Rams Triumph Over Cowboys in Unusual Pendleton NFL Bonanza
We've been cleaning around our office today and I re-discovered a cool artifact; a program from a 1960 NFL preseason game in Pendleton.
Did you know the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys played an NFL preseason game in Pendleton?
The 1960 season saw the Dallas Cowboys join the NFL as an expansion team.
Before they were "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys were a brand-new NFL team hoping to stay in business in a city that hadn't been the home of an NFL team since the Dallas Texans ceased operations in 1952, having shut it down after going 1-11 in their only season.
It was Tom Landry's first season as an NFL head coach.
Before he led the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories in 20 legendary seasons, Tom Landry was trying to prove his worth as a first-year NFL head coach. The last thing the 35-year-old Landry had on his mind in 1960 was championships.
Landry coached the Cowboys until 1988, retiring with 250 wins, two Super Bowl victories, and a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His legacy cannot be overstated and concepts he introduced to the NFL are still used today.
The Rams were coached by Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Waterfield.
The Rams, at the time during their first stint in Los Angeles, were nine years removed from their last NFL Championship. Remember, the NFL didn't merge with the AFL until 1970. The first Super Bowl would be held in 1967. They were coached by former Rams quarterback Bob Waterfield. Waterfield guided the Rams to two NFL Championship victories as a player. Success as a head coach would never arrive for Waterfield, who managed only nine career coaching wins in three seasons. Waterfield was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.
How was the game in Pendleton? Well, the Rams routed the Cowboys in Pendleton to the tune of 49-14. The rodeo at the Round-Up the previous day made for less than ideal playing conditions on the field.
For Dallas, the 1960 season didn't get any better as they went 0-11, failing to finish with a winning record until 1966. In 1961, the Cowboys drafted Pendleton's own Bob Lilly, who was a core part of the team's first Super Bowl victory in 1971. Lilly was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1980.
The Rams went 4-7 in 1960 and eventually moved to St. Louis in 1995, winning their first Super Bowl in 1999. Since moving back to Los Angeles in 2016, the Rams have returned to the Super Bowl twice, winning Super Bowl LVI.
The Cowboys and Rams were invited to have a 25th-anniversary rematch in Pendleton, but Gil Brandt told organizers that the $50,000 offer "wouldn't even cover the cost of hotel rooms anymore."
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