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Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty Hardcover – September 16, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1ST edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061256803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061256806
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his latest effort, Pearlman (The Bad Guys Won!) tells the story of how the Dallas Cowboys went from being a league doormat to a Super Bowl–winning machine. It's the cast of characters that makes this story a page-turner, starting with controlling owner Jerry Jones; all-business coach Jimmy Johnson, who would cut a player without blinking; and star players Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders. Pearlman explores the many other people who bought into the philosophy that if you were going to be a Dallas Cowboy... you needed to live the life—and that meant, in the early '90s, plenty of infidelity, cocaine, nightly trips to gentleman's clubs and hangovers at practice. Pearlman interviewed nearly 150 members of the Cowboys organization for the book, but much of the terrific detail comes from such tangential folks as journalists, players' wives and staff at the local Cowboys restaurant. The anecdotes range from uplifting (the heartwarming story of quarterback Troy Aikman granting a wish to a dying boy) to raunchy (defensive end Chris Haley, while playing for the 49ers, often masturbated in the locker room). In the end, Pearlman has produced a narrative that is as entertaining as it is insightful. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In February 1989, Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys, immediately fired the iconic Tom Landry, and hired Jimmy Johnson from the collegiate ranks. The team would end the 1989 season with the worst record in the league. In a city that lives and breathes the Cowboys, the natives were restless. But in short order all was right in Big D as the team, led by future Hall-of-Famers Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith, won three Super Bowls in four years. The on-field success was paralleled by off-field excess. Drugs, strip clubs, orgies, fights, marital infidelities, and, finally, one player stabbing another in the neck with scissors. Pearlman, who seems to revel in the seamy side of sports—his The Bad Guys Won! (2004) was an account of the equally lecherous 1986 New York Mets—interviewed players, coaches, and others while also plumbing print sources. Yes, he dishes the dirt, but he also catches the team dynamic that fostered success as well as the infighting that led to disaster. Informative as well as titillating. --Wes Lukowsky

More About the Author

Jeff Pearlman is a columnist for SI.com. He has worked as as a columnist for ESPN.com and Yahoo.com, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a features writer for Newsday and -- amazingly -- as The (Nashville) Tennessean's food and fashion writer. He is the author of two New York Times best-sellers--Boys Will Be Boys, a biography of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys, and The Bad Guys Won, a biography of the 1986 New York Mets. He is also the author of a pair of, ahem, non-New York Times' best-seller, Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Anti-Hero, and The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality. Pearlman lives in New York with his wife and two children, and enjoys Kirk Cameron films, T-shirts and the taste of gum.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend reading this book if you are a football fan.
C. Wilson
Jeff Pearlman's "Boys Will Be Boys" looks back at the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, one of the most dominant teams in NFL history.
Eric Mayforth
Couldn't put this book down and ended up losing sleep because I stayed up too late reading it!
'Ed Banger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on September 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When the first chapter of a non-fiction football book starts off with future Hall Of Fame receiver Michael Irvin stabbing a teammate in the neck with a scissors... and blood is shooting all over the room... and the intensity of the lurid details... on and off the field... regarding the famed "dynastic" Dallas Cowboys of the 1990's... never lets up for the next three-hundred-fifty-eight pages... you know you've got a great book in your hands. Any true football fan, regardless of what team you root for will want to read this book. There are so many riveting... outlandish... insider... stories... that you will constantly want to stop reading for a moment or two... just to call one of your buddies to tell him what you just read!

This book has it all. From the "humble" beginnings (as far as wins and losses that is... nothing about any of the key individuals in this story could ever be considered humble!) concerning the 1989 Cowboys who had a one-win fifteen-loss season... to the three-time Super Bowl Champions. The author smoothly gives you detailed background information on everyone from owner Jerry Jones to coach Jimmy Johnson to Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin/Nate Newton/Charles Haley/Deion Sanders... and every Cowboy large... small... or in between... who effected the team on or off the field... good or bad. Absolutely no punches are pulled.

From drug busts, that included Michael Irvin and teammate Alfredo Roberts being caught with 10.3 grams of cocaine, more than an ounce of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia and sex toys... and oh yea... two strippers... to shocking exposes regarding eventual FIVE-TIME-SUPER-BOWL-CHAMPION Charles Haley who would expose himself... and "pleasure-himself"... in front of teammates in the locker room... training room...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roberto H on January 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone who: a) was a big fan of the early 90's Cowboys, b) is curious about what goes on behind the scenes in the NFL, or c) is interested in the impact leadership has on organizations. This book comes up juicy in all three categories.

This book is great because it avoids the common mistake made by authors documenting certain teams. Instead of going through the boring minutiae of old games, Jeff Pearlman gives gripping, inside stories that no fan ever knew about. For example:

- Michael Irvin was the heart and soul of the team. Period.
- Nobody liked Emmitt Smith.
- Charles Haley, WTF?
- The players, for as much as they hated Jimmy Johnson, respected the heck out of him. How he shaped them psychologically and then kept them on the edge was stellar.
- Jerry Jones is a prideful retard, sure. But I never knew he was that big of one.
- Switzer was actually a pretty likable guy with whom you can really empathize. But, man, he really had no business being there.
- Skip Bayless is a massive dork.

I had a blast reading this book. Highly recommend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David W. Atkinson on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, have been since 1989--the first year of the Troy Aikman era. I had followed the media hype between Aikman vs. Rodney Peet, his school (UCLA) vs. Peete's school (USC) the previous college season. This turned me into a huge fan of his in the NFL as well, making my favorite squad the Dallas Cowboys. It was a new era with Tom Landry being fired and replaced, and then the excellent trades and drafts made by Jimmy Johnson and Co. This book is a behind closed doors type of account of how this era was ushered in and, ultimately, ended. People seem to think they know it all about teams when they're winning...only to discover through this book that there is a lot of stuff going on that does not make its' way to the general public. It has made me more comfortable with the current squad in spite of how the media portrays this ultimate demise waiting to happen due to TO, Pacman, Tank Johnson, etc. Especially frustrating is having people like "MeShawn" Johnson and Cris Carter (who had his own troubles in Philly) trying to critique TO's every move when they, too were no unselfish players. Knowing that if every team were to have a book written about their respective seasons, the public would see just how normal the current Cowboys are in comparison. For anyone wanting a great read that is hard to put down, look no further. This book will open your eyes, make you laugh, and keep you entertained from start to finish.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martha Frankel on September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Almost 35 years after Peter Gent's seminal "North Dallas Forty" showed us what untamed beasts football players could be, Jeff Pearlman delivers "Boys Will Be Boys," which, not coincidentally, is also about the freewheeling, demented, and fiercely determined Dallas Cowboys, once and always dubbed "America's Team."

Except Pearlman's Cowboys are those of the 1990s, the ones who followed the firing of legendary coach Tom Landry, and who make the men of "Forty" look like altar boys.

The dean of Dallas decadence was wide receiver Michael Irvin, known as The Playmaker. "Did he love snorting coke? Yes. Did he love lesbian sex shows? Yes. Did he love sleeping with two, three, four, five (yes, five) women at the same time in precisely choreographed orgies? Yes. Did he love strip clubs and hookers and house calls from exotic dancers with names like Bambi and Cherry and Saucy? Yes, yes, yes."

But because Texas is football, Irvin's antics, including an arrest for cocaine possession and stabbing a teammate who Irvin believed dissed him by cutting in line to get a haircut, were waved away with a smile. And when Irvin helped turn the hapless Cowboys around, from 1-15 losers in 1989 to multiple Super Bowl champs by the mid-'90s, well, hookers were practically handed out with the after-game painkillers.

Pearlman, a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a contributor to [...] Page Two, also wrote "The Bad Guys Won!" about the 1986 Mets and "Love Me, Hate Me," about Barry Bonds. So he has some experience with talented villains you love to hate.
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