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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RICK "SHAQ" GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "SCORING ON THE FIELD... SCORING OFF THE FIELD... *COWBOYS-STYLE!*"
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...
Published on September 20, 2008 by Rick Shaq Goldstein

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I thought Nothing Could Surprise Me!
Being a life-long Cowboys fan, I begged my school librarian to order this book so I could read it immediately! After reading it, I told her to put it in the 'Adults Only' section - in other words, don't even let students know we have it! To learn the amount of money wasted by players and coaches on Superbowl-week partying was bad enough; to learn how much of it was...
Published on December 28, 2008 by Caryn


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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RICK "SHAQ" GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "SCORING ON THE FIELD... SCORING OFF THE FIELD... *COWBOYS-STYLE!*", September 20, 2008
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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... and meeting rooms... to famous quotes from players, that truly thought they were above the law, are provided... such as when three-hundred-sixty pound Nate Newton said: "WE'VE GOT A LITTLE PLACE OVER HERE WHERE WE'RE RUNNING SOME WHORES IN AND OUT, TRYING TO BE RESPONSIBLE, AND WE'RE CRITICIZED FOR THAT, TOO."

Did you know that when former Cowboy owner Bum Bright sold the team to Jerry Jones... that one of the conditions of the sale was that Jones had to fire Tom Landry? Landry was probably the most popular man in Texas, but Bright couldn't stand him. How did the Cowboys code of ethics compare to other big name NFL teams? One Cowboy said: "WHEN I WAS WITH THE REDSKINS COACH GIBBS WOULD SAY, "OK FELLA'S, DON'T MESS WITH STREET DRUGS OR STEROIDS, BECAUSE THAT'S NOT HOW WE DO THINGS HERE." COACH JOHNSON ON THE OTHER HAND, WOULD SAY, "DON'T MESS WITH STREET DRUGS OR STEROIDS, BECAUSE THE DRUG TEST IS IN A WEEK AND YOU DON'T WANNA GET CAUGHT." "IT WAS OBVIOUS JIMMY LACKED SOME CHARACTER IN HIS PURSUIT OF GREATNESS."

It's all here in exquisite detail. Nothing is held back. The way players... coaches... and owners... really feel! Who they think is stupid... who is smart... who had courage and who didn't. One Cowboy whose valor won over his team was Troy Aikman, of whom linebacker Garry Cobb said: AS A ROOKIE AGAINST THE CARDINALS AIKMAN "WAS KNOCKED COLD FOR NEARLY FIVE MINUTES BEFORE BEING HELPED OFF THE FIELD. TROY EARNED ALL OUR RESPECT. HE GOT KILLED AND REFUSED TO CRY. I'VE BEEN ON THE FIELD WHEN QUARTERBACKS CRY, AND IT AIN'T PRETTY. DAN MARINO WAS A CRIER - "WHOSE MAN WAS THAT! WHERE'S THE BLOCKING! WHAH!" "BUT AIKMAN - NEVER. AIKMAN WAS A MAN."

The author, Jeff Pearlman, magically, and seamlessly, weaves a story that gives you equal servings of statistical game information... unwavering disections of diverse psychological profiles... including Jerry Jones's jealousies and Jimmy Johnson's insecurities... and the sensitive human backdrop's... such as Michael Irvin... the third youngest of SEVENTEEN CHILDREN... who never had his own bed until college.

I recommend this book highly to any football fan.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, January 3, 2009
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 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys Will Be Boys, great title for an exciting read, October 18, 2008
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys SHOULD sometimes not be boys, September 16, 2008
By 
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.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the story of Charles Haley, who came to the Cowboys when they most needed "a disruptive, no-holds-barred defensive lineman - the type of player who put fear in the hearts of rival quarterbacks."

Haley "quickly earned high praise as one of the league's dominant quarterback killers. And as one of its most imbalanced."

A lot of it had to do with Haley's exceptionally large penis, which he liked to expose to players, trainers, management and reporters. Sometimes he would take it out and stroke it inches from another player's face; the players tried to laugh it off but Haley was relentless. He would masturbate during meetings, all the while trash-talking other player's wives. Once Haley wrapped an Ace bandage around it and strolled through the locker room, screaming, "I'm the last naked warrior!"

How, you might be asking yourself, did the team's coach, Jimmy Johnson, or it's owner, Jerry Jones, allow this to go on? Simple - Haley, who had helped the San Francisco 49ers win two Super Bowls in six seasons before coming to Dallas, "knew the game better than any of us," said former teammate Antonio Goss. "He could pick up little patterns and cues that nobody else would see. Charles might have been odd, but he was intelligent and incisive."

The drama between coach and owner was equally fascinating. Jones and Johnson had come to the Cowboys together, but despite appearances, had little love for each other. In fact, the coach learned he was being fired from a local Dallas reporter. "It's not always pleasant," Jones told a reporter. "But leadership means making tough decisions."

The Cowboys kept taking chances on players that other clubs were thrilled to cut from their rosters. And what did they get for their troubles? Hoodlums, nutcases and out-and-out psychopaths, who somehow managed to pull it all together on Sunday afternoons, piling up more and more winning games and seasons. So what's a little coke and hookers?

Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair with Gambling
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any CFFL, December 25, 2008
Great read. The first chapter will grab you. The next 100 pages will keep your attention. And after that you probably won't want to put it down. The book brilliantly fills in a lot of the gaps between the various headlines over the years (Jimmy's firing, the White House, Emmitt's holdout, bringing in Deion, Irvin's arrest(s), etc.) as well as providing a glimpse into the rather salacious lifestyles of many of America's Team's finest (Irvin, Harper, Haley...) Highly recommend it - especially for the Cowboy fan for life like me. GO COWBOYS!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, October 30, 2008
By 
C. Wilson "jack burton" (Eugene, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Boys Will Be Boys is a very interesting look at the Cowboys who won three Super Bowls in the early '90s, despite their complete lack of discipline and self restraint. Pearlman wisely follows the stories of Charles Haley and Michael Irvin, showing how being dysfunctional in life doesn't necessarily translate into dysfunctionality on the field. The Cowboys played with a kind of bravado that only America's Team could play with, and they won a hell of a lot of games.

The best thing about this book are the insane stories about the Cowboys. There is the story of Michael Irvin stabbing a teammate with a pair of barber scissors. Another story is about a few teammates buying a house in a suburban neighborhood called the "White House", used to do drugs and have sex with women. The stories go on and on, and they are always interesting.

Pearlman did a great job researching this book, and doesn't let anyone off the hook. He goes into great detail on Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson's good and bad sides. He doesn't pull any punches but also doesn't take any cheap shots, unlike the despicable journalist known as Skip Bayless.

I highly recommend reading this book if you are a football fan. It shows how a team can still compete while having a myriad of problems. The entire book is fascinating and draws a surprising amount of parallels with the Cowboys of 2008.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You mean to tell me there are places where women get naked? And they serve food there, too?", December 26, 2008
Anyone who spent any time out in clubs or had friends or relatives in either the "entertainment" industry or law enforcement in the Dallas/Ft Worth area heard stories of the excesses of Michael Irvin, Charles Haley, Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Kenny Gant ("You mean to tell me there are places where women get naked? And they serve food there, too?") as well as other Dallas Cowboy football players and staff in the 1990's. The existence of a player owned "safe house" (the White House) where players and staff could indulge in drugs, alcohol, violence and a seemingly endless supply of willing women was an open secret. The near fatal DUI accident of right tackle Erik Williams and other car crashes involving players were hushed up with assistance from a compliant and dependent media. A caravan of limos ferrying "skanks" for the enjoyment of players and their guests (better to bring known women than chance the dangers of women found in clubs and hotels) to Tempe, Arizona for Super Bowl XXX. What could anyone say? Owner Jerry Jones had included his own party vehicle in the caravan...a six bed tour bus that had once been owned by Whitney Houston. The Cowboys were consumed and controlled by their giant egos and addictions.

All this excess could be forgiven, overlooked and hushed up until the Cowboys committed the unpardonable sin. The Dallas Cowboys quit winning and began to look foolish. The Cowboys began to show the effects of partying, bad coaching, foolish management decisions and lack of leadership and were being beaten on the field. Author Jeff Pearlman returns with yet another book of sports heroes gone bad: Boys Will be Boys, the Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty. Following the ascent of the 1990's Dallas Cowboys team, from the acquisition by Jerry Jones to the multiple Super Bowl appearances to the drug use, whoring, suicide attempts and lawlessness that was an open secret in the Metroplex, Pearlman holds nothing back. There are moments of good behavior, humor and community service, but they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the excesses practiced by many on the team. What sets this book apart is Pearlman's meticulous research; the hours spent talking to players, ex-players, law enforcement, front office and coaching staff. It would be easy to lay out all the misdeeds of the Cowboys squads (and coaching staff) under coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Rather than vilify the players, Pearlman tracks the decline and end of the "anything goes" Cowboys. He is quick to point out factors and backgrounds that might have predisposed some of the behaviors. He also acknowledges the press' part in turning a blind eye in order to get scoops and party with the players. From the top of the Cowboy food chain Pearlman dissects the choices and is very blunt in his appraisals of players and staff (finally someone outs John Blake as a waste of space and divisive in the locker room). The out of control organization was in danger of destroying the legacy left by previous owners, coaches and players as well as destroying thier own futures. While Pearlman gives an accounting of misdeeds he also gives room for a bittersweet epilogue, the induction into the Football Hall of Fame of Michael Irvin. This is a must for any true Cowboy fan who can appreciate the complexity of today's football machine and wants the Cowboys to succeed once again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars XXX's and OhOhOh's, October 3, 2008
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Jeff Pearlman is on top of his game in his gossipy new book "Boys Will Be Boys." It is a mud-raking expose of the moral and ethical squalor of Jerry Jones' Dallas Cowboys. Using a playbook filled with XXX's and OhOhOh's, "America's Team" played on a field having goal lines of coke and hash marks of... well, hash.
The fantastically talent-laden Dallas Cowboys of the 90's had few competitive rivals on and off the field. Their professional football successes included winning seasons, playoff victories and Super Bowl championships. With equal aplomb though, they are depicted as nihilistic debauchery-laden hedonists due to their post and pre game exploits. For example the team's suburban retreat, apropos the "White House," would have made Bill Clinton blush and the Marquis de Sade proud. In many ways, their antics were a reflection of a society - if that society was from Sodom and Gemorah.
The personal dramas and unfulfilled potential of the Dallas Cowboys casts a sad pale on professional athletics. Rather than a Greek tragedy, the Cowboys were more like a Trojan Horse. Their gift to America was their precision and grace on the Grid-Iron. But it was a fake ideal, achieved through a morally bankrupt and ethically corrupt perversion of the American Dream.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Glory Day Curtain, December 11, 2009
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Pearlman takes us inside the locker room, strip clubs, and party scenes of one of sports' greatest climbs and crumbles of a dynasty. Often we wonder what transpires, what goes wrong so quickly with a winning team. With this book, the whys and hows are endless. Despite being an avid Cowboys fan, peering behind the sinister curtain of smiles and one-liners it is easy to see the egos, the lies, and the "don't ask, don't tell" philosophies that undo many great teams. With in-depth research and many, many interviews, Pearlman leaves no stone unturned. It's like reading a biography of a legendary rock band who parties itself into splitting up prematurely. The sex, the booze, and the drugs suddenly means more than the music, or in this case winning football games. Best sports non-fiction book I've ever read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I thought Nothing Could Surprise Me!, December 28, 2008
Being a life-long Cowboys fan, I begged my school librarian to order this book so I could read it immediately! After reading it, I told her to put it in the 'Adults Only' section - in other words, don't even let students know we have it! To learn the amount of money wasted by players and coaches on Superbowl-week partying was bad enough; to learn how much of it was condoned and even led by Jerry Jones was sickening.

The book itself is well written and painstakingly researched, although there are some glaring exceptions: it is about the Dynasty led by Troy, Emmitt, and Michael, yet Troy does not seem to have been involved. The stories that are about him come from others and those are few and far between. Although Troy is praised, it is done in such a manner as to put him down at the same time, probably because his antics were not anywhere near as colorful as the others. Case in point: he expected professional play on the field and would chew out players for screwing up; then was called racist by some (one). Doesn't that just sound awful - expecting highly paid professionals to get it right? Even though the author admits that what was said about Troy was unfair and he even quotes Charles Haley in Troy's defense, he still included it, even though he knew it was a)unfair and b)not true about Troy's character. Another shot at Troy: repeating the Skip Bayless assertion about Troy's sexual orientation.

About half-way through, the book gets bogged down, almost as though the writer felt the need to stretch it out in order to make it book-length. Something that would have helped - more photos. As it stands, there is one very small section of photos.

I am still a die-hard cowboys fan, but I am disillusioned by the behavior - my glasses are no longer rose-colored. What this book did for me more than anything else, was to prove how meddlesome Jerry Jones is and how badly the Cowboys (and probably every team) needed the discipline of Jimmy Johnson and more recently Bill Parcells.
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Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty
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