The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America

Joe Nick Patoski, Author
Joe Nick Patoski. Little, Brown, $29.99 (816p) ISBN 978-0-316-07755-2
Paperback - 808 pages - 978-0-316-07754-5
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-316-17480-0
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In this superbly detailed, obsessively researched, and equal parts serious sports scholarship and outrageous laugh-out-loud reporting about the Dallas Cowboys, Patoski (Willie Nelson: An Epic Life) focuses in part on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who spent $1.2 million on a new stadium (“aka Jerry World; aka the Death Star”) into which the Statue of Liberty could fit standing up, as well as the Empire State Building laid on its side. Patoski starts with the Death Star as a way into viewing the ups and downs of the 50-plus–year history of professional football in Dallas, from its inception as a popular amateur team sport in the 19th century, speaking to “Texas’s legacy as a republic that had won its independence from Mexico by fighting hard and using whatever means necessary,” through the team’s professional start under the direction of businessman Clint Murchison and coach Tex Schramm, to its various championships and its controversial sale to Jerry Jones, who brought in the equally controversial head coach Jimmy Johnson. But Patoski’s supreme ability to capture the intricacies of the team’s history doesn’t get in the way of his equally impressive and cleverly sly portrayals of the many wacky players throughout Cowboys history, from quarterback Don Meredith to the players living and partying in “the White House” in the Dallas suburbs, about which offensive lineman Nate Newton famously said, “We’ve got a little place over here where we’re running some whores in and out, trying to be responsible.” (Oct.)
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