Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys: 12-4, 2nd NFC East, lost NFC Championship
Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back: May 1980, $534.1 million box office
Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back would have to be the most anticipated sequel in movie history, but oddly enough it failed to meet the financial spoils of it’s landmark predecessor. While the original Star Wars movie could have ended and never been heard of again, The Empire Strikes Back was clearly a film that left burning questions that all but guaranteed yet another film in the near future.
Was Darth Vader really Luke Skywalker’s father?
Where exactly would Han Solo end up – and who was this Jabba the Hutt character?
Similar questions faced the Cowboys, whose season ended on a day in Philadelphia that was colder than a Hoth snowstorm.
This particular season marked my first watching the Cowboys. Gone was the weekly religion of watching Staubach and company win Super Bowls. Now it was new quarterback Danny White, who as far as I was concerned might as well have always been Dallas’ quarterback – and this looked pretty good.
A thrilling come-from-behind victory against the Atlanta Falcons in the division round of the playoffs marked my first big memory surrounding a Cowboys win. If you’re old enough to remember this game, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that the No.88 would be forever etched in my mind as the most critical number in sports.
Having heard about Super Bowls and feeling the anticipation of this Dallas birth-right, the NFC Championship Game against the Eagles in those rare, royal blue jerseys was obviously my first encounter with major sports disappointment. I threw a brass ‘Liberty Bell’ paper weight that had been given to me over my backyard fence onto the railroad tracks.
Like everyone else, the long wait for the next season and Star Wars film was a true lesson in patience.
Next: Original Trilogy Ends Along With Cowboys Contention