Cotton Bowl Days: Growing Up with Dallas and the Cowboys in the 1960s

John Eisenberg, Author
John Eisenberg, Author Simon & Schuster $24 (304p) ISBN 978-0-684-83120-6
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Hardcover - 978-0-684-00552-2
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-0-8092-2393-0
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A look at a boy, a team and a city, this portrait by Baltimore Sun sports columnist Eisenberg will strike a chord in those who grew up as sports-obsessed hero-worshipers. Raised in Dallas, Eisenberg dates his awareness of sports to 1960, when he was four and the Cowboys were playing their first dismal season, going 0-11-1. The team did not have a winning year until 1966, so, in a sense, the boy and the Cowboys grew up together, coming of age as local residents backed the team as a positive force in eradicating the image their city had acquired after the Kennedy assassination. In some ways reminiscent of The Boys of Summer, Eisenberg's book succeeds because of his interviews with such stars of the 1960s and early '70s as Don Perkins, Herb Adderley and Bob Lilly and because of his growing awareness of the realities of Dallas football history--the undisguised racism, the wretched salaries, the icy exterior of coach Tom Landry--all of which had escaped him as a youngster. But the period also had its pluses, above all the closeness of players and fans, an element long gone from the pro sport. A fine book on the early years of Dallas football. (Sept.)
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