NFL News : Son of former great making new Cowboys documentary

Son of former great making new Cowboys documentary

If it's anything like North Dallas 40, we're in

Published on by The Football Feed in NFL News
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The son of former Dallas Cowboys gunslinger "Dandy" Don Meredith wants to tell the story of his father and his Dallas Cowboys' turbulent years in the 1960s.  

Meredith, who passed away in 2010, is sometimes known as "The First Cowboy." Around 1959 then-owner Clint Murchison Jr., the team's founder and the first of its three owners, signed Meredith to a personal services contract even before he hired his longtime coach, Tom Landry.

His son Michael, now 49, and his wife Amin are filmmakers living in Greenwich Villiage, New York. Their new project, called "First Cowboys" is a feature-length documentary on the 1960s Cowboys. And if it's anything like the scenes from North Dallas 40, they'll surely have a big audience. 

"And they have even bigger dreams than that," wrote the News. "He says they would love to create an ongoing, fictional television series based on "the world of Dallas" in the 1960s."

The feature-length documentary will have much to say about the 1967 Cowboys, who played the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League Championship Game on the first and last day of the year. On Jan. 1, 1967, they lost to the Packers, 34-27, in the Cotton Bowl, concluding their first winning season (1966) with a heartbreak whose manic ups and downs were like those of the Tilt-A-Whirl on the nearby midway. The winner got to play in Super Bowl I. 

"The rematch occurred in wintry Green Bay, Wis., on Dec. 31, 1967. That game, dubbed the Ice Bowl because the temperature at kickoff plummeted to 15 below zero with a wind chill that blasted near 50 below, ice-picked its way into the folklore of American sports history.

First Cowboys will begin with the team signing his father and follow the story through the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, and how that event branded Dallas the "City of Hate," leaving the Cowboys to be its angels of redemption that would somehow elevate the city to a new and utterly unlikely designation: the birthplace of America's Team.

For a "motley crew of misfits," as Michael calls the 1960s Cowboys, it was too much drama, athletically and emotionally. For his dad and his teammates, Dallas and the Cotton Bowl became a white-hot "pressure cooker."

Meredith played nine seasons for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1968, amassing 17,199 yards and 150 total TDs. After that he would go on to be one of the faces of ABC's Monday Night Football, with Howard Cosell. 

The News wrote that "Michael and his dad spoke often about the Ice Bowl. But it was years later, while embedded in Afghanistan with a U.S. military unit as part of a film project, that the lasting significance of what may have been The Greatest Game Ever Played hit him like a mortar round.

The Ice Bowl, he remembered his dad telling him, "was like a war in a lot of ways, as much about survival as it was about winning."

"I am incredibly proud of my dad," Michael told the News, not without emotion. So, what First Cowboys really is, he says, "is a love letter to my dad."

Check out the entire piece here


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Source: Dallas News · Photo Credit: Keystone Press Agency