Warner Bros. // 1972 // 1200 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // November 10th, 2008
Well, they do everything big in Texas, so how about their sports compilations, right?
The Dallas Cowboys are one of those rare sports franchises that crosses over from sport into mainstream America. Even people who aren't football fans seem to have an opinion on them. The fact that they branded themselves "America's Team" decades ago might be a part of this, but when they win, fans crawl out of the woodwork and onto the bandwagon to revel in the success. And when they lose, everyone manages to get a good kick in as they fall. Much of this talk has come about since Jerry Jones took over ownership and player personnel decisions in 1989, turning a $150 million investment into ten times the value. The man who is the epitome of a hands-on owner witnessed three Super Bowl wins in six yers, but has since run upon a string of bad luck, though not for a want of trying. Those Super Bowl wins, along with the team's two previous, made The Cowboys the first team to reach five Super Bowl wins, and their eight total appearances are the most of any team in the NFL.
These victories are part of Dallas Cowboys: 10 Greatest Games, a new multi-disc set from NFL Films and Warner Bros. which looks an awful lot like the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl set also from Warner Home Video. There is a bit of an improvement though. Whereas the Steelers' set covered the team's Super Bowl triumphs over five discs (one for each game), the Cowboys' set also includes five memorable Cowboys wins that were voted on by Dallas fans. That means ten discs of Cowboys football packaged to fit in one case that's the width of two standard DVD cases. The games are:
* Super Bowl VI, when the Cowboys' defense shut down the Miami Dolphins
* Super Bowl XII, as Dallas beat the Denver Broncos 27-10
* Super Bowl XXVII, with Dallas' return to glory over the Buffalo Bills 52-17
* Super Bowl XXVIII, with Dallas defending its crown against Buffalo 30-13
* Super Bowl XXX, when Dallas defeating Super Bowl rival Pittsburgh 27-17
* 1995 NFC Championship Game, where Dallas beat Green Bay 38-27
* 1993 NFC Championship Game, as Dallas shut down San Francisco 38-21
* 1992 NFC Championship Game, where Dallas prevailed over San Francisco 30-20
* 1981 NFC Divisional playoff game, where Dallas came from behind to beat Atlanta 30-27
* 1975 NFC Divisional playoff game, as Dallas beats Minnesota with a late score 17-14
In case you're curious, these games are listed in no particular order but the discs include them in chronological order.
It's a decent collection, however there is one small bone I'm going to pick, and that's where are the games against their division rivals? Considering where I live, you could put together massive multi-disc sets full of historical games of the Cowboys vs. Redskins (both win and lose), I'm sure this means there's going to be some additional sets down the road.
As far as the technical quality of the discs themselves, like the other Warner Bros. complete game collections, you are basically looking at original tape recordings, so there's a lot of poor video artifacts. The two channel soundtrack that comes with each of these games is okay, although I'm guessing the first two or three games were probably mono tracks that have been brought into two-channel goodness. The video quality improves the closer we get to present day, plus (as I mentioned in the Steelers review) the production values improve through the years too. I've got to say, it's certainly interesting to hear Vin Scully and George Allen together as a broadcast team, as you'll hear on the Cowboys-Falcons game.
All in all, this is a worthwhile set for Cowboys fans, because you get some of the old school stuff mixed in with all the early '90s dynasty stuff, though I'd love to see some more of the Staubach era Cowboys games on DVD. Football fans in general might get a kick out of these games, here and there, but this one is strictly for Cowboys fan.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 1200 Minutes
Release Year: 1972
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site