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on December 29, 2012
While I have lived in North Texas my whole life and played high school football I am hardly a sports fan and could care less if the Cowboyts win or lose. However, the Cowboys are part of life here and are truly larger than life. Having seen their games all of my life and being a history buff I bought the book for something different at a bookstore at DFW airport one Sunday on my way to Michigan on a business trip.

I started reading and I was instantly enthralled by it. It is well written, full of detail, but more importantly tells the story of the team and its effects on the local culture. It is not heavy on on footballl stats so if you want that this is not for you but yes the major games and win/loss records are in there since they are part of the story. Just as the many personalities from Tom Landry, Tex Schram, to Jerry Jones are. And yes many of the famous players are there to paint the rest of this fascinating sports history canvass.

So I would highly recommend this book, even to non-sports fans and yes even to haters of The 'Boys too.
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on November 29, 2015
It was definitely an extremely detailed and in depth book. But not necessarily about just the Dallas Cowboys. The first half, if not two thirds, of the book focused on; the business dealings of Clint Murchison and associates, the growth of the city of Dallas economically, politically and socially, and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders - with a tidbit here and there thrown in about the players, coaches and coverage of the seasons/games just to keep it mildly interesting. I learned more about the business climate in Dallas, the mayors and city council, governors of Texas, the night life and its night clubs, country clubs, debutantes, strippers and the formation of the DCC than I ever cared to know.

Because of this the first half or so of the book was a very dull, dry and boring read that I had to force myself to turn pages. This led me to needing to put the book down after a dozen or so pages and not wanting to pick the book up for weeks....sometimes months. Once the book got into the meat of the subject and started covering the players, coaches, games, seasons, post-seasons more in-depth, I was able to finish the book in a matter of a few hours.

If you can plod through the first half you will be rewarded with details about the Dallas Cowboys that even a rabid fan like myself would never have been privy to otherwise.
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on September 26, 2012
If you are a football fan, a Cowboy's fan, or simply have Texas in your heart, this book, THE DALLAS COWBOYS is for you. Sneak into the clubhouse and enter the world of good ol' boy Don Meredith, speedster Bob "Bullet" Hayes, top-heavy Cowboy cheerleaders, seething Bob Lilly, the Clint Murchison ticker tape parades down the streets of Dallas, Tony Romo and his bracelet of beauties and into the calculating mind of Arkansas ousider Jerry Jones. It's all here. And as you read, you come to realize that professional football is more than a game, it is an attitude, a religion to some, a way of life to others, it's the embodiment of the American spirit, and the Cowboys are after all, America's team.
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on October 27, 2012
I have been a Cowboys fan since I was a little boy. That said, I knew very little about the history of the franchise. I "purchased" the free 50 page sample of this book and found it to be an interesting read. The actual book lives up to the sample however, there is considerable bias and stereotyping of Southerners and Texans specifically. I am a patriotic Canadian and like to poke fun at Americans in general, but some of the author's comments go beyond even my limit. When it comes to the actual football history, the author spares no words in describing the situation. Despite the length of the book, it is an easy read and most Cowboy fans will find it an enjoyable journey.
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on December 4, 2012
This exhaustive and yes sometimes exhausting book is one of, if not the best sports books I have ever read. Now in the interest of full disclosure I have been a Cowboy fan for the past 45 years and a DFW metroplex resident for most of those years. As a college student at the University of Dallas I watched Texas Stadiuum being built and my wife and I [ still students at the time ] worked the very first event held there. This book, it's few factual errors being noted, is a must for the true fan. Mr. Patoski tells an honest story of the Cowboys, larger than life owners, players, politicians, celebrities, media and of Dallas-Fort Worth history of the times and he brought me both smiles and grimaces. Love em or hate em, including the current owner, the Cowboys remain America's Team.
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on August 15, 2014
The free short preview was just dandy. I don't think I could wade through the entire long book,
but I certainly enjoyed the short preview version and learned many things that I had long forgotten
about the early days of professional football.
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on February 15, 2014
i greatly enjoyed reading this book about my favorite football team. i am only 42 years old, and my frame of reference for watching the cowboys live begins in 1980, so i really enjoyed the beginning of this book especially. it's like a james michner novel, the epic story of some folks with a dream, little moral compass, and lots of money. i love the cowboys, and this informative, interesting history only drums that passion, while peeling the curtain back on both unsavory and surprisingly progressive aspects of the dallas cowboys, going back to the fifties, when they were a twinkle in clint murchison's eye. we meet clint murchison, get a sense of the state of texas, appreciate the dallas texans--both incarnations--and learn about the wheeling and dealing that guys like tex schramm and lamar hunt were up to. i really loved reading about the unfolding drama of the cowboys against the cultural backdrop of dallas, texas, a place that i lived and love. patoski clearly has an excellent sense of texas history, and he frames the cowboys neatly within the growth of dallas. reading this book reminded me of stories my dad tells me of his experiences going to the cotton bowl back in the sixties. and it is with great anticipation we read about the cowboys ascent, itching to get to the good parts. but it is the exposition of landry's early struggles, the bum bright years, the beginning of the jerry/jimmy era, and to the present, that really solidifies this book as a historical narrative.

honestly, i wish patoski had written this book in three volumes, so expansive is the subject matter. there is so much of an emphasis on the sixties and seventies, the eighties feel very rushed, not to mention post superbowl xxx. for example, little is discussed of danny white's tenure, in as much as what replacing staubach was like. i also would have liked to see mention of tom landry's last victory as a head coach, against washington, breaking a ten game losing streak. with more space, i think patoski could have gotten in as deep as the early years. the primary reason this book gets 4 stars instead of 5 is due to the number of factual errors, for example alvin harper is credited with a 70 yard td to seal the 1992 season championship game against the 49ers, but alvin moved the ball into position with a 70 yard catch; kelvin martin caught the td. emmitt smith's yards for 1993 are actually his yards from 1992, and tony romo broke danny white's season season td record in 2007, not 2008. ultimately, these errors are only minor distractions, as 50 plus years of games is difficult to sift through, i'm sure, but they do distract.

all in all an excellent, well-written, and entertaining book, loaded with love for the cowboys and dallas.
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on May 7, 2014
I enjoyed reading this book about my Cowboys. It was entertaining and historical at the same time. Lots of stories, lots of insight into the inner workings, and a big picture view covering the owners, the city, the cheerleaders, the media, game by game outcomes, the big name players, and the drama played out as they all interacted over the first 50 years.
Other books on the Cowboys are more detailed, personal, and "juicier," covering individual player/coach time frames (this one is written from the perspective of a reporter or analyst, not a player) but this book manages to put the whole team in perspective.
Obviously extensively researched, and nicely written. Not a cotton candy fast-read novel, but a book that I came back to every time during the course of a three week period without being tempted to read something else or getting bored at all.
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on October 30, 2015
Nice teaser book for the full-length version. There is information about the early days of putting the team together that I didn't know. I am not a Cowboys fan, but I love the NFL. This book is for any serious fan of the league.
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on October 31, 2012
... a first rate cultural history of Texas, Dallas and the special place football has in the state. The book not only shows the contrast between the Jerry Jones's Cowboy's of the 21st century and the 1960's version, but also the straight line of the team's metamorphosis from then to now. I went to UT(Austin) from 1973-1977---the writer knows this saga very well.
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