into “many people?”

            And as the cited post by Turney suggests, the whole “revolutionary” thing looks to be a tough question to answer, and designating someone specific isn’t immune to arbitrary cherry picking.

            More as time permits and I feel like it.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 4, 2017

            Good ol’ Dr. Z, huh? The same man who fervently campaigned to keep Stabler out of the Hall of Fame. The same “expert” who (in 2001) said, “the two best defensive ends I’ve ever seen were Deacon Jones and Rich Jackson,” leaving out Reggie White in the process. Hayes should see Dr. Z’s snub as FULL validation that he was a true Hall of Famer. Oh, I’ve got more.

          • bachslunch
            March 5, 2017

            Hey, you pick your experts and I’ll pick mine. Dr. Z was known and respected as extremely knowledgeable on film study. Feel free to ask Clark, Ron, or Rick their opinion of his abilities on the matter, as I’m sure they were on the HoF selection committee when he was. And any arguments that he may have anti-Oakland bias would need to explain away the fact that of the seven CBs mentioned, two (Brown, Haynes) were Raiders.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 6, 2017

            I never said Z was anti-Raider. He was anti-Stabler. It is clearly documented by Zimmerman himself that he stood up and said when Stabler was nominated in 1990, “You cannot allow this man into the Hall of Fame.” He then based it on his unfounded allegations that Stabler got another Hall of Fame committee writer, Bob Pedecky, arrested for drug possession and this weak criticism that Stabler didn’t seem upset whenever he threw an interception. It was personal, unprofessional, and had nothing to do with the quarterback’s contribution to the game (Super Bowl Title; League MVPs; 2X league leader in TDs; NFL history’s only 60 percent passer until rule changes handcuffed defenders; thwarting two potential 3Peats of great dynasties–Dolphins, Steelers).

            Ron Borges was with me an the cases of Stabler AND Lester Hayes so you indicted yourself by bringing him up: “..ask Clark, Ron, or Rick about his (Dr. Z’s) abilities, blahzay, blahzay, blah..”

            Borges wrote a State Your Case piece fully endorsing Hayes for the Hall of Fame. The ban on stickum may have led to a dropoff in INTs (though QBs not throwing in that direction was the bigger factor), but not as you inaccurately say “a dropoff in performance.” So, instead of copping out and saying, “And yes, I realize I made a mistake earlier in counting honors for Hayes — that’s 4/5/80s, which is better than I remembered, and makes his a far stronger HoF case. Happy to correct myself when I’m wrong,” try saying, “Thank you, Joseph Wright, for correcting me, Bachslunch, when I was wrong. Again.”

            The problem is, Bachslunch, you further showed your poor talent/performance evaluations of CBs with this statement: “Re the CBs on the all-70s team: if we look at 1st team all pro and pro bowl selections during that decade, the odd man out is definitely not Roger Wehrli. It’s Louis Wright. Numbers: Wehrli (5/7), Brown (4/4), Johnson (3/4), Blount (3/4), Wright (2/2). Wright has the misfortune to straddle his honors evenly across two decades, a problem shared by several players.” If your life depended on a game in the ’70s and you had to have one man cover against Paul Warfield, who would you take: Louis Wright or Roger Werli? If you say Louis Wright, I rest my case that your beloved Dr. Z and others made a huge mistake putting Werli on the All-70s team. If you’d take Werli, I would gladly give the eulogy at your funeral. If you are putting together a football team and you could only carry four CBs and those trying out are Jimmy Johnson (the player, not the coach), Willie Brown, Roger Werli, Mel Blount, and Louis Wright, who would be “the odd man out?”

            I stand by my comparison of Bruce Smith to Dexter Manley. BTW, Manley was much stronger against the run than Smith. Manley’s Playoff performances in ’82, vs. Walter Payton and Jimbo Covert in ’86 and ’87, and Gary Zimmerman bear that out. Would the Redskins have won the Super Bowls in ’82 & ’87 without Manley? We KNOW the Bills got run over four straight times with “Big Bruce.” And Dr. Z’s Reggie White omission? Get back to me with your answers. LMAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            March 5, 2017

            My comment above seems to have posted, Joseph Wright. There you go, boy.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 7, 2017

            Of course the Cowboys would have won 3 or more Super Bowls with Sanders (or Herschel Walker, for that matter) instead of Smith. The lanes/canyons the Cowboys o-line provided for Emmitt would have opened frightening floodgates for defenses facing Barry. Once again, no one outside of Lomas Brown was a quality–much less high quality–player on that ordinary to shoddy line in Detroit during that time. And, no, Barry wasn’t running behind Lomas most of the time. Quite often, he had to improvise because a defender was already in the Lions’ backfield after Sanders took the handoff. So, of course he had negative plays. Yet he not only survived, he thrived. Barry hung up 1,800 and 2,000 seasons behind questionable blocking. Payton hung an 1,800-yard season behind crappy blocking in 1977–a 14-game season! Meanwhile, behind high-quality blocking O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson put up 1,800- and 2000-yard seasons. JimBrown set the standard at 1,863 in 1963. Emmitt NEVER ran for 1,800 in a season behind the greatest run blocking line ever. And, no, he wasn’t in a pass-dominated offense. Smith usually got 20-25 carries per game. And when Sanders ran for 2,053 Lomas Brown was with the Cardinals! Barry Sanders would have put up MULTIPLE 2,000-yard seasons behind the Great Wall of Dallas, including a 2,500-yard season–easily. A newly retired Eric Dickerson was aske by Chris Myers what he would do behind the Dallas front and he laughed and said, “3,000.” I was rolling myself. As for this “Jim Brown ran behind several Hall of Famers…” Outside of Gene Hickerson, who was inducted as a senior member in 2007, who are these other “several” o-linemen you speak of? And, oh, BTW, Emmitt was never the best runner in college. He never led the nation in rushing and didn’t win the Heisman. That would be Barry, Tim Brown, and Andre Ware. Speaking of Andre Ware…

            Emmitt had Troy Aikman as his QB, a stud-Hall of Famer. Barry had to work with Bob Gagliano, Rodney Peete, Andre Ware, Dave Krieg, Charlie Batch, and that all-time great (it’s an absolute crime he’s not in the Hall of Fame! Shame?) Scott Mitchell.

            In 1993, Gale Sayers sat down with Bob costas and discussed his career. Then Costas gave him a list of RBs and asked Sayers for a comment on each:

            Jim Brown: “The best ever.” ; Emmitt Smith: “Good runner. Great offensive line.” ; Barry Sanders: “I love watching him play. He is the closest to myself.” Emmitt was GOOD. The line was GREAT. Hmmmm….

            Speaking of Jim Brown, who should know a little bit about great running backs, he was a guest on the ESPN Up Close Show with Chris Myers in 1996. I remember it was ’96 because it was an election year and after being asked by Myers, Brown said he was voting for Bob Dole because his friend, Jack Kemp, was Dole’s VP running mate–but I digress. Myers asked Brown who was the best RB in the game at that time. Without hesitation, Brown said, “Barry Sanders.” Myers asked for more elaboration and Brown said, “Emmitt has a great heart and he really brings a lot to the Cowboys. But…Let me put it this way: Emmitt can play on certain teams, Barry could play for any team in any era.” Back to where you belong, junior. Lol. And I’ve never falsely accused Bachslunch of anything. However, when B-lunch is enormously wrong, B-lunch is enormously wrong.

          • bachslunch
            March 7, 2017

            -just because you and Ron Borges happen to agree on Ken Stabler does not necessarily mean that Borges has no respect for Dr. Z’s film study capabilities and player evaluations. The HoF voters actually do disagree about various players, you know. Re Jackson, it’s no secret that Dr. Z believes that over a 3-1/2 year period, Jackson was perhaps the finest overall defensive end and pass rusher he ever saw, a sure Hall of Famer if he had had a longer playing career. In his eyes, choosing Jackson over Reggie White would appear to be a choice of the highest, if short-term, quality over very high quality longevity. And I don’t see why anyone would have a quibble over Deacon Jones being considered. That being said, I could understand if someone wanted to choose White here. Depends on how you see it.

            -just because you say something, forcefully or otherwise, doesn’t necessarily make it true. In fact, you’ve been wrong on things such as Dave Robinson being the first pass rushing outside linebacker and Jack Tatum being the first important hard-hitting DB. Not surprisingly, I have no intention of accepting anything you have to say that isn’t backed up with good evidence (feel free to choose from such things as a detailed film-study critique like that found on Ken Crippen’s website, statistics for skill position players put in good context, honors profiles, and the like) — and that goes for your assertions about Roger Wehrli and Bruce Smith. As far as I’m concerned, they’re not even worth a response. Sorry, but not everything that pops into your head and rolls out of your mouth is by definition a pearl of wisdom.

            -I’m not surprised by your lack of graciousness regarding my self-correction on Lester Hayes. What I remember seeing over at the Pro Football Reference website last time I checked were the unanimous 1st team all-pro selections in 1980 and the 1981 selection by Sporting News. But I’m more interested in trying to get things correct rather than being “right” all the time, so I looked again. And I changed my thoughts on the strength of Hayes’s HoF argument here accordingly — and publicly.

            Will post separately regarding Dr. Z’s thoughts on Stabler, as there are links which may cause moderator delay.

            Will not be online again until the weekend at the earliest because of real life commitments.

          • bachslunch
            March 7, 2017

            Not surprisingly, you’ve garbled Dr. Z’s thoughts on Stabler. What you’re referencing comes from an article Dr. Z wrote in Sports Illustrated several years ago. Re the Padecky incident, he said:

            “A few years ago, the person presenting him at the enshrinement meeting mentioned how he had “always been cooperative with the media.” My hand shot up as if it were on a spring, and I reminded this ninny about how the Snake invited Bob Padecky of the Sacramento Bee down to the Redneck Riviera to do some offseason interviewing. And when Padecky showed up, all of a sudden Kenny’s buddies on the Mobile PD found some drugs that had been planted in the writer’s car, and off he went to the joint. For a night. Then he was released with no charges filed. Yeah, Kenny will make it. After I’m morto.”

            Links referencing the Padecky incident, one from Padecky himself:

            http://www.nytimes.com/1979/03/04/archives/drug-case-continues-to-trouble-stabler-still-a-suspect.html?_r=1

            http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20090624/stabler-and-me-30-years-later

            This is indeed an off-field issue, but it’s also not wise to tick off the folks you want to get such an honor from.

            However, Dr. Z also said:

            “In his prime, while it lasted, he was very accurate. Then he became consistently inaccurate. His teammates wondered why. That’s as far as I’ll take this one.”

            Later in his career, Stabler’s friendship with gambler Nicholas Dudich, described by the NY Times as “a well-known New Jersey gambling figure who is an associate of the Princeton-based Simone DeCavalcante organized crime family” became, again per the NY Times, a concern to Al Davis — and, also according to the NY Times, prompted commissioner Pete Rozelle to “warn…the veteran quarterback to avoid ”undesirable elements” or be subject to disciplinary action ”up to and including suspension.” Stabler complied. Around this time, Stabler also sued the NY Times and NBC for libel over suggestions that he may have shaved points or thrown games. The case against the NY Times was dismissed, and Stabler eventually settled out of court with NBC. It’s interesting to look again at what Dr. Z wrote here given all this. Regardless, Stabler didn’t sue SI or Dr. Z for libel about the latter’s article. Make of this what you will.

            Some links:

            http://www.nytimes.com/1981/08/30/sports/pro-football-s-ken-stabler-is-linked-to-a-gambler.html?pagewanted=all

            http://www.nytimes.com/1982/08/24/sports/stabler-can-sign-but-is-warned.html

          • Joseph Wright
            March 16, 2017

            Perfect validation for me against Z (enough of the “Dr.” nonsense) that, not surprisingly, you unwittingly provided me with.

            “In his prime, while it lasted, he was very accurate. Then he became consistently inaccurate. His teammates wondered why. That’s as far as I’ll take this one.”

            “Consistently inaccurate.” Is THAT right? From 1972-1983, Ken Stabler never completed less than 56.6 percent of his passes, including five seasons of over 60 percent. His final year with the Saints, in 1984, he completed 33 of 70 passes for a 47 percent rate, hardly a season’s worth of work, that dragged his career passing percentage barely under 60 percent. This was a QB who was regularly completing passes at a percentage rate of 60 when the majority of his career was in an era where defenders were allowed to manhandle receivers all down the field until the ball was thrown. Z’s evaluation of Stabler’s career was strictly emotional and personal, not professional and objective.

            Even within that last year of 1984, he played against the eventual Super Bowl champion 49ers in San Francisco and performed so well in defeat that 49ers head coach (A Hall of Famer, by the way) Bill Walsh said, “Ken Stabler is a Hall of Fame quarterback if there ever was one.” I’ll take The Genius’ opinion over the fake “Doctor’s” opinion on football player evaluation anytime.

            Speaking of football player evaluation…How long have you been stealing money as a “scout?” All that previous nonsense about my statements about Bruce Smith and Roger Werli “aren’t worth a response,” are simple, unwitting admissions by you that I am right and once again you, Bachlunch, are wrong. It’s not like I asked you to comment on a scandal or crime you committed. Guilty parties still think that “I won’t dignify that question with a response” stuff works. It does not. When they asked Stabler about the various charges against him, he said, “I had nothing to do with it whatsoever.” He had no need to be a coward and say of such comments and questions, “they’re not even worth a response”–your comment. And NBC settled out of court with Stabler, not the other way around as you–not surprisingly–inaccurately put it. The network paid Stabler money.

            All I asked were three simple, non-scandalous questions on your (apparently so-called) football knowledge:

            1) If your life depended on one game in which your team had to cover Paul Warfield with one corner for the full game and you had to choose between Roger Werli or Louis Wright to perform that task, who would you choose?

            2) If posed with the responsibility of putting together a football team and you could only carry four cornerbacks and Willie Brown, Jimmy Johnson (the player, not the coach), Mel Blount, Roger Werli, and Louis Wright all offered their services, who is the odd man out?

            3) Would the Washington Redskins have won Super Bowls in ’82 and ’87 without Dexter Manley? We know what the Buffalo Bills did in four tries with Bruce Smith.

            Get back to me with those answers, Bachlunch. People on the board are watching. If you feel “they’re not even worth a response,” I will gladly take a bow and everyone reading will know I am correct–again–and you, Bachlunch, are wrong–again.

          • Rasputin
            March 8, 2017

            All these days, Joseph Wright, and that’s what you come up with? Pathetic. You dodged almost every concrete point I made and mostly just repeated your earlier, already refuted or addressed claims. You mindlessly asserting something….like “X would have done better than Smith with the same line”….doesn’t make it true. You have to at least try to support your claim with some evidence and maybe construct a cogent argument. But I’ll respond to the few new things you’ve got:

            You said: “As for this “Jim Brown ran behind several Hall of Famers…” Outside of Gene Hickerson, who was inducted as a senior member in 2007, who are these other “several” o-linemen you speak of?”

            Here’s a quick rundown of O-linemen who played with Jim Brown:

            Lou Groza (T) – HOF, 9 Pro Bowls, 4 first team All Pros
            Gene Hickerson (G) – HOF, 6 Pro Bowls, 4 first team All Pros
            Mike McCormack (T) – HOF, 6 Pro Bowls
            Dick Schafrath (T) – 6 Pro Bowls, 4 first team All Pros
            Jim Ray Smith (G) – 5 Pro Bowls, 3 first team All Pros
            John Morrow (C) – 2 Pro Bowls
            John Wooten (G) – 2 Pro Bowls
            Art Hunter (C) – 1 Pro Bowl

            That’s a star studded group of blockers, and remember that Emmitt Smith won 3 of his 4 rushing titles with zero HOF linemen. Brown also played with offensive standouts like these…

            Paul Warfield (WR) – HOF, 8 Pro Bowls, 2 first team All Pros (one year with Brown, anyway)
            Frank Ryan (QB) – 3 Pro Bowls
            Milt Plum (QB) – 2 Pro Bowls
            Tommy O’Connell (QB) – 1 Pro Bowl
            Ray Renfro (HB) – 3 Pro Bowls
            Bobby Mitchell (FL) – HOF, 4 Pro Bowls, 1 first team All Pro

            …and I won’t bother listing the great defensive players who helped the team too. Your argument that Smith was just a cog on a great team, unlike a “true All Time Great” like “Jim Brown”, falls apart, especially when one considers that in the 7 seasons before Jim Brown arrived, Cleveland won 73.6% of its games (counting playoffs) and made the playoffs all but one year. In Jim Brown’s first 7 seasons Cleveland only won 63% of its games and made the playoffs twice (4 times out of his total 9 seasons). The team won 3 NFL titles in the pre-Brown years and 1 with Brown in his next to last season.

            In the 7 seasons before Emmitt Smith arrived, Dallas won 43.4% of its games and made the playoffs twice, while in Smith’s first 7 seasons Dallas won 70.1% of its games and made the playoffs every year but once, that being his rookie year where they still improved from 1-15 and being the worst team in the league to 7 – 9 and almost making the playoffs. The Cowboys won 3 Super Bowls with him.

            Alone these facts don’t definitively prove that Smith was more important to his team than Brown was to his, but they sure as heck shred your shallow claim based on NO facts that Smith was merely a “functional” back uncritical to the team’s turnaround compared to a “true All Time Great” like Brown. The 1993 season alone should have settled that argument once and for all, when Dallas lost without Smith and won it all with him back.

            If your assumption is that being on the best team automatically boosts a RB’s stats to the top, then why had no rushing leader ever won the Super Bowl the same year? Emmitt Smith was the first to win the rushing title and the Super Bowl in the same season. He did it three times. Since then Terrell Davis has done it once and that’s it. The question isn’t how someone like Dickerson, Sanders, or OJ Simpson could put up a monster total yardage year “despite” playing on a non-championship team, because THAT’S THE NORM.

            The greatness of Aikman, Irvin, and Smith are often used by Cowboys haters to diminish whichever player the conversation is focusing on at the time. Funny how that doesn’t seem to happen with Montana/Rice or Jim Brown as shown above. The truth is that all three “triplets” were among the greatest of all time at their positions, which is why they accomplished things no other team has.

            They also put team success ahead of individual stats, which DID negatively impact all their personal numbers. The Cowboys would sit on the ball and play for time of possession rather than running up points and yards. They were a balanced offense with an exceptional passing attack and power running game, which did help each other but also cut into both group’s opportunities when compared to some of the greatest units on unbalanced teams. In 1995 Smith set the NFL rushing TD record (25 TDs) rather than the yardage record (though he did win another rushing title) in part because effective passing shortened the field. He only had so far to go.

          • Rasputin
            March 8, 2017

            You said: “Of course the Cowboys would have won 3 or more Super Bowls with Sanders (or Herschel Walker, for that matter) instead of Smith.”

            Walker maybe 2 or 3 since he had so much power and versatility, but he had already used some of his prime seasons dominating the USFL and, you probably don’t know this, but Walker DID return to the Cowboys in the mid 90s, so it’s not like he wasn’t on the team.

            Sanders no, for reasons already given. First, the Lions weren’t a bad team. They made the playoffs 5 out of his 10 years. He also played with offensive contributors like these:

            Lomas Brown (OT) – 7 Pro Bowls (more than any Cowboys O-lineman except Larry Allen, and there from Sanders’ start while Allen didn’t arrive until after Emmitt had already established himself as the NFL’s best RB)
            Kevin Glover (C) – 3 Pro Bowls
            Herman Moore (WR) – 4 Pro Bowls, 3 first team All Pros
            Mel Gray (KR/PR) – 4 Pro Bowls, 3 first team All Pros (field position)
            David Sloan (TE) – 1 Pro Bowl (a year after Sanders retired)
            Jeff Hartings (G/C) – 2 Pro Bowls and a SB championship later with the Steelers
            Mike Compton (G/C) – Rock solid starter for years, would go on to be the starter for the early Patriots dynasty
            Dave Fralic (G) – 4 Pro Bowls, 2 first team All Pros with Atlanta (played with Lions in 1993)
            Rodney Holman (TE) – 3 Pro Bowls with Cincinnati, played 3 years with Lions

            More guys would have made Pro Bowls if they had ever won a championship. Mark Tuinei was always a good player, but he didn’t make his first Pro Bowl until his 12th year after the Cowboys had won a couple of Super Bowls. It’s not a contrast between a great line and a terrible line, but between a line that became great for a few years and one that ranged from average to pretty good.

            Sanders holds the career record for negative plays partly because his running style was wild with a lot of wasted motion and he was always passing up solid gain opportunities looking for the huge run. The homerun/low average hitter baseball analogy is apt. In the Cowboys’ power run system Sanders would have caused their offense to stall out a lot.

            A RB’s prime is typically his first several years. In the 5 years from 1991-1995, when both experienced the bulk of their primes, Smith gained more yards than Sanders every year but one. Why do you think this was? The Lions were better then than they would be from 1996 on, with 4 of Sanders’ 5 playoff trips coming in the first half of the decade. He had Lomas Brown, Herman Moore, Kevin Glover and others playing with them then. Why was Smith so much more productive than Sanders over the first half of the decade, and why did Sanders explode for a couple of years in the late 90s? Did Sanders start juicing mid-decade? Or did circumstances change?

            Offensive stats exploded across the NFL in the second half of the 90s due to continued rule changes. Smith wasn’t able to fully benefit from this because as a power runner his body had taken a pounding running roughshod over the league in his first several seasons. It’s amazing he was able to play as long as he did, and he had to alter his style a bit in the late 90s to do so. But Barry Sanders, with his more scat back style, hadn’t taken the same pounding and, with his speed, was able to exploit the open spaces the Lions’ spread attack produced in the more offensive friendly late 90s. Look at how Marshall Faulk went from a merely above average back to a HoF one when he left the Colts for the Rams and the wide open spaces created by their offense that were tailor made for a speedster to exploit. System matters. So does timing. What kind of season totals might Smith have put up if his rookie season was 1994 instead of 1990?

            For the most part Sanders was a terrible playoff RB, while Emmitt was one of the greatest of all time. In 6 games Sanders only reached 100 yards once (they still lost that game). That was at home against Green Bay, where he romped for 169 yards. The following year at Green Bay he totaled -1 yards on 13 carries. The very next week Emmitt averaged 6.29 y/c against that same Packers team and the Cowboys cruised to a blow out win.

            In his 4 playoff road games Sanders only averaged 2.8 yards/carry.

            In his 6 playoff road games Smith averaged 4.5 yards/carry.

            Smith got the tough yards when it mattered most.

          • Rasputin
            March 8, 2017

            While your post is mostly baseless speculation I’m educating you with concrete facts.

            In high school Smith rushed for over 8,000 yards, which ranked 2nd in the nation’s history at the time. In college, despite leaving for the NFL after his junior year, he set the Florida career rushing record, along with the university’s single season rushing record, single game record, per game average record, longest ever run, TD record, and a slew of others, all while playing on a team with almost no passing game.

            In 1989 the junior Smith was a unanimous All American (meaning all the media outlets had him as a first team RB). Edgerrin James, Chuck Foreman, and Roger Craig, those lower tier guys you laughably claimed were “better backs” than Emmitt Smith, weren’t even regular All Americans. Neither was Curtis Martin for that matter.

            Sometimes a player can thrive more at one level than another, but when a guy like Emmitt Smith comes along and dominates at EVERY level, you can’t dismiss that as resulting from a factor that only applies to one of those levels, like “having a great line”. He must be doing something right.

            It’s funny that you’re quoting Jim Brown and Erik Dickerson as serious authorities, lol. No, playing involves a different skill set than either analyzing or coaching. Some may be great at two or all three of those things, but most players, even great ones, aren’t. Most of these players aren’t exactly rocket scientists. Dickerson was just blustering with that silly “3,000” yards comment. Without getting into specifics, he also doesn’t have the best reputation for honesty going back to his college days. Jim Brown has been a blow hard clown for decades. His “advice” as an activist, among other things, helped ruin Duane Thomas’ potential HOF career almost out of the gate. Your own anecdote about Brown voting for a presidential ticket because he knew a guy on it just shows how un-objective he is.

            But I do like that you’ve resorted to comparing Emmitt Smith to guys like Jim Brown, Barry sanders, and Erick Dickerson rather than Roger Craig and the other lower tier backs you initially mentioned. The former are all time greats, like Emmitt Smith. Many analysts have observed that Smith actually has more in common with Walter Payton than anyone else. They were almost the same RB. Smith was a little stockier and more efficient in his movement. Payton had more explosive kick steps. Payton sustained excellence longer while Smith had a more dominant peak, but they were very similar in stats and style. Neither was a speed burner but they were both great all around backs with tremendous heart who were willing to block and catch.

            So, little Joey, are you going to admit you were wrong about Super Bowl XII (among other things) or were you just going to slither away without commenting at all on that other topic?

          • Rasputin
            March 20, 2017

            Since you’re apparently trying to slink away from this line of the discussion, Joseph Wright, hoping I go away and you can avoid having to man up and admit you were wrong, I’ll go ahead and post this now.

            You made a big deal out of Tatum’s “Assassin” nickname being nationally known, contrasting it with what you called the “locally” known Cliff Harris’ “Captain Crash” nickname, but according to John Madden NO ONE called Tatum “Assassin” while he played.

            (search for “madden on tatum’s reaction to stingley injury” and click on the NBC sports article that pops up)

            That didn’t start until he wrote an autobiography with “Assassin” in the title after he had retired. At least “Crash” was something other players called Harris while was he was playing (the media added “Captain”), and not the result of a publisher’s PR campaign. Again, I’m not saying Tatum wasn’t a brutally hard hitter. I’m just showing how invalid your arguments are, and how shallow and inaccurate your grasp of these topics is since the issue of “credibility” has come up.

            You also mentioned that Steve Atwater was nicknamed “Smiling Assassin”. You probably don’t know that name was given to him by his secondary coach, former Cowboys safety Charlie Waters. Waters coined that label because he happened to see Atwater reading Tatum’s autobiography one day (though in an interview Atwater actually said his hero was Ronnie Lott), and because he was often smiling off the field. The intelligent Waters was a master at dispensing nicknames and shaping narratives, though interestingly “Crash” was one he DIDN’T coin (LB Dave Edwards did).

            It was Waters who decisively pushed to draft Atwater in 1989 when the Broncos coaching staff was split between him and another safety named Louis Oliver. Oliver was described as a safety who “hit like a LB”, but who also “ran like one”. Atwater was the more complete player. No doubt Charlie Waters was more influenced by his own experience with his long time secondary partner Cliff Harris than anyone else in deciding on the versatile Atwater.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 21, 2017

            Thanks for unwittingly proving my point, Rasputin. I didn’t even know Atwater ever read JACK TATUM’s–not Cliff Harris’–book. And Atwater’s hero was Ronnie Lott? Guess who Ronnie Lott’s hero was? That’s right, Jack Tatum! Tatum is the vine and standard, NOT Cliff Harris. Tatum maintained the media–the national media–put “The Assassin” tag on him. Oh, by the way. Why didn’t Waters call Atwater “The Smiling Crash.” Way to totally omit your teammate and throw him under the bus. LMAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            March 20, 2017

            So to recap, Joseph Wright….

            – You were objectively wrong in your claim that Thomas Henderson knocked out Rick Upchurch in SB 12 (I posted video proof showing it was Cliff Harris)

            – You argued that Emmitt Smith wasn’t a dominant player but just someone that hung on for a long time, only judging him based on the career rushing yardage record, possibly not knowing that Smith also won 4 rushing titles in his first 6 years, along with NFL and SB MVP awards.

            – You dismissed the notion that Emmitt Smith could have been considered the best RB in college, when he was actually a unanimous All American.

            – You claimed Jack Tatum’s “Assassin” nickname was “nationally known”, when actually no one called him “Assassin” while he played.

            – You weren’t aware that Jim Brown had played with any HoF linemen apart from Gene Hickerson (e.g. Lou Groza and Mike McCormack, along with others with numerous Pro Bowls and HoFers at other positions).

            – You obnoxiously leaped to the wrong conclusion about my source for the Larry Wilson quote calling Cliff Harris the best free safety in the game and one redefining how the position is played, without bothering to put out the modicum of effort it would have taken to see the quote is genuine.

            – Despite leading off this debate by attacking Bachslunch for using “numbers, numbers, numbers”, telling him this isn’t the “Fantasy Football Hall of Fame”, you immediately began hypocritically trying to use your own cherry-picked numbers to advance your cases.

            “Credibility”, lol?

          • Joseph Wright
            March 21, 2017

            For Rasputin:

            1) Fine. Cliff Harris knocked out Rick Upchurch in Super Bowl XII. Jack Tatum’s hit on Minnesota’s Sammy White in Super Bowl XI was a knockout and is a constant in NFL Films Super Bowl highlight collections. You RARELY (never?) see Harris’ hit on Upchurch. And I was rooting for the Cowboys in Super Bowl XII !
            2) I’m fully aware of Emmitt Smith’s rushing titles (although in 1991 he was force-fed to get him ahead of Barry—23 more carries to get him ahead by 15 yards .625 yards per carry—embarrassing). Even with that, Barry still equaled Smith in rushing titles and never ran for less than a grand in any season of his career.
            3) Smith was NEVER the nation’s best RB in college—never led the nation in rushing, never sniffed the Heisman. Those are the facts.
            4) Jack Tatum was referred to nationally by the media as “The Assassin.” That is the basis of the title of his first book.
            5) Jim Brown only spoke of guards Gene Hickerson and John Wooten when recalling his success as a runner in the NFL. Mike McCormack was a Hall of Fame oversite on my part. But Lou Groza made his Hall of Fame mark as a kicker, not a blocker.
            6) Legit quote or not, the fact still stands: Lynn Swann ran through the Cliff Harris/Cowboys secondary with absolutely NO fear, shredding the record books and garnering MVP and Hall of Fame honors in the process. Swann played 3 Conference championship games vs. the Tatum/Raiders secondary and his best output in those games was not even half of the damage he did to the Cowboys in two Super Bowls. Swann terrorized and abused the Cliff Harris secondary of the Cowboys while Jack Tatum and the Raiders secondary flipped the script and reduced Swann to a meager whimper by terrorizing him.
            7) Bachslunch looks at stats for everything. He takes a lazy Cliff Notes view of NFL History. I, unlike him, understand that stats can be misleading. However, if statistics are made in a dominant fashion—great numbers acquired in a short period of time–(Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Reggie White, Barry Sanders, Dan Marino, Eric Dickerson) I will take notice. B-Lunch will say, “No, Joseph, you’re wrong. I would never credit Testaverde. His adjusted for era numbers are terrible.” I don’t need “numbers” on paper to judge Testaverde. I saw him play. He sucked. I don’t need the stats for evaluation.
            8) I’ve been watching pro football intently since 1975. Emmitt Smith was a serviceable back running behind a great, dominant line. Barry Sanders was an exceptional back who put up phenomenal yardage totals behind a mediocre (save for Lomas Brown) line. Once again I will quote two Hall of Famers.
            –Gale Sayers, 1993, on Emmitt Smith: “Good running back. Great offensive line.” On Barry Sanders: “I love watching him play. He the most reminds me of myself.”

            –Jim Brown, 1996, on both: “Emmitt can play (well) on certain teams. Barry could play (well) on any team, in any era.”

          • Rasputin
            March 21, 2017

            Alright, Joseph Wright….

            1. Not the classiest admission of being wrong, but at least you finally grudgingly acknowledged it. Left unexplained is why you made the wrong claim with such certainty in the first place (“credibility”), unless it was because you weren’t expecting game footage evidence to be publicly available. And that Harris hit, clean in even today’s game, would make an awesome highlight (especially with the rear view slow motion replay added), but thank you for underscoring what I’ve said about the distortive impact of shallow media hype and bias on people’s perceptions. HoF decisions shouldn’t be dictated by uninformed hype or the whims of hacks at NFL Films.

            2. Barry Sanders posted a record 10 consecutive 1,000 yards seasons, which Emmitt Smith broke with a record 11 such seasons, only missing 13 by a few dozen yards (despite his rookie season occurring after he was drafted by the worst team in the league), so you don’t seem to have a point with that comment. And there’s never anything “embarrassing” about winning a rushing title, lol. You also failed to address anything I said about Smith’s superior consistency and championship caliber playing style. Perhaps you don’t have the education to grasp statistical concepts beyond total yards and yards/carry (which can easily be skewed by a few big gains). One reason Emmitt had more opportunities is that he was better at keeping the chains moving and the ball in his team’s possession. That you’re reduced to scratching and clawing to try to show Sanders (as opposed to Edgerrin James, Roger Craig, or some of the others you originally mentioned) holds some sort of parity with Smith only underscores that at worst the latter is a “true all time great” in the rough ballpark of the former.

            3. The “Heisman” isn’t awarded to the nation’s best RB, and being the national yardage leader isn’t the only thing one looks at when deciding who the best RB is, especially in college. Emmitt Smith was a unanimous All American RB, an accolade rare enough that it doesn’t happen every year. He also was second nationally in career high school yardage (behind the 1950s Texas great Ken Hall, not Barry Sanders). I’m not the one arguing that career yards is the end all be all, but it debunks the “great line” argument to point out that:

            Emmitt Smith had more yards than Barry Sanders in high school.

            Emmitt Smith had more yards than Barry Sanders in college.

            Emmitt Smith had more yards than Barry Sanders in the NFL.

            Those are facts. Smith was dominant at every level.

            4. No one called Tatum “Assassin” as a nickname when he played. His post-retirement “Assassin” books (he actually cranked out three over the 1980s, cashing in as much as he could), ostensibly started as a defense against critics accusing him of being a cheap shot artist whose irresponsible antics got Stingley paralyzed.

            5. You said: “Jim Brown only spoke of guards Gene Hickerson and John Wooten when recalling his success as a runner in the NFL. Mike McCormack was a Hall of Fame oversite on my part. But Lou Groza made his Hall of Fame mark as a kicker, not a blocker.”

            Lou Groza was also a great kicker, but according to the PFHOF website he was an “All-NFL tackle six years” and started at tackle in 6 of his 9 Pro Bowls. Then there are the other guys I listed like Dick Schafrath (T; 6 Pro Bowls, 4 first team All Pros) and Jim Ray Smith (G; 5 Pro Bowls) who are borderline HoFers. Like I said, Jim Brown is a self hyping moron whose pronouncements should be taken with a grain of salt.

            6. There you go with the same cherry-picking I called you out for earlier. By your logic the Broncos ran through Tatum’s secondary without fear, putting up relatively big numbers against them in the playoffs, before Cliff Harris and the Doomsday defense shut them down to almost nothing in Super Bowl XII. Sometimes a passing offense would have a good day against the Raiders and sometimes they’d have one against the Cowboys, Steelers, or Vikings. Even the greatest defenses weren’t always perfect.

            7. Bachslunch clearly understands that certain numbers in a vacuum can be misleading, which is why he focuses on a set of salient broad indicators that take era into account and emphasizes contemporary accolades to objectively tell as much of the story as possible. Your criticism is baseless. Numbers are just a way to describe reality. As you quoted Bachslunch saying, it’s not hard to use stats to show why Testaverde DOESN’T belong in the HoF. Assuming otherwise just shows you’re limiting your own view to a couple of basic metrics like career yardage. That’s not Bachslunch’s flaw, it’s yours. You make the same mistake with Smith/Sanders and the career rushing record complaints, as if that’s the only feather in Smith’s cap. For you to launch this debate by attacking him and “numbers, numbers, numbers” only to immediately turn around and employ your own cherry-picked numbers to push Raiders you like was a comical bit of hypocrisy. You shouldn’t have made your “anti-numbers” criticisms so simplistic, and instead should have just articulated why those particular numbers supposedly didn’t tell the whole Stabler story.

            Personally I view stats as one of the necessary tools in historical evaluations, though I may leave a little more room for “the eyeball test” and unquantified narrative than some do, since stats haven’t yet and may never progress to the point of completely capturing football action, and since even mostly reliable backstop metrics like Pro Bowl/All Pro accolades aren’t perfect.

            8. Some see more on a given play than most “watchers” would if they watched it ten times. This is about analytical ability, not quantity of years spent cheering on an NFL team. One reason I quoted Larry Wilson talking about Cliff Harris being the best free safety in the game is because he wasn’t just a contemporary HoF safety, but someone who went on to coach. Again, Brown and Sayers were just players. You simply repeating your quotes doesn’t prove anything. Coaching, playing, and analyzing are all different things. Most players aren’t good at the other two. They don’t know what they’re talking about, any more than Lynn Swann did when he laughed off questions about whether Vince Young was truly ready for the NFL by making a (“that’s a crazy question”) face after the Rose Bowl. It turned out Young wasn’t ready to become a true professional, and Swann was wrong. Brown trying to diminish Smith based on a “great line” when Brown played behind three times as many HoF linemen is laughable.

            I saw almost every game Emmitt Smith played and I’ve never seen a better all around running back. No one else had much success with that line and I don’t think Barry Sanders would have had as much success in the power Dallas system with his less steady, scatback style. Regardless, even if one does prefer Sanders’ sensational highlight style over Emmitt’s steady substance (as most kids and immature adults probably do), that’s a far cry from claiming Smith wasn’t an “all time great”, and wasn’t even as good as guys like Roger Craig or Edgerrin James, a simply stupid notion you haven’t come close to supporting.

            And no, you missed my point with the Charlie Waters/Atwater thing. I showed how flippant and shallow these nicknames can be, since you brought up the “Smiling Assassin”. Who cares that at one point Atwater read one of Tatum’s books? Lots of people have, not all of them fans. If it wasn’t that book Waters would have called him something else. Atwater himself cited someone else as his personal inspiration. But even if Tatum had been his hero…so what? What’s more relevant is Charlie Waters, a coach personally influenced by years spent with Cliff Harris, being the driving force behind the Broncos drafting a Cliff Harris type player over a Jack Tatum type player.

            All that said, it’s possible, indeed common, for more than one player to help bring about a revolutionary innovation. It’s baseless to assume one singular guy has to be responsible for each trend. I never claimed Tatum was historically irrelevant, but to deny the impact of an even better, more prominent player (at least when he played and in accolade accumulation) like Harris is simply wrong.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 22, 2017

            Rasputin, let’s deal in some brutal realities:

            1) According to a sober Thomas Henderson in his autobiography “Out of Control,” he was instructed by Cowboys special teams coach Mike Ditka to clobber Denver’s Rick Upchurch the first kickoff whether he got the ball or not, “just to let him know we’ll be there all game.” Henderson carried out Ditka’s orders, picking up a penalty in the process. Broncos Head Coach Red Miller can be seen yelling at Henderson as Upchurch is being restrained from Henderson in the Super Bowl XII highlight film.

            2) Tatum was a first-round draft pick. Harris was a rookie free agent. Lott, Easley, Dennis Thurman, Vann McElroy, Carl Banks, Polamalu and others idolized Tatum. Atwater and John Lynch idolized Lott, who was inspired by Tatum. Kam Chancellor has been compared to Tatum. Jon Gruden has raved about Tatum on Monday Night Football. Although, I guess, a few kids in east Texas liked Harris, I have never heard a hard-hitting safety referred to as “the next Cliff Harris” or “a Cliff Harris type.” Never have and, quite likely, never will.

            3) Barry Sanders ran for 15,269 yards in 10 years. Smith needed TWELVE years to surpass Barry in career yards. Kind of like another fraudulent Smith (Bruce) needed extra years to pad his totals to “surpass” the player greater than him (Reggie White) who reach the plateau in less time.

            4) Haven’t heard a response from you on Gale Sayers’ evaluations on Barry and Emmitt, given that you don’t consider Jim Brown or Eric Dickerson (ONLY the two greatest runners of all time: Brown cleared 10,000 yards in 98 games; Dickerson turned that trick in 91) to have “credibility.”
            Reminder: Sayers: “Good running back, great offensive line.”–for Smith. “I love watching him play. He the most reminds me of myself.”–for Sanders.

            Clincher: Brown: “Emmitt can play (well) on certain teams. Barry could play (well) for any team, in any era.” Love being validated by hall of Famers. LMAO!

            5) Emmitt’s “championship caliber playing style”: He was on the right team, in a great situation. Does Emmitt turn that trick in Detroit with Bob Gagliano, Rodney Peete, Andre Ware, Dave Kreig, Scott Mitchell, and Charlie Batch at QB and that mediocre offensive line (with the notable exception of Lomas Brown)? Of course not. The playoff reputations of Barry, Dickerson, O.J., and Jim Brown change if they switch places with Emmitt, Roger Craig, Franco Harris, and Jim Taylor. Oh, by the way…In their one playoff matchup, who won the game Barry or Emmitt? LMAO!! College: Sanders led the nation in rushing, breaking Marcus Allen’s record in the process AND won the Heisman Trophy. Emmitt never did,

            6) Lou Groza made the Pro Bowl as an offensive lineman from 1950-55 and the last four of those years he was first-team All-Pro. Very impressive. One problem, though. In all of those years, Jim Brown was in high school or college! When JB came into the NFL, Groza was strictly a kicker and made the Pro Bowl as just and only that in ’57, ’58, and ’59–Brown’s first three years as a pro.

            7) You wrote that Tatum’s “irresponsible antics got Stingley paralyzed.” In the September ’80 NFL Preview issue of Sport Magazine, the feature article was “Receivers Answer The Assassin” Several NFL wideouts (Drew Pearson, Harold Carmichael, John Stallworth, Stanley Morgan, Dave Logan, Haven Moses, Ahmad Rashad, Wesley Walker) spoke about Tatum, violence in the NFL, and the play in which Stingley was injured (according to the Sport, “Lynn Swann refused to be interviewed because he didn’t want to give Tatum the publicity.” Wussy.). Your own Drew Pearson said, “What really caused the injury was that Darryl ducked his head just before Tatum hit him.”

          • Rasputin
            March 21, 2017

            Should add that Larry Wilson went on to be a scout and GM as well as a coach.

          • Rasputin
            March 22, 2017

            To Joseph Wright,

            1. So? Oh is that your explanation for you wrongly asserting that Henderson, not Harris, knocked Upchurch out after I had correctly observed with certainty that Harris had? It didn’t occur to you ask what I was basing that on to be sure?

            2. Cliff Harris made 6 Pro Bowls to Tatum’s 3, and 3 first team AP All Pro selections to Tatum’s zero. Harris was first team All Decade while Tatum wasn’t All Decade at all. Harris has been the starting free safety on multiple SI all time NFL teams while to my knowledge Tatum never has been. Harris won 2 Super Bowls to Tatum’s 1. Harris was also a key member of Doomsday. After his retirement in 1979 the unit’s decline started noticeably in the secondary. By contrast the year Tatum left for Houston (1980) all the Raiders did was win the Super Bowl without him.

            As for the post career hype you mention, Tatum did write more self promoting books than Harris, at least three of them bearing the sensationalistic and exciting nickname “Assasin” in the title, while Harris moved on to other things and received little national media coverage given the rise of the anti-Cowboys bias discussed elsewhere on this thread, but plenty of kids and adults have compared players to Cliff Harris. More should be doing so.

            3. Emmitt Smith ran for 8,019 yards in a 5 year peak (1991-1995) while Sanders only ran for 7,398 yards those same years. So I can play that game too. More importantly, Smith powered his team to 3 Super Bowl wins, including putting them on his back in decisive fashion in the Super Bowl 28 comeback and the regular season finale separated shoulder game against the Giants that secured home field advantage, in a textbook example of your alleged #3 playoff history impact criteria. What was Barry Sanders’ memorable impact on playoff history, btw?

            I think Smith was the better back at his peak, but whether one favors Sanders or Smith it’s indefensible to claim Smith wasn’t one of the all time greats. For you to go even further and call Smith “fraudulent” given the feats I’ve laid out just destroys your credibility even more than your other wrong statements have.

            4. LOL! Still repeating the same rebutted quotes? Guess you’re out of ammo. Sayers was great but I’d rather build my franchise around Smith any day. Sayers was delicate. He wasn’t a dynastic, championship caliber running back. Durability matters, and Smith was a vital workhorse.

            Jim Brown was a great player but, in addition to being a moron and screwing up careers like Duane Thomas’ as I said earlier, he’s been in and out of jail for assaulting various women over the years. It’s disgusting that the media keeps legitimizing this guy by trotting him out from time to time to discuss political/racial/social issues as if he’s some sage.

            To show how worthless his commentary on other players is, Brown had no respect for Franco Harris, and was annoyed that Harris came as close to passing his yardage mark as he did. Brown sincerely thought he could beat Harris in a race at the end of the latter’s career, so the long retired Brown and recently retired Harris met and ran the 40. Franco decisively beat Jim Brown.

            “Credibility”, LMAO! Scout/coach/GM/HoF player Larry Wilson’s quote on Cliff Harris has a lot more credibility.

            5. You’re just repeating baseless speculation. We don’t know for sure what WOULD have happened if Sanders had played for Dallas instead of Smith, though I suspect they would have been punting a lot more due to Sanders’ wild, home run seeking style on every play and fizzling out more on the road in the playoffs as Sanders did in less comfortable environments when the games mattered most.

            We do know what they ACTUALLY did. Smith rushed for more yards in high school than Barry Sanders did. Smith rushed for more yards in his three years in college than Sanders did in his three years in college. Smith was a unanimous All American RB in college, meaning the media consensus was that he was the best in the country at his position. All that was accomplished without the Great Wall of Dallas. You’ve failed to explain this.

            We know that Sanders had more yards per season in the late 90s without Lomas Brown and with a weaker team around him than he did during his first several years when the Lions were regularly a playoff team, a phenomenon that cripples your assumptions and that you have yet to explain.

            We know that the Cowboys started 0-2 without Smith in 1993 because they couldn’t run the ball with the backup, and went on to win almost all their remaining games including the Super Bowl after bringing Smith back, solidifying his MVP status.

            We know Smith won 3 Super Bowls while Sanders won zero.

            We know Smith scored 25 rushing TDs in one season, then an NFL record.

            We know Sanders holds the career record for getting stuffed with no gain.

            We know Smith won 4 rushing titles in his first 6 years, along with Super Bowl and NFL MVP awards.

            We know rushing champions are often on bad or mediocre teams (think about that), and in fact Smith was the first to win a rushing title and a Super Bowl the same year.

            We know the Cowboys were more dominant from 1992-1995 than any other team ever has been over a four year period, winning all 10 of their playoff victories in that span by double digits (every single one). That type of unparalleled dominance leaves room for and arguably requires Smith, Aikman, and Irvin to all be among the greatest of all time at their respective positions, along with a great line, great role players like Novacek and Moose Johnston, and a legitimately great defense. But it particularly points to dominance in time of possession and the physical dismantling of opposing teams that prevented comebacks, led by Emmitt Smith and the power running game.

            We know that near the end of Smith’s career in Dallas, when he really was a slightly above average back (still doing better than Sanders was on the couch though), loads of people said the new backup Troy Hambrick was better (he was bigger and faster you see, and some idiots think that’s all that matters), until the following year when Smith was gone and Hambrick was the starter with the same line. He only averaged 3.5 y/c and was gone the next year. Turns out they were wrong; Smith was the better back. People kept underestimating him through the end of his career.

            Oh, and for whatever it’s worth we know that Smith rushed for more yards and TDs than anyone else in NFL history by a large margin, so even if that’s not a precise measure of greatness he had to have been doing something right.

            We know that you mocked Bachslunch for allegedly using a “fantasy football” approach when you’re the one actually using a shallow armchair fantasy approach here (“numbers, numbers, numbers”; plug and play from one system to a completely different one, lol).

            Oh, and we know the Cowboys got revenge against the Lions the following year by beating them 37-3. Remember, Barry Sanders was drafted to a better, more established team than Smith was. But in just a few years Smith’s team was among the greatest of all time, in large part because of him.

            6. No, Lou Groza was the starting LT through the end of the 1950s, including the first third of Jim Brown’s career. He didn’t become a kicker specialist-only until after a back injury in 1960. That he was a Pro Bowl tackle before Brown showed up just underscores that he was a legitimately great lineman and not merely a creature of Brown’s success. In fact the PFHOF site calls him “one of pro football’s finest offensive tackles”.

            7. No I didn’t. I said Tatum was widely criticized (by others) as a cheap shot artist whose irresponsible antics had gotten Stingley paralyzed, and that he ostensibly wrote the “Assassin” books to respond to that criticism, with all the ensuing controversy boosting the hype around him.

            “Brutal realities”, lol? Your post was more a collection of non sequiturs, regurgitated claims that have already been debunked, and facts more supportive of my position than yours.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 23, 2017

            1) “Smith was the better back at his peak” Really? Barry hung up seasons of 1,883 and 2053 behind mediocre lines (the 2G+ coming WITHOUT Lomas Brown). Emmitt’s best years were 1,713 and 1,773 behind the most brutally dominating run-blocking line ever—and that’s a “better peak” than Barry Sanders’? Poor talent evaluation at the least, horrible math skills at the worst.
            When the best runner is combined with the best lines, 2,000-yard seasons are a given (O.J. and The Electric Company; Eric Dickerson and that talented crew in Los Angeles; Terrell Davis and the guys in Denver). Emmitt never even cracked 1,800. Walter Payton—who Emmitt is undeservedly compared to—ran for 1,852 behind nothing in Chicago in 1977—in FOURTEEN games! Perfect evaluation of Emmitt by Gale Sayers: “Good running back, great offensive line.”

            2) Gale Sayers “wasn’t a dynastic, championship caliber running back.” And, I suppose, Dick Butkus “wasn’t a dynastic, championship caliber” middle linebacker. Emmitt was in the perfect situation, Sayers was not. I guess Ken Norton Jr. was “a dynastic, championship caliber” middle linebacker, right Rasputin?

            3) In the original entry, “They Call Me Assassin,” Tatum had a chapter called “Rating My Peers in the NFL.” He named the best, position by position, at that time (1978-79). No Cowboys impressed him, I suppose, because he named none. He did give credit to Tom Landry as a coach. Two comments he made were interesting, however. In commenting on Lynn Swann he said, “he will continue to pile up incredible numbers against the nonphysical teams (Dallas—Cliff Harris?) while he will cause no concern for the physical ones (Raiders—Tatum).” He concluded the chapter by saying, “I’m sure there are other safeties who are better than me when it comes to playing the ball and interceptions. But when it comes to making tackles, I’m sure there are a lot of receivers and runners who wish I didn’t exist.” If Cliff Harris was SO much better than Tatum in pass coverage, why did Tatum–who played 10 years just like Harris–have 37 INTs to Harris 29? And Tatum himself conceded he wasn’t a pass thief and was definitely not a finesse player. Harris’ highwater INT season was five. Tatum had 6- and 7-INT seasons. What’s more, Tatum brought his INTs back for 737 career yards while Harris had 281 yard on his—LESS than 10 yards a return. SI, the fraudulent Dr. Z, and AP were prejudiced against the Raiders. I don’t want to hear anything about the “Anti-Cowboys bias.” The Cowboys stopped going to the Super Bowl, not due to Cliff Harris retirement, but because they had no replacement for Roger Staubach. Cliff got out of dodge just in time. Of all the safeties on the All-70s team (Harris, Larry Wilson, Dick Anderson, Ken Houston) only one (Houston) picked off more passes in the 70s than Tatum. And INTs were considered Tatum’s weak point! What was that about Larry Wilson’s “credibility?”

            4) When Emmitt and Barry’s teams matched up in the Playoffs, who won? What was Barry’s W-L Record against Emmitt’s Cowboys? What were the results—team-wise and individually—of their primetime Monday Night Football matchup of 1994? Get back to me with those answers to point #4, JUNIOR! LMFAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            March 24, 2017

            Joseph Wright, you dodged all my questions in cowardly fashion, including why you think Barry Sanders ran for more yards in the late 90s with an inferior team than he did in the early 90s when he was in his prime and surrounded by a playoff team that included 7 time Pro Bowler Lomas Brown in the line, so I’ll answer for you.

            One factor is stat inflation. You’re comparing different eras to each other. For example, in 1992, the middle of Emmitt’s first 3 consecutive rushing titles, the average NFL team gained 4770.5 yards from scrimmage. In 1997, Barry Sanders’ 2k season, the average NFL team gained 5037.8 yards. By 2000 the average was 5110.8 yards, by 2010 it was 5376.8 yards, and in 2015 it was a record 5642.6 yards. Offense has gotten easier with rule changes over the years. That’s how stat inflation works. There was an even bigger explosion than usual from 1995 onward.

            I’m not saying that’s the only reason Sanders hit 2k; after all, a couple of other backs had done it in earlier decades, but it was a definite factor that exaggerated Sanders’ numbers and has to be taken into account, and it explains why Sanders HIMSELF ran for more yards late in his career than HE had back when RBs are typically in their primes and he had a better team around him.

            From 1991-1995, apples to apples seasons when both backs were in their primes and Barry Sanders had his best teams around him, Emmitt rushed for 8,019 yards and 85 TDs while Sanders rushed for 7,398 yards and 46 TDs. Smith won 4 rushing titles while Sanders won 1. Smith also had 1,723 yards receiving while Sanders had 1,418 yards receiving, and Smith was always the better blocker.

            I’m not arguing that the RB with the most yards is necessarily the best one, but I’m showing that you lose the argument even by your own insipid standards. All your “2k” in 1997 point shows is that Sanders, with his finesse style, sustained excellence longer than Smith. But it’s not like Sanders was better in his last couple of years than he was over the first half of his career, when Emmitt firmly established himself as the best RB in the league. Smith did have the most yards then, but the real reason he was the best running back is because he was the most consistent.

            Sanders had more splashy, big gains because he was faster, but Smith had more power, better vision, and was more efficient in his movement. Smith also posted seasonal rushing TD totals of 18, 21, and an incredible 25. Sanders never scored more than 16. Would you rather have TDs or yards? Smith was better in the Red Zone than Sanders was, where there isn’t room to pop the occasional long, stat skewing gain. You either score or you don’t.

            Within opponents’ 10 yard line, where yards are toughest to come by, Sanders averaged 1.3 yards/carry and scored on 19% of his carries. Smith averaged 1.6 yards/carry and scored on 33% of his carries, despite a longer career with several later seasons that skewed his average down.

            As for that one playoff loss you keep harping on, Sanders was on a better team than Smith through 1991, but even in that 1991 loss Smith averaged 5.33 yards/carry, so it’s not like HE sucked. That game was more about the Lions’ defense getting to Aikman through a porous Dallas line that wasn’t yet “great”.

            Emmitt Smith won the rushing title that year despite playing with a line that had ZERO Pro Bowlers, far from being “the most brutally dominating run-blocking line ever” as you called it, lol. At least Sanders had a Pro Bowl blocker in Lomas Brown.

            And again, the Cowboys got revenge the next year by beating the Lions 37-3. And that’s without getting into the fact that the Cowboys’ NFC East was a lot tougher division than the Lions’ NFC Central. From 1986-1995 every Super Bowl champion was either the 49ers or an NFC East team. Three different NFC East teams were SB champions in that stretch, all with great defenses, and that doesn’t include the Eagles, who had a monstrous defense into the early 90s. More pertinently, here are some respective playoff stats:

            Career Playoffs Yards/Carry

            Emmitt Smith – 4.5
            Barry Sanders – 4.2

            Career Road Playoff Yards/Carry

            Emmitt Smith – 4.5
            Barry Sanders – 2.8

            Smith was even BETTER in the playoffs than he was in the regular season, even if you exclude the years from 2000 onward that skew down his regular season average. Sanders dropped off in the biggest games, while Smith stepped up and got the job done. Smith was also just as good on the road as he was at home, while Sanders declined to a miserable 2.8 yards/carry.

            I’m not claiming the back with the higher yards/carry is necessarily better since a few big gains can skew that stat. I’m just showing that you lose even on your own terms when the games mattered most. You live by those stats you die by those stats.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 27, 2017

            I answered your questions. Emmitt was on a better team, therefore, he was going to have more playoff opportunities (and success) than Barry. Same can be said for Franco vs. O.J., Roger Craig vs. Eric Dickerson, Jim Taylor vs. Jim Brown. As far as this “stat inflation” nonsense of yours, the reason the team yardage gains went up is because of more PASSING yards, not RUNNING yards. Barry stats were not the product of “stat inflation.” Cris Carter, yes. Barry Sanders, no. “Stat inflation” only applies to QBs and WRs. The running game has remained virtually unchanged throughout the years. It has not gotten easier and you are ridiculously talking about Sanders and Smith like they are from two completely different eras. Smith had FAR more carries than Sanders yet he still needed TWO extra seasons to reach and pass the career yardage total Barry had established. If anyone’s stats were inflated, it was Smith’s, not Sanders’.

            So, coward, I am just looking for simple answers to these simple questions:

            1) What is Barry’s playoff record vs. Emmitt’s teams?
            2) What was Barry’s overall record vs. Emmitt’s teams?
            3) In the Monday Night Football matchup of 1994 between the Lions and Cowboys (at Texas Stadium) who won game and what were the stat lines of Sanders vs. Smith?
            4) Why do you ignore Sanders’ four rushing titles?
            5) Would Emmitt have won Super Bowls with the mediocre Detroit O-line and QBs Scott Mitchell/Rodney Peete/Andre Ware/Bob Gagliano/Dave Kreig/Charlie Batch?

            “Stat inflation/” What are you smokin’? The rule changes have regularly been made to increase passing and benefit passers and receivers, not running backs. Barry was a much, much more efficient yard gainer than Emmitt, never carrying more than 343 times in any season (E.g., 1994–37 less carries, 399 MORE yards, 1996–20 less carries, 349 MORE yards). If you are the best running back with the best line and you’re getting more than 370 carries for the season, you should get 2,000 yards. At least, get 1,800. If you get less than 1,800 with 370 carries and the best o-line in football, you are functional, not special. Emmitt’s numbers (inflated by that great line and extra force-fed carries) are not fooling too many people outside of Dallas.

          • Rasputin
            March 24, 2017

            You’re equating “Gale Sayers” with Dick Butkus when it comes to durability, LMFAO?!? Thank you for continuing to show that you don’t understand football, son. Butkus played well through all sorts of injuries in his 9 year career. Gale Sayers kept getting too injured to play. He only lasted 3 and a half seasons before hurting his leg, and then came back for one more season before hurting his leg again and sputtering a little before retiring. He only played a little over 4 and a half real seasons. Sayers ran pretty but he wasn’t built to have Smith’s rugged durability. A championship dynasty built on the power running game needs its back to be a reliable workhorse. I agree with Sayers that Sanders was more like him than Smith was, if not quite as fragile. I’d rather have Smith though.

            Sayers only had 994 rushing attempts in his entire career. Smith carried the ball 4,409 times, caught 515 passes, and was a ferociously effective blocker throughout his career while almost never missing a game. He’s the guy you build a great team around.

            You’re also wrong about better teams necessarily leading to better rushing results. You’ve ignored what I’ve said here so I’ll keep schooling you. The Cowboys were a balanced team. They ran and passed with almost an exact 50/50 split. By contrast the early 70s teams like OJ Simpsons’ Bills were typically built to run on most plays. In 1973, Simpson’s 2k season, the Bills ran 3 times as often as they passed it. In 1984, Dickerson’s 2k season, his Rams ran over 51% more often than they passed it. Sometimes RBs posted big totals because their teams were focused entirely on executing the running game well, and sometimes they racked up the big numbers because they were on mediocre teams that just kept handing the ball off no matter what.

            Sometimes these big numbers were put up by fast guys with occasional big gains who also got stuffed a lot, helping their personal y/c average and total yards but not carrying their teams to postseason glory.

            If you look at yearly rushing leaders, there doesn’t appear to be much correlation between having a good team around you and winning the rushing title. It was like that in the early NFL, when the first two recorded rushing champions, Cliff Battles (1932) and Jim Musick (1933) were both on non-winning teams.

            In the Super Bowl era 20 rushing champions (about 40% of the total) didn’t even make the playoffs. 14 weren’t even on winning teams. If playing on a good or great team is the overwhelmingly decisive factor in rushing totals you’re claiming it is, wouldn’t a lot more than 60% of rushing champions have at least made the playoffs? Wouldn’t more than 2 guys over the past 51 years have won both a Super Bowl and a rushing title in the same year?

            Wouldn’t Barry Sanders himself had posted better yardage totals from 1988-1995, when he had Lomas Brown blocking for him, than he did from 1996-1998 without Brown? Granted he had Pro Bowl C Kevin Glover and playmaking WR Herman Moore with him at Detroit for pretty much his whole career, but the Lions overall were better early on, with 4 of Sanders’ playoff trips coming in the first half of the 90s and only 1 in the decade’s second half.

            Barry Sanders ran for fewer yards with a better line than he did with a lesser line. Based on this evidence, it’s possible he would have had fewer yards if he had played at Dallas than Detroit, especially when the less Sanders-friendly power system and tougher NFC East opposition is taken into account. Clearly factors other than just line quality are involved in determining yearly rushing totals.

            Emmitt Smith was so good he was able to win the rushing title 4 times despite being on a multi-dimensional team. The only other SB champion to win a rushing title was Terrell Davis, who only did it once.

            All that said, Barry Sanders is an all time great. Gale Sayers is an all time great. Every time you resort to comparing Emmitt Smith to one of those guys instead of the lesser backs you originally mentioned you’re implicitly conceding that Smith is an all time great too and that you were wrong.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 27, 2017

            I never equated Sayers to Butkus on durability. Quit ducking and changing the issue of your baseless point. You said Sayers wasn’t a championship-caliber running back. if that is the case then, I suppose–according to you–it would have to be said that Butkus wasn’t a championship-caliber middle linebacker.
            As far as Sayers injuries are concerned, the medical technology wasn’t available during his time. Adrian Peterson has a similar injury, is operated on in this modern era and almost breaks Eric Dickerson’s rushing record the very next year. Could Sayers have won Super Bowls as a halfback on Lombardi’s Packers? Of course! Could Sayers have played the Mercury Morris role on Shula’s Dolphins? Absolutely!
            Once again, Emmitt was in a great situation.

            I’m wrong about better teams leading to better rushing results? Is THAT right? Tell that to Eric Dickerson (Rams to Colts), Larry Csonka (Dolphins to Giants), Jim Taylor (Packers to Saints), or Earl Campbell (Oilers to Saints). Or–EMMITT SMITH (Cowboys to Cardinals)! They’d seriously injure themselves–either from falling down laughing at you or beating each other up to be the first in line to slap you. That’s a funny image…LMAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            March 24, 2017

            The Cowboys’ Doomsday defense was the most violent and physical in the NFL, and Harris was a key part of that. By your own logic, the Broncos ran wild through the non-physical Raiders’ secondary for 217 yards while the Cowboys shut them down for a meager 35 yards passing in the Super Bowl. In fact check this out. From 1971-1979, the years Cliff Harris and Jack Tatum started for their respective teams, the Cowboys pass defense allowed significantly fewer yards than the Raiders.

            Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 145.75 y/g
            Raiders – 159.26 y/g

            As the numbers are based on 130 regular season games stretching almost a decade, that’s a statistically big gap. I just crushed your entire argument using your own logic because you were too lazy to look up the overall facts. Again, the Raiders won the Super Bowl the year after Tatum left while the Dallas defense declined noticeably in the secondary starting when Cliff Harris retired, skewering your position.

            After ranking in the top 10 in pass defense in each of his last 5 years , and the top 5 in his last 3, Dallas dropped from 3rd in 1979 to 16th in 1980, their first year without Harris. By contrast, after ranking down in the 20s in pass defense for Tatum’s final 4 seasons, the Raiders ROSE from 21st in 1979 to 19th in 1980, their first year without him. Note how, unlike you (and Tatum), I (and Larry Wilson) can actually back up my claims with concrete facts.

            Tatum was a self hyping, classless moron, lol. You’ve actually found an even WORSE guy to quote than the ones I just discredited (your silence about the delusional Jim Brown is deafening LMFAO!), and his failure to include any players who “impressed him” from the team that won more games in the 70s than any other and was in the Super Bowl for literally half the decade just shows how worthless his commentary is, so thanks for faceplanting from the start by including that. Since you’re still mindlessly repeating some refuted quotes though, I’ll keep posting this much better one from a guy who was a scout, coach, and long time GM (meaning he had to professionally analyze players) as well as a HoF player at the same position:

            “I feel Harris is the finest free safety in the business today. He changed the way the position is being played. You see other teams modeling their free safeties around the way Harris plays the pass, and striking fear in everyone on the field because he hits so hard.” – Larry Wilson

            No wonder Harris went to twice as many Pro Bowls as Tatum, won twice as many Super Bowls, and was selected first team All Decade (the well documented anti-Cowboys bias had only just started to gear up then). Keep in mind it’s the coaches, GMs, and scouts doing the “modeling”, not random, cherry-picked kids here and there who are more influenced by hype than substance.

            I was HOPING you’d be dense enough to conflate “interceptions” with coverage ability, lol. They’re two different things. Deion Sanders, the greatest cover corner of all time, doesn’t even rank in the top 23 in career interceptions. That’s because QBs often don’t throw at guys who are well covered. Cowboys safety Roy Williams was the hardest hitter in the league in the early to mid 2000s, and inspired the “horse collar rule” because he was so strong he kept injuring guys when he would tackle them from behind (most famously Terrell Owens). He also had more interceptions than anyone else on the team from 2002-2007, 19 in those 6 years, the exact same number Tatum had in his first 6 years. He just had a knack for catching the ball when it was close to him.

            Roy Williams couldn’t cover worth crap. His deficiencies were covered up early on because the great Darren Woodson helped him out, got him lined up properly, and handled the bulk of the coverage responsibilities to free Williams up to lay down hard tackles on RBs and the occasional receiver (Woodson only has 23 career interceptions because teams rarely threw the ball his way; he was an awesome cover guy). After Woodson retired Williams was increasingly exposed each year. The Cowboys finally let Williams go and were better off without him. Roy Williams was a lot like Jack Tatum, though Williams did make a couple more Pro Bowls than Tatum. Williams has about as strong a HoF case as Tatum, which is slim to none.

            You didn’t mention the other stuff in my post, like my correction of your false claim about Lou Groza. I’m not sure whether you should be paying me tuition for educating you or I should be paying you for serving as my punching bag. Perhaps it’s time to cut your losses.

          • Rasputin
            March 27, 2017

            LOL! You’re such a craven wuss you’re resorting to splitting my posts up each round when they’re supposed to go together as one answer. I’ve been using multiple posts to make them easier to read. You’re exploiting the fact that your screen apparently has a “reply” button for each post in this line while the respondents to your initial post way up there like me don’t and have to keep stacking our replies at the bottom. You’re ruining the chronological flow of the discussion because it hasn’t gone your way and you’re not confident about it ever doing so. A more secure man would be willing to let his opponents’ arguments stand as presented and reply all at once at the bottom so the debate stays clear and followable rather than muddying things up.

        • Rasputin
          March 27, 2017
          Reply

          This is actually a reply Joseph Wright. I’m scooting the discussion over because he desperately resorted to playing games with the thread structure and wanted to keep breaking his opponents’ replies up rather than have an intellectually honest debate, and because over here his ability to do that presumably won’t be unilateral.

          LOL! You’re STILL having to compare Emmitt Smith to Barry Sanders rather than guys like Edgerrin James, Curtis Martin, or Roger Craig, even after I just pointed out that by doing so you’re implicitly conceding he’s on Sanders’ level and that your initial idiotic claim about those lesser backs being better than Smith was so wrong you can’t even attempt to mount a defense. That said….

          You said: “I answered your questions.”

          No you didn’t, coward. And mine are pertinent, like why did Barry Sanders gain more yards with a worse line that he did with a better line and team during his prime? Not like your wanting to harp on the result of a single game the Lions won in OT by a field goal. BTW, in that 1994 game Emmitt rushed 29 times for 143 yards (4.93 y/c) and a TD, while Sanders rushed 40 times for 194 yards (4.85 y/c) and no TDs. Smith also had 9 catches for 49 yards, for a total of 192 yards from scrimmage, while Sanders had no catches. Both RBs played great. And the game was close; it wasn’t a blowout like when the Cowboys beat the Lions 37-3. As is often the case you don’t seem to have a cogent point. I also already talked about the ONE playoff meeting they had. See above. The Cowboys and Lions didn’t play much, and it’s not like Smith and Sanders directly played against each other on the field at the same time when they did anyway. The overall picture is more pertinent:

          Career Playoffs Yards/Carry

          Emmitt Smith – 4.5
          Barry Sanders – 4.2

          Career Road Playoff Yards/Carry

          Emmitt Smith – 4.5
          Barry Sanders – 2.8

          If individual performance is merely a factor of the team you’re on, as you just stupidly alleged, then why was there such a drop off for Barry Sanders in the playoffs compared to the regular season when he was on the same team with the same line? Why was there an even steeper drop off from home to away postseason games? Again, he had the same line. Apples to apples. Why did Emmitt Smith NOT have a drop off from the regular season to the playoffs? Why did Emmitt have even better stats in the postseason, and post almost exactly the same stats on the road as he did at home in the playoffs? He had the same line too.

          I’m not saying a better line won’t boost numbers all else being equal. I’m saying that clearly ALL ELSE WASN’T EQUAL. There were undeniably factors other than line quality leading to Sanders posting better stats in the late 90s with a worse team than he had in the early 90s with a better team. The league matters. A team’s system matters.

          The Cowboys’ power system was geared toward getting those steady gains a physical back like Smith could deliver, not living or dying on whether Sanders found his way through the clutter to hit enough long home runs each game. They ground down opponents and played for time of possession. It wasn’t a system for dancing or running around behind the line of scrimmage passing up solid opportunities to look for a bigger one. So no, I don’t think Sanders would have done as well in the Cowboys system as Smith and you can’t prove otherwise since you can’t even explain why Sanders rushed for less yardage in real life with a better line in Detroit than he did with a worse line later.

          As for stat inflation, while it’s driven by passing game changes those changes open up the WHOLE offense, and make running easier than it used to be, especially if you’re a fast back who can exploit open spaces. That’s why in 1994 the average NFL team gained 1668.2 yards rushing and averaged 3.7 yards/carry, while in 1997 it averaged 1808.7 and gained 4.0 y/c. In fact from 1991 – 1996 the NFL average was below 4 y/c every year but one (an even 4.0 in 1992), while from 1997 – 2005 it was at or above 4.0 every year but one. From 2006-2016 the NFL has averaged from 4.1-4.3 y/c every season. In 2011 the average hit 4.3 y/c for the first time in history. Rushing totals went up for a while in the 90s, but as the 2000s wore on teams posted fewer and fewer rushing attempts, placing more emphasis on bigger statistical payoffs in the passing game. Defenses are less geared up to stop the run though when it does happen, so yards/carry has continued to rise. Perhaps your wrong claim about rushing staying “virtually unchanged” over the years was because you just took a quick, shallow glance at yearly yardage totals without looking deeper, the pattern of behavior you’ve consistently exhibited and falsely accused Bachslunch of earlier. It also doesn’t speak well of your eyes or discernment, since this should have been obvious even without having to look up the stats for confirmation.

          Barry Sanders himself averaged 4.9 y/c in his first 7 seasons, when he had his best teams around him, and 5.2 y/c in his final 3 years. And sure Sanders’ and Smith’s careers heavily overlapped, moron. I’m the one who just laid that out for YOU. I said Sanders sustained excellence longer (his finesse style was more conducive to staying healthy and exploiting those open spaces in the late 90s, especially with the Lions’ spread attack, while Smith’s early 90s physical running took a toll), but, apples to apples, Smith was better during his 5 year peak than Sanders was during those same years. Smith gained almost a thousand more yards during that span, not counting his extra receiving work. But that’s not really why he was better. You’re still just all about yards and yards/carry (“numbers numbers numbers”, lol). Smith was better because he was more physical and CONSISTENT. He almost always got at least some kind of decent gain, which kept the chains moving, which avoided his team having to punt, which led to championships. The superior “efficiency” I mentioned was Smith’s movement, not y/c. He wasn’t as fast as Sanders but Sanders ran more wildly, with his body jerking around all over the place. Smith was more balanced and agile, maximizing his athleticism and getting more out of what speed he did possess. Smith didn’t waste steps.

          Maybe that’s why when long, stat skewing territory wasn’t available for the occasional big gain, and they were up against the end zone in hit or miss situations, these were the results:

          Career Yards/Carry Within Opponents’ 10 Yard Line

          Emmitt Smith – 1.6
          Barry Sanders – 1.3

          Career TD Percentage On Carries From Within Opponents’ 10 Yard Line

          Emmitt Smith – 33%
          Barry Sanders – 19%

          Oh and as for Sanders’ 4 rushing titles, I said he was an all time great. Like Erick Dickerson. Like OJ Simpson. Like Jim Brown. Like Emmitt Smith. The only guys to do it. You don’t win 4 rushing titles without being an all time great, I don’t care how good your line is. There have been lots of great lines in history and only an elite few RBs who have won 4 rushing titles, the best of the best.

          You said: “I never equated Sayers to Butkus on durability.”

          Sure you did, though it was possibly a clumsy accident because you ignored the fact that I clearly said Sayers wasn’t a “dynastic, championship caliber running back” because he was “delicate” and “durability matters”, dimly pretending instead that I had said that simply because he hadn’t won a championship, going onto babble some straw man about Dick Butkus and Ken Norton.

          Sure modern medicine could have done a better job fixing Sayers’ leg, but he’d still be out for the year. And Sayers KEPT getting injured. Is he going to have surgery every other year? Some guys just aren’t cut out for workhorse NFL careers. Other backs in his era pulled it off, and for every Adrian Peterson there are countless others whose bodies don’t hold up even with modern medicine. Sayers lacked Smiths’ incredible ruggedness and durability. Period.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 27, 2017

            OK, coward. You won’t answer the obvious questions, so let me answer them for all the world to see:

            1) Barry Sanders is undefeated in the playoffs vs. Emmitt Smith (38-6; and as the announcers say, “And it wasn’t even THAT close.”; Sanders closed the came with a 47-yd. TD; Smith is a non-factor (80 yards) after rushing for 266 yards the previous two games, including a stat-padding 32 carry 160-yard walkover against the weak-tackling Atlanta Falcons to filch the league rushing title on the regular season’s last day–embarrassing: Going into the season finale Sanders was leading the league with 1440 (316 carries), Smith had 1,403 (333 carries).
            2) Barry’s Lion’s were 3-1 vs. Emmitt’s Cowboys despite: A. Smith having a better O-line B. Smith having a better QB C. Smith having a better coach D. Smith having a better defense
            3) In 1994, Sanders outcarried (40-29; So much for Rasputin’s and others fib about Sander’s lack of durability and toughness) and outgained (194-143) Smith on the national primetime stage–Monday Night Football–in Smith’s stadium (“How ’bout them Cowboys!” LMAO).
            4) Barry’s rushing titles came with an ordinary line and his best of those years far outclass the best of Emmitt’s rushing titles.
            5) The Lions would have been lucky to win FIVE games with Emmitt’s limited talent running the ball with that weak line and those sorry collection of QBs.

            You are right. I shouldn’t be mentioning Emmitt with Barry. That is giving Smith undeserved praise. Let’s say Emmitt was Larry Brown (Redskins, ’70s) or Lawrence McCutcheon paired with the greatest run-blocking line ever. He (Brown/McCutcheon/Smith) can give you 1,600-1,700 yards but not 1,800. And 2,000–FORGET IT. Emmitt’s not on THAT level. Those are the facts, folks.

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            So not only are you a cowardly weasel, Little Joey, but your reading comprehension sucks. I just answered your red herring “questions” in comprehensive detail above, while you still haven’t answered my pertinent ones about how you explain Sanders gaining more yards with an inferior line than he did earlier in his career with a better line and team, about why Sanders’ playoff numbers dropped off so steeply from his regular season numbers (one game doesn’t a career make, you cherry-picking buffoon, and it wasn’t Emmitt’s job to tackle him anyway, lol), especially to a dismal 2.8 yards/carry on the road, and why Emmitt posted even better stats in the playoffs and was just as good on the road. Nor have you explained why Emmitt shattered so many records in high school and college with completely different offensive lines if he was a “fraudulent” player. I also didn’t attack Barry Sanders’ “durability” as you falsely state (that was Gale Sayers, moron; try to keep up). I said he had a finesse running style that helped him stay healthy and sustain excellence a long time.

            Here are some facts that actually matter:

            – Emmitt Smith rushed for 8,804 yards in high school, which ranked 2nd nationally behind only 1950s Texas great Ken Hall, set a national record with 45 100 yard games, and led his school to back to back state championships.

            – In 1986 USA Today and Parade named Smith the High School Player of the Year.

            – In 2007 the Florida High School Athletic Association named Smith the Player of the Century.

            – In his 3 years in college Smith set numerous Florida records, many of which still stand.

            – In 1989 Smith was named unanimous first team All American RB by every media organization that voted on such things.

            – In the NFL Emmitt Smith was drafted by a 1-15 team.

            – Emmitt Smith made 8 Pro Bowls and was selected first team AP All Pro 4 times. (note your alleged criteria #1 and #4 above)

            – He was both NFL and Super Bowl MVP. (your criteria #1, #3, and #4)

            – Smith was named AP Offensive Player of the Year in 1990 as a rookie on a 7-9 team. (your criteria #4)

            – Emmitt’s offensive lineman had a combined ZERO career Pro Bowls until 1992, by which time Smith had already won a rushing title. Nate Newton had been in the league since 1986, Stepnoski since 1989, Mark Tuinei since 1983, John Gesek since 1987 (starting with your Raiders, who didn’t see fit to keep him), and Kevin Gogan since 1987. Most of them had bounced around to various teams and none of them had ever made a Pro Bowl until Emmitt Smith came along and started winning rushing titles.

            – In his first 6 years Emmitt gained 8,956 yards rushing and 10,907 from scrimmage, more than anyone in history to that point had in their first 6 years except Eric Dickerson.

            – In his first 6 years Emmitt scored 96 rushing and 100 total TDs, more than any other player in the 20th Century in his first 6 years, and more than any 21st Century player so far except LaDainian Tomlinson. Even the great Jerry Rice only scored 83 TDs in his first 6 years. (your criteria #1)

            – Emmitt Smith scored a then NFL record 25 rushing TDs in 1995. (your criteria #1)

            – Emmitt Smith scored 76 TDs in a 4 year period (1992-1995), more than any other player at any position did in a 4 year span in the 20th Century. (your criteria #1)

            – Emmitt Smith is the only player in the Super Bowl era to lead the league in total TDs 3 years, and the only one in NFL history apart from Don Hutson. (your criteria #1)

            – Emmitt Smith was the first in NFL history to rush for over 1,400 yards in 4 consecutive seasons, a streak he would extend to 5 years. (your criteria #1)

            – Emmitt Smith led the NFL with 5.3 yards/carry in 1993 despite not being known as a speedster. (your criteria #1)

            – Emmitt Smith holds the career NFL record for 100 yard games with 78. (your criteria #1)

            – In 1993 Smith held out the first two games in a contract dispute and Dallas started 0-2. He returned after re-signing and the Cowboys went on a 7 game winning streak and ultimately won the Super Bowl, becoming the only team to recover from an 0-2 record and accomplish that. (your criteria #3)

            – Smith won the 1993 rushing title despite only playing in 14 games and starting in 13. (your criteria #1)

            – With home field advantage on the line in the 1993 finale, Smith played most of the game with a separated shoulder on hard, old style artificial turf at NY with Lawrence Taylor and the Giants defense targeting the injured shoulder. Smith gained 229 yards from scrimmage and powered the OT winning drive. Afterward John Madden left the booth to personally express his admiration to Smith in the locker room, the only time Madden ever did that during his announcing career. The NFL Network named Smith’s game as the #4 Gutsiest Performance in NFL history (Barry Sanders wasn’t on the list). (your criteria #3)

            – Emmitt won 4 rushing titles, one of only 6 men in NFL history (since 1932) to do so, and, along with Earl Campbell, is one of only 2 to win 3 consecutive rushing titles in the Super Bowl era. (your criteria #1)

            – Emmitt holds the career Super Bowl rushing TD record with 5. (your criteria #1 and #3).

            – If Smith had retired in 1999 after 10 years, with 13,963 rushing yards he would have ranked 3rd all time and would still rank 4th today.

            – In Super Bowl 28, with Aikman still suffering from the effects of a concussion and the Bills leading 13-6 at halftime, the Cowboys opened their first second half drive by running Smith 6 consecutive plays for 46 yards (7.7 y/c). Aikman threw a 3 yard pass to Moose and Emmitt ran for a 15 yard TD, breaking a tackle in the backfield, having accounted for 61 yards (at 8.7 y/c) of the 64 yard, momentum swinging drive. (your criteria #3)

            – Emmitt Smith was the first man to win the rushing title and the Super Bowl the same year, something he accomplished 3 times. (your criteria #2)

            – Emmitt Smith holds the NFL record for consecutive 1,000 yards seasons with 11. (your criteria #10)

            – Walter Payton’s brother Eddie said, “(Walter) is looking down smiling from ear to ear. He once said that if anybody breaks his record, he hopes it is Emmitt because he would do it with the class and the dignity that the record represents.”

            – Emmitt Smith holds the NFL record in career playoff rushing yards (1,586) and TDs (19). (your criteria #1 and #3)

            – Emmitt Smith holds the career Monday Night Football rushing TD record (23), is tied for the most in a single MNF game (4), and holds the career MNF yardage record (2,434). (your criteria #1, since you brought up the MNF stage)

            – Emmitt Smith holds the venerated NFL career rushing record with 18,355 yards, has 21,579 yards from scrimmage and 175 total TDs (2nd), and holds the rushing TD record with 164, records that players will likely be chasing for decades. (your criteria #1 and #2).

            Only a drooling idiot would select THIS GUY as an example of someone who’s supposedly not an “all time great”. He clearly was an all time great.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 28, 2017

            Great job of a slightly above average player taking advantage of the greatest run-blocking offensive line of all time to put up Hall of Fame worthy numbers that he would not have attained had he played on the Detroit Lions of that era. Also very fortunate to have a Hall of Fame QB (Troy Aikman) instead of Scott Mitchell/Bob Gagliano/Rodney Peete/Andre Ware/Dave Kreig/Charlie Batch.

            ANYBODY can be great in high school. The examples are infinite. Please don’t bring THAT crap up again. Collegiately, Smith never led the nation in rushing, never gained 2,000 yards in a season, never won the Heisman (Marcus Allen & Barry Sanders did).

            Put Barry Sanders in the Dallas system and his playoff numbers go up immediately. He wouldn’t be thrown for losses, junior, because there would be a wide-open lane to run through 90 percent of the time. When Sanders lost yards for the Lions it was because he ran to where the whole was supposed to be–but wasn’t:bad blocking–and had to double back and reverse his field to make something happen. No runner was going to have a successful playoff legacy with those Lions. He wouldn’t have faced that problem too often in Dallas. The Cowboys would have won the three or more Super Bowls, giving him a more favorable playoff image (what did Payton do playoff-wise before Ditka came in and got things organized in Chicago?) and he would have posted not one but MULTIPLE 2,000-yd seasons, including a 2,500 yarder. No doubt in my mind. The question again: What would Emmitt have done with the ’90s Lions?

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            Meant he, Hutson, and Jim Brown are the only ones in NFL history to lead the league in total TDs 3 seasons

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            Oh Little Joey Wrong, above I just posted mountains of hard facts illustrating Emmitt Smith’s dominance, including career, seasonal, and single game records, numerous unmatched accomplishments, and memorable feats that transcend stats in their impact (like the separated shoulder game and Super Bowl XXVIII game changing drive). I even helpfully specifically tied most of them to your various supposed “criteria” for greatness that you listed near the top of this page. Emmitt Smith meets all four of your professed criteria points multiple times. That you ignore this just to repeat your stale, dull-witted, already refuted crap about the line and Barry Sanders just shows that you’re a hypocrite as well as a moron. You were lying about your “criteria” from the beginning.

            Emmitt Smith isn’t just one of the greatest RBs in history, he’s one of the greatest NFL players in history.

            You said: “ANYBODY can be great in high school. The examples are infinite. Please don’t bring THAT crap up again. Collegiately, Smith never led the nation in rushing,”

            “Anyone” can’t rank second in national history in career high school yardage, lead his team to multiple state championships, and be declared the Florida “Player of the Century”, lol.

            I didn’t say Smith was the most successful college runner in history. I said he was recognized as the best at the time he played. That’s why he was a unanimous first team All American. Rushing yardage totals aren’t as big a deal in college as they are in the more apples to apples NFL, because there’s so much variety in opponent quality. However, it’s telling that many of Smith’s Florida records still stand.

            Of course someone can thrive at one level of football and not others. But if a player is recognized as among the best at EVERY level, and you’re trying to argue that he’s merely “slightly above average” (LOL!), then it’s incumbent on you to account for HOW he was so successful at every level. Did he just incredibly luck out with three different offensive lines?

            You also STILL failed to explain how Sanders ran for fewer yards early in his career when he had a better line and team around him (since you’re arguing that’s all that matters) than he did in his last few years at Detroit, and fewer yards than Smith did at the same time, btw. Does the better line always mean more yards, or are there other factors in play, including system, opponent quality, league era, etc.?

            Why did Sanders’ y/c drop to 4.2 in the playoffs (running behind the same line as the regular season) and to an atrocious 2.8 on the road in the playoffs, running behind the same offensive line?

            Why did Smith’s y/c improve to 4.5 in the playoffs (running behind the same line as in the regular season) and remain 4.5 whether he was playing at home or on the road?

            You’ve also never addressed my key argument that a RB’s consistency of gains is important, and arguably even more important than total yards and y/c because consistency keeps the chains moving and your team from having to punt.

            And you’ve ignored the fact that the Dallas line you want to give ALL the credit to for Smith’s unmatched success, had a collective ZERO career Pro Bowls until after Smith had already won his first rushing title. No other back enjoyed success with that line. It wasn’t like the 1990s/2000s Broncos or the 1950s/60s Cleveland Browns for that matter, who both kept churning out Pro Bowl RBs. And it only contains 1 HoFer (Jim Brown had 3 times as many HoF linemen, as I’ve educated you on), a guy who didn’t even show up until after Smith had already won 3 of his 4 rushing titles. That line almost got Aikman killed his rookie year. So your musings are baseless.

            You said: “Also very fortunate to have a Hall of Fame QB (Troy Aikman) instead of Scott Mitchell/Bob Gagliano/Rodney Peete/Andre Ware/Dave Kreig/Charlie Batch.”

            He didn’t have Aikman as his QB in high school or college. Florida barely had a passing offense at all. That said, I agree with that statement, and Aikman was certainly fortunate to have Emmitt Smith blocking for him, catching his passes, and keeping his drives alive instead of Barry Sanders or someone worse. I don’t know how Smith would have done at Detroit. The Lions were certainly better than the 1-15 Dallas team that drafted him. In Lomas Brown they also had a lineman who made more career Pro Bowls than anyone Smith had blocking for him at Dallas through his first 3 rushing titles ended up with in their careers. Smith would have given them a more physical, consistent presence, better pass blocking, and a little better receiving option. It wouldn’t shock me if Smith ended up with fewer, equal, or more personal yards at Detroit as he did in Dallas. The team would have given him more carries, and, because they’d be punting less than with Sanders, he’d have more opportunities than Barry. Maybe more than he had in Dallas. But without Aikman and the other great Cowboys he wouldn’t have won 3 Super Bowls, and team wins were more important to Smith than personal stat accumulation was. That’s why he sold out and sacrificed his body throughout his career to pass block the way he did.

            I don’t think Sanders would have done as well at Dallas as Smith did, assuming they retained their real life system. Their power running system was built upon physical runs up the middle. Sure their line, which was eventually great, often opened up holes. But holes only get you so far. Smith broke an enormous amount of tackles. He may have gained more yards after contact than anyone since Earl Campbell (and he was more fluid and elusive than Campbell). He was at least in the ballpark of Walter Payton. Smith was incredibly strong and had a low center of gravity. In his prime Smith would slam into and push the pile back. Defenders talked about how much it hurt to keep tackling Smith over the course of a game compared to other running backs. A young defender spoke in an interview about how in tackling even a late 90s Smith it felt like he had almost gotten his arm torn off. Smith loved running up the middle. He thrived there, wearing down defenses.

            By contrast Barry was a spread style back who thrived on open spaces. He was also a dancer. He passed up holes looking for better opportunities and potentially bigger gains, which is part of the reason why he holds the NFL record for negative plays. We know he rushed for fewer yards with a better O-line in his prime at Detroit than he did with a worse team in his final few years. It’s quite possible he would have run for fewer still at Dallas with a line that, while great, wasn’t a fit for his skill set.

            Regardless, both Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith are all time greats. That you’re STILL resorting to comparing the two, as opposed to guys like Thurman Thomas, Jerome Bettis, Curtis Martin, Edgerrin James etc., just shows that on some level even you know you were wrong to deny Smith’s greatness.

            You’ve sustained quite a beating here. The most impressive thing you could do at this point would be to admit you were wrong on some of these issues. That would at least show open mindedness and a modicum of class.

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            “Put Barry Sanders in the Dallas system and his playoff numbers go up immediately…he would have posted not one but MULTIPLE 2,000-yd seasons, including a 2,500 yarder. No doubt in my mind.”

            Oh, and in addition to your premise being wrong for reasons explained above, I almost forgot this gem. 2,500 yards?!?! “No doubt” in your mind, lol? Jim Brown, running behind a great star and HoF studded line, averaged 133.1 yards/game at his height, which would extrapolate to a 2,129.6 total over a 16 game season. Even OJ Simpson’s record 143.1 yards/game season would only extrapolate to 2,289.6. That’s the highest per game average of all time. There have been other great lines in history, and no one has ever hit 2,106, let alone gotten to the ballpark of 2,500.

            For you to not only suggest this silly possibility but state that you have “no doubt” it would have happened is just more hilarious proof that you’re unserious and have no idea what you’re talking about.

        • Rasputin
          March 27, 2017
          Reply

          Oh and, Joseph Wright, are you really attacking Smith for “only” rushing for 937 yards and 9 TDs in his final year with the Cardinals? That’s about the same yardage and almost twice as many TDs as in his last year with the Cowboys. It was his 15th year in the league. Most RBs aren’t able to make the Pro Bowl 10 years into their careers like Smith did at age 30. Barry Sanders couldn’t bring himself to play at all after 10 years.

          And are you claiming Mercury Morris was a dynastic, workhorse championship caliber back, lol? It’s fair to say he was a role player for a couple of years, but Larry Csonka was way more important to that Dolphins team. They didn’t build the franchise around Mercury Morris. The Dolphins made the Super Bowl the year before Morris had his first real season as a full time RB rather than primarily serving as a kick returner. The year before Emmitt Smith was drafted Dallas went 1-15. Two years later they’re in the playoffs and he has his first rushing title. Three years later they’re Super Bowl champions. It’s fair to say Smith was way more important to the Cowboys 3 Super Bowl wins than Mercury Morris was to the Dolphins’ 2.

          So sure, Sayers could have been a nice role player who rode an already good team to a ring, but that clearly wasn’t what I was talking about was it?

          • Joseph Wright
            March 28, 2017

            Smith gained 937 yards. Whoopty-Damn-Doo! He really tore up opponents for 58 yards a game! Are you serious? How you sound? Get back to me when you can give me documentation of Emmitt Smith running for at least 1,800 in a season or even 2,000. Then we can talk about whether he was the best back of his era (which he wasn’t. Hint: Barry Sanders) or one of the top 10 of all time (which he wasn’t. Jim Brown, Dickerson, O.J., Payton, Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Earl Campbell, LaDanian Tomlinson)

            Mercury Morris was a key part of the Dolphins success in the early ’70s. Pass-catching was his liability. So, Gale Sayers definitely could have filled that role easily. he had the breakaway speed, was elusive, and could catch passes which would have eliminated Jim Kiick completely. Knee injuries don’t confirm lack of durability. they confirm the law of physics. if Emmitt Smith was ever hit in the knees he would have been deemed by you a “lacking durability.” After his first knee injury mid-season 1968, Sayers came back after surgery the very next year and led the league in rushing…with more than 937 yards…in 14 games.

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            LOL! Emmitt Smith was 35 and had delivered and taken 15 years of punishment by the time he ran for 937 yards and 9 TDs in his final season. Show me other backs who did that well that long into their careers. Here’s a sample:

            Final Seasons

            Emmitt Smith (age 35, 15th year) – 937 yards, 9 TDs
            Walter Payton (age 33, 13th year) – 533 yards, 4 TDs
            LaDainian Tomlinson (age 32, 11th year) – 280 yards, 1 TD
            Earl Campbell (age 30, 9th year) – 630 yards, 1 TD
            OJ Simpson (age 32, 11th year) – 460 yards, 3 TDs
            Eric Dickerson (age 32, 11th year, final full season) – 729 yards, 2 TDs
            Jerome Bettis (age 33, 13th year) – 368 yards, 9 TDs
            Thurman Thomas (age 34, 13th year) – 136 yards, 0 TDs
            Tony Dorsett (age 34, 12th year) – 703 yards, 5 TDs
            Marhsall Faulk (age 32, 12th year) – 292 yards, 0 TDs
            Curtis Martin (age 32, 11th year) – 735 yards, 5 TDs

            So keep talking about Smith’s final season. Make yourself look even more stupid than you already do.

            I’m not sure what’s dumber, that you only list 9 players in your “top 10” (you gotta practice counting) or that you include guys like Marshall Faulk and Marcus Allen. “Marcus Allen”, lol? Marcus Allen only posted three 1,000 yard seasons in his 16 year career, and his best mark was 1,759. Smith’s was 1,773. I know he’s a Raider and you’re blindly biased, but for you to list Allen as a top 10 back over Smith in the same post where you’re arbitrarily claiming a RB has to have an 1,800 yard season to be a true all time great proves once again that you’re a faceplanting buffoon spewing BS even you don’t believe. Allen did post a respectable 830 yards and 9 TDs in his 15th and next to last season, but that’s still short of Smith.

            Marshall Faulk never even cracked 1,400 rushing yards, and never won a rushing title.

            You said: “Get back to me when you can give me documentation of Emmitt Smith running for at least 1,800 in a season or even 2,000.”

            You’re so wrong that I could successfully meet your BS challenge as presented. Emmitt Smith rushed for 2,071 yards in the 1995 season and 2,049 yards in the 1992 season, counting the playoffs he got his team to, illustrating a point about priorities. He may not have technically hit the 1,800 yard regular season mark, but he was playing on a balanced team that also used its exceptional passing attack and they sat on the ball to play for time of possession.

            Lots of other backs never hit 1,800 either, including some great ones like the aforementioned Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk.

            Emmitt Smith did surpass 1,700 yards twice and 1,400 yards five times. So if Emmitt had gained 27 more yards in 1995 you’d consider him an “all time great”, even if he had gained much fewer than he did in those other seasons, lol?

            LaDainian Tomlinson only hit that 1,800 yard mark once (1,815), which was the only time he broke 1,700, so we’re really talking about a few dozen yards one way or the other here (statistical noise). Similarly Walter Payton had that one 1,800 yard season, in which he won his only rushing title, and never even got to 1,700 yards again.

            Curtis Martin never cracked 1,700 yards. Jerome Bettis never hit 1,700 and only passed 1,400 three times. John Riggins never got to 1,400 yards. Roger Craig only rushed for more than 1,100 once, when he posted 1,502. Edgerrin James’ highest total was 1,709. Thurman Thomas’ highest total was 1,487. Tony Dorsett’s highest total was 1,646.

            Gale Sayers’ highest total was 1,231. Sure that was in a 14 game season, but Emmitt only played 14 games when he posted 1,486 yards and won the 1993 rushing title. Mercury Morris’ highest total was 1,000 even.

            Franco Harris never cracked 1,300. Larry Csonka never cracked 1,200. Adrian Peterson had that one awesome 2,097 year, but counting that he’s only surpassed 1,400 three times. By your logic was he less than great outside of that one season? Similarly the great Earl Campbell only surpassed 1,400 yards three times, and that 1,934 season was the only time he reached 1,700. Jim Taylor’s highest total was 1,474, one of only 2 times he cracked 1,300.

            These are mostly HoFers I’m listing, the greatest of all time.

            I also love how you imply Emmitt was “only” the second best RB of his era, probably because you realized mentioning anyone besides Barry Sanders there would have made you look silly even by your own lofty standards. I disagree with you, but either way you’re a true great if you’re in the top 2 of your very long era.

            That’s all without getting into Emmitt Smith’s insane yearly TD totals or the other records and feats I listed above that vault him over the guys you list, including single game and season ones. And, it’s funny you’re placing all your emphasis on yardage totals given how you started this debate by whining about a shallow glance at “numbers”, but you never did address or try to refute my argument about consistency in gains being even more important to a RB than yardage totals or a y/c average. Mounting a serious effort to do so would require more brain power than you’re apparently equipped with.

            It looks like we agree Sayers could have been a nice role player on a championship team, but you’ve provided no evidence he could have been the type of workhorse franchise back that can put a team on his shoulders and carry it to sustained dynastic glory. Maybe he replaces Kiick, but not Csonka, and even Csonka had a lot of help.

            Emmitt Smith, by contrast, was a freak of nature on the durability front, as the facts at the top of this post show.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 28, 2017

            So, the only way Emmitt gets 1,800+ yards rushing is if you add the playoff totals. This isn’t college or high school, junior. How desperate. LMAO!! You still have cowardly avoided the question and the facts:

            1) How would the ’90s Lions have done with Emmitt as the primary ballcarrier?

            2) Emmitt’s “All-American” collegiate career
            A. Never led the nation in rushing (Marcus & Barry did)
            B. Never gained 2,000 yards in a season (Marcus & Barry did)
            C. Never won the Heisman (Marcus & Barry did)

            Jim Brown (1996)–“Emmitt can play (well) on certain teams. Barry could play (well) for any team in any era.”

            Gale Sayers on Emmitt Smith (1993)–“good running back, great offensive line.”

            And get back to me on Larry Wilson’s “great” work as a coach and front office guy with the Cardinals. Give me the number of years, number of playoff appearances, and number of Super Bowl championships. Perhaps Brown and Sayers could have done better if given the same opportunities.

          • Rasputin
            March 29, 2017

            I’m still laughing over your “top 10” running back list only containing 9 names. You better hurry up and scramble to come up with a 10th name other than Emmitt Smith so you don’t have to backtrack again, lol.

            I answered your question, Little Joey Wrong, though you’re still dodging mine, you cowardly halfwit. You don’t read any better than you can count. And my list of Emmitt Smith accomplishments, all either unmatched or placing him among the greatest NFL players of all time, is much, much longer than your repetitive, already refuted crap.

            Jim Brown – “If anyone wants to test my speed, they can put me up against Franco anytime. I may be 47, but I can still beat him.”

            Franco Harris went on to beat the petty, delusional Jim Brown by 7 yards in the 40 yard dash, humiliating him on national television. “Credibility”, lol?

            Gale Sayers – Delicate….seriously injured multiple times in a career with only 991 carries and never rushed for more 1,300 yards a season. Made of glass. Also never a scout/GM/ or a coach, so who cares what he says? A lot of players like the flash and are just as susceptible to hype as bottom feeding fans are, especially if they were flashy runners themselves. On some level they feel it validates them. The truth was Sayers was great. He was awesome. But he wasn’t as great a RB as Emmitt Smith.

            Larry Wilson (scout, 17 year GM, coach, HoF safety; at least he had the inclination to do those other jobs and was good enough to keep employed in that realm for many years) – “I feel Harris is the finest free safety in the business today. He changed the way the position is being played. You see other teams modeling their free safeties around the way Harris plays the pass, and striking fear in everyone on the field because he hits so hard.”

            As for Emmitt Smith, if you were open minded the voluminous evidence and cogent arguments I’ve provided for you here would have already convinced you that he wasn’t merely a “slightly above average back” or a “fraudulent player” at any level of football. For anyone else reading this who may want additional takes though, there’s an interesting piece on the NY Times’ stat based Fifth Down blog (google up: Emmitt Smith Overrated? Not So Fast) refuting the “he just played on a great team” myth, and a 1997 Pro Football Researchers article on why Barry Sanders IS overrated I hadn’t read before that makes some of the same arguments I do about his lack of consistency and why not all yards are equally important, though they’re comparing him not just to Smith but guys like Terrell Davis, Jerome Bettis, and Jim Brown (search: THE COFFIN CORNER, Vol. 19, No. 6 (1997) The Greatest ever! Bob Carroll).

          • Joseph Wright
            March 29, 2017

            Alright. Emmitt is not one of the top ELEVEN RBs of all time (Jim Brown, Dickerson, O.J., Payton, Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Earl Campbell, LaDanian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis, Adrian Peterson). BTW, for Emmitt, the line starts BEHIND Edgerrin James, Roger Craig, and Tony Dorsett.

            Get back to me with The records of the teams Larry Wilson “successfully” built. How many winning seasons did they produce? How many division titles did they win? How many Super Bowls did they claim?

            And the 1997 article on Sanders being “overrated?” Was that before, during, or after he got the 2,053 yards (2,000 over the last 14 games; Emmitt never did that; and Lomas Brown was long gone)? You’re ridiculous. The ’90s Lions would have been NOTHING with Emmitt Smith. Barry gave the Lions whatever relevancy they had, post-Billy Sims.

          • Rasputin
            March 29, 2017

            See? You’re hopelessly closed minded and full of BS even you probably don’t believe. At least you finally managed to get 10 names in your “top 10” list this time (practice counting helps), and at least an “1,800” yard season, or even a 1,600 yard one isn’t something you really believe is necessary anymore, moron (“Roger Craig”, lol?).

            If Smith had played for Detroit he would have started off at least with a better team than the 1-15 Cowboys who drafted him, and while he may not have ultimately won 3 Super Bowls, he no doubt would have continued having the same general success he had in high school and college, dominating the NFL.

          • Rasputin
            April 3, 2017

            Oh, and while it’s obvious to anyone who actually reads it, since you asked, that 1997 article I cited was MOTIVATED by the ongoing 1997 season and a response to the hype surrounding what Sanders was doing.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 4, 2017

            Motivated by idiotic, moranic haters at the worst; Emmitt butt-kissers at the least.

          • Rasputin
            April 4, 2017

            Actually the article barely mentions Smith and is more about comparing Sanders unfavorably to Terrell Davis and Jim Brown, but the argument conceptually echoes what I’ve been saying here. Look up the author “Bob Carroll”. He passed away in 2009, but was a long respected historian and football researcher who authored over 20 books.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 4, 2017

            “Unfavorably to Terrell Davis?” Are you serious? Of all the single season 2,000-yd rushers (a level Emmitt Smith NEVER reached, despite running behind the most dominant run-blocking O-line of all time–translation: good back, not a great one), Davis had the lowest yards per carry average (a full yard behind Sanders), required nearly 60 more carries than Sanders just to get to 2,000, and–like Smith and unlike Sanders–played behind a superior run-blocking O-line. As for Jim Brown, Sanders is the only retired running back with per game and per carry output closest to Brown. You and Bob Carroll made fools of yourselves. Barry got 2,000 yards over the last 14 games of that season. Terrell Davis needed ALL 16 games to get to that mark. If you took out the first two games of that 1997 season (Sanders only gained 53 yards as Bobby Ross shackled him), Barry STILL has 2,000 yards. Unless Davis had only 8 yards after the first two games, don’t bring up this nonsense again. About as ridiculous as adding (padding?) playoff games to say, “Emmitt had 2,000+ yards in 1992 and 1995.” Yeah, right. Took him 19 games to do it. Embarrassing. Stat-padding is a way of life in Dallas, huh? (Emmitt–1991 rushing title, NFL career rushing record; Romo passing totals; The ’70s Harris secondary NFL pass defense rankings vs. inferior QBs…)

          • Rasputin
            April 4, 2017

            Guess you’d have to read the article to see him explain why not all yards are equal, or some of my posts here explaining the same thing. You’re the one making a fool out of yourself by wasting multiple posts blindly complaining about an article you haven’t even read, along with your posts here failing to put enough mental effort into grasping my similar points.

            Hint – yards/carry isn’t the most important factor you seem to assume it is. Heck, you apparently think it’s the ONLY factor. I guess when you started this debate by attacking Bachslunch for “numbers, numbers, numbers”, you were implying that it should be replaced by “number”.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 4, 2017

            I can’t find the thing. Obviously, Google doesn’t find it worthy to mention–sort of like Jack Tatum wasn’t impressed by any Cowboys except Tom Landry.

          • Rasputin
            April 4, 2017

            Or you suck at research and are incompetent at basic tasks even after I’ve spoonfed you directions. Given our respective track records, that’s the far likelier possibility.

        • Rasputin
          March 27, 2017
          Reply

          You’re all *crickets* on this inconvenient fact that obliterates your entire asinine safety argument, Joseph Wright.

          Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 1971-1979

          Cowboys – 145.75 y/g
          Raiders – 159.26 y/g

          You were the one spewing all those lines about judging Tatum and Harris by passing yards allowed. Maybe you should change your name to Joseph Wrong.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 27, 2017

            “The Cowboys’ Doomsday defense was the most violent and physical in the NFL.” That’s good hyperbole. The ’70s Cowboys were a media-hyped, over-the-top pomp and circumstance creation that too many people bought into. The most violent and physical defenses of the ’70s were the Steelers and the Raiders. Dallas was a finesse team. Great pass rush but that’s about it.

            The 217-yard passing performance you keep harping on against the Raiders came on the strength of Denver receiver Haven Moses’ performance (168 yards) against rookie cornerback Lester Hayes. Hooray! Great game, Haven! That was the only 100-yd receiving playoff game the Raiders’ (or any) secondary allowed under Jack Tatum’s watch (13 games). On the other hand…

            During Cliff Harris’s administration at free safety for the Cowboys. Dallas was zinged and pasted for FIVE 100-yd receiving games, giving up yards and touchdowns in historic, record-breaking fashion at times. With Harris “intimidating” and “covering” (“Doctor” Z said he was the best combination of hitting and coverage, right?): Swann went for 100 yards both times with MVP honors, two TDs, a game-winning 64-yd bomb, and highlight footage that put him in the Hall;Stallworth put up 115 yards and two TDs in the FIRST HALF of SB XIII, including a then record-tying 75 yard sprint, leaving Harris in the dust (I remember THAT Cliff Harris Super Bowl Highlight on defense,LOL), with Swann tacking on another 124 and a TD of his own; Charley Taylor burns Dallas for 146 yards in the ’72 NFC Title game with 2 TDs, including a 45-yarder; Harold Jackson goobles up 116 yards catching passes in the ’76 divisional playoff from…Pat Haden–YEEESH! In Dallas! And It gets worse. John Stallworth’s 75-yard SB TD ties the record of tight end John Mackey, who scored from the same distance against–you guessed it–Cliff Harris and Dallas in Super Bowl V. In the ’73 NFC Title Game in Dallas John Gilliam takes a pass from from Tarkenton 54 yards for a TD. Bradshaw established single-game records for passing yards and TD passes in SB XIII (300+ yards, 4 TDs–Never did that to Tatum and the Raiders). His final game was the 1979 divisional playoff game in Dallas vs the L.A. Rams, the swan song to Cliff Harris’ sorry, overrated, undeservedly decorated career. First-time playoff starter, QB Vince Ferragamo, lights up the Harris-led secondary with three TD passes, covering 32, 43, and (the game-winner) 50 yards. The 50-yarder was right over the middle. That wouldn’t have happened with Jack Tatum. He was a better hitter/intimidator and, surprisingly, a better coverage man for interceptions. Yes, I know many great corners don’t have many INTs because teams throw away from them. But free safeties can roam anywhere. Tatum roamed to the right places to make the hits and the picks way more often than Harris. Did someone say something about passing yards and TDs? back to where you belong, junior. Captain Crash (ed and burned. LMAO)

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 145.75 y/g
            Raiders – 159.26 y/g

            Pass Defense League Ranking

            1976
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 7th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 23rd

            1977
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 2nd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 22nd

            1978
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 5th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 20th

            1979
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 3rd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 21st

            ————-

            1980
            Cowboys (without Harris) – 16th
            Raiders (without Tatum) – 19th

            LOL! You’re squirming now, Joseph Wrong, but there’s no point in cherry-picking from a field where you’ve already lost. Of course the Cowboys’ Doomsday defense was more physical and violent than the Raiders’. I wouldn’t say Dallas having better stats necessarily proves that (the eyeball test does just fine), but your own yardage based argument has blown up in your face and you’re done. You can go now.

            The Raiders secondary wasn’t even very good through most of Tatum’s career, let alone dominant. Charlie Waters was the big interception guy in the Cowboys’ secondary (still holds the career playoff record), but the truth is Cliff Harris was roughly twice as good as Jack Tatum (who wasn’t much better in coverage than the previously discussed Roy Williams, and whose “legacy” mostly stems from shallow publishing/media hype surrounding his post-career autobiographies), which may help explain why he went to twice as many Pro Bowls, won twice as many Super Bowls, and why his departure left the Cowboys much worse off while the Raiders actually improved when Tatum left.

            You’re a mindless blowhard full of blustering BS here, just as you proved to be about Super Bowl XII, Lou Groza and Jim Brown’s line in general, Emmitt Smith, “numbers”, rushing supposedly not being affected by stat inflation, and countless other points on which you pretended to know what you were talking about and were objectively shown to be wrong. But at least it’s fun kicking you around.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 28, 2017

            Please explain how Jack Tatum whose prowess was as a hitter, not a cover man, had more INTs than Cliff Harris when they played the same amount of time? Can you explain how Tatum had not one but two INT seasons better than the best INT season of Cliff Harris’ career? And don’t bring up this “INTS are overrated” crap and then mention Deion Sanders and other CORNERBACKS. We are talking about SAFETIES. Stay focused. Could you let us know how Harris (supposedly, according to some fraudulant SI source who is called “the doctor,” the best combination of hitter/coverage man at free safety) was so “great” yet led secondaries that allowed playoff receiving and passing records to fall (Swann; Stallworth; Mackey; Bradshaw), gave up FIVE 100-yd receiving playoff games (Swann, 2; Stallworth, in ONE HALF; Charley Taylor; Harold Jackson), and get lit up by multiple no-names (John Gilliam-54-yd TD; Vince Ferragamo-to-RonSmith, 50-yd TD; Pat Haden-to-Harold Jackson) while Tatum led secondaries in 13 playoff games and gave up only ONE 100-yd receiving game and only one TD of over 50 yards or more? Tatum is undefeated in the Super Bowl. The ’70s Dallas Cowboys’ losing Super Bowl record is a good indication of the of the quality of Harris’ “intimidation” and “coverage.” You’re embarrassing. You gloat over Harris knocking out Rick Upchurch in Super BOWL XII. Upchurch was a scrub! The Raiders shut him out easily the game before! Contrast that with Tatum, who creamed Sammy White in SB XI the previous year. White had just led his conference in TD catches and was Offensive Rookie of the Year. And you’re bragging that Cliff Harris knocked out…Rick Upchurch? Good to kick you around some more. I feel like…Lou Groza. LMAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 145.75 y/g
            Raiders – 159.26 y/g

            Pass Defense League Ranking

            1979
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 3rd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 21st

            ————-

            1980
            Cowboys (without Harris) – 16th
            Raiders (without Tatum) – 19th

            LOL! You’ve been checkmated and now you’re randomly pushing the pieces around the board in frustration. Bleat all you want about some cherry-picked game here or there. I mentioned specific games earlier too until I decided to utterly vanquish you with this short cut to the big picture. I’ll keep hitting you with those facts as long as you persist in digging your own hole deeper here, because knocking you around amuses me.

            Again, Darren Woodson, a SAFETY, averaged fewer interceptions per year than Roy Williams. Woodson was a phenomenal coverage guy with 4.3 speed who could have played cornerback and who routinely shut down elite TEs and slot receivers one on one. Williams was terrible in coverage; so bad it led to his departure and his career fizzling out. For you to try to reduce coverage ability to interception counts just shows you don’t understand football. You’re an armchair “crazy Raiders Nation fan” who’s probably never played football but who’s probably dressed up or painted your face at some point, who’s more hype than substance, and now your team is leaving for another state, so you don’t even really have that anymore.

            Cliff Harris was the best Dallas DB over the second half of the 70s. The cornerbacks were a rotating mix of guys like Benny Barnes, Aaron Kyle, Aaron Mitchell, etc., with Mel Renfro reduced to a backup role and retiring after 1977. Meanwhile the Raiders had guys like Willie Brown (HoF), Lester Hayes, and Monte Jackson. Tatum was definitely NOT the best Raiders DB.

            If Tatum was such an effective coverage guy and invincible intimidator, then why did the Raiders get torched so often that they ranked near the league bottom in pass defense every year over the second half of the 70s?

            Why were they not even good enough to make it to another Super Bowl until after Tatum left?

            Given the above, it’s unsurprising that the Dallas pass defense dropped from elite to mid pack immediately after Cliff Harris retired, while the Raiders improved and won the Super Bowl after Tatum left. A fact you can’t explain.

            Cliff Harris really was twice as good as Jack Tatum, and undeniably more important to his team.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 28, 2017

            Cliff Harris was the Cowboys best DB in the last half of the ’70s. You’re right. Thats why they lost to Pittsburgh twice, getting toasted by Swann and Stallworth for record playoff numbers in the process. That never happened to the Raiders with Tatum back there. Lester Hayes was never better than Jack Tatum in the ’70s. For three years (’77-79), he was a converted linebacker/strong safety learning to be a corner. The liabilities of his learning process were exposed by Denver’s Haven Moses in the ’77 AFC Title game. Hayes turned it around dramatically in the ’80s. Tatum was better than Willie Brown by the late ’70s. I can’t believe you actually were so stupid as to even mention Monte Jackson as a better player than Tatum. You’re making a fool of yourself.

            The pass defense stats are misleading. It’s based entirely total yards without factoring in passing percentage, TD/INT ratios, sacks, etc. Sometimes, defenses give up underneath yardage. Sometimes a team is far ahead (as the ’70s Raiders often were) and the opposing team is passing the ball on every down. And in the ’70s, especially from the midpoint on, the AFC had better QBs and passed the ball more often than the NFC. Additionally, going twice a year against the likes of Ron Jaworski, Joe Pisarchik, Jerry Golsteyn, and and over-the-hill QBs like Kilmer and Roman Gabriel will enhance the stats of any secondary (Dallas) and help a player’s reputation (Harris). Speaking of over-the-hill QBs…

            The Raiders and Cowboys matched up once in the ’70s, on a special Saturday Night Edition of Monday Night Football (you know Monday Night Football, junior? Where Barry Sanders showed up Emmitt Smith on NATIONAL PRIMETIME TV). The Raiders beat the Cowboys–of course–as the Cliff Harris-led secondary gave up three TD passes. The Tatum-led Raiders secondary gave up none–of course– and held Staubach well under 50 percent in passing. What’s worse for your case with Harris, with him manning the secondary they allowed a 28-yd touchdown pass to Cliff Branch–from 1,000-year-old George Blanda! LOL!! LMAO!!! LMFAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            March 28, 2017

            You said: “I feel like…Lou Groza.”

            Annoyed that some blowhard moron on a message board insisted you were only a kicker and not an All Pro, HoF tackle? LMFAO!

            PS – Oh and that may have been Rick Upchurch’s only catch in Super Bowl XII, but he was the Broncos’ biggest playmaker by far due to his returns.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 28, 2017

            No, numbskull. I was Lou Groza kicking you and your sorry notions out of the park.

            Upchuch did NOTHING against the Raiders two weeks prior and was a nonfactor and you’re going on and on about Harris knocking out a nonfactor. Couldn’t he have hit John Mackey or Lynn Swann or John Stallworth–all of whom Tatum hit (and knocked out and defeated) repeatedly?

          • Rasputin
            March 29, 2017

            Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 145.75 y/g
            Raiders – 159.26 y/g

            Pass Defense League Ranking

            1979
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 3rd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 21st

            ————-

            1980
            Cowboys (without Harris) – 16th
            Raiders (without Tatum) – 19th

            LOL! From 21st with Tatum to 19th and the Super Bowl without him, while Dallas falls from 3rd with Harris to 16th without him. Keep squirming around trying to cherry-pick individual games. Earlier I posted anecdotal instances of Tatum’s secondary getting torched and Cliff Harris knocking out players and/or shutting teams down, but now I’ll just save time by hitting you with the above sledgehammer every time you rear your head with more blather on this topic. You lost, Joey. You can’t spin or lie your way out of this.

            You said: “Tatum is undefeated in the Super Bowl.”

            He only made it to one, you idiot, LOL! Tatum kept losing and not even making it to the Super Bowl. You’re like the fictional propagandist in the old joke about Pravda announcing that the Soviets had come in 2nd place in the athletic contest while the USA had finished next to last, omitting the fact that there were only 2 nations competing.

            The weakness of the Raiders in the 1970s was their pass defense. They were often in the top 10 in rush defense and total offense, but they typically gave up more passing yards than most teams in the league. The evidence suggests an upgrade at FS would have benefited them enormously.

            You said: “I can’t believe you actually were so stupid as to even mention Monte Jackson as a better player than Tatum. You’re making a fool of yourself.”

            I said the second half of the 70s, and Monte Jackson did make 2 Pro Bowls then, in 1976 and 1977, was first team AP All Pro in 1976, and led the NFL in your preferred stat of interceptions with 10. By contrast Tatum made zero Pro Bowls or All Pro teams in that span.

            Monte Jackson was still starting CB on the 1980 Raiders with their improved pass defense (sans Tatum). Paired with Lester Hayes, who had been a full time starting CB since 1978, they won the Super Bowl. They didn’t seem to miss a beat with Tatum being replaced by journeyman FS Burgess Owens. How about that?

            You said: “The pass defense stats are misleading. It’s based entirely total yards without factoring in passing percentage, TD/INT ratios, sacks, etc. ”

            One can almost picture you stammering your way through that line and fighting back tears. After all, YOU were the one who spent all those posts basing your entire argument on passing yards surrendered, moron. You’re STILL DOING IT with cherry-picked individual games. I’ve cited all sorts of other evidence boosting the case for Harris being better than Tatum, but it’s even more fun when your own logic completely annihilates your position like this. Your “credibility” is shot.

            And the pass defense ranking gaps are huge, not something you can spin away anyway. The Cliff Harris-led Cowboys were among the NFL’s best pass defense in the 1970s, while the CB-led Raiders (dragging along Tatum as a burden for a while) were often among the league’s worst.

            PS – Nah, my Groza comment makes more sense since you admittedly knew almost nothing about the guy and you’ve done nothing but serve as my clownish punching bag here.

            The entire Broncos passing attack was a “non factor” against the Cowboys in the Super Bowl, as Doomsday held them to 35 yards. In their previous game they had torched Tatum’s secondary for 217 passing yards. But in SB XII Rick Upchurch did have a 67 yard KO return that sparked Denver’s only TD, before Harris knocked him out. Upchurch had also ranked #6 in the league that year in all purpose yardage and was one of Denver’s most important playmakers.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 29, 2017

            The Raiders give up only 14 more yards per game, playing in a conference that had better QBs and passed the ball more, and you’re all excited? If Tatum and the crew had to face the likes of Ron Jaworski, Joe Pisarchik, Gerry Golsteyn, Billy Kilmer (although he did a number on the Harris-led Dallas secondary with Charley Taylor New Year’s Eve ’72–more on that later), and Roman Gabriel (Philadelphia) four times a year and an overall weaker NFC (who was there in the ’70s besides the Vikings and the Rams?), I’m guessing the yardage allowed per game would be better. You’re excited over a 14 yard per game difference? Fourteen yards? That’s one pass completion! How moronic.

            Yes, Monte Jackson had two Pro Bowl seasons–with the Rams. The Raiders traded for him and he made absolutely no impact on that secondary. He was not the starting CB on the ’80 Raiders Super Bowl team. That was Dwayne O’Steen. Monte Jackson made two Pro Bowls to Tatum’s three and he’s better? Really? Were there two or more other years of Jackson’s career where he was robbed of Pro Bowl recognition? And during their two years together (in which Jackson was an off-and-on starter; he never really played well) Tatum, who self-admittedly was a weak pass thief, picked off more passes.

            Prior to the 1980 season, Al Davis wanted a halfback to go with fullback Mark Van Eegan. He wasn’t satisfied with the HB of the last two years, Art Whittington. Davis wanted Houston’s Kenny King and offered Whittington. Bum Phillips insisted he would only give King to the Raiders if Jack Tatum was involved, not Whittington. Davis initially resisted, then bit the bullet and made the trade. Kenny King made many key plays for the Raiders in 1980 to help them win the Super Bowl. Had Phillips taken Whittington (Davis’ initial offer) for King, Tatum would have reaped the benefits of another Super Bowl ring easily. And it’s not like the Raiders’ pass defense skyrocketed in the standings. You are all excited and trilled like an adolescent girl because the team went from 21st
            to–oooh, big jump–19th. Pitiful display on your part. But those are regular season numbers. In the playoffs…

            No Pravda joke, numbskull. Tatum was undefeated in the Super Bowl AND vs. the ’70s Cowboys (Harris had a LOSING record in the Super Bowl AND vs. Tatum’s Raiders; Explain those, Rasputin). Additionally, Tatum-led secondaries played in 13 playoff games and allowed only ONE 100-yd game by a receiver. Harris-led secondaries were torched FIVE times (Taylor, Swann–two times, Stallworth, Harold Jackson). With Tatum anchoring secondaries in the playoffs, only one receiver caught multiple TD passes and no records fell (Harris-led secondaries were invaded and toasted in the endzone multiple times by Charley Taylor, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, gave up TWO then-SB-record 75-yd. TDs: Mackey, Stallworth; The first ever 300-yd performance by a QB: Bradshaw–or as Harris and Charlie Waters frustratedly, and wrongly, called him, “Dumbass Bradshaw”) and no QB torched them for 300 yards (Uh-oh! Wait! There’s Rasputin adding all FIVE of Bradshaw’s playoff games against the Raiders to give him 300+ passing yards against a Tatum secondary–hey, the same cowardly process got Emmitt’s sorry ass into the 2,000-yd. club!). In the only Raiders-Cowboys game of the ’70s, Staubach completed less than half his passes against the Tatum-led secondary and no TD passes. The Harris-led secondary of the Cowboys was burned for three TDs, including a 28-yd. touchdown to Cliff Branch–from 1,000-year-old George Blanda! Way to go Captain Crash(ed and burned)! LOL! LMAO!! LMFAO!!!

            As for your ’70s Cowboys Hall of Fame candidates:

            Cliff Harris–Overrated. The Great Wall of Dallas made Emmitt Smith, the Doomsday pass rush of Harvey Martin, Randy White, and Too Tall Jones inflated the images, undeservedly, of Harris and Charlie Waters.
            Tatum, by contrast, had Art Thoms, Tony Cline, Horace Jones, Otis Sistrunk, Dave Rowe, and John Matuszak–mean, colorful, intimidating, yes. Did they bring the heat like Howie Long, Greg Townsend, Lyle Alzado, Sean Jones, and Bill Pickel, no.

            Drew Pearson–Didn’t experience the joy of catching a TD in the endzone on December 21, 1974. Branch and Biletnikoff did. That’s the difference between facing a secondary with Jack Tatum at FS instead of Cliff Harris. And he really pushed off on Nate Wright to make the Hail Mary happen. Regardless, should be in the Hall. Much more impactual WR than Art Monk or Cris Carter.

            Chuck Howley–Not a Hall of Famer, but I’m sure he’s taking good care of Mike Curtis’ Super Bowl V MVP trophy at his house. Chuck’s that kind of guy.

            Later, junior.

          • Rasputin
            March 29, 2017

            No, little Joey Wrong, it gets worse.

            Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 145.75 y/g

            NFL Average – 155.76 y/g

            Raiders – 159.26 y/g

            We’ve proved you suck at math, but I tried to explain to you earlier that those “14 yards” are a statistical big deal when counting 9 years worth of games. The Cowboys’ pass defense was way better than average, while the Raiders were WORSE THAN THE LEAGUE AVERAGE.

            And you must be smoking something if you think the AFC West was a harder division than the NFC East, lol. The Redskins, who often had a top 10 passing attack and were better overall in the decade than any of Oakland’s division foes (no losing seasons and 5 playoff trips in that 9 year span, while the Chargers and Chiefs MOSTLY had losing seasons), had QBs like Billy Kilmer (Pro Bowler) and Joe Theismann (Pro Bowler, NFL MVP, still the franchise passing leader), not to mention HoFer Sonny Jurgenson still getting playing time early in the decade. The Eagles’ Roman Gabriel, whom you idiotically dismiss, had also been an NFL MVP in the late 1960s, made 4 Pro Bowls, and led the NFL in yards and TDs at Philadelphia in 1973. Mike Boryla made a Pro Bowl with the Eagles too. The Cardinals had the great Jim Hart (4 Pro Bowls), while the Giants had QBs like HoFer Fran Tarkenton, Norm Snead (4 Pro Bowls), and Craig Morton.

            Meanwhile the Raiders faced divisional opponents like BOTH the expansion Buccaneers and expansion Seahawks, LOL! The Chiefs’ Len Dawson only started a little into the decade, with Mike Livingston being the team’s primary 1970s QB. The Chargers had Fouts, but he didn’t lead the league in yards or make his first Pro Bowl until 1979. The only Broncos QB worth mentioning was Craig Morton, who never made a Pro Bowl but is in the Denver ring of honor for leading that team to victory over the Raiders and to a Super Bowl, where they were crushed by Doomsday and his former Cowboys team in one of the most dominant defensive performances in SB history, a game widely considered to be the hardest hitting SB of all time.

            In fact….

            Combined Divisional Opponent QB Pro Bowls 1971-1979

            Cowboys (Redskins, Eagles, Cardinals, Giants) – 8 Pro Bowls

            Raiders (Bucs, Seahawks, Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs) – 3 Pro Bowls

            8 to 3, and these are the guys they each played TWICE A YEAR! I’m also only counting Pro Bowls earned at the particular team during the span in question. Once again, as has so often proved the case, the truth is the opposite of your claim. The teams’ overall strength is telling too:

            Combined 1971-1979

            NFC East (excluding Cowboys) – 9 playoff seasons, 14 winning seasons

            AFC West (excluding Raiders) – 5 playoff seasons, 12 winning seasons

            Half those AFC West winning seasons and most of those playoff seasons were delivered by the Broncos, all of whose playoff trips came with Craig Morton at QB. So the former Cowboy and Giant was probably the most relevant divisional QB opponent the Raiders faced during that span.

            The Raiders had a lot of interceptions, I’ll give you that. But they were playing inferior competition. Despite that, they still surrendered more passing yards than the league average and waaaay more than the Cowboys did. The Raiders allowed 1,756 more passing yards than Dallas in that span. That’s an entire extra season worth of yardage by 1970s standards, despite the Cowboys facing a combined 8 Pro Bowl divisional QBs while the Raiders faced only 3. That’s an entire extra season worth of yardage by 1970s standards. Teams couldn’t have been THAT afraid of the Raiders to routinely torch them like that.

            Despite the tougher competition, the Cowboys posted winning seasons every year during that span, won the division 6 times, and made the playoffs 8 out of the 9 years. The Jack Tatum Raiders missed the playoffs 3 times and won their weaker division 5 times.

            You said: “Tatum was undefeated in the Super Bowl”

            So were the Seahawks, Mr. Pravda. However, Tatum lost too much to even make the playoffs for a third of that 9 year span. When he did manage to make the postseason, he lost in either the divisional or conference title round every year but once. By contrast the Cowboys won 4 conference championships from 1971-1979 with Cliff Harris as a starter, and 2 Super Bowls.

            That you’re insisting it’s better to lose so much you don’t even make it to the Super Bowl every year but one than to make it 4 times as often and win twice as many SBs just shows what a sniveling, cowardly, little girl you are.

            And I love how you keep harping on ONE meeting the Cowboys and Raiders had in that span. That was at Oakland in 1974, the ONLY year the Cowboys missed the playoffs in the 1970s (with an 8-6 record), while the Raiders went 12-2 that season. Dallas did play and beat the Raiders in 1980 at Oakland. That was Oakland’s Super Bowl year. Harris and Tatum weren’t there, but it goes to show that a single match up doesn’t always determine the better team, especially during the regular season.

            What’s funny is that the Cowboys and Raiders only played twice from 1971-1980, both games at Oakland, the first in the only year Dallas missed the playoffs in the 1970s and the second the year Oakland won the SB. It was very lucky scheduling. You were fortunate you didn’t have to play the Cowboys in one of their Super Bowl years, or at Dallas. Despite that….THE COWBOYS GOT THE SPLIT! LMFAO! They lost the first game by 4 points and won the second by 6.

            It’s pathetic that you’re trying to brag about that. Nothing for you to be proud of there.

            You said: “He was not the starting CB on the ’80 Raiders Super Bowl team. That was Dwayne O’Steen. Monte Jackson made two Pro Bowls to Tatum’s three and he’s better?”

            Wrong. Monte Jackson started 10 games in 1980. Dwayne O’Steen was a journeyman backup who filled in when he got injured. Jackson returned to his starting job the following year. Regardless, they managed to win the Super Bowl without Tatum.

            I said Monte Jackson was better than Tatum in the second half of the 70s. His Pro Bowls were a lot more recent than Tatum’s. And while interceptions aren’t the same as coverage ability, since you’re hung up on them Lester Hayes had more interceptions than Tatum in the years they overlapped on the Raiders.

            In fact Oakland’s total defense improved from 24 interceptions in 1979 with Tatum to a league leading 35 interceptions in 1980 without Tatum. Doesn’t seem like Tatum was critical to those interceptions so much as a beneficiary of circumstances, does it?

            The rest of your post is childish trolling that merits no response. Of course Howley (who’s probably more busy polishing up his Super Bowl VI ring, moron, in which he was considered for MVP again) and Harris belong in the HoF, and are more deserving than some Raiders already in (e.g. Dave Casper, Ken Stabler). You gotta put more effort into it than that. Don’t just make vapid assertions, provide arguments.

            I’ll add that the Raiders were always buttressed by hype, especially from the NFL films “Autumn Wind” poem onward. I actually like the Raiders mystique and respect the franchise’s history. They were sometimes great, but the Cowboys were even greater. It’s not even close, as all the facts posted here show. That you’ve been influenced by the hype is clear from how detached from reality you’ve objectively proved to be on issues ranging from the old Cleveland Browns, to what happened in Super Bowl XII, to your clinging to a low brow, long since debunked narrative about Emmitt Smith that mostly just gets repeated by shallow morons who rarely if ever watched him play in his prime, to your fantasies about the teams’ respective 1970s defenses, etc..

            You’re too small a man to admit it here, but hopefully this beating you’ve taken, which has undeniably been educational for you on numerous topics, will benefit you in the long run.

          • Joseph Wright
            March 30, 2017

            First off, I said the AFC was a stronger CONFERENCE than the NFC in the ’70s. I was talking about the overall AFC, not the AFC West, reading comprehension obviously is not your strong point. The ’70s AFC was a stronger conference, had better QBs, and passed the ball more. Additionally, the Raiders secondary was the strongpoint of their defense. The lack of pass rush by the line allowed for more completions. Yet they still managed to shut down the likes of Terry Bradshaw, something Dallas couldn’t EVER do. The yardage they were giving up was between the 20s. But divisionally, playing against the likes of Ron Jaworski, Joe Pisarchik, Jerry Golsteyn, and an aging Roman Gabriel (with the ample aid of an awesome pass rush) is going to make a weak secondary like the ’70s Cowboys look better than what they were.

            Why was the Tatum-led secondary able to shut down the Pittsburgh passing game of Bradshaw, Swann, and Stallworth and the Harris-led secondary of the Cowboys constantly got cremated? The Tatum-led secondary beat the Steelers the last three consecutive times they faced them. Dallas couldn’t even win ONE game vs. Bradshaw, Swann, and Stallworth. Explain that (Tatum-led secondaries vs. Bradshaw/Swann/Stallworth Steeler Dynasty, 4-2; Harris-led secondaries vs. Bradshaw/Swann/Stallworth Steeler Dynasty, 0-4).

            Once again, in the playoffs, Tatum-led secondaries (in 13 games) allowed: only ONE 100-yd receiving game to a receiver, only one receiver to score multiple TDs (either in one game or over a series of games), no QB to pass for 300 yards in a game, and no passing or receiving records fell under Tatum’s watch. Cliff Harris’ toastings have been highlighted constantly. Why was the Tatum secondaries’ playoff coverage performances SO much better than the Harris’ seccondaries? Explain that.

            Why/how did Jack Tatum, not known as a pass thief, have more INTs than the allegedly “better coverage free safety” Cliff Harris in the same length of career? Why/how did he have not one but TWO INT seasons better than Cliff Harris’ high-water INT season? And why does his INT return yards more than double Harris’ (It’s not like Tatum was Deion Sanders)? We’re talking about two free safeties with no coverage responsibilities. Not cornerbacks or even strong safeties that can be thrown AWAY from. Tatum had the superior instincts and abilities to get to where he had to be to make the hits or INTs happen. Harris had the Cowboys’ propaganda machine (“America’s Team”) to undeservedly elevate Harris’ status in the eyes of the AP nitwits who failed to see what was happening.

            Ken Stabler and Dave Casper are legitimate Hall of Famers. Harris and Howley are on the outside because they are not.

          • Rasputin
            April 1, 2017

            No, moron. I wasn’t quoting you about the divisions. I brought up the divisional angle because it was more important than your “conference” claim. The AFC West was far weaker than the NFC East, including in the passing game. These account for most of each team’s games.

            You didn’t even try to support your “conference” claim anyway. As usual you just made some assertion you hadn’t put any thought into. Presumably you’re assuming the AFC was better than the NFC because it won more Super Bowls, but that’s mostly because of Pittsburgh. The Steelers and Colts were old NFL teams that were switched to the AFC after the merger to help balance things out.

            The Dolphins and Raiders were old AFL teams that won the Super Bowl, but apart from them every Super Bowl from 1970 until 1997 was won by an old NFL team. Think about that. The AFC may have had a couple of more elite teams on top in the 1970s, but don’t assume because of that that it was a better conference from top to bottom. It wasn’t.

            You’re mostly just repeating yourself, Joseph. I could keep doing that too, though I have a lot more facts to choose from and mine are more pertinent. To wit….

            Combined Pro Bowls among opposing divisional QBs 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 8
            Raiders – 3

            Combined Playoff seasons among divisional opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 9
            Raiders – 5

            The Tatum Raiders only had to face 3 Pro Bowl divisional opposing QBs in that near decade span. That’s it! The Cliff Harris Cowboys had to face more than twice as many. One of those Pro Bowls was supplied by Roman Gabriel, whom you again idiotically demean. The “aging” Gabriel led the NFL in passing yards and TDs in 1973.

            The Raiders padded their stats by playing inferior competition, and yet still ranked well below the league average in passing defense, while the Cowboys ranked among the NFL’s elite.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            The Tatum secondary surrendered almost 2,000 more yards than the Cliff Harris secondary did, and several hundred more yards than the AVERAGE NFL team did. The reason the gaps in those per game averages I posted earlier matter is because otherwise things tend to even out over time. All teams have their ups and downs. But that such a gap persisted between the Cowboys and Raiders over 130 games and 9 years indicates a significant difference in quality. Perhaps posting the raw yardage totals helps better illustrate that for you.

            I think it’s hilarious that you don’t think free safeties ever have coverage responsibilities, and that their coverage skills apparently don’t matter. You’re also pretending that a single WR’s performance is somehow more important than a team’s total passing performance, when if anything (even by your own logic) when discussing free safeties rather than CBs in a man to man scheme it should be the other way around. You’ve never played football before and you don’t know much about it. Have you ever played any sports, like maybe soccer or Tee Ball as a kid? Have you ever even competed seriously in anything, like chess…well obviously not chess…but maybe dominoes or Go Fish? Table tennis perhaps? Mario Kart? Have you ever even been in a fight? Do you understand the physics of competition? Or to you is “Raiders Nation” Sunday just a chance to play dress up, sort of a Mad Max cosplay?

            On interceptions….Roy Williams averaged more than Darren Woodson. Williams was so terrible in coverage that it ended his career, while Woodson was great in coverage. Interceptions are great; they’re legitimate feathers in both Roy Williams’ and Jack Tatum’s hats (even more so Charlie Waters, who was also a smarter, better coverage guy than both). But intercepting isn’t the same thing as coverage ability. It happens too rarely and is often fluky. Even the Raiders’ interceptions increased the year after Tatum left. Yawn…..you’re getting boring.

            You’re still spinning your wheels trying to cherry-pick games hoping to distract from the big picture, but the Cowboys rarely played the Steelers. Both those Super Bowls were decided by 4 points. In the first one Dallas was a rebuilding Cinderella team that wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs let alone the Super Bowl. Yet they darn near won the thing. Staubach’s Hail Mary had helped get them there.

            The second one was different. The Cowboys were better than the Steelers. That game saw a royal screw job by the worst officiating crew in Super Bowl history. I remember watching Kobe Bryant elbow Bibi in the face right in front of the ref down the stretch in a clutch moment with the ref not doing anything, an event that turned that NBA series. It stuck with me. Something was wrong. Years later the ref confessed to having influenced games, including ones in those particular playoffs, because he was in bed with gamblers.

            I don’t know whether Super Bowl XIII officials were nefarious or simply incompetent, but watching replays of that game I had the same feeling that I had watching that NBA playoff game. You had officials literally throwing themselves as blockers against DBs to spring Franco Harris for a TD (about his only good run of the day) and blatantly blowing a “passing interference” call against the Dallas CB when Lynn Swann HAD been thwarted on a play that either should have been a no call or offensive passing interference. Those things and some other bad calls decided that game. And it was still just 4 points.

            Pittsburgh beat the Raiders by a larger (if still narrow) 6 point margin in the 1975 AFC title game, in which they passed for 215 yards against the Tatum secondary. Dallas held the Steelers to 190 yards and a 4 point margin in the next game, the Super Bowl.

            The Steelers beat the Raiders 24-13 in the 1974 title game. Pittsburgh ran for 209 yards! The Steelers didn’t need to pass much because it was easier to run against the Raiders, a sign that Tatum’s squad was less physical than Doomsday. By contrast the Cowboys held the Steelers to 66 rushing yards in Super Bowl XIII, counting Franco Harris’ fraudulent 22 yard TD run. Pittsburgh had no choice but to air it out and the game became more of a shoot out.

            The Raiders’ run defense ranked higher than its pass defense all but 2 years but from 1971-1979, but even its rush defense was fairly average, only ranking in the top 5 once. By contrast the Cowboys ranked consistently at or near the top in run defense. Contributing to stopping the run was one of the things Cliff Harris excelled at. It appears Tatum was able to contribute less than Harris.

            The Harris Cowboys did beat the Steelers in 1972. Cliff Harris personally had both an interception and a 44 yard kickoff return. Pittsburgh didn’t have Lynn and Stallworth, but they did have Bradshaw, Harris, and most of the rest, WRs Ron Shanklin and Frank Lewis were future Pro Bowlers, and the Steelers did go 11-3 that year. Plus the Cowboys were missing Staubach that whole regular season.

            The 1972 Bradshaw/Shanklin/Lewis Steelers also beat the Raiders TWICE that year, in the regular season and the playoffs.

            The Raiders kept losing to the Steelers in the playoffs, but they also lost to Miami, whom the Cliff Harris Cowboys had crushed 24-3 in the Super Bowl a couple of years earlier (still the only team to hold its opponent out of the end zone in Super Bowl history), and to the Broncos in 1977, whom Doomsday obliterated the very next game.

            Why did the 1980 Cowboys beat the Raiders (at Oakland to boot)? Were they better than the Raiders that year? These are two of the many questions you keep dodging.

            See? You’re cherry-picking doesn’t work because I can always point to stuff like that, as well as the macro stats showing that the Cowboys were better than the Raiders.

            1971 – 1979

            Cliff Harris Cowboys – 4 SB appearances, 6 conference championship game appearances, 8 playoff seasons, 2 SB wins, 107 total wins

            Jack Tatum Raiders – 1 SB appearance, 5 conference championship game appearances, 6 playoff seasons, 1 SB win, 99 total wins

            And that’s despite Oakland playing in a much weaker division that included opponents like the 0-14 1976 Bucs (in the argument for worst team of all time) and expansion Seahawks, LOL!

            Pass Defense League Ranking

            1976
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 7th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 23rd

            1977
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 2nd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 22nd

            1978
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 5th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 20th

            1979
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 3rd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 21st

            ————-

            1980
            Cowboys (without Harris) – 16th
            Raiders (without Tatum) – 19th

            Earlier you missed the point about me emphasizing the Raiders’ improvement from 21st to 19th without Tatum. I never said that was a big jump. What’s noteworthy is that it didn’t FALL numerous spots the way Dallas’ did when Harris retired. It even rose slightly.

            Not only were the Cliff Harris Cowboys significantly better than the Tatum Raiders, overall and in pass defense, but Cliff Harris was way more critical to the Dallas pass defense than Tatum was to the Raiders pass defense. Little wonder then their difference in accolades:

            Cliff Harris – 6 Pro Bowls, 3 first team AP All Pro selections, first team All Decade

            Jack Tatum – 3 Pro Bowls

            You lose, Joseph

            PS – You said: “Ken Stabler and Dave Casper are legitimate Hall of Famers. Harris and Howley are on the outside because they are not.”

            By your insipid logic Stabler hasn’t been a legitimate HoF for all these decades when he was excluded, lol. You’re still too lazy to present an actual argument to support your inane assertion. BTW, I didn’t say Stabler and Casper weren’t legitimate HoFers. I just pointed out that Chuck Howley and Cliff Harris are even more deserving of that honor.

            And NFL Films, not some “Cowboys’ propaganda machine”, bestowed the “America’s Team” title right before the 1979 season, way too late to affect this comparison. No, the Raiders enjoyed the hype advantage when Tatum and Harris actually played. If anything the ensuing backlash over the “America’s Team” nickname fueled the rise of the anti-Cowboys bias that kept guys like Howley, Harris, Pearson, and Lee Roy Jordan (to bring things back on topic) out of the HoF. But the Cowboys had earned the title “America’s Team” on substance in the span of Cliff Harris’ career.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 3, 2017

            For the record, I played organized team football and basketball in high school. I was a cornerback in football and a guard in basketball. As for your delusional response (after a long time of all the rest of us listening to crickets after my responses knocked you out the box), let’s break it down.

            1) The conference claim is more important than the divisional claim because at the time the NFL’s scheduling system was more random and it hadn’t really figured out how to incorporate interconference opponents onto team schedules. During the ’70s, the Raiders were facing Ken Anderson, Len Dawson, Brian Sipe regularly and the secondary didn’t bottom out despite the lack of pass rush from its line. The Cowboys’ secondary, on the other hand, was immeasurably covered by a strong pass rush. But once again, as I keep emphasizing, those were REGULAR season numbers.

            2) In the playoffs, however, Harris was exposed badly. Five 100-yard receiving games (Charley Taylor, Lynn Swann-2, Harold Jackson, John Stallworth); Recevers with multiple endzone invasions–that’s TDs, stupid (Taylor, Swann-over 2 games, Stallworth); Falling passing records (Then-Super Bowl record 75-yard TDs-John Mackey and Stallworth, first-ever 4-TD pass game by a QB AND first-ever 300 yard passing game by a QB–both in same game by, as Harris and Waters referred to him, “Dumbass Bradshaw.”). Once again, in 13 playoff games, Tatum-led secondaries gave up only ONE 100-yd game to a receiver, no playoff record passing or receiving ever fell, and only one receiver caught multiple TDs on the Tatum secondary. Tatum’s secondary shut down Fran Tarkenton in Super Bowl XI and kept Staubach under 50 percent passing and without a TD pass in ’74 (In the same game, BTW, the Harris-led secondary gave up three TD passes–two to Stabler and one to 1,000 year old George Blanda–LOL). Tarkenton and Staubach are great Hall of Famers. Harris and the Cowboys feasted off game-managing, fraudulent HOFer Bob Griese and Cowboy reject Craig Morton. Speaking of which…

            3) In the ’77 AFC title game, it is well-documented that the game swung on an early whistle that negated a goalline Broncos fumble that the Raiders recovered. The Broncos scored on the next play and that proved to be the difference in their 20-17 win. On the controversial play in question, Denver running back Rob Lytle tried to hurl in from a yard out and was crushed and immediately coughed up the ball. Oh, by the way, the strong tackle that caused the fumble was made by–Jack Tatum.

            4) Gabriel a “Pro Bowler” in 1973? Really? What did the Eagles win that year? Did they make the playoffs? Are you adding that other Eagle “Pro Bowl” QB Mike Boryla from 1975? Rasputin, you get my nomination for Numbskull of the Year. LMAO!!! The only divisional Pro Bowl QB that Harris had to deal with was Jim Hart in the mid-’70s. That’s it!

            5) Isn’t it interesting, readers on the board, that Razzie has to go back to 1972–BEFORE the Steelers got Swann and Stallworth –to get Harris a victory over the Steelers. Tatum’s Raiders were 5-5 vs. the Steelers in the ’70s. Within that they were 5-2 vs. the Steelers with Swann and Stallworth in the mix and won the last three consecutive times they played. Neither Swann nor Stallworth ever recorded a 100-yd receiving game against the Tatum-led secondary and each man caught just one TD in their seven games against the Tatum-led secondary. Bradshaw never passed for more than one TD in ANY of these games and he never reached 300 yards. This seven-game stretch included a 17-0 Raiders shutout. Did Cliff Harris and the Cowboys ever shut out the Steelers? How is it that Swann and Stallworth were nonfactors against this supposedly “weak” Tatum-led secondary yet tattoed, burned, and bar-b-qed the supposedly “stronger” Harris-led secondary? We’ll be waiting for the answer.

            6) What brand of Dallas crackpipe were you smoking when you wrote your, ahem, “response?” The ’78 Steelers were the best team in football, hands down (and I’m a Raiders fan). To say the Cowboys were the better team is pure, moronic, unbridled, lunacy. The Steelers were the team of the ’70s. PERIOD. I don’t want to here any “screwed by the refs” crap. Dallas ALWAYS gets the calls! Once the Steelers got Swann and Stallworth to expose Cliff Harris’ and Charlie Waters’ sorry asses, the Cowboys never beat Pittsburgh until 1985. Since you don’t like the quotes of Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Gale Sayers, maybe you’ll love this one from Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw: “You know, the pass interference call on Swann, Jackie Smith’s drop in the endzone, blahzay, blahzay, blah. We kicked their (the Cowboys) ass. I know people don’t like to hear that but I get tired of being nice (diplomatic) about it. We kicked their ass. Get used to it, can’t change. We kicked their ass every time we played ’em. Bottom line. We kicked their ass.” Explain THAT fact! LMFAO!!!

            7) Stabler is deservedly in the Hall of Fame. He torched Cliff Harris for two TDs and won the ’74game. Casper in deservedly in the Hall of Fame. Ghost to the Post is a classic. Harris, Howley on the outside. To quote a Hall of Famer: “Get used to it, can’t change it.”

          • Rasputin
            April 3, 2017

            Speaking of “delusional”, my response came two days after your previous post (and immediately after I had enough free time to read it), the same number of days it’s taken you to respond here (“crickets”?) after my post completely eviscerating you and stomping the remains into the concrete for good measure. The date codes are there for “the rest of us” to see, moron, so while I wouldn’t make a big deal out of a couple days, you brought it up and clearly you’re projecting. I’m not sure if you’re really this mental or if you’re just a really lazy liar.

            Assuming you really did play corner in “organized team football” (who words it like that, lol?), you must not have been the brains of the outfit if you don’t think free safeties have pass coverage responsibilities, including specific assignments from time to time depending on scheme and offensive alignment. In fairness if it was the 1970s or earlier when you played high school, city recreational, or whatever “organized team football” you played in your teenage years, concepts like “free safety” may not have yet worked their down from the NFL. Still, as someone who claims to have watched the NFL since 1975, that was a dumb thing for you to say even by your standards.

            Dumber still is you returning here to the scene of your crushing defeat to embarrass yourself further.

            1. No, the divisional facts are more important because they had to play those opponents twice each year. That’s an even bigger deal in 14 game seasons, when with 4 divisional opponents the division accounted for a majority (8) of a team’s games. At least you’re implicitly conceding that the NFC East was much stronger than the AFC West.

            But you’re wrong about the conference too. You list 3 guys: Ken Anderson, Len Dawson, and Brian Sipe. Len Dawson barely played into the 1970s, making his only Pro Bowl of the decade in 1971. And Brian Sipe? Sipe made 1 Pro Bowl in his entire career, and it wasn’t until 1980, LOL! Ken Anderson made 2 Pro Bowls in the 1971-1979 span being discussed, but the Raiders played his Bengals less than once a year. Not that relevant compared to the divisional foes faced twice each year.

            These are the best you’ve got? Seriously? HoF QB Fran Tarkenton, who was even briefly in the Cowboys’ division, was better than Ken Anderson. Not only did 3 of his 9 Pro Bowls and his first team All Pro selection come in the span being discussed, but Tarkenton was probably the second best NFL passer of the 1970s, next to only Staubach himself.

            1972-1978, When Tarkenton and Anderson Overlapped (excluding Anderson’s rookie season for fairness)

            Fran Tarkenton – 60% completion, 18,519 yards, 126 TDs, 81.5 rating

            Ken Anderson – 56.5% completion, 16,913 yards, 104 TDs, 79.0 rating

            So no, the Cowboys regularly faced much tougher QB competition from guys like Tarkenton, Jim Hart, Roman Gabriel, Norm Snead, Billy Kilmer, and Joe Theismann than your AFC crew.

            2. Yawn. You’re just repeating the same debunked, cherry-picked crap. First, you haven’t explained why individual WR stats (“hundred yard games”) are more important than total team passing performance, especially since we’re discussing free safeties. when a single WR goes off it usually has more to do with a CB being exploited than a FS. We’ve established that the Dallas CBs weren’t as good as the Dallas safeties, at least in the second half of the decade. By contrast the Oakland CBs were better than the Oakland safeties (including the overhyped Tatum). Sledgehammer time, boy.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            Pass Defense League Ranking

            1976
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 7th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 23rd

            1977
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 2nd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 22nd

            1978
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 5th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 20th

            1979
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 3rd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 21st

            ————-

            1980
            Cowboys (without Harris) – 16th
            Raiders (without Tatum) – 19th

            That’s all I really need to post. I posted anecdotal stuff earlier about Harris knocking someone out and Tatum getting torched (I’m the only one here who’s actually linked to game footage)….and I could add countless more stuff like Tatum getting carried for 4 yards trying to tackle Larry Csonka in the 1973 AFC Championship or only half heartedly reaching out with ONE hand to “try” to stop him when Csonka was barreling into the end zone (business decision?), or Harris stoning Walter Payton squared up one on one in the playoffs, but there’s no need. The above facts prove you wrong in crushing fashion, and your lame distraction attempts are futile.

            Sure the Cowboys had a great pass rush, but that same pass rush was still in place in 1980 when their pass defense dropped from 3rd with Harris in 1979 to 16th without Harris. To have a truly dominant defense you need DBs as well as up front guys, as Dallas did in the Doomsday era. In fact they lost Too Tall in 1979 due to his decision to pursue a boxing career (6-0), and got him back in 1980 better than ever. Your hypothesis fails upon scrutiny.

            “Tatum’s secondary” (more like Willie Brown’s secondary, helped by a good LB crew that was probably the real heart of their 3-4 defense) did beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl. And both times the Cowboys played Ken Anderson’s Bengals in the 1970s Dallas blew them out 38-10 and 38-13, respectively. The first game against Dallas was a year the Bengals were 10-4, one of their best seasons, but it didn’t matter. Doomsday had no problem whatsoever handling Ken Anderson. Meanwhile the Raiders never came close to beating the Bengals that bad. Most of their games against them were decided by less than a TD one way or the other.

            You’re STILL moronically boasting about the 1974, 12-2 Raiders escaping their own stadium with a 4 point win over a rebuilding Dallas team in the only season of the decade in which Dallas (8-6) didn’t make the playoffs (you caught them at their lowest point), and you’re still too cowardly to answer my question about the 1980 Cowboys beating the SB champion Raiders by 6 points (also at Oakland), and what, if anything, you feel that proves about the respective teams.

            Cliff Harris won more playoff games than Jack Tatum did. Tatum kept losing. And while some teams did torch “Tatum’s secondary” (like Craig Morton’s Broncos), others didn’t bother passing much because the Raiders defense was softer and easier to run against than…say…the Dallas defense was. They didn’t need to pass much to control the games and secure victories. Overall, however, despite padding their numbers playing inferior competition, the Tatum Raiders gave up a lot more passing yards than the Harris Cowboys did. That’s the bottom line. You lose by your own yardage based argument that launched this line of debate.

            3. Plus the Tatum Raiders got torched with 224 passing yards by Craig Morton (217 net), who posted a 102.9(!) passer rating. In the next game the Cliff Harris Cowboys held the Broncos to 35 net passing yards and Morton to a 0.0 passer rating! That’s not a typo. Doomsday held him to 25.6% completion and literally a 0 passer rating. From 102.9 against Tatum to 0 against Cliff Harris. That’s quite a fall. If Tatum’s crew hadn’t gotten torched then it would have been Oakland getting crushed by Doomsday in the dome.

            4. The Eagles’ Roman Gabriel led the NFL in yards and TDs and was a Pro Bowler in 1973. You giggling about it like a maniacal little girl won’t change that. As for overall team strength, you lose there too, remember?

            Combined Playoff seasons among divisional opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 9
            Raiders – 5

            5, That’s nice, but again that 11-3 1972 Bradshaw Steelers team beat the Raiders TWICE that year, and lost to the Cowboys, despite Dallas being without Staubach.

            6. You said: “I don’t want to here any “screwed by the refs” crap.”

            Says the idiot who just blamed your team’s loss to the 1977 Broncos on an “early whistle”. The reason Bradshaw was overly defensive is because so many HAVE pointed out how fluky the Steelers’ breaks were, and not just Dallas fans. What I said about the official obstructing the Dallas DBs and springing Franco is objectively true, and not many unbiased people try to defend that critical passing interference call. Regardless, it was a 4 point game, so his words are obviously untrue.

            An ass kicking is what the Cowboys did to the 1977 Broncos and 1971 Dolphins. The Cowboys delivered more of an ass kicking to the Steelers in Super Bowl 30, which was at least a double digit victory that didn’t go down to the wire. I don’t think the 1978 Steelers were clearly the best team going in. Despite being injury riddled and not as good as the year before, Dallas still finished ranked #2 in both offense and defense, while the Steelers ranked #8 and #3, respectively. The Steelers did have a little better record but that’s not always definitive. Pittsburgh had looked dominant in the playoffs, but Dallas had just pasted the Rams 28-0 in the conference championship game.

            It’s arguable either way, but Dallas shut down the Steelers running game cold while Pittsburgh couldn’t stop Tony Dorsett, who averaged 6 y/c on 16 attempts for 96 yards and another few dozen receiving. Many observers have commented that if Dallas had run Dorsett more they probably would have won. Landry was the greatest football genius of the modern era, but nobody’s perfect. On the other hand, the aforementioned screw job, along with the fluke of a botched Steelers kick off going to Randy White of all people, who was playing with a casted broken hand and fumbled the ball, put Dallas in a hole they probably felt they needed to pass to dig out of, and they came very close to pulling it off. And if a wide open Jackie Smith had caught that TD pass then Dallas more likely than not wins despite the officials’ antics, and Dallas is “the team of the 70s”, having equaled Pittsburgh in Super Bowl wins and owning the tie breakers of conference championships. As it is Dallas won more games in the 1970s than even the Steelers did.

            Plus only blind morons would say something so stupid like “Dallas ALWAYS gets the calls!” as you just did. Super Bowl V also turned on controversial officiating that went against Dallas, and included the worst individual call in Super Bowl history. On 1st and goal from the 2 the Cowboys’ Duane Thomas fumbled on the Colts’ 1 yard line and footage clearly shows Dallas lineman Dave Manders recovering the football. At no point did a Colt possess the ball. But an official, whose view was obstructed, apparently was influenced by a bunch of Colts signaling their possession (wishful thinking), possibly panicked not knowing what to do in the heat of the moment, and signaled Colts’ ball. Manders, still holding the ball he had emerged with, looked incredulous. There was no instant replay back then so the horrendous call stood. It was the 3rd quarter and the Cowboys were winning 13-6. If they had retained possession and gone on to score from the 1 yard line, it would have been 20-6 and essentially over. That game is more famous for another controversial call favoring the Colts involving a Cowboy allegedly grazing a pass, making it legal for two Colts to touch it, because that’s the play NFL Films focused on, but that call, also probably blown, pales in comparison to the other one an embarrassed NFL would prefer to forget. Cliff Harris recovered a real Colts fumble in that game, btw.

            Even in recent years studies have shown that Dallas doesn’t get the “home field bump” in calls that other teams do for whatever reason. If any team has consistently benefited from officiating over the decades it’s the Steelers. Ask the 2005 Seahawks, who won that game on the field but had it stolen from them. A ref involved even apologized to the Seahawks at their training camp a few years later, admitting that he had “kicked” some big calls in that Super Bowl. The Cardinals got shafted against the Steelers too, if not as blatantly.

            Dallas rarely played the Steelers and the few results were fluky, but, as on these other issues, the overall facts are clear.

            1971 – 1979

            Cliff Harris Cowboys – 4 SB appearances, 6 conference championship game appearances, 8 playoff seasons, 2 SB wins, 107 total wins

            Jack Tatum Raiders – 1 SB appearance, 5 conference championship game appearances, 6 playoff seasons, 1 SB win, 99 total wins

            That’s despite playing in a much tougher division. You lose, little Joey Wrong.

            7. I actually agree that Stabler belongs in Canton, you drooling moron. If your reading comprehension was less atrocious you might have realized that. Casper is more borderline but unobjectionable. However, Stabler does NOT belong in the HoF because he threw 2 TD passes against a rebuilding Dallas team having its worst season of the decade, any more than Danny White merits induction for beating the 1980 Raiders. I seriously doubt those passes “torched Harris” anyway. By your own admission you weren’t even watching the NFL in 1974 and I doubt you’ve ever seen the game in question. You’re just dishonestly blowing hot air as usual.

            Neither Stabler nor Casper should have gotten in before Chuck Howley, Cliff Harris, and Drew Pearson. “Ghost to the Post”, lol? When NFL Films ranked the 75 greatest plays of all time Drew Pearson was critically involved in 3 of them! Chuck Howley was first team AP All Pro 5 years and the first defensive SB MVP to boot! Harris made 6 Pro Bowls, started for 2 SB winning teams, and is the only first team 70s All Decade member not already in Canton. Stabler got in now because he passed away recently and they wanted to eulogize him. Instead, they should prioritize getting those who are still alive in while they’re able to enjoy it, especially if they’re more deserving anyway as both Chuck Howley and Cliff Harris are.

            I took issue with you not because you supported Stabler’s induction, but because, like a drowning man, in your nasty replies to Bachslunch raising valid points, you desperately resorted to flailing about, advancing invalid arguments and ignorantly splashing all over guys like Harris, Emmitt Smith, Bruce Smith, and others. You attacked the use of “numbers” before employing cherry-picked ones yourself, your positions have been obliterated by the logic of your own insipid arguments, and you’ve been exposed as a dishonest man whose word can’t be taken at face value on any topic. More often than not your claims either outright fail verification or omit facts that render them meaningless (e.g. boasting about Tatum’s SB winning percentage while leaving out, in Pravada- like fashion, that he only managed to get to one).

            Your myopic stupidity has led you into entrenching yourself in a debate with someone who didn’t object to Stabler’s induction, and and in trying to APPEAR right just to appear so on tangential issues, even when that means arguing against the greatness of venerated first team All Decade players who are among the greatest of all time at their respective positions, which is increasingly counterproductive as your failures mount. Furthermore, you have an obnoxious personality that makes it a pleasant task to give you this educational knocking around.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 4, 2017

            “I seriously doubt those passes “torched Harris” anyway. By your own admission you weren’t even watching the NFL in 1974 and I doubt you’ve ever seen the game in question. You’re just dishonestly blowing hot air as usual.” I wasn’t born in 1941, either, but I know Pearl Harbor got bombed. Though I wasn’t watching football regularly in ’74, I’m sure Harris deficiencies as a free safety were exploited. I’m positive Charlie Waters was toasted also. Three TDs (one from 1.000 year old George Blanda) is never a good job from a secondary. Tatum’s secondary gave up none that night. The 1980 game you bring up is irrelevant to our argument. Tatum and Harris were gone. The point is a team with Tatum anchoring its secondary is undefeated vs. a team with Harris anchoring the DBs. And in that game, Tatum’s crew gave up zero TD passes while Harris and his crew got scorched for three. As far as common opponents are concerned, Swann and Stallworth scored two touchdowns (one each) in six games vs. Jack Tatum’s secondary. The Steelers’ dynamic duo toasted Harris’ crew for SIX TDs in four games (two Super Bowls; regular seasons ’77 and ’79). More on your delusional excuses concerning the Super Bowl ass-whippings at the hands of the Steelers later, junior.

          • Rasputin
            April 4, 2017

            I’ll give you or a day or so to finish your response, little Joey Wrong, but you’re off to a terrible start, just so you know.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 5, 2017

            My questions that everyone out here is seeing you cowardly duck remain unanswered:

            1) Why were the Tatum secondaries of the playoffs able to tighten up and shut down passers and receivers while the Cliff Harris secondaries of the Cowboys got torched in that same era?

            2) If a receiver is going off for a 100-yd, multiple TD game–IN THE PLAYOFFS!–shouldn’t the FREE safety–who has no specific coverage responsibility (that’s why the position is called free, moron)–shouldn’t he be coming over and helping the cornerback? According to the playoff records of the ’70s regarding each secondary, Tatum was smart enough to come over and Harris was not.

            3) Still haven’t got back to me with the records of the teams Larry Wilson “successfully” built. How many winning seasons did they produce? How many division titles did they win? How many Super Bowls did they claim?

            4) According to you, in Super Bowl XIII “The Cowboys were better than the Steelers.” Really? In 1977, the Super Bowl-bound Cowboys (In the weak ’70s NFC–with Minnesota’s Tarkenton out with a season-ending injury–who was gonna beat them?) played the Steelers and, of course, lost 28-13 and, of course, Swann and Stallworth caught TD passes vs. the Harris-led secondary. Franco pounded Doomsday for 179 yards–including a 61-yd TD–on 29 carries (conversely that year, the Raiders wrapped up their third straight victory over the Steelers as Franco was held to 64 yards, Swann and Stallworth were shut down and kept out of the endzone, and..oh…yes, Tatum had an INT–Harris could cover? LOL!). Super Bowl XIII is well-documented. When they matched up the very next year in 1979, the Steelers beat ‘um and shut Dallas down, 14-3. Shouldn’t the Cowboys had been ticked off and primed for revenge? Quoting Bradshaw–again: “We kicked their (Cowboys) ass every time we played them.” LOL!!!

            5) After I accurately stated the AFC was stronger than the NFC in the ’70s (Harris’ and Tatum’s era) , you immediately embraced the whole “Presumably you’re assuming the AFC was better than the NFC because it won more Super Bowls, but that’s mostly because of Pittsburgh. The Steelers and Colts were old NFL teams that were switched to the AFC after the merger to help balance things out.” NFL/NFC people often do that. The fact remains, the Steelers were an AFC team. But had they been an NFC team and the Cardinals (St. Louis at the time) had been moved to the NFC Central, Dallas would have had to face the Steelers as an NFC East foe twice a year. Uh-oh…Would Swann and Stallworth have run Cliff Harris out of the league? Hmm…We KNOW they didn’t run Tatum out of the league. The Cowboys were crazy LUCKY that the Steelers were NOT an NFC team!

            6) I actually got some down time to read through your rubbish. You WERE actually stupid enough to mention Mike Boryla as a Pro Bowl QB. You’re making an absolute fool of yourself. And Roman Gabriel’s ’73 “Pro Bowl” season? You probably would drool over Vinny Testeverde’s 1996 “Pro Bowl” season with the Baltimore Ravens. In each case (although I must say, as a Los Angeles Ram, Gabriel was a FAR superior QB than Vinny ever was), they put up impressive–on paper–“numbers” (Bachlunch foolishly loves those–especially the regular season’s) in garbage time for teams that were already losing well into the fourth quarter. In the case of Vinny, that was the 4-12 Ravens. Dumb AFC players, no doubt influenced by Bachlunch, saw the conference leading 33 TDs and said, “I’m voting for Vinny, he threw 33 TDs this year.” Madness.

            7) You raved about Tatum being run over by Larry Csonka, then drooled over Harris’ laying out Walter Payton. Forget the fact that there is about a forty-pound weight difference between a collision with Csonka and a collision with Payton but Payton’s was a pass play. Csonka’s was an up-the-gut run. Much easier to hammer a halfback on a pass than a fullback on a run up the middle. The is no footage of Harris clobbering Csonka in Super Bowl VI. Is there? There is footage of Tatum stunning Earl Cambell at the goalline (yes, I know Earl scored), documentation of Tatum knocking the wind out of tight end John Mackey (which compelled writers to compare Tatum to Dick Butkus; that never happened with Harris), and footage of Tatum’s knockout of tight end Riley Odoms (something Harris didn’t do in Super Bowl XII; Rick Upchurch–please). Speaking of that footage of Riley Odoms…

            8) You mentioned that Emmitt was on an NFL Films top 10 list? Well, Jack Tatum was on NFL Films Top 10 Most Feared Tacklers. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/428079-jack-tatum-a-career-defined-by-a-single-unfortunate-incident. This is an alert, not a spoiler–Cliff Harris FAILED to make the list! LMFAO!!!

            9) Look at this. Tatum is in great company. https://athlonsports.com/nfl/25-greatest-defensive-backs-nfl-history. This is an alert, not a spoiler–Cliff Harris FAILED to make the list! LMFAO!!!

            10) FOX Sports put this together: http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/gallery/50-greatest-moments-in-super-bowl-history-020616. Tatum checked in at #40. Harris checks in at #39, #29, #2. Hey, Harris contribution does get him higher rankings than Tatum. Harris was SOOOO impactual on #29 that they duplicated it on #2. Impressive.

            There IS film for my points 8) and 10). Get back to me on those, junior.

          • Rasputin
            April 6, 2017

            So like I figured, you’ve never even seen the 1974 game in question and have no idea who got torched. Got it. You’re solely going by team performance, which by your logic means that Tatum was routinely torched far more than Harris or anyone else on the much better Dallas secondary was that decade.

            The 1980 game where Dallas beat the eventual Super Bowl champion Raiders is meaningful because it exposes how moronic your attempt to base everything on one game is. I doubt you’d admit that Dallas was better than the Raiders even in 1980, and yet you’re cherry-picking the 1974 game, when Dallas had its worst season of the decade and the Raiders had one of their best, and trying to use that to prove that the Raiders were better for the entire decade, LOL!

            Clearly that’s not true, or Cliff Harris wouldn’t have won twice as many Super Bowls as Jack Tatum and four times as many conference championship games.

            The Broncos and Dolphins delivered ass-whippings to the Raiders, LMFAO. So did the 1972 Steelers, TWICE, who in turn got their asses-whipped (by your and Bradshaw’s logic) by the Cowboys. That was an ACTUAL common opponent (same season).

            The most telling common opponent was Craig Morton’s 1977 Broncos, who torched Tatum’s secondary thoroughly enough to give Morton a 102.9 passer rating! The Cliff Harris Doomsday defense held Morton to a 0.0 passer rating in the next game, the Super Bowl, and he played most of the game!

            THAT’S a common opponent, same season in consecutive games when they mattered most. You lose, little Joey Wrong.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 6, 2017

            I KNOW Harris was torched. I’ve seen the highlights, idiot. He’s trailing Charlie Smith on a 14-yd TD from Stabler. The funniest was the TD pass by 1,000-year-old George Blanda. Blanda zeroed in on Cliff Branch the WHOLE way. He didn’t even look off the Dallas free safety (that would be Harris, Rasputin. Will you please keep up?). Poor strong safety Cornell Green tried to come over to cover for Harris’ sorry, overrated ass (kind of like you’re always talking about Darren Woodson covering for Roy Williams, right?) but it was too late and Blanda and Branch had a 28-yd. TD.

            My pulling up the ’74 Raiders-Cowboys matchups was to show how much better a free safety and secondary anchor Jack Tatum was than Cliff Harris (Tatum and his secondary got the better of that matchup). Not to mention the playoff and regular season matchups vs. Swann and Stallworth (Swann and Stallworth were generally nonfactors vs Tatum’s secondary and Tatum was 4-2 in those matchups with 4 INTs; Swann and Stallworth were record-breakers, made Hall of Fame statements and went an undefeated 4-0 vs. Harris’ secondaries. Harris was a nonfactor, although he did get body-slammed by Jack Lambert and looked great trailing Stallworth and Swann in Super Bowl XIII).

            Prior to Tatum’s ’75 matchup vs. Charley Taylor, the Redskins’ receiver said, “The Raiders have a good secondary but they haven’t seen receivers like ours.” Taylor had an Art Monk-like game: 6 catches for 61 yards. Anyone who knows me knows that’s an indictment, not a complement. A whooping 10 yards a catch! Taylor did score a TD, an eight-yarder. Tatum had an INT for 28 yards. Most importantly, the Raiders won 26-23, as the Tatum-led secondary made that NFC East Pro Bowl QB you raved about, Billy Kilmer, complete less than half his 39 passes. Against Cliff Harris’ secondaries, Taylor has six TDs, overall, and that Monster NFC Title game in ’72 with 146 yard/2 TD receiving performance that included catches of 45 (TD) and 51 yards from Kilmer–hardly a bomb-thrower. Way to go, Captain Crash(ed and burned).
            Additionally, for Harris, giving up three down-the-middle (where the free safety is SUPPOSED to be) TDs in a home playoff game (including the game-winner to Ron Smith…WHO?!?) from 32, 43, and 50 yards to first-time playoff starter Vince Ferragamo (1979) is unacceptable. Giving up a 100-yard receiving game to Harold Jackson (1976) catching passes from Pat Haden–IN DALLAS–is inexcusable. The ONLY point you can hang onto is Haven Moses’ performance in the ’77 AFC Title game, the only time anything like that happened to a Tatum-led secondary in 13 playoff games.

            Find it interesting that the only victories vs. the Raiders and Steelers you could find were the meaningless ’80 win by Dallas–after Tatum was gone–and the ’72 win by the Cowboys–before Swann and Stallworth arrived. Any other “impressive” victories from the Landry era? How about that great 27-13 Cowboy “victory” over the Steelers in 1985? LMAO!!! While we’re in the Landry era but crossing sports, what about that great beatdown Trevor Berbick put on Muhammad Ali in 1981? And you accuse ME of “cherry-picking.” You’re a bumbling, hypocritical fool. For the record, Stabler and Tatum beat Harris and the Cowboys in ’74 and the score, 27-23, wasn’t even that close (garbage time TD by Doug Dennison). Dallas pitifully allowed Marc Wilson to abuse them for 318 yards and three TDs in a 40-38 win in 1983 and then in 1986, Jim Plunkett came off the bench to save the Raiders from Wilson’s QB ineptitude and beat the Cowboys, 17-13. Both these wins were in Dallas. The Raiders were 3-1 vs. Landry’s Cowboys and won two Super Bowls in the ’80s and the Cowboy won nothing for the decade. So, no, Dallas was not a better team in 1980 than the Raiders despite that fluky win. The Raiders also lost to Philadelphia that same year then kicked their ass in Super Bowl XV–but only AFTER the Eagles kicked Dallas ass in the NFC Title game. The Raiders would have regrouped, just as they did with Philly and whupped Dallas in SB XV. And, BTW, if Bum Phillips had taken Art Whittington for Kenny King instead of insisting on Jack Tatum, the Assassin would have easily collected another Super Bowl ring with the Raiders. Back to where you belong, junior.

          • Rasputin
            April 6, 2017

            So your football “knowledge” is such that you assume just because a DB is in the shot chasing a WR he must have been the one responsible for covering him. Got it.

            Craig Morton torched the Tatum secondary in the 1977 AFC Championship with a 102.9 rating and 2 TD passes. On the highlights there’s a great shot of Jack Tatum trailing helplessly on the 74 yard TD to Haven Moses. It must have been embarrassing for Tatum to get torched by a 74 yard TD pass on the big stage like that.

            He probably should have been more embarrassed by his less than 100% effort in the run game against the Dolphins in the 1973 AFC Championship (the Raiders lost a lot of conference championship games, going 1-4 in the Tatum era). In fairness he did try to tackle Larry Csonka early on a couple of times, only to get trucked for an additional several yards. This was probably on his mind when he reached out with ONE hand and declined to try to tackle the Dolphins’ RB as he rushed by him into the end zone.

            Miami put up 266 rushing yards on the soft Raiders defense that day, with Csonka contributing 117 yards and 3 TDs. Griese only attempted 6 passes, because they didn’t NEED to pass, which often happened with the Raiders in the playoffs. Tatum’s Oakland Raiders couldn’t even stop a one dimensional team. Miami blew out Oakland 27-10, the same score Dallas would crush the 1977 Broncos by, though not as big as the margin by which Dallas blew out Miami.

            In Super Bowl VI the Cowboys held the Dolphins to 80 rushing yards and Csonka to 40. Griese was forced to attempt 23 passes, though it didn’t do him any good as he ended up with a 51.7 rating and a 24-3 loss. The Cliff Harris Cowboys are still the only team in SB history to hold their opponent out of the end zone.

            The 1974 game was meaningless because that game occurred at Oakland when Dallas had its worst season by far of the decade, and it was still razor close, moron. It’s pathetic that you’re touting that ONE game. You should be embarrassed by it, and the 1980 meeting where the Raiders lost at home in their Super Bowl season to Dallas by a bigger margin.

            The 1974 game that WAS meaningful was the AFC Championship game against the Steelers. Bradshaw only attempted 17 passes, again, because they didn’t NEED to pass. The Steelers rolled up 224 rushing yards against Oakland on 50(!) runs. Whereas Cliff Harris was a noted run stopper as well as a coverage guy, Tatum proved inadequate to the task.

            In the 1975 title game against the Steelers, the Raiders did somewhat better against the run (still not great), holding them to 117 yards on 39 carries. This forced Pittsburgh to pass more, and Bradshaw ripped Oakland for 215 yards on 25 attempts to secure the victory. When teams tried to pass against Oakland they generally could, as proved by the Raiders BELOW AVERAGE pass defense stats and rankings during Tatum’s tenure.

            For you to try boast about the Raiders not allowing many yards in a few playoff games, because teams weren’t passing that much since they could run easily against Tatum’s soft squad and didn’t need to pass to win, is just…..sad. Especially when you ignore the fact that the Raiders overall that decade were routinely torched by the passing game.

            And team passing yards allowed are more pertinent here than individual WR stats. If it’s just one WR having a good day then he’s probably exploiting a CB. But if the whole team is having success spreading the ball around (as Raiders opponents did throughout Tatum’s tenure), there’s probably weak safety play involved.

            You said: “So, no, Dallas was not a better team in 1980 than the Raiders despite that fluky win.”

            LOL! That “fluky” win was by a bigger margin than the meaningless 1974 season finale you keep clinging to, and both games were at Oakland, but thank you for destroying your own insipid argument. One head to head game doesn’t necessarily prove much, especially in this argument.

            I actually agree that the 1980 Raiders were better than the 1980 Cowboys, despite the Dallas win, and I’ll even go so far as to say that the 1974 Cowboys (8-6; their worst season of the decade by far) weren’t as good as the 1974 Raiders (12-2), but the Cowboys WERE better for most of the 1970s, and Cliff Harris was better than Jack Tatum. Just as you speculate about what might have happened in a rematch in 1980, I’m on even firmer ground by stating that the Cowboys would have beaten (probably crushed) the Raiders if they had played them in 1971, 1977, 1975, 1972, 1978, 1979, or probably even 1973, though that last one would have been more of a toss up. 1974 was by far your BEST CHANCE to steal a win against the Cliff Harris era Cowboys, and you barely escaped with a 4 point margin at home. You would have gotten stomped if you’d met Dallas during THEIR playoff seasons. There’s a reason the Cowboys won so many more games that decade than the Raiders did, despite playing in a much tougher division.

            I’m not sure why you’re babbling about games in 1986 now, lol. In 1992 the Cowboys whipped the Raiders at LA 28-13 in a game mostly memorable for how many local Cowboys fans filled the stadium. So there. That game is more equivalent to the 1974 matchup, with one team playoff bound and the other not, except it was also at the Raiders’ home.

            Keep repeating your already refuted points though, little Joey Wrong. This is easy light bag work.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 7, 2017

            If you agree with me that the 1980 Raiders were better than the ’80 Cowboys then why on a previous post you said “I doubt that you’d admit that the Cowboys were a better team than the Raiders even in 1980.” ? Be consistent–and coherent. As for these so-called “Pro Bowl” QBs that the Harris-led secondary had to face:
            –Kilmer made it in ’72 on the “strength” of a pedestrian yet NFL-leading 19 TD passes
            –All Jurgenson’s Pro Bowls were in the ’60s
            –Theismann’s Pro Bowl run started in the ’80s. One of many unsurprising mistakes on behalf of our own Mr. Razzie
            –Roman Gabriel’s ’73 “Pro Bowl” season was aided by garbage time TD passes after games were decided. Very comparable to Vinny Testaverde’s 1996 “Pro Bowl” season. Gabriel’s best years were in the ’60s. Were the ’73 Eagles a playoff team? What was their record?
            –Norm Snead’s one Pro Bowl in the ’70s was on the strength, I suppose, of an NFL-leading 60.3 completion percentage. But the Giants didn’t make the playoffs and he wasn’t a great player.
            Mike Boryla, a back-up QB with a losing record and a 6-12 season TD/INT ratio who is called on by the league because it DESPERATELY needs ANY QB to fill the NFC roster, isn’t even worth discussing.
            Fran Tarkenton and Jim Hart were the only legit Pro Bowl QBs Harris had to face playing against NFC competition. The QBs Tatum faced in the AFC were tougher: Bradshaw, Anderson, Bert Jones, Brian Sipe, and even Bob Griese’s sorry, game-managing ass. Here is the telling fact, though: In eight games vs. the NFC’s Pro Bowl QBs, Tatum-led secondaries forced Tarkenton, Staubach, Hart, Gabriel, and Kilmer to complete less than half their passes seven times and gave up 9 TD passes (Tarkenton 6 TDs; Hart, Gabriel, Kilmer one each; Staubach threw a big, fat donut in 1974, despite the presence of Drew Pearson, Billy Joe DuPree, and Golden Richards–only the receiving corps for the next THREE years. Rebuilding? Really? Underachieving is the appropriate word), intercepted 11 passes (Tatum chipped in two) and, most importantly, Tatum and the Raiders were 7-1 in these games. So much for Tatum being lucky to not have to face the “superior NFC QB competition” of the ’70s. So Tatum and the Raiders were undefeated vs. the Cowboys in the ’70s. Quit saying they “barely” beat them. It was garbage time when Doug Dennison scored a touchdown to make the score look closer. You KNOW it must have been garbage time if 1,000-year-old George Blanda was in the game, dummy–and he STILL scorched Harris with a touchdown pass! You’re not getting into the Hall of Fame with that type of liability in your game that can be exploited by a back-up QB that old. And please can the anti-Cowboy crap and how, “We won the most games in the ’70s (regular season, yawn) and if we had beaten Pittsburgh, just once, you’d see more Cowboys in the Hall (of Fame).
            Now, let’s hear some words from the late Pittsburgh DE Dwight White: “I don’t think the Cowboys suffered badly because of their Super Bowl losses to the Steelers in the ’70s. I don’t think they suffered enough. They had a lot of egos, a lot of bravado. Good football team but when it comes down to it, it’s about beating the best to be the best. So, OK, we played them twice in the Super Bowl, we beat them both times, we were the best, end of discussion.”
            I just kicked your ass again, junior. This isn’t cherry-pickin’, son. You brought up the “Pro Bowl QB” crap of the NFC. Now go lick your wounds–then please wash your mouth out because we know where those wounds were administered.

          • Rasputin
            April 7, 2017

            Your lousy reading comprehension strikes again, halfwit. Me saying I’d doubt you’d say the 1980 Cowboys were better than the 1980 Raiders (which I was absolutely right on) doesn’t mean I think they’re better. I’ve never said the 1980 Cowboys were better. The whole premise of my point is that they weren’t, despite beating the Raiders head to head that year.

            The real question is, now that you’ve conceded one head to head regular season matchup isn’t necessarily that meaningful in comparing teams even within a single year, why you’ve wasted countless paragraphs boring everyone with a narrower, even less meaningful game in 1974.

            Want me to give you the answer, lol? It has to do with deficiencies in your intellect, integrity, and personality.

            Now let’s deal with your raging stupidity on NFC Pro Bowlers:

            – “Here is the telling fact, though: In eight games vs. the NFC’s Pro Bowl QBs…..Tatum and the Raiders were 7-1 in these games.”

            WRONG! I went through and only found TWO regular season Raider games against NFC Pro Bowl QBs, and the Raiders LOST one of those. Oakland beat Archie Manning’s Saints in 1979, though Manning put up a respectable 84.3 rating on 2 TDs and 1 INT, and in 1977 Pat Haden posted a 101.2 rating in beating the Raiders while Stabler was intercepted 4 times for a 27.6 rating (who was the best QB in 1977 again, LMFAO?!?).

            So the Raiders went 1-1 in the regular season against NFC Pro Bowl QBs, and obviously only made it far enough to play one in the playoffs. The Cowboys had to play at least 6 AFC Pro Bowl QBs in the regular season alone. The most pertinent one might be the Chargers’ John Hadl in 1972, since they were in Oakland’s division. Dallas beat them by 6 at San Diego, intercepting Hadl 3 times in holding him to a 71.2 rating. The Chargers played Oakland twice, tying them in the first game while the Raiders slipped by them by 2 points in the second. This was the same season the Cowboys beat the Bradshaw Steelers (kicked their “asses” by Terry’s logic) who kicked the Raiders’ asses twice.

            Either you straight up lied and were stupid enough to count on me not verifying your BS sounding claim, or you’re stupidly counting QBs in years they didn’t have Pro Bowl seasons, which is something you’ve attacked in falsely accusing me of doing it before. Either way you’re an idiot. The Raiders were catching these teams when they and their QBs were at their low points; more lucky scheduling breaks for Oakland.

            – “Kilmer made it in ’72 on the “strength” of a pedestrian yet NFL-leading 19 TD passes”

            So it LED THE LEAGUE but it was “pedestrian”, LMFAO? Guess the rest of the NFL, including the AFC West garbage your team faced, was even more pedestrian.

            – “All Jurgenson’s Pro Bowls were in the ’60s”

            No, the 8-3 score only counts Pro Bowls earned from 1971-1979. I wasn’t counting Jurgenson there.

            – “Theismann’s Pro Bowl run started in the ’80s. One of many unsurprising mistakes on behalf of our own Mr. Razzie”

            Wrong again, little Joey. I didn’t count Theismann’s Pro Bowls either. I did mention him in a different section, but that was to counter you bringing up AFC guys like Brian Sipe (LOL!) who also didn’t make the Pro Bowl (his one and only) until the 1980s.

            – “Roman Gabriel’s ’73 “Pro Bowl” season was aided by garbage time TD passes after games were decided.”

            You mean the season where he LED THE LEAGUE IN YARDS AND TDs? You have a penchant for doubling down on your own humiliation, little Joey. You’ve got to learn when to cut your losses and move on.

            “Were the ’73 Eagles a playoff team? What was their record?”

            They might have been if they had played in the AFC West. They only won 3 of their 8 NFC East games, a division which produced 2 playoff teams and had 2 double digit win teams. The AFC West produced 0 double digit win teams and only their token single playoff team.

            But so what? The discussion is about QB quality the respective pass defenses have to face, and Gabriel put up a lot of stats. You keep losing the plot.

            – “Norm Snead’s one Pro Bowl in the ’70s was on the strength, I suppose, of an NFL-leading 60.3 completion percentage.”

            LOL! You mean even ahead of everyone in the AFC West?

            – “Fran Tarkenton and Jim Hart were the only legit Pro Bowl QBs Harris had to face playing against NFC competition.”

            Wrong, especially if the others have (sometimes league leading) stats (which you concede) and this is a STAT- based discussion. Remember, a supposed abundance of AFC Pro Bowl competition was your pathetic excuse for the Raiders pass defense performing so much worse than the Cowboys’ pass defense. You tossed out that excuse blindly, your typical schtick being to ignorantly throw a bunch of crap against the wall in the desperate hope that something sticks.

            But, as usual, the truth turned out to be the opposite of your claim.

            Divisional Opposing Pro Bowl QBs 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 8

            Raiders – 3

            Most than twice as many! And they faced these teams twice a year. I couldn’t care less about “Pittsburgh’s Dwight White’s” (what an unfortunate name, poor guy) self-serving bluster. You didn’t even tie his idiotic quote into anything specific in this discussion. Let’s get back to facts.

            1971 – 1979

            Cliff Harris Cowboys – 4 SB appearances, 6 conference championship game appearances, 8 playoff seasons, 2 SB wins, 107 total wins

            Jack Tatum Raiders – 1 SB appearance, 5 conference championship game appearances, 6 playoff seasons, 1 SB win, 99 total wins

            And that’s despite Oakland playing in a much weaker division that included opponents like the 0-14 1976 Bucs (in the argument for worst team of all time) and expansion Seahawks, LOL!

            I’ve kicked your ass all over this thread, Joseph Wright. I doubt you’ve ever won a fight or a debate in your life.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 10, 2017

            If you weren’t counting Jurgenson or Theismann then why did you bring them up, fool? Of all the games against NFC Pro Bowl Quarterbacks of Cliff Harris’ era Tatum, because of your inclusion of Manning and (I can’t believe you’re serious, then again the fetish with Mike Boryla) Pat Haden, was 9-2. I correct you on both of these guys that you–in a clumsy deceptive way, translation: liar–tried to fool readers with (“the Pro Bowl QBs in the NFC East were…Sonny Jurgenson…Joe Theismann…”). You dropped their names in there as “Pro Bowlers” Cliff Harris had to face. The ONLY reason Haden made the Pro Bowl was because Tarkenton suffered a season-ending broken leg and Staubach bowed out because he had played in Super Bowl XII. Shades of Mike Boryla. Would you like us to get you two guys a room? And the Archie Manning mention is very hypocritical because in the 1979 season finale, Harris was being trounced by Theismann, (I guess, according to you NOW) a NON-Pro Bowler before Staubach saved Cliff’s sorry ass with a 35-34 squeaker.

            As for this constant reference to the Raiders’ Divisional opponents, Tampa Bay, while listed in the AFC West in ’76, only played the Raiders once. Are you gonna roast the Steelers for routing the Bucs in their ’76 matchup, too? The Raiders played the Seahawks zero times in ’76 and once in ’77, when the Seahawks officially became an AFC West team. The Cowboys in ’76 and ’77, on the other hand, got to pad their win total with the Eagles and Giants, pounding the likes of Jerry Golsteyn, Joe Pisarchik, the aging Roman Gabriel and your boy, Boryla. That’s four easy wins a year.

            You also said, “Craig Morton torched the Tatum secondary in the 1977 AFC Championship with a 102.9 rating and 2 TD passes. On the highlights there’s a great shot of Jack Tatum trailing helplessly on the 74 yard TD to Haven Moses. It must have been embarrassing for Tatum to get torched by a 74 yard TD pass on the big stage like that.” Great way to set yourself up to be exposed, dummy. Let’s not even discuss Cliff Harris’ sorry ass getting exposed on the big stage…Ah, what the hell:
            1) Jan. ’71: Colts’ tight end John Mackey takes in Super Bowl-record 75-yd TD pass. The play was down the middle (where was Harris?) Cowboys lose.
            2) NFC Title Game ’72: Redskins’ wide receiver Charley Taylor toasts the Harris-anchored secondary for 7 catches, 146 yards and 2 TDs, including catches of 45 (TD) yards and 51 yards. Cowboys lose.
            3) Jan. ’76: After being foolishly called out by Harris (Cliff, not Franco) the week of the game, Steelers’ wide receiver Lynn Swann makes four catches for a Super Bowl record-161 yards including a game-winning 64-yard TD bomb. Cowboys lose.
            4) Dec. 76: Rams’ wide receiver Harold Jackson catches six passes for 116 yards in first-round playoff game–from weak-armed, short, rookie first-time playoff starter Pat Haden! Cowboys lose–in Dallas!
            5A) Jan. ’79: Steelers’ wideouts John Stallworth (115–in 1st HALF) AND Lynn Swann (124) each gain 100+ yards receiving and combine for three TD catches in Super Bowl XIII vs. “The Best Free Safety of the ’70s”. Harris burnt to a crisp on each–the film don’t lie: He’s late coming over to help Aaron Kyle on Stallworth’s 28-yd TD (then cheap-shots Stallworth in follow-through. Of course there was no flag–Dallas always got the calls…and no-calls); Stallworth takes a short hitch and turns it into a Super Bowl-record-tying 75-yd. TD, with Harris clearly seen helplessly trailing the last 40 yards; Swann soars to the back of the endzone behind Harris’ “coverage” to make a great leaping catch, with Harris looking up flailing (failing?) an arm to make a deflection. Cowboys lose.
            5B) Jan. ’79: Same game. Steelers QB, Terry Bradshaw (or as Harris and fellow burnt-crisp DB teammate Charlie Waters called him, “Dumbass Bradshaw”) becomes the first QB to pass for 300+ yards in a Super Bowl and the first to pass for 4 TDs in a Super Bowl. That’s five–FIVE–Super Bowl passing/receiving records brought to you by secondaries anchored by Cliff Harris, “The Best Free Safety of the ’70s.” Cowboys lose.
            6) Dec. 79: The Swan (Swann…LOL!!!) Song of Harris overrated, sorry, burnt playoff (and overall) career. First-time playoff starter, Rams QB Vince Ferragamo, throws three TDs of 32, 43, and 50 yards down the middle–where the free safety is SUPPOSED to be–vs. Dallas. The 43-yarder to Ron Smith (who?) and the game-winning 50-yarder to Billy Waddy (WHO?!?!?!?!?). Cowboys lose.

            Once again, in 13 playoff contests, in only one game was there a receiver who scorched a Tatum-anchored secondary (Haven Moses, ’77 AFC Title). No QB scorched them for 300+ yards or more than 2 TD passes. Has nothing to do with the Raiders ordinary defensive line that had problems against the run that kept the opposition’s passing numbers down. The Tatum-led secondaries simply raised their game at playoff time and clamped down and the Harris secondaries didn’t. Give Tatum the likes of Howie Long, Greg Townsend, Lyle Alzado, and Sean Jones and he would have been working with a better balanced defense–something Harris always had (Bob Lilly, Harvey Martin, Randy White, Too Tall Jones) and yet still got flamed with in numerous playoff games.

            As for the regular season, once again in the head-to-head matchup Tatum’s secondary gave up ZERO TDs to Staubach and his receivers (D. Pearson, Golden Richards, and Billy Joe DuPree), who would all be Super Bowl starters the next year, while forcing him to complete less than half his passes. The Cowboys weren’t rebuilding, just underachieving. The Harris-anchored secondary, meanwhille, was torched for three TDs. Harris was trailing (definitely a theme in his career) Charlie Smith on a score from Stabler then just badly blew another help assignment (a FS’ resposibility) on a 28-yd. TD pass to Branch from 1,000 year old George Blanda. The score was only a four-point spread because of a meaningless Doug Dennison touchdown in garbage time. Of course it was garbage time. Blanda was playing QB.

            And who in Los Angeles (or Dallas for that matter) could ever forget that atrocious cremation of Harris and the ‘Boys at the hands of Harold Jackson in 1973. He caught seven passes for 4 TDs (63, 16, 30, 67)–for 238 YARDS! In 1973! Receivers weren’t posting too many 100-yard games in 1973 but a 200+-yarder? Absolutely pathetic. The Raiders of the mid-’70s crushed by the ’70s Cowboys? Lose to the ’70s Cowboys? Seriously doubt it. If they’re giving up a 200+ receiving game to Harold Jackson, how in the hell are they gonna deal with Cliff Branch? And Harris won’t be able to duck and hide from Dave Casper, who would do to him the same or worse than what Csonka did to Tatum. then again, Harris wasn’t able to duck and hide from Jack Lambert, right? LMAO!!! The 1973 Rams game passes came from John Hadl, who NEVER did that to a Tatum secondary.

            So, are you telling me that Jim Hart, Tarkenton, Staubach (who Tatum was 5-1 against with each completing less than half their passes in all but one of those games) weren’t Pro Bowl caliber QBs? What about your add-ons, Gabriel and Kilmer? Tatum was 3-0 vs. them with 2 INTs and with him anchoring the secondary neither Kilmer nor Gabriel completed half their passes.

            The bigger question is this: Who’s hand a AP did Cliff Harris shake? How many babies did he kiss? How often did he lick Zimmerman’s boots? “Best Free Satety of the ’70s?” Far from it. He benefited from a great defensive line who covered his ass–A LOT. The fact of the matter is, although you had fun with Csonka running over Tatum there is no footage of Harris stepping up to Csonka in Super Bowl XI. Tatum knocked out Pro Bowl TE Riley Odoms, was documented for knocking the wind out of Hall of Fame TE John Mackey, and went head up with Earl Campbell. Though Campbell scored, he was clearly dazed. Harris never rocked someone who outweighed him by 30+ pounds.

            And, finally, could you explain why Cliff Harris’ name is absent from these? :
            http://bleacherreport.com/articles/428079-jack-tatum-a-career-defined-by-a-single-unfortunate-incident

            https://athlonsports.com/nfl/25-greatest-defensive-backs-nfl-history

            http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/gallery/50-greatest-moments-in-super-bowl-history-020616

          • Rasputin
            April 12, 2017

            You said: “…tried to fool readers with (“the Pro Bowl QBs in the NFC East were…Sonny Jurgenson…Joe Theismann…”). You dropped their names in there as “Pro Bowlers” Cliff Harris had to face.”

            Wrong again, little Joey. Not only did you make up that BS quote you attributed to me, but in the very same post where I mentioned Jurgenson and later (in a different paragraph) provided you with the 8-3 Pro Bowl opponent count, after giving that 8-3 count I explicitly said this:

            (Me in the above post you misquoted from) – “8 to 3, and these are the guys they each played TWICE A YEAR! I’m also only counting Pro Bowls earned at the particular team during the span in question. Once again, as has so often proved the case, the truth is the opposite of your claim.”

            The middle sentence is clear. I added it lest there be any confusion about my methodology. My last sentence still holds true too, but even I underestimated the depths of your stupidity and dishonesty (anyone can copy paste and use the F3 page search function to see I’m right and you’re wrong). I didn’t need to mention those other guys, but cited them as overkill in that different paragraph to underscore just how wrong you were. I was talking about their overall careers there, and also labelled some of them “HoF” (you don’t do that in just a particular season). Dallas faced good QBs that weren’t having Pro Bowl seasons that particular year (you listed guys like that for the Raiders), as well as ones while they were having Pro Bowl seasons. Are you challenging the numbers? I could list them all if you’re too lazy to look them up yourself. I went out of my way to not count guys like Jurgenson or Theismann in that count (told you then I wasn’t counting them), and the Cowboys still had an 8-3 advantage. And the Raiders only played 2 Pro Bowl NFC QBs in Tatum’s career, going 1-1 in those games.

            So basically you just reconfirmed here that your’e a lying POS and nothing you say on any topic can be trusted. Most of your post is just repetitive garbage I’ve already debunked with hard evidence (I even spoonfed you a BALTIMORE SUN article agreeing that the Cowboys got robbed in Super Bowl V; they’ve been screwed over the most by officiating over the years), especially the cherry-picked anecdotal crap you keep relying on that you dishonestly present.

            Yawn. You’ve gotten boring there. I’ve posted anecdotal stuff about Tatum getting torched huge or tackling tough RBs in half-hearted fashion, as well as Cliff Harris dominating or knocking players out, and I’m the only one here who’s actually linked to game footage, proving you were lying in one particular case about Super Bowl XII.

            You’re ignoring almost all my arguments and points, so I’ll just keep kicking your ass with the factual, full story sledgehammer in response to your game/player cherry-picking, but I will respond to the few new things in your post.

            You said: “The fact of the matter is, although you had fun with Csonka running over Tatum there is no footage of Harris stepping up to Csonka in Super Bowl XI”

            Probably because neither guy was in Super Bowl XI, moron. Assuming you meant Super Bowl VI, it’s been a while since I’ve watched it but the fact is Csonka and the Dolphins were completely shut down. He was held to 40 yards and the Dolphins were held to 3 points. Cliff Harris was part of the only team in Super Bowl history to hold its opponent out of the end zone, and they did it playing a legitimately great team full of HoFers that would go undefeated the next year and physically dismantle the Tatum Raiders in a rout the year after that. I’d have to rewatch Super Bowl VI to see if there are any shots of Harris “stepping up” to Csonka, but since you’re a proven liar whose claims are almost always provably wrong, I don’t put any stock in what you say. Wouldn’t surprise me if it happens to be true (by coincidence, not because you actually know), since there was little NEED for the safeties to spend the day tackling Csonka. Fortunately the Doomsday secondary was also able to hold Griese to 134 yards and a 51.7 rating on his 23 attempts (Miami only rushed 20 times, an astonishing reversal of their usual run heavy approach).

            You said: “The ONLY reason Haden made the Pro Bowl was because…”

            You mean the guy who beat the Raiders in 1977? Why are you trying to diminish him again? Shouldn’t you be building him up, moron? that was one of Oakland’s best seasons that decade too; it’s not like the rebuilding 1974 Cowboys who suffered their worst season and only non-playoff year of the 1970s, lol.

            You said: “Theismann, (I guess, according to you NOW) a NON-Pro Bowler”

            Pro Bowler or not, Theismann ranked second in passer rating in 1979, next only to Staubach, lol. Plus Theismann was a 2 time Pro Bowler in the 1980s (Brian Sipe, the AFC guy you boasted about playing, made his one and only Pro Bowl in the 1980s). I never claimed he made his Pro Bowls in the 1970s and explicitly said I wasn’t counting people like him in the factual count. You just suck at reading and thinking.

            You said: “And the Archie Manning mention is very hypocritical because in the 1979 season finale, Harris was being trounced by Theismann, (I guess, according to you NOW) a NON-Pro Bowler before Staubach saved Cliff’s sorry ass with a 35-34 squeaker.”

            No, actually the Dallas secondary was missing their recent Pro Browl S Charlie Waters for the season and his backup Randy Hughes was out for that week, so they had a 3rd stringer playing S. Plus rookie CB Aaron Mitchell got a lot of action, and it was mostly the CBs getting taken advantage of with quick passing. The announcers even talked about that being the Washington game plan. That said, they didn’t play a terrible game. Theismann had a solid game but only completed 13 of 23 for 200 yards (Staubach had 336 yards and 3 TDs).

            Theismann’s only TD pass was to a RB when the LB covering him (not Cliff Harris) slipped and fell. The Redskins had more rushing than passing yards. That game was more about Dallas committing 3 turnovers while missing key players on both sides of the ball.

            I’ve actually got the recording of this game and have watched it more than once, unlike you, who haven’t seen the games you’re bringing up and are spewing BS about. I remember Cliff Harris had a lot of good tackles, including some on John Riggins, who was a truckload. Even when he missed a tackle on a Riggins TD, one where he had distance to cover and had to approach from a bad angle, it wasn’t due to lack of effort. Harris put his body into him and was a little slow with the wrap up, ending up on the ground. The announcers talked about how rare it was for him to miss a tackle, the way they would later about Jerry Rice dropping a pass. Tom Brookshier, a national media figure, also called him “Captain Crash”, debunking yet another of countless false claims by you. In various games I’ve seen guys like Pat Summerall say things like they figured it was Cliff Harris who made a particular hard tackle, judging from the way the hit was delivered, though they hadn’t yet seen the replay to be sure.

            Harris only weighed 180 -190 pounds, but he gave 100% effort on every play. I’ve never seen him dog it or make a token non-attempt to tackle with one hand(!) like Tatum did against Csonka. Not only was Cliff Harris better than Tatum, he was tougher. I’d rather have my teammate be the guy with intangibles who’s giving it his all all the time than someone who dogs it when the going gets rough and has the sort of integrity that leads him to cash in on paralyzing someone by writing self promoting books about it rather than trying to help or even initiate token attempts to make amends to the injured man.

            Harris came immediately back from that missed tackle firing into Redskins like a missile. On another play he tackled Riggins hard enough to drive him several yards out of bounds (Riggins outweighed him by more than 30 pounds, disproving another one of your asinine comments I didn’t bother quoting). I also remember him cutting down the athletic Theismann in space in the backfield to force a punt at a key time in the second half.

            So at least Dallas won the game, and Harris was a significant part of beating Theismann.

            You said: “Tampa Bay, while listed in the AFC West in ’76, only played the Raiders once.”

            That’s one more time than Dallas got to play arguably the worst team in NFL history. The 76 Bucs got shut out 5 times that year, though not by the Raiders, who surrendered 16 points to Tampa Bay.

            The Raiders played the expansion Bucs and Seahawks in the division 6 times from 76-79. That’s as many games as Oakland played against divisional Pro Bowl QBs in Tatum’s entire career in the regular season, and three times as many as they played against Pro Bowl NFC QBs. And you’re claiming it’s a negligible amount, Mr. Pravda 1974, LOL! Earlier I called you “Baghdad Bob”. Perhaps I should apologize……to Baghdad Bob. Even ol’ Bob would be embarrassed to be associated with you at this point.

            You said: “The Cowboys in ’76 and ’77, on the other hand, got to pad their win total with the Eagles and Giants, pounding the likes of Jerry Golsteyn, Joe Pisarchik, the aging Roman Gabriel and your boy, Boryla. That’s four easy wins a year.”

            You keep cherry-picking Jerry Golsteyn and Joe Pisarcik. Neither were even in the NFL in “76”, you lying halfwit. 1977 was their rookie year, and Golsteyn threw a grand total of 16 passes against the Cowboys his entire career.

            In 1976 the Giants QB was Craig Morton, and while the Cowboys did beat him both times, he’d go on to torch the Raiders in 1977 before being shut down to a 0.0 passer rating against the Cowboys in the Super Bowl. You’d be saying the same crap about him as these other guys if Morton hadn’t gone on to play in a much easier division and beat your team.

            By 1979 the Giants QB was Phil Simms, and the Cowboys beat him twice too. For the record Cliff Harris intercepted Simms both games, and intercepted Morton in 1976 too.

            Ron Jaworski was the Eagles’ QB by 1977 (Dallas beat him twice too), so you were lying about that as well. So much for “four easy wins a year” from the guys you named. The truth is Dallas was so good their win counts and stats were among the NFL’s best regardless of whom they were playing.

            In addition to the expansion opponents, I could list Raiders’ playing against QBs like Steve Ramsey, or the “aging” Charley Johnson and Mike Livingston, who made a Pro Bowl each in the 1960s. But Livingston never threw as many TDs as interceptions in any season where he started a majority of games. Or Steve Fuller, who as a rookie completed 73.3% of his passes for a 97.1% rating in beating Oakland one game in 1979, his best performance of a year in which overall he threw 14 interceptions to only 6 TDs. The 7-9 Chiefs SWEPT Oakland that year. How embarrassing for you.

            Some of these guys were major Raiders opponents for chunks of the 1970s. But while it’s fun crushing you on the anecdotal stuff, let’s skip back to the full picture and obliterate you with the sledgehammer.

            Divisional Opposing Pro Bowl QBs 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 8

            Raiders – 3

            Combined 1971-1979

            NFC East (excluding Cowboys) – 9 playoff seasons, 14 winning seasons

            AFC West (excluding Raiders) – 5 playoff seasons, 12 winning seasons

            You lose, cowardly dodger. Oh I don’t doubt the Raiders would have won a lot…maybe even most of their games if they had actually played more than 2 of these NFC opponents when they were having Pro Bowl seasons. So what? The Cowboys did routinely beat these guys. Both Dallas and Oakland won most of their games in the decade, whether against NFC or AFC opponents. But the reason we’re discussing this is because you falsely claimed better Oakland opponents as a reason for the huge Cowboys advantage in the passing defense stat. Your excuse is clearly BS due to the fact that the Raiders were well below average, let alone the very highly ranked Cowboys, but that the Cowboys accomplished what they did while facing much TOUGHER opposition really drives home how wrong you were.

            You said: “Once again, in 13 playoff contests, in only one game was there a receiver who scorched a Tatum-anchored secondary (Haven Moses, ’77 AFC Title).”

            You’re still focusing on individual WRs over team performance even after I made fun of you for it. You realize that free safeties aren’t typically in man to man coverage against the opponents’ star WR don’t you? He usually not personally getting torched when they score a TD, especially if it’s really just one WR putting up big numbers.

            And you’re wanting to focus only on playoffs while ignoring the regular season, lol? In the playoffs when a good team like the Steelers or Dolphins have as easy a time running against the Raiders defense as they did, to the point where Bob Griese only attempted 6 passes(!) in trouncing Oakland 27-10, of course you’re not going to “allow” many passing yards because they aren’t ATTEMPTING many.

            Of course safeties have to help in the run game too. Ouch. Tatum’s Raiders just didn’t get it done. To the extent we do get anecdotal. The 1977 Broncos are the most important opponent to focus on because they’re the most common opponent, faced in consecutive games, and in the most important games. But let’s return to the bigger picture.

            Cliff Harris made it to 6 conference championships while Tatum only made it to 5. How’d they do?

            Conference Championship Records As Full Time Starters

            Cliff Harris – 4-2
            Jack Tatum – 1-5

            Total Playoff Wins As Starters

            Cliff Harris – 12
            Jack Tatum – 7

            Super Bowl Wins

            Cliff Harris – 2
            Jack Tatum – 1

            So much for the playoffs. Let’s revisit the macro stats to see who REALLY got torched.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            The Tatum secondary got torched even more than the average NFL team did, despite playing in a very weak division. The Raiders pass defense didn’t do as well when teams actually bothered to throw the ball. By your logic that was Jack Tatum personally being torched all those times too. That’s closer to the truth in this case since the strength in the Oakland secondary was its CBs rather than its safeties, while the strength of the Cowboys’ secondary in the second half of the decade was its safeties.

            You said: “Give Tatum the likes of Howie Long, Greg Townsend, Lyle Alzado, and Sean Jones and he would have been working with a better balanced defense–something Harris always had (Bob Lilly, Harvey Martin, Randy White, Too Tall Jones) and yet still got flamed with in numerous playoff games.”

            “Numerous”, lol? Hardly. the Cowboys got torched way less than the atrocious Raiders pass defense did. Being stronger up front than the soft Raiders also meant good opponents (like the ones in playoff games) were often forced to pass more (e.g. the Dolphins common opponent example, 23 attempts versus 6).

            Tell me who was on the Dallas line in 1980? While Jeopardy music plays in the background I’ll post these facts:

            Pass Defense League Ranking

            1976
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 7th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 23rd

            1977
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 2nd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 22nd

            1978
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 5th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 20th

            1979
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 3rd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 21st

            ————-

            1980
            Cowboys (without Harris) – 16th
            Raiders (without Tatum) – 19th

            Give up? The answer is Randy White, Harvey Martin, Too Tall Jones, and Larry Cole. Jones missed 1979 to box (pass defense still ranked #3) and would make all 3 of his Pro Bowls in the 1980s after returning to football.

            Yep, the historical facts haven’t changed, and still say you lose, Joey.

            You said: “As for the regular season, once again in the head-to-head matchup…(blah)(blah(blah)…”

            LOL! In the head to head matchup in 1980 (also at Oakland) Dallas beat the Raiders, but you insist the Raiders were the better team even in that same year. And yet you’re desperately trying to claim that one 1974 Oakland victory at home (by an even smaller margin than the Cowboys’ 1980 win!) in the finale of a regular season where 8-6 Dallas was out of the playoffs and was having their worst season of the decade by far while the Raiders were 12-2 somehow proves Tatum and/or the Raiders were better for the entire 1970s?!?

            Is that because you’re

            A – A drooling moron
            B – A panicked, lying weasel
            C- All the above

            I’m starting to feel a little sorry for you, Joseph. The facts clearly show that the Cowboys and Harris were better than the Raiders and Tatum overall in the 1970s. In fact Dallas was much closer to the Raiders in 1980 than the Raiders were to the Cowboys in the 1970s or Tatum was to Harris.

            You said: “The Cowboys weren’t rebuilding, just underachieving.”

            Underachieving? Dallas literally made it to half the decade’s Super Bowls and made the playoffs with double digit winning seasons every other year.

            No, they were rebuilding in 1974 after losing a lot of the older wave of great players and overachieved in 1975 after a strong rookie class dubbed “The Dirty Dozen”.

            You said: “And, finally, could you explain why Cliff Harris’ name is absent from these? :…”

            I’m not going to waste time clicking on your three links because you didn’t even try to integrate them into a cogent argument or explain why you’re posting them. But the first one, a blog I’ve posted at before, is explicitly about Tatum in the title, so it’s unclear why it WOULD mention some other safety. The second one is another blog I don’t recall ever hearing of and from the title looks like some random guy’s opinion. The third looks like the click bait that sites have one of their lower tier writers put up sometimes. I doubt much effort at all was put into its content (the “ranking” of best Super Bowl moments), as opposed to say…..Sports Illustrated gathering its most venerated experts to select their all time NFL team, a big deal at the time by a big magazine, and THE sports publication back then, taking it seriously.

            They chose Cliff Harris as their starting free safety. Speaking of which, what was your point? I’ve already linked to more articles from more established experts and sources that DO talk about Harris and compare him favorably with Tatum. So you had no point, but like a moth repeatedly ramming into a light fixture you refuse to cut your losses and keep doubling down on failure.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 12, 2017

            You cowardly, lying, squirming piece of seepage. If you would actually read these links (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/428079-jack-tatum-a-career-defined-by-a-single-unfortunate-incident; https://athlonsports.com/nfl/25-greatest-defensive-backs-nfl-history; http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/gallery/50-greatest-moments-in-super-bowl-history-020616), you would see that the first one mention that NFL Network listed Tatum among its Top Ten Most Feared Tacklers, and that Harris FAILED to make the list. Now let’s see who’s REALLY credible. You were quick to point out that some fraudulent, accumulating RB was listed by NFL Network in its Top Ten Most Courageous Performances. So I am citing a legit source, right? Look at Razzie squirm! Well, Tatum made Top Ten Most Feared Tacklers and Harris didn’t. So much for your fraudulent, ignorant claim of “Not only was Cliff Harris better than Tatum, he was tougher. I’d rather have my teammate be the guy with intangibles who’s giving it his all all the time than someone who dogs it when the going gets rough.” Hear that, readers? Now this fraudulent Razzie (You know he’s a fraudulent troll; Of Corse, Rasputin is not his REAL name; A man who lies to us and changes his name to tell it like it is–LOL!!!) is saying Jack Tatum was “soft.” And as for highlight footage the last website I mentioned, Tatum’s game footage made it and Harris’ didn’t–unless you count being scorched for a Super Bowl-record 75-yd TD or looking up helplessly at a leaping Lynn Swann TD. Harris IS in those clips. LMAO!!! As for the second website in the bunch, you can’t cite your so-called “anti-Cowboys” bias (ridiculous claim): Mel Renfro, Everson Walls, and Deion Sanders made it…with Tatum…and WITHOUT sorry-ass, overrated Harris.

            How credible can you be and how serious can anyone take you when you constantly blow and slobber over Haden and Boryla as Pro Bowl QBs? And great credibility leaving out Tatum’s 24-17 victory over Haden’s sorry ass in 1979. More as time allows. If you can find any other playoff performances by a Tatum-led secondary getting scorched in addition to the Haven Moses game, we’re all waiting. Harris, as we all know, was scorched SEVERAL times in post-season.

          • Rasputin
            April 13, 2017

            Maybe you should have linked to the NFL Network directly instead of some random blog without bothering to explain why you were even posting the links you did, you lazy halfwit. Such rankings shouldn’t be taken too seriously, especially in terms of omissions, because they’re usually carelessly thrown together click or ratings bait, but they might be worth a mention in favor of who is included. I never said Tatum wasn’t a feared tackler (or at least hitter, though Csonka obviously didn’t fear him, lol), you cowardly, lying POS. Quite the opposite. I said he was often a ferociously hard hitter. The real question is if YOU now put stock in such a source, then why are you still stupidly calling Smith “fraudulent”, moron? You can’t squirm your way out of this crushing defeat you’ve suffered, little Joey Wrong. Your credibility is shot.

            As for who got torched the most, it’s sledgehammer time again, boy.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            You lose, Joey.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 13, 2017

            So why is it that Tatum’s secondaries were only torched ONCE in the playoffs while Harris-led secondaries were torched FIVE different times by receivers and gave up various passing/receiving Super Bowl records in the process of going down in flames?

            How can a secondary as “inferior” as Tatum’s force the ’70s NFC Pro Bowl QBs they faced to complete less than half the passes they attempted paving the way for them to go 7-1 (or 9-2, if you insist on including Archie Manning and sorry, game replacement Pat Haden)?

            Your lying, hypocritical, weak-alibied Cowboy crying ways aren’t fooling anyone reading. You mention the NFC East (Or NFC; You tried it both ways but either way, Tatum-led secondaries mowed them down. Big-time failure on your part) Pro Bowl QBs the Cowboys faced and the Raiders were undefeated against them (Staubach–less than 50%, no TDs; Kilmer–less than 50%, one TD; Jim Hart–less than 50%, one TD; Roman Gabriel–less than 50%, one TD). Why was the Tatum secondary so effective against these NFC East Pro Bowl QBs? What is you answer? Or–given that you’re a Cowboy fan–excuse?

            As for the Tatum-led secondary shutting down Staubach (No TD passes, less than 50% completion rate–NINE percent lower than his season average!), the victory over the Cowboys is important because
            A) It gives an indication as to who was better in the decade had they matched up. The Cowboy couldn’t beat the Steelers with Swann and Stallworth constantly running free through the Harris anchored secondary; The Steelers Hall of Fame wideouts threaded cautiously through the Tatum-led secondary and were 2-4 in the games they played with only two TDs (one each) between them. The record-breaking stats Swann and Stallworth put up against Harris-led secondaries are legend.

            B) The record shows Tatum was undefeated vs Harris. Within the game the Tatum-led secondary shut down Satubach; the Harris-led secondary was torched (three TDs) and carved up (Stabler was 11-17–64.7 %. Stabler: “Man, that looks easy!” LMAO!!!) with the insult to injury being burned by a 28-yd. TD pass to Branch from 1,000 year old George Blanda (Harris was TOTALLY out of position on that play. What the hell was he thinking? It’s not like Blanda looked him off or anything. He zeroed in on Branch all the way down the field).

            C) With this win, the record shows that Stabler was undefeated vs. Roger Staubach. Within this game Stabler completes 21% more of his passes than Staubach and hits for two scores. Given how much “better” the Harris secondary was than the Tatum secondary, shouldn’t that be in reverse? Explain that, Razzie. What’s the Dallas’ “air-tight alibi” there?

            Sidebar: I maintain that Stabler was the best QB in the NFL from ’74-’77. No QB won more games and threw more TDs in that time frame. Who’s the liar now, numbskull?

            D) Let’s be real here. The Cowboys offense in ’74 was Calvin Hill, Dennison and Newhouse in the backfield with Staubach; a receiving corp of Drew Pearson, Billy Joe DuPree, and Golden Richards; and an offensive line of Rayfield Wright, Blaine Nye, John Fitzgerald, John Niland and Ralph Neely. Defensively, they featured Hall of Famer Bob Lilly (in his last year), Harvey Martin, Too Tall Jones, Jethro Pugh, and utilityman Larry Cole on the line; linebackers Dave Richards, Lee Roy Jordan and D.D. Lewis, with Harris, Waters, Renfro, Cornel Green, and Mark Washington in the secondary. This is hardly a team “rebuilding.” the 8-6 mark was underachieving, at the least. Or–this would be sacrilege in Dallas–bad coaching, at the worst. The only new faces on offense in ’75 would be Preston Pearson (for Dennison/Hill) and Burton Lawless (for Niland). On defense, the only new faces would be Randy White and “Hollywood” Henderson (and they almost botched that by initially making White a MLB), who were used only in “situational substitutions” that season. It’s ridiculous to say or believe that the lack of a pedestrain, pass-catching running back (Pearson) and a left guard (Lawless) were holding Dallas back. And although White and Henderson were great additions, Dallas still had a good defense (despite the obvious weakness at free safety that left them vulnerable in the secondary). The Raiders didn’t “steal’ or “sneak away” with this win vs. Dallas. They took it! “We kicked their ass. Get used to it. Can’t change it.” Only the garbage time TD by Doug Dennison made the score a four-point spread–just like the two garbage-time TD passes from Staubach in Super Bowl XIII. From ’73 (when the AFC’s dominance really kicked in) to ’79, the Cowboys never beat the Raiders, Steelers or Dolphins. The top tier of the AFC was better than the best (Dallas, Minnesota) the ’70s weaker conference–the NFC–had to offer.

            D) When I point out key games and facts that destroy you, you call it “cherry-picking.” So you can use NFL Networks Top 10 to promote Emmitt but I can’t do the same to promote Tatum? GTFOH!!! I gave credit to Haven Moses; he had a great game. So be it. God bless him. But we STILL haven’t heard your response to Harris’ dreadful performances against:
            1. John Mackey Super Bowl V–Record 75-yd. TD catch (Never happened against Tatum)
            2. Charley Taylor ’72 NFC Title Game–7 catches, 146 yds, 2 TDs (Never had 100+ against Tatum)
            3. Harold Jackson ’73–7 catches, 4 TDs, 238 yds (in 1973!!!; No one ever went for 200 vs. Tatum)
            4. Lynn Swann Super Bowl X–4 catches, Record 161 yds, TD (No 100-yd games, ONE TD vs Tatum in 6 games)
            5. Harold Jackson ’76 NFC Divisional Playoff–6 catches, 116 yds (No 100-yd games vs. Tatum)
            6. John Stallworth Super Bowl XIII–3 catches, 115 yrds (one HALF-Record), 2 TDs (one a 75-yarder-Record) –No 100 yd games, ONE TD in 6 games vs. Tatum
            7. Swann (Again?) Super Bowl XIII–7 catches, 124 yds, TD (see above)
            8. Terry Bradshaw Super Bowl XIII–Record passing 318 yds, record 4 TD passes (No 300+ yrd passing games, never more than 2 TD passes vs. Tatum in 10 games)
            9. Vince Ferragamo ’79 NFC Divisional Playoff–3 TD passes of 32, 43, and 50 yds (game-winner; for Harris, we suppose, career-killer). Tatum secondaries allowed no more than two TD passes in 13 playoff games. And in those three games they were 2-1.

            The ONLY game in which Tatum’s secondary let the team down was the Haven Moses game. Of the above nine toastings of the Harris-led Dallas secondary EIGHT of these are in the PLAYOFFS. Tatum’s secondaries did better than Harris’ secondaries in playoff time. Can you explain this, Razzie?

          • Rasputin
            April 13, 2017

            Yawn.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            You can keep crying about it, little Joey, lying about it, and trying to distract from the bottom line with blind allegations about cherry-picked games you haven’t even seen, but you can’t squirm your way into escape from the sledgehammer truth, boy. The Tatum Raiders had a worse than NFL average pass defense while the Cowboys were elite. That fact totally destroys you. The few playoff games you desperately try to cling to involved teams that didn’t need to pass because it was easy to run against the soft Oakland defense, skewing down passing numbers, and are a small sample size anyway. A single WR having a big day was usually because they were working on a CB, not a safety. We’ve established that you know nothing about these games you’re obsessively citing. The Cowboys won a lot more than the Raiders in the playoffs and overall anyway.

            Cliff Harris was rightly judged to be the best FS of the decade by contemporary observers while Tatum was a marginal 3 time Pro Bowler who rightly never made first team All Pro, though in fairness those All Pro selections were made years before he wrote (or had someone else write) those sensationalistic, self promoting books to generate hype and make a quick buck off of paralyzing someone.

            Oh, and apparently the 1980 Cowboys were a lot better than the 1980 Raiders, by your logic, since Dallas kicked Oakland’s ass that year (at Oakland, to boot).

            As for your ignorant crap about the 8-6 1974 Cowboys supposedly not being in rebuilding mode, or not at least entering the beginning of a transition, many of their key players since the early to mid 1960s were at the end of their careers. It was the last season for HoFers Bob Lilly and Bob Hayes (Hayes had 0 starts and only caught 7 passes that year), great DB Cornell Green (also better than Tatum), great FB Walt Garrison, and former Pro Bowl O-lineman Dave Manders. Pro Bowl stalwart SOLB Dave Edwards was in the next to last year of his career, great MLB Lee Roy Jordan was in his next to last full season, and HoF CB Mel Renfro’s final Pro Bowl season was already in the rear view mirror, as were O-lineman John Niland’s and numerous other players’.

            Some of the young future good players they had were still rookies or second year guys, like Harvey Martin (who was still “too nice” at that point rather than “Too Mean”, and wasn’t yet a starter), Ed Jones (a rookie who also wasn’t a starter), TE Billy Joe DuPree, and WR Golden Richards. Charlie Waters was playing opposite Mel Renfro at CB, badly out of position for his skill set. Later he’d prove to be a great safety but as a CB HE was the one routinely getting torched back there, not Cliff Harris. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

            With all these key impending departures not much was expected of the 1975 Cowboys the following season, but as I said they OVERACHIEVED with the help of the strong “Dirty Dozen” rookie class that included guys like Randy White and guys who had been first or second year players in 1974 having an extra year of development under their belts. Even then it required Staubach’s Hail Mary play to advance them past a great Vikings team that may have been the best in Minnesota’s history.

            By 1977 the Cowboys had 3 new starters on the defensive line, 2 new starting LBs, and 3 new starters in the secondary (counting Charlie Waters’ move to safety), along with a slew of new offensive starters.

            Cliff Harris was the only starting constant on both the 1971 and 1977 Super Bowl champion secondaries.

            But sure, go ahead and try to attack Landry for missing the playoffs ONCE in the 18 year span from 1966 – 1983, you drooling moron, and for falling short of double digit wins in 1974 for the first time since 1967, something that wouldn’t happen again until the strike shortened season of 1982.

            You’re lucky the Raiders never had to play Dallas in any other year of the 1970s, all of which, unlike 1974, they made the playoffs and posted double digit wins. The Cowboys were far better than the Raiders in the 1970s and overall throughout NFL history. Do you want me to repost those stats too?

            BTW, the Cowboys are undefeated all time against the Raiders when they have gotten to play them in their own Super Bowl championship seasons. They beat the Raiders by double digits both times in the 90s, 28-13 in 1992 and 34-21 in 1995, both times at the Raiders’ home. For some reason they almost always seem to play these games at Oakland/Los Angeles. In the two times the Raiders have played the Cowboys in their own championship seasons, Dallas got the split. LA edged out a 40-38 result in 1983, the only one of these meetings at Dallas, while the Cowboys beat the 1980 Raiders at Oakland 19-13. Also, the 1992 Raiders still had Marcus Allen on the team, so by your Pravda “1974” logic they should have been expected to play better than they did, though Emmitt was a lot better overall anyway.

            You said: “The top tier of the AFC was better than the best (Dallas, Minnesota) the ’70s weaker conference–the NFC–had to offer.”

            Not every season they weren’t. The AFC just had a couple more top teams than the NFC did, but I already said that to you, halfwit. That doesn’t mean the conference was better from top to bottom, it wasn’t. The Steelers and Colts were old, established NFL teams that got moved to the new AFC for balance. Old AFL teams, who made up the bulk of the AFC, only won 3 Super Bowls in the 70s, 2 in the 80s, and 2 in the late 90s. Except for the Dolphins (whom the Cowboys destroyed in Super Bowl VI) and the Raiders (whom the Cowboys didn’t get to play in 1976 but beat in 1980), every Super Bowl from 1970 until 1997 was won by an old NFL team, most of them by NFC teams, 5 of them by the Dallas Cowboys.

            Wow. That must sting. You lose again, Joey.

            You said: “Sidebar: I maintain that Stabler was the best QB in the NFL from ’74-’77.”

            No, earlier you said: “In ’74, ’76, and ’77, Stabler was the best QB in football.”

            You listed three specific years, not a lumped together time period. Now you’re weaseling around again, you cowardly buffoon, clumsily attempting a sleight of hand. I get that you were embarrassed when I pointed out that Stabler threw as many interceptions as touchdowns in 1977 and wasn’t in the top 5 in passer rating or yards, but at least man up enough to admit you were wrong and that Stabler was NOT the best QB in 1977.

            As for the new position you’ve retreated to that Stabler was the best on average from 1974-1977…..it’s possible to argue that I guess, but it’s misleading. His one spectacular season of 1976 (103.4 passer rating) really skews his average up for the surrounding couple of years. That brief but high peak is a big reason why I’ve supported Stabler for the HoF over the years (though not before even more deserving players like Howley and Cliff Harris). If you exclude that year, however, then his combined passer rating from 1974-1977 was only 79.48, hardly the best in the league, and his career rating was only 75.3 even counting 1976. Stabler was the best QB in 1976 and arguably in 1974 (though his MVP award was nowhere near as well deserved as Emmitt Smith’s), but not in 1975 and certainly not in 1977.

            So what’s your excuse for Tatum and Stabler, supposedly brimming with awesomeness, only making it to one Super Bowl while Cliff Harris’ Cowboys made it to 4 with him as a starter?

          • Joseph Wright
            April 14, 2017

            I’ve watched these games or highlight shows focusing specifically on these games. Whenever I point out these epic failed performances of Cliff Harris you fraudulently criticize me for “cherry-picking” or “lying.” Or you cop out and claim I know nothing about these games. If I knew nothing about them I wouldn’t bring them up, dumbass. I am not lying about Harris’ secondary’s sorry performance in these games nor am I selecting random games. These are playoff games that affected history. This isn’t “cherry-picking.” These are facts. And as for the Harold Jackson game in ’73, if Harris was SO superior to Tatum how could a 238-yd. receiving game (on seven catches) occur in as dead a “deadball” year as 1973? Three years later, in a playoff game in Dallas–IN DALLAS–Harris and the gang would give him another 116–from weak-armed, firsttime playoff starter Pat Haden. How badly would Harris’ secondary had been undressed if they faced Cliff Branch in the ’70s (after undressings by Jackson, Swann, and Stallworth)? PLEASE!

            As for the ’74 Raiders pasting of Dallas–thanks to the Harris secondary combined with great coverage by the Tatum secondary–it is ridiculous to believe that a team (Dallas; stay with us and keep up, Razzie; your squirming is messing with your comprehension; multitasking definitely ANOTHER weak point) with nine starters (each on offense and on defense) that had been in the playoffs the previous year (NFC Title game) and would go to the Super Bowl the following year would flop to 8-6 and be in third place without serious injuries. They made Clint Longley a one-hit wonder on Thanksgiving ’74, with B.J. DuPree and Drew Pearson catching TD passes from him. Dallas was STILL loaded offensively. And Martin and Too Tall Jones made plays to seal that Thanksgiving win. So, they had studs on defense, too. Dallas wasn’t “rebuilding” or “in transition.” Hardly. They just didn’t get it done in ’74. Translation: underachieved.

            I’ve heard all these Cowboys excuses before: Jerry Kramer was offside in the Ice Bowl, the fumble vs. the Colts in Super Bowl V, the officials not penalizing and throwing Jack Lambert out for body-slamming Harris (LMFAO!!!) in Super Bowl X, Jackie Smith’s drop (maybe your ‘boys should have kept Todd Christensen–Thanks, Dallas; much more impactual than John Gesek), the pass interference vs. Lynn Swann, the official “blocking” Charlie Waters, “(fill in the blank) snuck up on the Cowboys,” “(fill in the blank) stole a win from the Cowboys,” Montana was the key because overall Dallas was the better team, the 49ers drove the length of the field because it was covered with catnip, Montana lucked up because he was throwing the ball away, Eric Wright’s horse-collar tackle on Drew Pearson should have drawn a flag, the “tuck rule” would have negated Danny White’s fumble, and, of course, when all else fails, “those weren’t the real Cowboys you saw out there that game.” ENOUGH!

            Cherry-picking as you call it only applies when two or three random things are pointed out. I have at least NINE times harris-led secondaries have been torched. EIGHT of these are on the big stage, on national TV. Only the ’73 performance by Jackson (from John Hadl, a regular AFL/AFC Pro Bowl QB, BTW) could be considered random but 238 receiving yards in a single game in 1973 can’t be overlooked. So (we’re STILL waiting), once again explain Harris’ performance against and contribution to:
            1. John Mackey Super Bowl V–Record 75-yd. TD catch (Never happened against Tatum)
            2. Charley Taylor ’72 NFC Title Game–7 catches, 146 yds, 2 TDs (Never had 100+ against Tatum)
            3. Harold Jackson ’73–7 catches, 4 TDs, 238 yds (in 1973!!!; No one ever went for 200 vs. Tatum)
            4. Lynn Swann Super Bowl X–4 catches, Record 161 yds, TD (No 100-yd games, ONE TD vs Tatum in 6 games)
            5. Harold Jackson ’76 NFC Divisional Playoff–6 catches, 116 yds (No 100-yd games vs. Tatum)
            6. John Stallworth Super Bowl XIII–3 catches, 115 yrds (one HALF-Record), 2 TDs (one a 75-yarder-Record) –No 100 yd games, ONE TD in 6 games vs. Tatum
            7. Swann (Again?) Super Bowl XIII–7 catches, 124 yds, TD (see above)
            8. Terry Bradshaw Super Bowl XIII–Record passing 318 yds, record 4 TD passes (No 300+ yrd passing games, never more than 2 TD passes vs. Tatum in 10 games)
            9. Vince Ferragamo ’79 NFC Divisional Playoff–3 TD passes of 32, 43, and 50 yds (game-winner; for Harris, we suppose, career-killer). Tatum secondaries allowed no more than two TD passes in 13 playoff games. And in those three games they were 2-1.

            The regular season yardage totals are misleading because of the different conferences they played in, the level of competion, and the styles of play. Apparently, crossing sports, you’d say the Celtics played better defense than the Lakers in the ’80s because of the average points allowed per game. No. The style of play of each conference influenced the numbers. We KNOW what happened when they matched up. Just like we know what happened in the ’70s when the Raiders and Cowboys matched up.

            You, Razzie, are the liar, not me. You tried to say or imply that the Cowboys didn’t pad their win totals with Joe Pisarchik and Jerry Golsteyn. They did in ’77 and ’78. The padding of the Giants wins continued in ’79. And they took advantage of a true rebuilding team, the Eagles, from ’75-’78. That’s four given wins a year and a huge help to your defensive stats. Against teams with that meager offensive talent, a guy like Harris would look great all the time and Tatum would be recognized as a world-beater.

            Jack Tatum, Jake Scott, Tony Greene, Mike Wagner, Paul Krause, and Glen Edwards were all better safeties than Cliff Harris in the ’70s. That begs the question again: Who’s hand did Harris shake at AP? How many babies did he kiss? How often did he lick Zimmerman’s boots at SI?

            You said “Cliff Harris was rightly judged to be the best FS of the decade by contemporary observers (Biased AP; fraudulent “Dr. Z”) while Tatum was a marginal 3 time Pro Bowler who rightly never made first team All Pro (Maybe the AP writers couldn’t relate to the athletic, muscular Tatum and his full-haired Afro; they could definitely live vicariously through the scrawny, fully receded Harris), though in fairness those All Pro selections were made years before he wrote (or had someone else write) those sensationalistic, self promoting books (Ah-hah! So you’re saying AP WAS biased! Thanks, dummy) to generate hype and make a quick buck off of paralyzing someone.”

            Some background is needed…badly. The book was in the works in early 1977, shortly after the Raiders won Super Bowl XI. Tatum wanted to tell his life story and give his side of the story concerning the “criminal element” allegations made by Pittsburgh head coach Chuck Noll. Unfortunately, about a year and a half later, the Stingley collision and its terrible results, ultimately became another part of the book. Tatum spoke of Stingley, the play, and its aftermath with great concern and sensitivity. Anyone who reads the whole book–not excerpts taken out of context–will understand that. Tatum never boasted about his LEGAL hit on Stingley and its affects at all. It did affect Tatum and he tried to make a connection with Stingley but was rebuffed by staff at the hospital, Stingley’s family, and Stingley’s agent Jack Sands, who did read excerpts out of context to Stingley. When Tatum did attempt to help Stingley financially–sometimes well-intentioned, other times during book signings–Sands labeled Tatum’s actions “grandstanding.” Mike Haynes–the most unbaised source on the subject you can find–said that when he was on the Raiders he met with Tatum, who was then retired, and talked with him about Stingley. He said Tatum assured him that he had tried to reach Stingley multiple times and had been rebuffed. Haynes also felt that Tatum was sensitive to Stingley’s plight.

          • Rasputin
            April 14, 2017

            You keep harping on the playoffs and saying the regular season stats don’t matter, so let’s see what the real story is.

            Net Passing Yards Allowed, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 145.7 yards/game
            Raiders (12 games) – 152.1 yards/game

            Ouch. I bet that hurt. You must see the writing on the wall now. Your last ship is sinking. Let’s continue….

            Average Opponent Completions – Attempts, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 11.9 – 25.3 per game, 47.1% (based on totals)
            Raiders (12 games) – 12.1 – 24 per game, 50.3%

            Passing Touchdowns Allowed, Interceptions, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 0.8 TDs allowed/game, 2.2 INTs/game
            Raiders (12 games) – 1.1 TDs allowed/game, 1.3 INTs/game

            Defense Interceptions to Passing TD Allowed Ratio, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 2.75 interceptions for every passing TD allowed.
            Raiders (12 games) – 1.18 interceptions for every passing TD allowed.

            Net Yards Allowed Per Passing Attempt, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 5.75 net yards allowed/attempt
            Raiders (12 games) – 6.3 net yards allowed/attempt

            Well that’s decisive. The Cowboys’ opponents attempted more passes but completed fewer and for less yardage. They also allowed fewer TDs and intercepted opponents roughly twice as often as the Raiders did. Let’s see how the secondaries stacked up in the biggest game, the Super Bowl:

            Net Passing Yards Allowed, Super Bowls 1971-1978

            Cowboys (4 games) – 155.25 yards/game
            Raiders (1 game) – 282 yards/game

            Average Opponent Completions – Attempts, Super Bowls 1971-1978

            Cowboys (4 games) – 11.5 – 24.25 per game, 47.4%
            Raiders (1 game) – 24 – 44 per game, 54.5%

            I could have pointed out that the Raiders only played 12 playoff games, which isn’t much of a sample size compared to a decade of regular season games, or repeated what I’ve said about certain teams (like the Dolphins) only attempting a few passes because they didn’t NEED to throw it more to cruise by Oakland, or observed that the Raiders missed the playoffs more often, creating a filter that skewed their postseason stats up, while the Cowboys kept making the playoffs even when they weren’t at their best, but it’s more fun to prove that you’re wrong even on your own terms, after you’ve been allowed to take enough rope to hang yourself.

            You said: “The Tatum-led secondaries simply raised their game at playoff time and clamped down and the Harris secondaries didn’t.”

            LMFAO! Apparently not.

            Since you continue to mostly just repeat already debunked lies and cherry-picked red herrings, while ignoring most of my counterpoints, I’m not even reading through all your rambling garbage anymore. I’ll just skim it enough to discern what general point you’re feebly raising and crush you with a sledgehammer response as I just did above. If I notice you post something new I might specifically respond to that too. And no, you haven’t seen these specific games you’re listing. At most you’ve watched a highlight or two, but you’re really just checking box scores and blaming it on Cliff Harris if you see a WR have a 100 yard game, ignoring the fact that such an individual performance usually means a CB was being exploited. I’ve actually watched some of these big games in their entirety, and noticed things like Tatum getting trucked by Csonka in the AFC Championship before making the business decision as Csonka ran by him because I was watching full broadcast footage, not some highlight reel. By contrast I’ve never seen Cliff Harris do anything but go all out on every play no matter whom he was hitting.

            You start by talking yardage allowed, so it’s sledgehammer time, boy (this never gets old, lol). Given the above playoff comparison, it’s little wonder that there’s an even bigger gap in the regular season.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            The Tatum Raiders got torched so much (Jack Tatum personally got torched, by your logic), that they ranked well below the NFL average, while the Dallas pass defense was elite.

            You’re still bent on humiliating yourself about 1974, the Dallas low point of the decade, and the only season they didn’t make the playoffs and have double digit wins. Even after I laid out how most of their great players from 1960s were at or very near the end of their careers, so it was the beginning of a transition period, and that by 1977 they’d have 9 new starters on defense compared to 1974 (counting Waters switching positions) and 5 on offense, including a HoF RB (Cliff Harris was the only starting constant in the secondaries of both the 1971 and 1977 championship teams), you’re insisting that Dallas “underachieved” in 1974, as opposed to overachieving in 1975 (what actually happened), when the team only won 2 more regular season games but became the first wild card team since the merger to make it to the Super Bowl. I’m not sure why.

            Let’s say for the sake of argument that your asinine claim is right. That means the 1974, 8-6 Cowboys underachieved when the 12-2 Raiders escaped by 4 points AT HOME. If Dallas had played up to par imagine what a thumping they’d have given Oakland, lol! Shades of 1980, when the Cowboys beat the Raiders at Oakland by a larger margin. Whether due to transition or underachieving, the bottom line is that 1974 was Dallas’ worst season of the decade, so the Raiders really lucked out with scheduling in that meaningless game and still almost lost (as they would lose in 1980).

            Then you have a paragraph about alleged Cowboys “excuses” from over the decades that are bunch of well documented things that really happened, with the exception of a couple of items I’ve never heard anyone say. This from the Raiders fan who blamed your playoff loss to Denver on an “early whistle”, Tatum’s low accolades on “bias” because voters somehow thought he was too “muscular” and “full-haired”, Stabler’s long wait for Canton on “bias” from a single voter who didn’t like him, and your pass defense stats sucking for Tatum’s entire tenure variously on either “styles of play”, the Raiders facing better opponents (turned out to be the opposite of the truth, and wouldn’t explain why the Raiders sucked compared to other AFC teams anyway), or the regular season just not mattering as the Raiders supposedly buckled down in the playoffs (also debunked).

            The Cowboys don’t need excuses. What’s your excuse for this?

            All Time Winning Percentage 1960-2016

            Dallas Cowboys – .573% (#1 among NFL teams)
            Oakland Raiders – .532% (#11 among NFL teams)

            Playoff Seasons 1960-2016

            Dallas Cowboys – 32 (#1 among NFL teams)
            Oakland Raiders – 22 (#15 among NFL teams)

            Super Bowl Wins

            Dallas Cowboys – 5
            Oakland Raiders – 3

            Conference Championship Wins

            Dallas Cowboys – 8
            Oakland Raiders – 5

            Division Championships

            Dallas Cowboys – 22 (#3 among NFL teams, only slightly behind Giants and Bears who both started in the 1920s)
            Oakland Raiders – 16 (#12 among NFL teams)

            Playoff Games

            Dallas Cowboys – 61 (#1 among NFL teams)
            Oakland Raiders – 44

            Playoff Wins

            Dallas Cowboys – 34 (#2 among NFL teams)
            Oakland Raiders – 25

            And all that’s despite the Cowboys playing in the NFC East, the historically toughest division (much tougher than the AFC West). Both teams started the same year, and the Raiders got to face a bunch of other expansion teams their first decade while the Cowboys had to face established NFL powers. So what’s your excuse, little Joey Wrong?

            You go on to claim that the Raiders stats are skewed down because they faced better opposition, a repeatedly debunked claim you offer no factual support for.

            Combined Pro Bowls among opposing divisional QBs 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 8
            Raiders – 3

            Combined Playoff seasons among divisional opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 9
            Raiders – 5

            The Cowboys faced way better opponents in the NFC East than the Raiders did in the pathetically weak AFC West.

            You said: “You tried to say or imply that the Cowboys didn’t pad their win totals with Joe Pisarchik and Jerry Golsteyn. They did in ’77 and ’78. The padding of the Giants wins continued in ’79.”

            I already told you Jerry Golsteyn threw a career total of 16 passes against Dallas, you lying halfwit. The winless 1976 Bucs threw 30 passes against Oakland in one game. And you originally said “’76 and ’77”, despite neither guy entering the league until 1977, lol. Plus Phil Simms was the Giants QB in 1979. You can’t even get your cherry-picked tidbits right, and they are desperate cherry-picking, as the divisional facts above show.

            You call me a “liar” for some reason, without explaining why, but you really are a serial liar who keeps desperately trying to squirm out of your own faceplants in cowardly fashion without success.

            Your false claims here have been countless, including (but not limited to):

            – You denying my statement that Cliff Harris knocked out Rick Upchurch in SB XII, claiming it was Thomas Henderson (I posted video evidence proving you wrong)

            – You claiming Gene Hickerson was the only HoF lineman blocking for Jim Brown (Lou Groza and Mike McCormack were HoFers, with several other Pro Bowlers)

            – You claiming Lou Groza was just a kicker (he was a HoF tackle, and one of the “finest” to play tackle as the PFHOF website states)

            – You claimed Tatum’s “Assassin” nickname was nationally known while no one but locals called Cliff Harris “Captain Crash” (turns out NO ONE called Tatum “Assassin” while he played while national media figures did refer to Harris as “Captain Crash”)

            – You claiming the Tatum era Raiders played 8 games against NFC Pro Bowl QBs, going 7-1 (turned out the Raiders only played 2 in the regular season, going 1-1).

            I could go on and on. While you haven’t caught me in a single wrong claim, let alone a lie, you have zero credibility.

            Me: “Cliff Harris was rightly judged to be the best FS of the decade by contemporary observers while Tatum was a marginal 3 time Pro Bowler who rightly never made first team All Pro, though in fairness those All Pro selections were made years before he wrote those sensationalistic, self promoting books to generate hype and make a quick buck off of paralyzing someone.”

            You: “Ah-hah! So you’re saying AP WAS biased! Thanks, dummy”

            Huh? The implication of my tongue in cheek comment was that the voting WASN’T skewed by stupid hype like the “Assassin” books, moron, that did color later, low brow public opinion and build Tatum’s “legend”.

            You said: “When Tatum did attempt to help Stingley financially–sometimes well-intentioned, other times during book signings–Sands labeled Tatum’s actions “grandstanding.”

            Gee, why would anyone label such an “effort” during a book’s publicity campaign as grandstanding?

            As for Stingley and Tatum, there are conflicting accounts on whether Tatum even tried to visit or help him. Certainly Stingley denied there were sincere efforts by Tatum. All I know is that Tatum wrote three books on the subject, each with the word “Assassin” in the title (branding), and cashed in.

            “Captain Crash” was more humble than the self-named “Assassin”. But Cliff Harris was not only twice as good as Tatum, he was tougher; he was more of a man than Tatum. And while Tatum might enjoy the edge in a Chia Pet style hair growth contest (you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel by bringing that up, lol), Harris whooped him in the mustache department.

            And you’ve been whooped here.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 17, 2017

            All we’ve proven is that you’re a numbskull, coward, and a liar. A liar in that you totally eliminated the 1970 playoffs of the Cowboys (You’re TRYING to admit Harris is the best FS of the ’70s, right.) A coward because if the ’70 playoff stats are used the following happens: A) The Cowboys gave up more passing yards than the Raiders in ’70s playoff games B) The Super Bowl record 75-yd. TD of John Mackey is further indictment that Harris was unfit to protect the middle on the big stage C) The Cowboys at least have a .500 record in the Super Bowl in the ’70s. You are a numbskull to think that none of us would catch that glaring omission. So, John Brodie torched The Harris-led secondary for 262 yards and then the rag-tag team of Unitas and journeyman Earl Morrall toasted them for another 260, including the record-setting TD hookup to Mackey. As for those Super Bowl passing yards, once again lying to the public. Not the totals, Razzie, by making it appear like the Tatum-anchored Raiders were burned badly. They were not, folks. Fran Tarkenton, a Hall of Famer and career 57 percent passer, was held to a .485 completion rate in Super Bowl XI and one TD pass. I’m sure junior will also blow and slobber over Bob Lee’s 7-9 81-yd. one TD pass performance with a 141.2 QB rating–all achieved in garbage time with the Raiders comfortably ahead, 32-7, with under 3 minutes left. With Tatum and other Raiders starters comfortably on the bench. Pathetic attempt on your part, junior. You don’t care how low you stoop. then again you revel in the greatness of Pro Bowl QBs like Mike Boryla and Pat Haden, so I am not surprised that you tried to fudge in the Super Bowl XI mop-up performance of Viking backup QB Bob Lee to diminish the great job of the Raiders secondary while Tatum was ON the field. By willfully omitting the major leaks that Harris sprung in the 1970 playoffs, that shows all of us what a cowardly liar you are, Razzie. And then using garbage time Super Bowl stats of a backup QB in a weak attempt to smear an excellent, dominant defensive effort is an utter disgrace. You went down hard and you didn’t even know it!

            Well, I am going to have to deal with you like a kindergartener:

            OK, Razzie. How are we doing this morning? We are going to ask you one question at a time because it was wrong to ask you nine at one time. That was too hard for you to deal with and understand…Yes, yes, yes. Now here is the question for you to answer today. OK? John Mackey only caught one pass vs. Tatum for his entire career for 20 yards and it was not a touchdown. Could you please explain why John Mackey took a pass all the way to the endzone against a Cliff Harris anchored secondary for a Super Bowl-record 75-yd. touchdown?

          • Rasputin
            April 17, 2017

            LOL! Cliff Harris wasn’t a starter in any game of the 1970 playoffs, you lying, cowardly moron, much less playing on a “Harris-led secondary”. That’s why from the beginning we’ve been using the span 1971-1979, when both Harris and Tatum were full time starters, and years that as a bonus just happened to overlap completely for maximum fairness to avoid league wide passing stat fluctuation (inflation in the 80s and deflation in the 1970s). Now that you know you’ve been crushed by the facts even on the “playoff” front you’ve been harping on, NOW you suddenly want to start sliding the goalposts around? You want to count the 1980s too? How about the 1990s? Your last ditch attempt to squirm out of this fails miserably. All you did was underscore what an upgrade Cliff Harris was over a very strong safety tandem in Cornell Green and Charlie Waters (though Waters was a rookie).

            The “Tatum-led” secondary was torched way more in the playoffs than the ACTUAL Harris-led secondary was.

            Net Passing Yards Allowed, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 145.7 yards/game
            Raiders (12 games) – 152.1 yards/game

            The Harris-led Cowboys held their playoff opponents under 50% completion while the Tatum Raiders let them complete more than 50% of their passes.

            Opponent Completion Percentage, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 47.7%
            Raiders (12 games) – 50.3%

            That’s despite the Raiders making the playoffs fewer seasons and therefore not having their relatively mediocre years count against them, while the Cowboys made the playoffs every year but 1974. Unsurprisingly given this, the gap is even bigger in the regular season.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            Whether you want to cry about it or not, the fact is that the Raiders gave up 282 net passing yards in the Super Bowl to the Vikings (Tatum was “torched” for it, by your logic), while letting the Vikings complete 54.5% of their passes.

            Net Passing Yards Allowed, Super Bowls 1971-1978

            Cowboys (4 games) – 155.25 yards/game
            Raiders (1 game) – 282 yards/game

            Opponent Completion Percentage, Super Bowls 1971-1978

            Cowboys (4 games) – 47.4%
            Raiders (1 game) – 54.5%

            Now, as anticipated, your new excuse is that these torching stats are the result of “garbage time”, a factor you’ve never allowed for the Cowboys in their numerous blow out wins. In fact the Cowboys faced a lot more garbage time than the Raiders did.

            Average Score In Playoff Wins, 1971-1979 (rounded to nearest tenths)

            Cowboys – 25.9 – 10.5; +15.4 point/game margin
            Raiders – 29.9 – 20.1; +9.8 point/game margin

            Dallas AVERAGED way over a double digit victory in its wins. The Tatum defense allowed almost twice as many points/game, and had a lot more close calls even in wins.

            Double Digit Victories, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 8
            Raiders – 3

            Dallas had more than twice as many playoff double digit wins and you’re bleating about “garbage time” as an excuse for Oakland having worse stats, LMFAO?!? Talk about a desperation tactic. In fact 7 of Oakland’s 12 playoff games were decided by less than a touchdown! “Garbage time”, lol? The Raiders were just far less dominant than the Cowboys. Here are their overall playoff scores, counting losses:

            Average Total Playoff Scores, 1971-1979

            Cowboys (18 games) – 22.4 – 15; +7.4 margin/game
            Raiders (12 games) – 22.2 – 20.1; +2.1 margin/game

            I was HOPING you’d stupidly invoke the “garbage time” excuse, you buffoon. It doesn’t get old watching you faceplant. It’s a similar story for the regular season.

            Average Scores, Regular Season 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 24.2 – 16.1, +8.1 point/game margin
            Raiders – 23.9 – 17.5 , +6.4 point/game margin

            That’s despite the Cowboys playing in a much tougher division than the Raiders, as we’ve established. As for your repeated attempts to hide behind cherry-picked crap, I could bring up the Steelers passing for 215 net yards in beating Oakland by 6 in 1975 (Dallas only gave up 190 net passing yards in the 4 point SB that followed), Craig Morton’s Broncos torching Tatum for 217 net passing yards before Cliff Harris’ crew held them to 35 net passing yards in the SB that followed, or Cliff Harris and the 1971 Doomsday defense only allowing 1 offensive TD of any kind in the final 18 quarters (regular season and playoffs), a late garbage time score by the Vikings in the first round of the playoffs, and the Cowboys still being the only team in NFL history to hold their Super Bowl opponent without a TD. Tatum never did that. Cliff Harris did.

            You lose any way you look at it.

          • Rasputin
            April 15, 2017

            I said you clearly weren’t a chess player, but you’re not much of a poker player either. You gotta know when to fold ’em. You drew bad cards here.

          • Rasputin
            April 15, 2017

            Not sure why I’m indulging this insane tangent, but I forgot to reply to your NBA comment by pointing out that the Celtics WERE better on defense than the Lakers for most of the 1980s, especially early in the decade. Bird himself was 2nd team All Defense 3 years from 1982-1984, and Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson were routinely either 1st or 2nd team All Defense. The only Lakers I know of who made All Defense from 1981-1988 were Kareem and Michael Cooper. Showtime was about offense, so it’s not surprising that Boston ranked much better defensively most seasons.

            That said, basketball is a more flowing game than football and the same players are on offense and defense, so what happens on one side more directly impacts the other to a greater degree than in football where each unit is made up of completely different players and the game is divided into discreet plays.

            As for “what happened when they matched up”, some years the Celtics were better and other years the Lakers were better. They met in 3 finals, with the Lakers going 2-1, but if the Lakers had met the 1986 Celtics then Boston would have won and the Celtics would have gone 2-2 (they did sweep LA in the regular season). Similarly, if Dallas had gotten to play Oakland in ANY season other than 1974, then the Cowboys likely would have won by an ever bigger margin than Dallas beat Oakland by in 1980.

            I’ll also add that back then the Eastern Conference was tougher (sort of like the NFC East), with the Celtics having to go through teams like the Pistons, the Knicks, Dominique Wilkins’ Atlanta Hawks, and a young Michael Jordan’s Bulls,

          • Joseph Wright
            April 17, 2017

            If the Celtics were a better defensive team than the Lakers then they would have shut the Lakers down in playoff matchups in the ’80s. The Celtics’ defensive stats were enhanced by their conference’s quality and style of play (just like the Cowboy’s defensive stats vs. the ’70s NFC) Bird’s inclusion on any All-Defensive Team is a joke (just like Harris’ anointing as “Best Free Safety of the ’70s”). If Bird were such a great defender why did the Celtics furiously make a point to keep him OFF James Worthy and ON Kurt Rambis whenever the teams matched up? When they matched up in the ’80s Finals the Lakers took two of three from Boston and were the decade’s best team, like the ’70s Steelers. Interesting that at least the ’80s Celtics could claim one championship win over the Lakers. Cowboys couldn’t do that with the ’70s Steelers. LMAO!!! And, no the Cowboys would never have beaten Stabler and Tatum’s Raiders in ’75-77. Branch would have run circles around Harris and the Cowboys DBs and Casper would simply run over them. Tatum would keep Drew Pearson, Richards, and DuPree out of the endzone, just like he did in ’74. Of course, we all know Tony Hill refused (translation: coward) to go over the middle if you want to bring up ’78 and ’79.

          • Rasputin
            April 17, 2017

            You said: “If the Celtics were a better defensive team than the Lakers then they would have shut the Lakers down in playoff matchups in the ’80s.”

            That doesn’t logically follow at all, moron. Sometimes the better offensive team wins. Or do you believe the 1999 Rams proved themselves to be a better defensive team than the Bucs and Titans, lol?

            There’s certainly no evidence that the Lakers were the better defensive team. Even when they won they didn’t shut the Celtics down. In both the 1985 and 1987 finals the Celtics were only held to 1.6 fewer p/g than their regular season average, while they held the Lakers to 2.4 fewer p/g than their regular season average in each. In the 1984 Celtics victory, a series with one weird game skewing the average, the Celtics averaged 3 p/g more than their regular season average, while the Lakers only averaged 1.8 p/g more.

            The Celtics averaged more p/g against the Lakers than they had in the playoffs against the 1984 Knicks and Bullets, the 1985 76ers and Cavs, and the 1987 Bulls and Pistons. By contrast the Celtics held the Lakers to averages in the 110s in all three series, after LA had averaged scores in the 120s-130s against most of their Western Conference playoff opponents.

            As for whether Bird or others belonged on ALL NBA Defensive Teams, I tend to agree with the experts (and my own eyes) over your delusional comments. The Lakers did win more, just as the Cowboys won more in the 1970s. By your idiot NFL logic if the Celtics and Lakers had never met in the playoffs, but retained their real life title count, and the Celtics had barely edged out the Lakers in their only regular season meeting all decade in the Lakers’ worst year, then Boston would have proved itself the superior team for the entire decade, lol. Except your actual position is even worse since the Cowboys won twice as many Super Bowls as the Raiders and made it to 4 times as many as Oakland during the Harris/Tatum tenure. The Celtics did play in the tougher conference though, as illustrated by the facts posted above, like how the Cowboys played in the tougher division, and at their best they were the best team of the era as the Cowboys were.

            You dodged my comment about you logically now considering the 1980 Cowboys to be better than the Raiders, since they kicked the Raiders’ asses that year (at Oakland to boot).

            You said: “And, no the Cowboys would never have beaten Stabler and Tatum’s Raiders in ’75-77.”

            LOL! You mean the 1977 Cowboys who ranked #1 in both offense and defense and utterly crushed Denver in the Super Bowl, holding QB Craig Morton to a 0.0 passer rating the game after he had torched the Tatum Raiders for a 102.9 rating, and that is in the argument for the greatest team in NFL history? The Cowboys made the Super Bowl 2 out of those 3 years and would have annihilated Oakland in either of them. Dallas had a good chance to beat the Raiders in 1976 too, as they would beat them at Oakland in 1980 during the Raiders’ next Super Bowl season. And what about 1971 or the rest of the decade? Have you already conceded Oakland would have lost in those years?

            Stabler threw as many interceptions as touchdowns in 1977, lol. You’re a joke. Keep the faceplants coming though. It amuses me.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 18, 2017

            Yes the ’77 Raiders–who went into Pittsburgh that season and handled the Steelers easily for their third consecutive victory in that rivalry–would have beaten the Cowboys–who went into Pittsburgh that same year (their “Super Bowl” year) and got pounded by the Steelers (Franco 29 carries, 179 yards, Cliff no doubt making “business decisions,” LOL!!!). The Cowboys benefited from playing in a weak ’70s NFC. The top teams in the AFC (Pittsburgh, the Raiders, Dolphins) ALL swept the Cowboys from ’74 through ’79. And stop the cherry-picking. Pittsburgh was an AFC team. By your moronic logic, they were put in the AFL/AFC and started dominating. The Steelers did not make the playoffs until their third year in the Conference. They were a football laughing stock NFL or AFL. And once they were fully loaded in ’74 (drafting Swann and Stallworth) the Cowboys never beat them until ’85. The ’74 Cowboys were soundly beaten by the Raiders in ’74. No, Dallas was not “rebuilding” or “in transition” as you fabricate more Cowboy excuses. In ’74, Dallas just didn’t get it done.

            Now the real business at hand because school is now in session, brain-of-five-year-old. Thanks for foolishly taking the bait and explaining to the readers why you were cowardly starting your comparison at 1971 and not 1970. Cliff Harris was a BENCHWARMER his first year! So, not only was he not even drafted (Tatum was a 1st Round draft pick, BTW), he couldn’t even beat out Charlie Waters! The guy that he teamed with to give Harold Jackson four TDs and 238 receiving yards in ’73 (1973!!), got lit up by Stabler and Blanda–BLANDA!!– in 1974, and made Lynn Swann a Super Bowl record-breaker and Hall of Famer. Great job, stiffs! What would Cliff Branch have done to them in ’75-’77? He’d have run circles around Harris and Waters, all the while taunting them to keep up. LMAO!!!

            So the next question for you to answer, Razzie, is this one:
            What happened to the Harris-led secondary when Charley Taylor went off in ’72 NFC Title Game–7 catches, 146 yds, 2 TDs (Taylor never had 100+ yards against Tatum)? Way to defend your crown, chumps!

          • Rasputin
            April 19, 2017

            Cliff Harris did beat out Waters (who ultimately proved to be a great player; he was better than Tatum too, and still holds the career playoff interception record) in training camp but missed parts of his rookie year with military service, you drooling moron. He established himself as the starter the following year. Harris was from a small school, so he went undrafted and wasn’t just going to be handed the job the way a hyped up athlete like Tatum was. He had to earn it. But by his first full season he’s the starting FS for the Dallas Cowboys and ends up making first team All Decade. Not too shabby. He also made his first Pro Bowl in 1974, Dallas’ worst season that decade, underscoring that it was a recognition of his individual talent and not just him riding the coattails of a great team. He was a Pro Bowler every season for the rest of his career. As an acknowledgement of his greatness they now give the “Cliff Harris Award” to the nation’s best small school defensive player. That Jack Tatum wasn’t even in the league in 1970 makes your cowardly attempt to squirm around with the dates here all the more pathetic. Keep it apples to apples. To wit, I’ve got something new for you. Common Opponents.

            These are teams both the Cowboys and Raiders played in the regular season and/or playoffs in a particular year. Dallas played 36 such games while Oakland played 35. Here are the results.

            Record Against Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 24-12, Winning – 67%
            Raiders – 20-12-3, Winning – 57%

            Passing Yards/Game Allowed Against Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 148.1 y/g
            Raiders – 158.5 y/g

            Completion Percentage Allowed, Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 48%
            Raiders – 49.4%

            Average Score Against Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 24.4 – 16.3, +8.1 margin
            Raiders – 20.9 – 18.5, +2.4 margin

            These are the full facts, as opposed to your cowardly, laughably futile cherry-picking. It also helps puts the lie to your AFC superiority notion. Without the Steelers, a single team, skewing the SB count, things would look a lot different on top. I did go through it fast so feel free to double check, but even if I missed a game or two it wouldn’t change the result. Dallas almost never played the Steelers and only played the Raiders once (in the Cowboys worst season and still almost beat them at Oakland, lol, supporting my position more than yours), so those results are fluky. In 1972 the Cowboys beat the Steelers while Pittsburgh beat the Raiders twice.

            At least twice Dallas and Oakland played a common opponent back to back in the biggest games, the conference championship and the Super Bowl. The Steelers beat Oakland in 1975 and the Cowboys played them closer, allowing fewer passing yards and a smaller point differential.

            By far the biggest common opponent was the 1977 Denver Broncos, who played FIVE GAMES(!) against the Cowboys and Raiders that year, including the aforementioned most important ones. The Broncos played almost half a regular season’s worth of games against those two opponents. That’s really the only individual common opponent with a big enough sample set of games to be meaningful, and it occurred in a year when both the Cowboys and Raiders were contenders. No other team from 1971-1979 even played those teams 4 times within a year. Let’s see how they did against this most telling of common opponents.

            Record Against The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys (2 games) – 2-0
            Raiders (3 games) – 1-2

            Passing Yards Allowed Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys (2 games) – 57.5 y/g
            Raiders (3 games) – 165 y/g

            Completion Percentage Allowed Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys – 38%
            Raiders – 54%

            Passing Touchdowns Allowed, Interceptions Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys – 0 TDs/game, 2.5 INTs/game
            Raiders – 1.67 TDs/game, 0.67 INTS/game

            Average Score Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys – 20.5 – 8, +12.5 margin
            Raiders – 16 – 21.3, -15.3 margin

            Yikes. Against the most important and meaningful common opponent of the decade, the Tatum Raiders were torched for 5 TD passes while the Cliff Harris Cowboys allowed zero. Dallas whooped the Broncos by a double digit average while Oakland got trounced by a double digit average over 3 games. The Broncos completed a then healthy 54% of their passes against Tatum’s defense but only 38% against Harris’, and DENVER AMASSED ALMOST THREE TIMES AS MUCH PASSING YARDAGE/GAME AGAINST TATUM’S RAIDERS AS AGAINST HARRIS’ COWBOYS. This evidence, along with mountains of total season stats, indicates that the Cowboys would have crushed the Raiders too. After all, in 1977 Stabler threw as many interceptions as touchdowns, LMFAO! He wasn’t even a top 5 QB that season, let alone “the best” as you earlier claimed. And Tatum wasn’t a top 5 safety. Not even close. Cliff Harris was the best FS in the league, in the middle of a stretch of 3 consecutive first team All Pro selections.

            Given the above facts, little wonder that HoF S (and future scout, coach, and GM) Larry Wilson said “I feel Harris is the finest free safety in the business today. He changed the way the position is being played. You see other teams modeling their free safeties around the way Harris plays the pass, and striking fear in everyone on the field because he hits so hard.”

            And little wonder that HoF coach George Allen, who hated the Cowboys, called Harris a “rolling ball of butcher knives”.

            You said: “What happened to the Harris-led secondary when Charley Taylor went off in ’72 NFC Title Game–7 catches, 146 yds, 2 TDs?”

            Charlie Waters playing CB, as I said before. Thank you for again confirming that you don’t know anything about this game other than a quick glance at the box score, lol.

            You said: “Way to defend your crown, chumps!”

            Losing Staubach for the year to injury in the preseason derailed serious chances of a repeat. He did play at the end of that playoff game to lead an amazing comeback win against the 49ers, but the NFC Championship game was his first start and he clearly wasn’t 100%. He did spend most of the rest of the decade beating the crap out of the Redskins though and crushing their dreams. That 1979 finale win stung Washington so bad that John Riggins retired from football for a while before returning in the 1980s.

            That said, the Tatum Raiders only won one Super Bowl in the 1970s, chump! The Cliff Harris Cowboys won two.

            You said: “The ’74 Cowboys were soundly beaten by the Raiders in ’74.

            By 4 points at Oakland in Dallas’ worst season? Wow….you must REALLY think that was a big ass kicking when the Cowboys beat the “champion” 1980 Raiders by 6 (also at Oakland; it’s as if the Raiders were afraid to play in Dallas), lol!

            You’re a joke, Wright. Have you always been a joke, or have you just degenerated in your twilight years? I suspect the former.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 20, 2017

            Razzie, all you can hang onto is the Broncos’ fluky, lightning-in-a-bottle, Cinderella ’77 season. By your “logic,” the Cowboys would have crushed the Steelers, too. Morton hung 27 points on them in the ’77 playoffs (Tom Jackson added a pick six to complete the 34-21 score). Just as everyone outside of Denver suspected: The Broncos’, parachute didn’t open in Super Bowl XII. Quit ducking the real problem of the Cowboys against the top AFC teams from the ’70s. The Cowboys were swept by the Raiders, Steelers, and Dolphins from ’74-’79, six straight games. Early on, the Cowboys were leading the Raiders, 9-3, and then Stabler and Blanda (BLANDA!!) waxed Harris and Waters for three unanswered TDs and that was the game–save for a garbage-time TD by Doug Dennison to make the score “respectable.” The Harris-led secondary was pathetic, while the Tatum-led secondary held Staubach under 50 percent passing with zero TDs. Once again, readers out there, the ’74 Cowboys weren’t “rebuilding” or “in transition.” The ’74 Cowboys just didn’t get it done. The same cast was in the NFC Title game the previous season in ’73 (with Harris giving up a 54-yd TD catch to john Gilliam in the 27-10 Cowboys HOME loss) and made the Super Bowl the following season in ’75. Nine returning starters EACH on offense and defense. It doesn’t fly, junior. Once Bradshaw had some legit big-play threats (Lynn Swann, John Stallworth) to work with, the Steelers beat Dallas relentlessly until 1985. The garbage-time TDs by the ‘Boys in SB XIII camouflages the ass-whipping the Steelers gave Dallas, just like the ’74 Raiders-Cowboys matchup. The Raiders in a similar situation in ’76 trailed the Steelers, 28-14, and scored 17 fourth quarter points to WIN the game. Stabler was much more impressive than Staubach vs. Pittsburgh. As for the ’78 Dolphin game, the Cowboys were down 17-0 and 23-9 before, once again, the Cowboys got a garbage-time TD to make the game look closer than it actually was. You love garbage time, don’t you Razzie? Are you still jacking off over Bob Lee’s Super Bowl XI 7-9, 81-yd, 1 TD passing performance as Tatum and at least four other Raider defensive starters are on the sideline enjoying the last 3 minutes of a 32-7 lead and inevitable championship? You’re pathetic.

            The Cowboys didn’t have the people to beat the Raiders or the Steelers from ’74 through the end of the ’70s. They feasted off weak NFC competition. What would Harris and Waters done against Branch or Casper? Those two stiff Cowboys safeties would have gotten smoked (Branch) and run over (Casper). The only common opponent to look at was Pittsburgh. Denver was a mirage.

            The Raiders were 3-1 vs. Landry’s Cowboys. What else needs to be said? And against the NFC Pro Bowl QBs of the ’70s, Tatum’s secondaries were 9-2 (Jim Hart, Staubach, Kilmer, Gabriel, Tarkenton, Manning, etc) and allowed less than 50 percent completion percentages in at least 8 of those games. And if you are going to harp on that meager 1980 Cowboys “escape” in Oakland, make no mistake about it: the ’80 Raiders would have destroyed the ’80 Cowboys in Super Bowl XV, just as the ’84 ‘Niners would have destroyed the ’84 Steelers–who randomly beat them at Candlestick–in SB XIX, just as the ’85 Bears would have destroyed the ’85 Dolphins–Monday Night Football win–in SB XX.

            OK, junior. School is back in session. As we have found out, you can only answer one question at a time. So here is your latest:

            How in the hell did this happen? Harold Jackson ’73–7 catches, 4 TDs, 238 yds (in 1973!!!; No one ever went for 200 vs. Tatum). Jackson and Cliff Branch were clones. That tells everyone ALL they need to know about the Harris secondary going against the Raiders from ’74-’77.

          • Rasputin
            April 19, 2017

            Obviously that should read a -5.3 p/g margin for the Raiders against the 1977 Broncos, compared to the +12.5 p/g margin for the Cowboys in Denver’s 5 games against those teams.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 20, 2017

            Thanks for confirming that Landry chained Harris to the sidelines and kept him ON THE BENCH to save him the embarrassment of getting dusted by TE John Mackey in Super Bowl V on that Super Bowl-record 75-yd. TD catch. Harris would tie the record helplessly trailing John Stallworth the last 40 yards in Super Bowl XIII.

            “See Waters? I can get burnt for a Super Bowl-record 75-yd touchdown, too.”

            LMFAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            April 20, 2017

            So let’s recap. We’ve established that:

            – From 1971-1979, the years Cliff Harris and Jack Tatum started respectively for the Cowboys and Raiders, Dallas allowed much less passing yardage, consistently ranking much better in pass defense than Oakland, posted better point differentials, and won much more. In fact Oakland often ranked among the NFL’s worst in pass defense while the Cowboys typically ranked among the league’s best (refuting your initial, passing yardage based argument).

            – The Cowboys did this despite playing in a tougher division that had them facing 8 divisional opposing Pro Bowl QBs to the Raiders’ 3, and 9 divisional opposing playoff teams to the Raiders’ 5 (refuting your excuse about opponent quality).

            – Dallas allowed fewer passing yards/game, a lower completion percentage, and fewer net yards/attempt in the PLAYOFFS during that span, surrendering fewer passing TDs/game while catching almost twice as many interceptions/game, and posted a higher playoff winning percentage, despite making the playoffs every year but once while Oakland missed the playoffs 3 of 9 years (refuting the postseason-based argument you had then retreated to).

            – Dallas allowed 200+ net passing yards in only 16.7% of its 18 playoff games while Oakland allowed it in 25% of its 12 playoff games.

            – Dallas also did this despite posting 8 double digit victories to the Raiders’ 3, and posting a much more dominant point margin/game, thus facing more “garbage time” (refuting your “garbage time” excuse, which had appeared in several of your posts).

            – Dallas allowed fewer passing yards/game and a lower completion percentage against COMMON OPPONENTS in the regular season and playoffs than the Raiders, while winning a higher percentage of games (further refuting your opponent quality excuse).

            – Again, Dallas did this despite posting a much higher point margin/game than Oakland, thus facing more “garbage time”.

            – The Cowboys beat common opponents 67% of the time while the Raiders only won 57% of their games against common opponents.

            – Twice the Raiders and Cowboys faced a common opponent consecutively in the AFC Championship and Super Bowl, the Steelers and Broncos, and both years Dallas played better in terms of passing yards allowed and point differential than Oakland had against those teams the previous game.

            – The biggest common opponent faced all decade was the 1977 Broncos, who played the Cowboys/Raiders 5 times that year (no other team played them more than 3 times in a year; refuting your attempt to diminish their importance compared to other games you’ve tried to cherry-pick).

            – The Cowboys went 2-0 against the 1977 Broncos while the Raiders went 1-2. Oakland got pasted in one game 30-7 while Dallas crushed Denver 27-10 in the Super Bowl.

            – In the 1977 AFC Championship QB Craig Morton torched Tatum’s Oakland secondary for a 102.9 passer rating, with the Broncos passing for 217 net yards. In the Super Bowl that followed the Cliff Harris-led Doomsday pass defense held Morton to a 0.0 passer rating and the Broncos to 35 net passing yards.

            – Dallas won 2 Super Bowls and 4 conference championship games in the span in question, while Oakland won one Super Bowl (which team’s was a “fluke” again, moron?) and went 1-4 in conference championship games (further refuting your claim about Oakland supposedly buckling down and getting it done in the playoffs while Dallas allegedly didn’t).

            – Dallas crushed 2 AFC teams in Super Bowls, the 1971 Dolphins and 1977 Broncos, and played the Steelers to 4 point games in two other Super Bowls, the last one only tilting Pittsburgh’s way with heavy controversy. The Raiders only beat one NFC team in the playoffs, and Oakland still allowed 282 net passing yards and 55% completion in that game. Dallas only allowed an average of 155 passing yards and 47% completion in its 4 Super Bowls.

            – The Cowboys beat the Steelers in 1972 without Roger Staubach, while Pittsburgh would end up beating the Raiders twice that year including the playoffs.

            – Except for the Dolphins’ and Raiders’ titles, every Super Bowl from the full merger in 1970 until 1997 was won by an old NFL team, Pittsburgh and Baltimore being NFL transplants to the under-powered AFC.

            – Dallas only played Oakland once in the 1970s, in 1974, the Cowboys’ worst season by far at 8-6, the only year they didn’t make the playoffs, the only year they didn’t post double digit wins, and the beginning of a transition period as great players from the 1960s retired in a wave resulting in 9 new defensive starters by 1977, and they still almost beat a 12-2 Raiders squad at Oakland in a 4 point game. As the regular season finale in their only year to miss the playoffs, it was literally the most meaningless game Dallas played all decade.

            – Dallas didn’t get to play Oakland again until 1980, when they kicked the Raiders’ asses (by your logic) by a larger 6 point margin, again, at Oakland in the Raiders’ Super Bowl year.

            – Their contemporaries voted Cliff Harris to 6 Pro Bowls to Tatum’s 3, Harris first team All Pro 3 years to Tatum’s 0, and named Harris first team All Decade free safety.

            – HoF S/scout/coach/GM Larry Wilson called Cliff Harris the “finest free safety” in the game, saying that his playing style was influencing what other teams were deciding to do.

            – HoF Redskins coach George Allen, who hated the Cowboys, called Harris a “rolling ball of butcher knives”.

            – Dallas ranked in the top 7 in pass defense in each of Harris’ last four years (the top 5 in three out of those four seasons), and dropped from 3rd in his last year to 16th in their first year without Harris. This was despite them getting Charlie Waters and Ed Too Tall Jones back, who had both missed Harris’ last season (refuting your baseless contention that the team’s success was somehow despite Harris instead of partly because of him).

            – Meanwhile the Raiders ranked in the 20s in pass defense in each of Tatum’s last four years, and rose to 19th in their first year without him (refuting your baseless contention that Tatum was vital to the Raiders or even necessarily the best DB on a team more appropriately noted for its corners than its safeties).

            – After 1973 no Dallas CB made the Pro Bowl in the span discussed; only safeties did. After 1975 no Raiders DB of any type made the Pro Bowl.

            – The Cliff Harris secondary only surrendered 1 TD of any kind for the final 18 quarters of the 1971 regular season and playoffs, and the Cowboys remain the only team to hold their Super Bowl opponent out of the end zone as they crushed Miami 24-3. Tatum’s team never came close to doing anything like that. The Raiders’ strength, when they were good for a while, was their offense more than their defense.

            – You are a liar.

            – You are a moron.

            Whether Cliff Harris or Jack Tatum is “better” is ultimately a subjective judgment, but the above are all ironclad, factual points, with the exception of the last two which require some judgment, though it’s a fact that you’ve made multiple objectively, provably false statements.

            You’ve already posted your counter argument…..look at this alleged event in this game here or that cherry-picked game there……there’s no need to continue repeating yourself. I think it’s clear the Cowboys were the better team and would have beaten the Raiders if they had played in any other year, or maybe even in 1974 if they had played in Dallas, probably by a greater margin than they beat Oakland in 1980, but it doesn’t matter much to this debate either way. Your position has been annihilated. Your defeat here has been quite thorough.

            Do you have anything new to contribute or is that it?

            The above evidence indicates the images that better represent the era are Cliff Harris knocking out Rick Upchurch in the Super Bowl, while Tatum gets trucked by Larry Csonka, makes a business decision later when the back runs by him, and gets torched by Haven Moses in the AFC Championship game. Such imagery is more in line with the overall facts.

            Regardless, the evidence overwhelmingly favors the position that Cliff Harris was the better player.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 21, 2017

            You lying, sniveling, idiotic coward. Those are misleading stats and accounts:
            “– Dallas crushed 2 AFC teams in Super Bowls, the 1971 Dolphins and 1977 Broncos, and played the Steelers to 4 point games in two other Super Bowls, the last one only tilting Pittsburgh’s way with heavy controversy. The Raiders only beat one NFC team in the playoffs, and Oakland still allowed 282 net passing yards and 55% completion in that game. Dallas only allowed an average of 155 passing yards and 47% completion in its 4 Super Bowls.”

            “– The Cowboys beat the Steelers in 1972 without Roger Staubach, while Pittsburgh would end up beating the Raiders twice that year including the playoffs.”

            First off, in the Raiders Super Bowl rout of the Vikings, the 7-9, 81-yd , one TD garbage time stats of Viking backup QB Bob Lee distort the picture. The score was 32-7 in favor of the Raiders with less than five minutes left to go and Tatum and at least four other defensive starters were on the sidelines enjoying the inevitable championship, dumbass. For the record, Tarkenton–the Pro Bowl QB that the Tatum-led secondary shut down–was 17-35 (.485) for 201 net passing yards and one TD, readers out there. Yes, readers, Rasputin is a coward and a liar but, then again, he’s a Cowboys fan. And, no, Super Bowl XIII was not a controversial Steelers win just another ass-whippin’ they laid on the Cowboys. They were up 35-17 deep into the fourth quarter and then Dallas scored two garbage time TDs to make it look closer than it was.

            That ’72 Dallas win over Pittsburgh came BEFORE Swann and Stallworth (I could add Lambert to bodyslam Cliff Harris’ sorry ass, but I digress. LMAO!!!). After Swann and Stallworth were there to give Bradshaw a fair fight, as Bradshaw said, “We kicked their (Dallas) ass every time we played ’em. Get used to it. Can’t change it.” Ron Shanklin and Frank Lewis? Really? Because Shanklin and Lewis couldn’t exploit the obvious weaknesses of Harris’ coverage, the Steelers got upgrades (Swann, Stallworth) and that was the end of Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters. The Steelers’ ’72 playoff win vs. the Raiders is FAR more controversial than Super Bowl XIII. Super Bowl XIII isn’t even controversial at all. The best team won.

            The biggest common opponent was not a fluky, lightning-in-a-bottle, Cinderella team (’77 Denver Broncos) but the ’70s best, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Once Pittsburgh became the complete package in ’74 the Raiders played them six times, the Cowboys four times. Stabler and the Tatum-led secondary went 4-2 against the Steelers in that span and Staubach and the Harris-led secondary was 0-4.

            Here is the question today, chicken:

            Why was the Tatum-led secondary SO much more successful vs. Swann and Stallworth while the supposedly “better” Harris-led secondary saw records fall–BIG TIME (Swann’s 161 yards-SB X; Stallworth’s 115 yards in one half and record-tying 75-yd TD with Harris trailing-SB XIII;Bradshaw-first-ever 300-yd SB passing game and SB-record 4 TD passes-SB XIII)–against Swann and Stallworth? Explain just that question. A) If you’re not a coward and B) If you’re not an idiot. Swann and Stallworth just DANCED through that Dallas secondary with NO FEAR of “The Best Free Safety in the NFL.” LMFAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            April 21, 2017

            Yawn.

            “Garbage time” –

            Average Score In Playoff Wins, 1971-1979 (rounded to nearest tenths)

            Cowboys: 25.9–10.5; +15.4 point/game margin
            Raiders: 29.9–20.1; +9.8 point/game margin

            Double Digit Victories, Playoffs 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 8
            Raiders – 3

            Your “garbage time” excuse fails because Dallas faced a lot more of it in the playoffs and still performed better in pass defense and overall than Oakland. Also note that the Cliff Harris Doomsday squad allowed almost 10 points less per game than Tatum’s crew.

            Common Opponents –

            Winning Percentage Against Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 67%
            Raiders – 57%

            Passing Yards/Game Allowed Against Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 148.1 y/g
            Raiders – 158.5 y/g

            Completion Percentage Allowed, Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 48%
            Raiders – 49.4%

            Average Score Against Common Opponents 1971-1979

            Cowboys: 24.4–16.3, +8.1 margin
            Raiders: 20.9–18.5, +2.4 margin

            Same here. Your squirming cherry-picking will keep being crushed by the full facts, coward.

            You said: “First off, in the Raiders Super Bowl rout of the Vikings, the 7-9, 81-yd , one TD garbage time stats of Viking backup QB Bob Lee distort the picture…..For the record, Tarkenton–the Pro Bowl QB that the Tatum-led secondary shut down–was 17-35 (.485) for 201 net passing yards and one TD, readers out there.”

            Even if you just take Tarkenton’s stats that’s a worse defensive performance than the Cowboys averaged through their 4 Super Bowls, despite Dallas facing extreme garbage time in the blowout wins over the Dolphins and Broncos. In those 4 Super Bowls Dallas only allowed 155 net passing yards/game and a 47% completion percentage. You still lose, chump.

            You said: “The Steelers’ ’72 playoff win vs. the Raiders is FAR more controversial than Super Bowl XIII.”

            Nope. While SB XIII was extremely controversial for reasons already laid out, the Steelers beat the Raiders TWICE in 1972. Doesn’t look like there’s any controversy there.

            You said: “That ’72 Dallas win over Pittsburgh came BEFORE Swann and Stallworth…. Ron Shanklin and Frank Lewis? Really? Because Shanklin and Lewis couldn’t exploit the obvious weaknesses of Harris’ coverage”

            LOL! The Shanklin/Lewis Steelers beat the Raiders TWICE that year, AGAIN in 1973, and AGAIN in the 1974 playoffs. The Steelers won the Super Bowl with Shanklin and Lewis as their starting WRs. But the Cliff Harris Cowboys kicked Terry Bradshaw’s ass in 1972 even without Roger Staubach, a bigger deal than who’s playing WR.

            You said: “Why was the Tatum-led secondary SO much more successful vs. Swann and Stallworth”

            The better question is why was the “Tatum-led secondary” so deficient against Shanklin and Lewis compared to the Harris Cowboys?

            That said, you’ve been placing a huuuge amount of stock in John Stallworth showing up. Stallworth didn’t even become the full time starter until 1977, moron, at which point the Tatum Raiders only played him ONCE. Pittsburgh didn’t play Oakland in 1978 or 1979, when the Steelers were at their best.

            Stallworth didn’t start against the Raiders in the 1975 playoffs. LEWIS was still starting alongside Swann. Stallworth DID START AGAINST THE COWBOYS in the Super Bowl that followed, however. Despite that, Stallworth caught 2 passes for 30 yards and a TD off the bench against Oakland while the Cowboys held him to 2 catches for 8 yards and 0 TDs.

            There were only 3 years all decade when the Steelers were a true common opponent, playing Dallas and Oakland the same season (things change from season to season in the NFL), and the Cowboys performed better in most metrics.

            In the 1975 playoffs Pittsburgh beat Oakland by 6, completing 60% of their passes for 215 net yards, while they only edged out Dallas in the following game by 4 points, completing 47% of their passes for 190 yards.

            In 1977 the Raiders did win, but they allowed 217 passing yards. Dallas didn’t win, but they only allowed 92 passing yards, so it wasn’t primarily the fault of their pass defense.

            In 1972 the Cowboys allowed 142 yards, 30.8% completion, and 0 TDs against Pittsburgh. The Raiders allowed 144 yards at 44% completion and 1 TD in one game and 106 yards at 41.2% completion and 1 TD in the other, with them losing both games by 4 and 6 respectively while the Cowboys beat the Steelers by 4.

            Versus Steelers As A Common Opponent, 1972, 1975, 1977

            Net Passing Yards Allowed

            Cowboys – 141.3 y/g
            Raiders – 170.5 y/g

            Opponent Completion Percentage

            Cowboys – 40%
            Raiders – 49.5%

            It’s hard to confirm regular season starting lineups, but Stallworth appears to have only seen significant action in a couple of games against each team during the Harris/Tatum era.

            In 1976 Stallworth caught passes in 3 games all year, but by far his best performance was at Oakland, where he caught 6 passes for 94 yards and a TD. In the two games against other teams he went for 19 and -2 yards, respectively.

            In 1977 against the Raiders he went for 87 yards on 3 catches, his third biggest yardage total of the year and his highest yards/reception at 29, while against Dallas he went for 46 yards on 4 catches, and 11.5 yards/reception.

            Doesn’t seem like Pittsburgh did a better job against Stallworth after all. Seems more like you were fishing for an arbitrary cut off point to boost your shattered argument.

            That said, if you count the 4 games the Harris Cowboys played against the Steelers once Stallworth joined them in 1974 and the 6 games Oakland played against them, even when Stallworth was a backup, Dallas allowed 172 net passing yards/game while the Raiders allowed 170 y/g, practically a wash. And if you exclude the controversial SB XIII, which skews the stats, and in fairness the worst Raiders pass defense performance (surrendering 242 yards in 1976), here’s what you get:

            Net Passing Yards/Game Allowed Versus Steelers (minus each’s worst performance) 1974-1979

            Cowboys – 132.3 y/g
            Raiders – 155.6 y/g

            The Cowboys consistently kept the Steelers to fewer passing yards even in the Stallworth era, except for that one controversial, fluky game skewing the numbers (and even counting that it’s practically tied). That was from a year, 1978, in which the Raiders didn’t play the Steelers and weren’t even good enough to make the playoffs. Talk about apples and oranges.

            I’m not saying the above figures are a big deal, just that they undermine whatever pathetic point you’re trying to make with your tantrum here. And Stallworth didn’t even start in most of those games. The truth is that the Cowboys didn’t play the Steelers enough to get meaningful results that can lead to conclusions apart from those particular games themselves.

            The least fluky common opponent by far was the 1977 Denver Broncos, because they played the Raiders/Cowboys a total of 5 times that year. Whatever those results are worth, they’re a lot more meaningful than the Steelers as a comparison.

            Record Against The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys (2 games): 2-0
            Raiders (3 games): 1-2

            Passing Yards Allowed Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys (2 games) – 57.5 y/g
            Raiders (3 games) – 165 y/g

            Completion Percentage Allowed Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys – 38%
            Raiders – 54%

            Passing Touchdowns Allowed, Interceptions Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys – 0 TDs/game, 2.5 INTs/game
            Raiders – 1.67 TDs/game, 0.67 INTS/game

            Average Score Versus The 1977 Broncos

            Cowboys: 20.5–8, +12.5 margin
            Raiders: 16–21.3, -5.3 margin

            These results are clear and decisive. Even weightier are the total common opponents results listed above, and the total results I’ve posted elsewhere on this thread that reinforce them.

            The real question is why did the Tatum secondary perform so much worse against common opponents, and overall in the playoffs and regular season than the Harris secondary did?

            PS – You never actually gave an example of me “lying”, little Joey Wrong. An example of an actual lie is your claim that Thomas Henderson knocked out Rick Upchurch in the Super Bowl instead of Cliff Harris, which you made because you didn’t know I could link to publicly available evidence showing anyone reading this that you were wrong. Or you insisting that Lou Groza was only a kicker and not a tackle. Stuff like that. By contrast you can’t post a single claim I’ve made that’s wrong, let alone a “lie”. I don’t mean something you disagree with; I’m talking about a factual statement you can objectively prove to be false. You can’t do it.

            The most important question remaining is how thorough and utterly humiliating do you want your ongoing defeat to become before you finally cut your losses?

          • Rasputin
            April 3, 2017

            A couple of things that have threatened to slip through the cracks:

            – No, a close look at slow motion replay shows that Drew Pearson did NOT push off in the Hail Mary play, and that Viking CB Nate Wright initiated incidental contact, sort of jumped for the ball, and proceeded to trip over his own feet.

            – You made both these statements on this page:

            “I never said Z was anti-Raider. He was anti-Stabler.”

            And later….

            “SI, the fraudulent Dr. Z, and AP were prejudiced against the Raiders.”

            You can’t even reliably keep a coherent position through a single debate.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 4, 2017

            Of course Pearson pushed Nate Wright. How can a person (N.Wright) be running stride-for-stride in front of another (D. Pearson) down the sideline then all of a sudden falls flying forward toward the middle of the field and not the goalline. “Sort of jumped for the ball, and proceeded to trip over his own feet.” GTFOH!! So if he tripped over his feet, that was in midair, right? Please! Pearson pushed him in the back, making Wright fly forward. It was the basketball equivalent of two players going up for a rebound and the boxed out player (Pearson) commits a loose ball foul on the guy who had the inside position (Wright). Side note: Two games later–Super Bowl X–Drew tries the same stunt on Steelers’ safety Mike Wagner on the game’s last play but fortunately the Steelers’ other safety, Glen Edwards, intercepted to end the game. To quote Bradshaw, “We kicked their (Cowboys) ass every time we played them.” LMAO!!!

          • Rasputin
            April 6, 2017

            Except the footage shows no arm extension by Pearson, so no push off. You can see Nate Wright stepping awkardly as he tries to turn around to look for the ball though and makes a desperate, off balance lunge. And yes, you can trip and jump at the same time. It’s not that uncommon.

            Good no call by the refs.

          • Rasputin
            April 4, 2017

            Should add that Cliff Harris is the only first team defensive member of the 70s All Decade team not in the HoF. Drew Pearson is the only first team offensive member not in.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 4, 2017

            Put your money on Pearson to get in. Harris was an undeserved honor.

          • Rasputin
            April 4, 2017

            Actually, Joseph, Harris is more likely to get in than Pearson, judging by the buzz among media types and HoF observers, especially non-Cowboys fans. They’re both deserving. Clearly Cliff Harris was the best FS of the decade and merited his All Decade honors, with 6 Pro Bowls, 3 first team AP All Pro selections, 2 Super Bowl wins, and 4 conference championship wins in the 1970s as a starter. No other FS had those accolades in the 1970s. He was the best DB on one of the greatest defenses of all time. It would have been robbery to name anyone else first team All Decade.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 5, 2017

            Mel Renfro was a far better performer in the Cowboys secondary than Cliff Harris.

            Stabler and Casper are in the Hall of Fame because
            1) In ’74, ’76, and ’77, Stabler was the best QB in football.
            2) From ’76-’79 Casper was the best TE in football.
            3) Howley was NEVER the best outside linebacker in football.
            4) Harris was a beneficiary of the Cowboys’ pass rush (Harvey Martin, Randay White, Too tall Jones) and the Cowboys propaganda machine. Overrated.

            I’m sure Howley is taking good care of Mike Curtis’ Super Bowl V MVP trophy at the house, though. Chuck is a good guy that way.

          • Rasputin
            April 5, 2017

            That’s it? That’s your response? Oh well. Mel Renfro was the best Cowboys DB through 1973, when he made his last Pro Bowl. He wasn’t even a starter by 1977. I said Cliff Harris was the best DB in the second half of the decade, oh reading comprehension challenged one.

            1. Stabler was the best QB in 1976. Without that one year he’s not even close to being HoF worthy even with the Raiders’ hype machine in full swing. Roger Staubach was the best QB in 1977. Stabler threw 20 INTs versus 20 TDs that season, lol. You’re a joke.

            2 & 3. Howley was first team AP All Pro 5 times, while Casper was first team AP All Pro 4 times. Howley made 6 Pro Bowls to Casper’s 5. Plus Howley’s Pro Bowl and All Pro selections were spread out across 7 different accolade seasons to Casper’s 5. Howley was a SB MVP and considered for MVP in the next year’s Super Bowl. Howley’s 43 career takeaways are 2nd in NFL history behind only Jack Ham among OLBs. Howley was a great run stopper and coverage guy who was one of the most respected defensive players period when he played, and he’s one of the greatest 4-3 OLBs of all time.

            4. All those pass rushers were still there in 1980 when the Dallas pass defense slipped from 3rd to 16th without Cliff Harris. Doomsday and the 1970s Cowboys overall were better than the Raiders. It’s not even close.

            It’d only be fair, since I’m sure Mike Curtis is taking good care of Howley’s Super Bowl V ring. Mike’s a good guy that way. Howley does have a Super Bowl VI ring too though, while neither Mike, Casper, nor Stabler have an MVP trophy.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 6, 2017

            Way to ignore Stabler’s ’74 season, coward. A season that he culminated by torching Harris for 2 TD passes in the finale (Harris was torched for a third TD pass that game by 1,000-year-old George Blanda; Tatum’s secondary gave up no TD passes to Staubach and Roger completed less than half his passes). And in ’77, Stabler completed his third straight victory, 16-7, over the Steelers in Pittsburgh (with great defensive help from Tatum’s secondary: Swann and Stallworth were nonfactors while Tatum picked off a Bradshaw pass) while later that year in Three Rivers Staubach was pounded, 27-13 (Swann and Stallworth each invaded the Cowboys endzone as Cliff Harris was a nonfactor). Somewhere I hear Terry Bradshaw: “We kicked their (Cowboys) ass every time we played them.”

            Once again, Casper was the best TE in the game from ’76-’79. Howley was NEVER the best OLB in football. AP All-Pro voters of that time obviously had flaws (something you and Bachslunch fail to see). How else can someone like Roger Werli keep getting voted first-team as a cornerback on one of the worst defenses annually in all of football? Bobby Bell was the first outside linebacker ever elected to the Hall of Fame. Jack Ham followed several years later and then came Ted Hendricks. All played or overlapped in Howley’s era. He was nowhere near the game-changers these guys were! Dave Casper was the first ’70s TE elected to the Hall, and deservedly so. No, moron, Ditka and John Mackey were elected before Casper for their performances in the 60s even though their careers spilled into the early ’70s. And although Winslow came into the NFL in ’79 and the Hall of Fame before Casper (no objection from me), he was elected for his performance in the ’80s.

            The fall of the Landry Cowboys began primarily because of the retirement of Roger Staubach before 1980. Meanwhile other teams in the NFC wised up, got better personnel (e.g, Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig, Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Wilbert Montgomery, Mike Quick, Randall Cunningham, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Neil Lomax, Roy Green, Ottis Anderson, Dexter Manley, the Hogs, Bill Walsh,Joe Gibbs, Dick Vermiel, Buddy Ryan) and the empire began to crumble. Cliff Harris meekly and cowardly retired immediately after Staubach called it quits. At least Charlie Waters (who came in in 1970, like Harris) stuck it out. I would have LOVED to have seen Harris trailing Montgomery in the ’80 NFC title game, looking up helplessly at Dwight Clark and The Catch (getting Lynn Swann flashbacks in the process–that was funny. LOL!!!), or getting plowed over by John Riggins (or would Harris have made a Deion-like “business decision” that you sleazily accused Tatum of against Csonka). Harris’ departure had absolutely nothing to do with the demise of Landry’s Cowboys. They would have slipped to 16th, or worse, WITH Harris. Times were changing and people around the NFC weren’t buying into the Cowboys crap anymore.

            “Neither Mike, Casper, nor Stabler have an (Super Bowl) MVP trophy.” Because Chuck stole it from Mike, dummy! And why would Stabler and Casper want an MVP trophy that says they played well–for the losing team?

          • Rasputin
            April 6, 2017

            You never have commented on the Cowboys beating the Raiders in 1980, coward, and answered my question about what that means. Imagine how much worse an ass-kicking Oakland would have suffered if Dallas still had Cliff Harris! By contrast I’ve extensively discussed 1974 (Dallas’ worst season that decade) and mocked you for bringing it up, you lying moron. You still haven’t seen that game and have no idea who got “torched”. Stabler threw as many interceptions as touchdowns in 1977 and you’re trying to claim he was the best QB that year, lol. You’re a buffoon dancing for my amusement at this point. Let’s bring the sledgehammer back out.

            Passing Yards Allowed 1971-1979

            Cowboys – 18,948

            NFL average – 20,248.8

            Raiders – 20,704

            Pass Defense League Ranking

            1976
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 7th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 23rd

            1977
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 2nd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 22nd

            1978
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 5th
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 20th

            1979
            Cowboys (with Harris) – 3rd
            Raiders (with Tatum) – 21st

            ————-

            1980
            Cowboys (without Harris) – 16th
            Raiders (without Tatum) – 19th

            Yep, that’s still checkmate.

            Cliff Harris retired because of nagging neck and other injuries, and because he had a good oil business opportunity in an era where players weren’t paid anything like what they are now. It had nothing to do with Staubach’s retirement. Harris’ injuries had been accumulated over a decade of sacrificing his body playing all out, doing things like stoning Walter Peyton squared up one on one as opposed to Jack Tatum making a business decision as Larry Csonka ran by him into the end zone (Csonka wasn’t a helplessly stretched out receiver, you see).

            Chuck Howley was named the best at his position in the NFL 5 years while Casper was named such 4 years. Your pathetic response to that is to sputter that All Pro voters “had flaws”, LOL? Not as many as you do, Baghdad Bob. Howley is one of the greatest weakside LBs of all time and should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago.

            Losing Staubach hurt, but that’s not why their PASS DEFENSE slipped from 3rd to 16th without Cliff Harris. Danny White was good too.Their offense still ranked top 10 and was #1 in scoring in 1980. And the Danny White led Cowboys gave the 1980 Raiders an ass-kicking at Oakland (as you define “ass-kicking”, lol).

            Landry posted an NFL record 20 consecutive winning seasons that extended through 1985 (1st place NFC East) and didn’t end until after they lost Danny White to injury. Before broking his wrist the 1986 White led Cowboys started 6-2 and looked to have the best offense in the league. After the injury they limped to the end and finished 7-9. White never really recovered from the tendon damage and Dallas had a few losing seasons after suddenly losing their franchise QB.

            And I said the team’s decline’s started in the secondary with Harris retiring; I didn’t say Harris’ departure singlehandedly caused all the bad things that happened in the decade.

            So it took other teams a long time to allegedly figure out Landry’s “crap”, as you idiotically put it. It was apparently a lot easier figuring out the Raiders’ and everyone else’s crap. My main memory of the early 1990s Raiders was a video of their recent history put together by one of the networks that was set to the gloomy music of “November Rain”, LMFAO.

            The Steelers beat the Raiders decisively in the playoffs while squeaking out escapes in their two playoff games against Dallas (the second in controversial fashion). The Broncos and Dolphins, two teams the Cowboys crushed, both gave the Raiders ass-kickings. The Cowboys were better than the Raiders overall in the 1970s (and in general through NFL history), it’s not even close.

            My point was that the refs stole Super Bowl V and gave it to the Colts, you idiot. Even honest Colts fans admit this. We’ve proved you’re incompetent at basic internet searches, but for anyone else reading this who my be interested google “baltimore sun at bottom of 22-year pile, ex-Cowboy still insists he, not Colts, had fumble”. It should be the first article to pop up.

            Regardless, between Howley, Curtis, Stabler, and Casper, Howley is the only one who has both a SB MVP trophy AND a Super Bowl ring. So keep digging your hole, LOL!

          • Joseph Wright
            April 6, 2017

            “Cliff Harris retired because of nagging neck and other injuries,” is what you wrote…AFTER you idiotically said “Imagine how much worse an ass-kicking Oakland would have suffered if Dallas still had Cliff Harris!” You’re a fool. Meanwhile, if the Raiders had still had Tatum (who had 7 INTs that year; imagine him with Lester Hayes’ 13 picks) Dorsett doesn’t run for 97 yards and Plunkett didn’t have the benefit of passing against Cliff Harris as Stabler did. So what is it: Did Harris punk out and left when he saw Staubach left? Or if he really was that hurt, how can HE, as a decrepit, limping DB (who was overrated to begin with) not get exploited by the Raiders in that ’80 game? Teams do read scouting and injury reports, you know.

            No, cowardly fool, I haven’t forgot: Who was a better QB than Stabler in 1974? For those of you watching for Rasputin’s answer, here’s a cop-out alert: Look for him to mention a QB who didn’t make the ’74 playoffs.

          • Rasputin
            April 6, 2017

            I didn’t say Cliff Harris was an invalid, moron. He made the Pro Bowl in 1979, his final season. He had played through these “nagging” injuries for years and probably would have still been great if he had played in 1980. He retired due to a combination of concern over his future quality of life and the aforementioned oil business opportunity. Tatum retired one year later, lol, and by your logic he must have done so because he was no longer surrounded by the Raiders who had propped him up through most of his career.

            If Tatum had been on that 1980 Raiders team the Cowboys beat at Oakland Dallas probably would have won by an even bigger margin. Tatum hadn’t made a Pro Bowl since 1975, possibly because the Tatum pass defenses routinely ranked among the worst in the league. Even team interceptions, one of his few fairly good points, went UP in 1980 without Tatum, something you’ve failed to address, coward. Oakland actually led the league in interceptions, something they hadn’t done since 1975.

            Harris was twice as good Tatum. He went to twice as many Pro Bowls, won twice as many Super Bowls, won 4 times as many conference championship games as a starter, was selected first team AP All Pro 3 times while Tatum never was, and his pass defenses ranked much higher on average than Tatum’s. Cliff Harris was the greatest free safety of his era. Tatum was never even the best free safety in a particular year.

            I didn’t say anything about who the best QB was in 1974, you sputtering buffoon. Stabler has an argument, along with Ken Anderson and a couple of others. So what? I mocked you for claiming Stabler was the best in 1977, when he threw as many interceptions as TDs and wasn’t in the top 5 in either passer rating or yards.

          • Joseph Wright
            April 7, 2017

            What’d I tell all of you! I KNEW Razzie would cop-out, and mention the very QB from ’74 that didn’t make the playoffs, Ken Anderson! Stabler was by far the best QB of ’74. He was NFL MVP that year. End of discussion. Hey, Razzie, tell us about how much better Mike Boryla, one of your favorites, was than Ken Stabler. LMAO!!! I reeled you in, junior!

            As for the Raiders’ INT total of ’80, don’t you think Lester Hayes’ Baker’s Dozen (that’s 13, numbskull) inflates that just a bit? The next year, 1981, (without the Stickum or Tatum–who had 7 in ’80, a number Harris never got) the team INT total dropped to 13.

            Cliff Harris was twice a good with the Media vs. Tatum or any other safety of that era. Why AP, Zimmerman, and others slobbered over him, I have no idea. It’s not like his performance was so exceptional. Cliff Harris was not as impactual as Tatum. Taking Tatum out of the mix, Jake Scott, Mike Wagner, Tony Greene (who had no D-line like Tatum), and Glen Edwards were better safeties than Harris. Speaking of Wagner…

            That pushing off stunt that Drew Pearson pulled off on Nate Wright to make the Hail Mary successful (It was a subtle push. Of course Pearson didn’t extend his arm in full view of the officials, fool), Pearson pulled that same stunt on Wagner on the last play of Super Bowl X but fortunately Edwards intercepted. However,as we all know, a leopard doesn’t change its spots and in the second quarter of the ’81 NFC Title game–The Catch– Ronnie Lott, who was a corner then, had Pearson covered. Danny White threw the ball anyway and Pearson tried to push off on Lott–just as he did on Wright–but Lott was bigger, held his ground and intercepted. And the officials threw a flag and called pass interference–on Lott! Landry’s Cowboys always got the calls! Fortunately, Walsh outfoxed Landry, Clark did a Lynn Swann impersonation, and the Cowboys were out of the Super Bowl. Are you gonna tell us that Montana was lucky and really trying to throw the ball away? I know the ’80s were tough, junior. The Cowboys didn’t get to nor won any Super Bowls, the Raiders beat them two out of three times and won two SBs of their own, the Redskins got two SBs, Buddy Ryan and the Eagles tormented the Cowboys and made fun of them, and the 49ers owned the decade and–after the Cowboys ran up the score on them in ’80–“kicked their (Cowboys) ass every time we played ’em.” LOL!!!

            1984–
            Reporter: “What’s it like being the leader and owner of the most hated team in football?”
            Al Davis: “No, no. We’re the second most hated team. We’ll never catch Dallas.”

          • Rasputin
            April 7, 2017

            The only thing you reeled in, little Joey Wrong, was your own tongue after you hooked it. I never criticized Stabler’s 1974 season and I already knew he was MVP that season, so you’re spinning your wheels. BTW, it’s funny how hypocritical you were in dismissing Emmitt Smith’s far more deserving 1993 NFL MVP award, but I digress.

            I’ve been mocking you for boasting that Stabler was the best QB in 1977 (not 1974). Do you have a learning disability? Can you see the screen ok? Do rows of numbers look blurry and confuse you?

            Again, in 1977 Stabler threw as many interceptions as touchdowns. He failed to rank in the top 5 in either passer rating or yards, so he wasn’t even near the best in efficiency or volume. He didn’t lead the league in any categories. I’m going to keep punishing you with this until you retract your moronic assertion.

            In the ACF Championship game the Broncos’ Orange Crush defense held Stabler to 49% completion and a 75.3 rating when they kicked the Raiders’ asses. Staubach completed 68% of his passes and posted a 102.6 rating in beating those same Broncos.

            That’s a true common, consecutive opponent in the games that matter most. And how did the pass defenses do?

            Passer Rating Allowed Versus QB Craig Morton In 1977 Playoffs

            Tatum Raiders – 102.9
            Harris Cowboys – 0.0

            Haven Moses torched Tatum for 5 catches, 168 yards, and 2 TDs. The next game the Cliff Harris-led Doomsday defense held him to 1 catch for 25 yards and zero TDs.

            And no, Pearson didn’t push off at all. His hands were busy going for the ball. Simply repeating your false claim doesn’t make it true, any more than it did about Lou Groza supposedly just being a kicker and not a tackle, Hickerson supposedly being Jim Brown’s only HoF blocker, Thomas Henderson instead of Cliff Harris supposedly knocking out Rick Upchurch in SB XII, rushing stats supposedly being unaffected by offensive stat inflation, the Raiders supposedly playing 8 NFC Pro Bowl QBs from 1971-1979, or any of the other totally debunked, absolutely false claims you’ve made here in your desperate squirming. I also gave you multiple, publicly verifiable, concrete instances of Dallas getting screwed by blown official calls in Super Bowls, including a Baltimore Sun article agreeing that Dallas got robbed of the victory in Super Bowl V, as well as studies showing them not getting the home field bump other teams get in recent years, and all you can counter with to justify your ludicrous claim on officiating is one ridiculous anecdote based on your own unreliable judgement, lol? Nope.

            You’ve been so thoroughly defeated in the 1970s debate that now you’re trying to retreat into the 1980s to make some rambling point you can’t even cogently articulate, lol? Let’s skip right to the big picture.

            1960 – 2016

            Dallas Cowboys – .573% winning (#1 among NFL teams), 493-367-6, 32 playoff seasons (#1 among NFL teams), 5 Super Bowl wins, 8 conference championship wins, 16 conference championship appearances, 22 division championships (#3 among NFL teams, only slightly behind Giants and Bears who both started in the 1920s), 34 playoff wins, 0 team relocations.

            Oakland Raiders – .532% winning (#11 among NFL teams, and that includes AFL seasons when Oakland was playing in a league of expansion teams), 456-401-11, 22 playoff seasons (#15 among NFL teams), 3 Super Bowl wins, 5 conference championships wins, 14 conference championship appearances, 16 division championships (#12 among NFL teams), 25 playoff wins, 3 team relocations.

            And all that’s despite the Cowboys playing in the NFC East, the historically toughest division (much tougher than the AFC West). You lose, Joseph Wright. No wonder the Cowboys are the most hated AND most LOVED team, while people are relatively ambivalent about the Raiders. Dallas has won the most, beaten the most opponents, and inspired the most fans.

  5. bachslunch
    February 28, 2017
    Reply

    Joseph, just for the record, I do not think Wes Welker was a better receiver than Paul Warfield. I’m well aware that some kind of period adjusting is necessary, not to mention the fact that Warfield played on run-heavy teams that likely depressed his raw stats. To an extent, that’s true of Michael Irvin also. Chase Stuart has made an attempt at period adjusting for WRs, but I’m not that taken with what he came up with.

  6. bachslunch
    February 28, 2017
    Reply

    Joseph, I’m not going to email about Stabler, so will be brief. Should be clear that I’m not sold on narrative boosts in HoF cases. His single title and quality of stats just don’t cut it for me, sorry. If he’s a HoFer, I say so are Conerly, Theismann, Roman Gabriel, John Brodie, Ken Anderson, and likely others. Get all these folks in, and I won’t have any issue with Stabler.

  7. Rasputin
    March 1, 2017
    Reply

    Good piece, but don’t fall into the trap of dismissing the Cowboys’ under-representation in Canton to them winning two Super Bowls instead of four.

    In 2005 the Vikings, who had started a year later than the Cowboys and have never won a Super Bowl, had 5 Hall of Fame players. The Cowboys had 5 too.

    Don’t tell me there was no anti-Cowboys bias among voters and the broader media. It seems to have ginned up around 1980, maybe in part as a reaction to the “America’s Team” stuff, and reached its zenith in the late 90s. That’s why for years Dallas’ only few HoFers were all first ballot shoe-in types like Randy White and Roger Staubach whom even haters acknowledged had to be inducted. It’s why Drew Pearson and Cliff Harris are the only two offensive and defensive starters respectively on the 1970s All Decade team not in. It’s why Mel Renfro, the 10 time Pro Browler and franchise career interception leader with 2 SB rings, one of the greatest DBs in NFL history and the best KO returner in team history, had to wait until his final year of eligibility to squeak in. It’s why Darren Woodson was royally robbed out of 1990s All Decade status. The Cowboys hadn’t gotten any of the less open and shut case types other teams get here and there. It’s why Chuck Howley, a SB MVP with 5 AP first team All Pro selections and 6 Pro Bowls spread out across 7 different seasons, and several other deserving players, have never even gotten close.

    The Landry era Cowboys had more sustained success than the Noll era Steelers. The gap between their representations in Canton becomes much greater when you consider that the Steelers won 4 Super Bowls, two of them by less than a TD, in one relatively brief several year burst with essentially the same group of players.

    The Cowboys had 20 consecutive winning seasons, 19 of them playoff years. They owned the Steelers in the 1960s and into the early 1970s, had a better decade on balance in the 1980s than Pittsburgh did, and even won more games than the Steelers in the 1970s. You cut off the period at 1978, but they did make three consecutive NFC Championship games from 1980-1982 and won the powerful NFC East as late as 1985.

    It required different waves of great players to sustain that success in three different decades. You can’t just lump Randy White in with Bob Lilly, as they never played together. Tony Dorsett’s induction doesn’t make up for Chuck Howley’s exclusion. The success of the late 1970s and 1980s was mostly achieved with a different group than the success of the 1960s and early 1970s. None of the eras are properly represented.

    The stubborn anti-Cowboys selector clique may have shrunk some this century with voter turnover, but you still haven’t made up for the damage done in the years following the Landry era. At a minimum these three men should be enshrined ASAP, as they should have been in a long time ago:

    Chuck Howley
    Cliff Harris
    Drew Pearson

    Lee Roy Jordan is roughly in that mix too, but if three of those players are inducted in the next few years then we can finally move on from the destructive legacy of the anti-Cowboys bias and deal with the remaining best candidates in a normal manner.

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