'Cowboys Chronicles'

Book covers every season and every game

'Cowboys Chronicles'

Dallas Cowboys fans don't have a lot to cheer about this week following the Cowboys' pathetic performance vs. the 'Skins. Maybe a look at past glory is what's needed to soothe the pain. Marty Strasen's Cowboys Chronicles hit the shelves Sept. 1 and should help to distract the disgruntled 'Boys fans until the team gets its offensive line situation worked out.

The full title is Cowboys Chronicles: A Complete History of the Dallas Cowboys (Triumph Books, 352 pp., $27.95), and it's just that: capsule reviews/recaps of every single Cowboys game ever played – more than 800 in all. Strasen's résumé is impressive, although I find it interesting he previously penned a book about the Cowboys' divisional foes the New York Giants.

Following a typically rah-rah Cowboys foreword by Danny White (wherein he refers to this book as "the bible") and an intro by the author defending the Cowboys' place as "America's Team" (the Yankees or Lakers could lay claim to this in their sports, right?), the book proper begins with the Cowboys' first year of existence, 1960.

What follows will surely keep the Cowboys faithful slack-jawed and drooling for the better part of the year (and help them to forget current-day struggles) but will certainly bore non-Cowboys fans.

Do the Cowboys merit all the hype? As much as I hate to say it, yes, they do (eight Super Bowl appearances and five wins proves that – as well as all the Hall of Famers who have worn their jersey). Yet, much like the burnt-orange-clad nation here in the ATX has done permanent damage to my poor Houston-bred retinas, I also tire of the blue and gray.

But maybe that is the largest testament to the Cowboys' claim as America's Team: Love 'em or hate 'em, you're always talking about them. When the Houston Texans dominated the Cowboys in preseason this year, the national media wasn't discussing the powerhouse H-town offense, but instead where the Cowboys faltered.

For better or worse, I'm stuck with 'em. And so is America. But if I were a Cowboys fan, this book would have a proud presence on my coffee table (or toilet tank) for the remainder of the season. On top of recapping every single game they've ever played (albeit somewhat blandly), it shines a (star) light on all the big names that have made their way through the Cowboys' locker room: Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Deion Sanders, Bob Lilly, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, etc. and current-day stars DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo, their new stadium, etc. – as well as some lesser-known (to me) players like Don Perkins, Rayfield Wright, Everson Walls, and Chuck Howley.

If you've got a friend or loved one who is a Cowboys fan, you can't go wrong slipping them a copy of the Cowboys Chronicles.

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cowboys chronicles, marty strasen

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