Sports fans have been captivated by “The Last Dance” on ESPN over the past five weeks and while I enjoyed every minute of the documentary, another team, in another sport was on my mind the entire time. The early 90’s Dallas Cowboys.
That group won Super Bowls in 1992, 1993 & 1995, plus if they weren’t broken up, much like the Chicago Bulls were, who knows how many Lombardi’s they could’ve won.
“We were so damn good,” Tony Casillas told me on a zoom conversation this week. It’s hard to argue as he and I go down memory lane to discuss him being part of that dynasty and why they are on the same level of Michael Jordan’s Bulls.
Casillas was drafted 2nd overall in 1986 and after spending five uneventful years with the Atlanta Falcons, the defensive lineman was traded to the Cowboys where he says his life completely changed.
Known primarily as a “run stopper” over his career, Casillas recalls his performance in the 1992 NFC Championship at Candlestick Park where he sacked Steve Young three times to help lead the Cowboys to Super Bowl XXVII.
But his dominance among the defensive line really garnered respect from his time in college where he played for the Oklahoma Sooners. After two injury riddled years to begin his career in Norma, Casillas became a starter in 1984, receiving consensus All-American and first-time All-Conference honors. In 1985, he helped the Sooners to the national championship after a 25-10 victory over Penn State in the Orange Bowl. Casillas became only the second Sooner to win the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top lineman, named the UPI Lineman of the Year, the Big Eight Conference defensive player of the year, a consensus first time All-American and first team All-Conference to finish out his college career.
After his football career, Casillas has spent time as an actor and currently a broadcaster for several outlets. This was he and I working a postgame show for the Dallas Cowboys Network in 2015.
After catching up with Casillas this week, it was evident how much he believed in that Dallas Cowboys team of the early 90’s and just how dominant they were. The defense he was part of forced NINE Buffalo Bills turnovers in the Super Bowl. Let that sink in. Yea, they were that damn good.