It’s hard to tell the story of football without the Dallas Cowboys.
That becomes perfectly clear when walking through Football! The Exhibition at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., about a 35-minute drive from the team’s training camp home in Oxnard.
The Cowboys are well-represented in the exhibit with game-worn jerseys from players as well as an honorary Cowboys jersey given to Ronald Reagan with the number “84,” referencing his re-election campaign in 1984.
Legendary Cowboys coach Tom Landry gifted the jersey to the 40th president, who was presented with it by Roger Staubach and Danny White.
Outside of the Cowboys’ memorabilia, the exhibit features a strong Southern California feel, of course, with sections dedicated to the Los Angeles Rams (game-worn jerseys from Hall of Famers such as Eric Dickerson and Merlin Olsen), UCLA (Gary Beban’s 1967 Heisman Trophy) and USC (Marcus Allen’s 1981 Heisman Trophy).
They have modern day displays, too, including one with two footballs with different PSI levels in wake of Deflategate. The exhibit runs through January 2016. Here are the five game-worn jerseys by Cowboys quarterbacks.
1 Tony Romo — Plaque proudly boasts that the Cowboys quarterback is currently second all-time in career passer rating (97.6).
2 Troy Aikman — Being No. 1 overall pick out of UCLA is just as prominent as three Super Bowl titles and six Pro Bowls.
3 Roger Staubach — Mentions his military service delaying his pro career until age 27, and then going on to win two Super Bowls.
4 Don Meredith — First Cowboys player to win an NFL MVP in 1966, and then went on to have a distinguished broadcasting career.
5 Danny White — The quarterback/punter replaced the legendary Staubach and took the Cowboys to three consecutive NFC title games.
It’s no secret that Jason Garrett is a Bruce Springsteen fan, and the Cowboys coach spoke glowingly about The Boss’ Born to Run album that came out 40 years ago Tuesday.
“It’s the iconic Bruce Springsteen album,” Garrett said. “Seen the future of rock and roll, and his name is Bruce Springsteen. I think that was the album that everybody was waiting for. It took him a little while to get it all together, he had to work through some business issues, but there was a lot of anticipation and I don’t think it disappointed.
“I often wonder when I’ve seen him in concert and how many times he’s done Born to Run. I’ve heard a lot of different versions of it. He brings it every time. It’s just one of those songs that lifts you out of your seat.”
Cowboys rookie defensive end Ryan Russell didn’t waste time in listing the reasons he opted to leave his home state of Texas to play college football at Purdue.
Russell rattled off names such as Ryan Kerrigan, Shaun Phillips and Anthony Spencer — Purdue defensive ends who went on to have success in the NFL. It might be a longer list than how many astronauts the school has produced.
“We’re big on astronauts, big on engineers, but we had a lot of defensive ends come out, too,” Russell said. “Just seeing all those guys, I want to follow in that path.”
Russell seems to be on his way, recording his first professional sack in Sunday’s preseason game against the 49ers.
Quote of the day
“Any day in practice against Tyron Smith is a ‘Welcome to the NFL.’ You’ve got to bring your hard hat; you’ve got to bring your best.” — Russell on his ‘Welcome to the NFL’ moment
▪ LB Rolando McClain (right knee): PUP
▪ OT Chaz Green (hip): PUP
▪ CB Orlando Scandrick (right knee): Further evaluation, team fears torn ACL
▪ G Zack Martin (stinger): Day-to-day
▪ S Jeff Heath (concussion): Day-to-day
▪ WR David Porter (groin): Day-to-day
▪ RB Michael Hill (concussion): Day-to-day
▪ QB Brandon Weeden (concussion): Day-to-day
▪ LB Mark Nzeocha (knee): Non-football injury
▪ DT Terrell McClain (knee/hamstring): Day-to-day
▪ DE Kenneth Boatright (neck): Returned to Dallas for further evaluation; out indefinitely
▪ WR Dez Bryant (hamstring): Day-to-day
▪ TE James Hanna (left knee): Day-to-day
▪ RB Gus Johnson (separated shoulder): Day-to-day
▪ LB Anthony Hitchens (foot): Day-to-day
▪ DT Nick Hayden (ribs): Day-to-day