Profile of the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line from Early 1990s
“This line was the best example of what five, six men working together can accomplish in the NFL: you can win it all.” – Jerry Jones
In the early 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys won three Super Bowl championships in four years, with Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin leading the way. However, it was six offensive linemen – none of which were drafted higher than the third round – who paved the way for those teams and collectively became one of the greatest offensive line units in NFL history.
NFL Network’s two-time Emmy-nominated series A Football Life continues Tuesday, December 3 at 9:00 PM ET with The Great Wall of Dallas: A Football Life, which profiles the Cowboys’ offensive line from the early 1990s. Comprised of tackles Mark Tuinei and Erik Williams, guards Nate Newton and Kevin Gogan, center Mark Stepnoski, and guard/center John Gesek, the “Great Wall of Dallas” was an intimidating force that led the Cowboys to big wins and memorable moments, while also skirting on the edge of recklessness, arrogance and controversy.
The one-hour documentary details the incredible success each lineman achieved, as well as the struggles and challenges they faced, both during their playing careers and once they retired.
Emmy-nominated actor from CBS’ The Good Wife, Josh Charles, narrates.
The Great Wall of Dallas: A Football Life includes interviews with the following people:
Jerry Jones – Cowboys Owner/President/General Manager
Kevin Gogan – Former Cowboys guard, 1987-93
Nate Newton – Former Cowboys guard, 1986-98
John Gesek – Former Cowboys guard/center, 1990-93
Emmitt Smith – Former Cowboys running back, 1990-2002
Troy Aikman – Former Cowboys quarterback, 1989-2000
Michael Irvin – Former Cowboys wide receiver, 1988-99
Deion Sanders – Former Cowboys cornerback, 1995-99
Rich Dalrymple – Cowboys Vice President of Public Relations
Brad Sham – Cowboys broadcaster
Jason Garrett – Cowboys head coach; former Cowboys quarterback, 1993-99
Jimmy Johnson – Former Cowboys head coach, 1989-93
Randy White – Former Cowboys defensive tackle, 1975-88
Daryl Johnston – Former Cowboys fullback, 1989-99
Pono Tuinei – Widow of Mark Tuinei
Pam Oliver – FOX Sports; classmate of Nate Newton at Florida A&M
Jeff Pearlman – Author, Boys Will Be Boys
Gary Busey – Actor
Michelle Newton – Nate Newton’s wife
Provided below are some select quotes from The Great Wall of Dallas: A Football Life:
- “This line was the best example of what five, six men working together can accomplish in the NFL: you can win it all.” – Jerry Jones
- “I measure men on distance traveled. They started way, way back but they raised themselves to be one of the top offensive lines to play the game.” – Michael Irvin
- “I’d play beyond the whistle; I would go after you, I would try to fight you, I would get underneath your skin because I didn’t have the talent of some of these other guys.” – Kevin Gogan
- “You put them together and you put them on the biggest stage in football, they were just perfect. The right unit at the right time for the right team.” – Jeff Pearlman
- “He wasn’t interested in just winning on the play and blocking his guy. He absolutely wanted to demoralize him.” – Troy Aikman on Erik Williams
- “We talk a lot about imposing your will, breaking their will – I don’t know that there has ever been a drive that I’ve seen that represented that better than that Super Bowl against Buffalo.” – Jason Garrett on the opening drive of the second half in Super Bowl XXVIII
- “You step out of the door, you’re gone. It doesn’t take months and years for people to forget about you; you’re gone, you are replaced and you are forgotten about. If you don’t find that harmony real quick or that peace real quick, you’re going to go through some things, especially when you are as high-strung as we were.” – Nate Newton
Following the episode, Steve Wyche hosts A Football Life: Backstory at 10:00 PM ET, a 30-minute show that provides a deeper look into the lives and story of each subject, features interviews with relevant individuals, and includes material that did not make the final edition of the episode. This week, Nate Newton joins the show in-studio.
Viewers will also have the opportunity to interact and offer their thoughts on Twitter by following @NFLNetwork and using the hashtag #AFootballLife.
Viewers can also interact with and follow the series on their phones and tablets with A Football Life Xtra. Located within the new NFL Mobile app, A Football Life Xtra features producer commentary, photos and artifacts from the NFL Films archives, and career stats and unique facts, as well as trivia games and polls on NFL legends. Visit NFL.com/xtra on your mobile device to download NFL Mobile. Additionally, every episode of A Football Life – as well as all NFL Network programming – is streamed live on NFL Mobile from Verizon, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Below is the broadcast schedule for the remaining episodes of A Football Life:
- December 10 – Houston ‘93
- December 17 – Marty Schottenheimer
- December 24 – Vince Lombardi, Part 1
- December 31 – Vince Lombardi, Part 2
- January 7 – Tiki & Ronde Barber
- January 14 – Bill Parcells
- January 21 – Jerry Smith
- January 28 – Jerry Rice
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