Today's quiz is about those cursed Cowboys who darken our door again this weekend. They are up from Texas, the jackrabbit factory of America. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, shortly before the Civil War, surveyed that moonscape with tumbleweed. The general said, "If I owned Texas and hell, I would rent out Texas and live in hell."
Answers to our 10 questions are at the bottom. Texans will peek.
1. What rent would Gen. Sheridan charge for Texas? Isn't that too much? Does that include tumbleweed removal? Is Willie Nelson piped into every room?
2. The Redskins open the season Monday night at RFK against the Cowboys, whom they defeated, 31-17, in last January's NFC championship game here. Rumor has it that several Cowboys broke curfew the night before that game. Which three Cowboys can tell time?
3. Cowboy quarterback Danny White says he doesn't remember anything about that day on which Dexter Manley ironed him flat and knocked him out. Since then, Manley has shaved his head in a Mohawk haircut and announced that he remembers everything. What should Danny White bring to RFK Monday night to make sure he doesn't sleep through this one, too? How would Danny look in a Mohawk?
4. Speaking of White, Cowboy Coach Tom Landry created a quarterback controversy this summer when he said Gary Hogeboom had a shot at the starting job. Don Meredith, Craig Morton and Roger Staubach were earlier Cowboy quarterbacks fighting for the No. 1 spot. Where does Willie Nelson fit in this picture?
5. As part of a get-tough policy with his frolicking lads, Landry announced the banning of end-zone celebrations after touchdowns. "I don't like it," the coach explained. This has been labeled the No-Quake Policy because it eliminates the so-called California Quake performed by Butch Johnson. Who is Butch Johnson and why?
6. Did Tex Schramm, the Cowboys' president, ride shotgun with Gen. Sheridan? Is Tex Schramm related to Tex Ritter, Tex Cobb or Texarkana? Is Tex any name for a grown man?
7. The Cowboys' front four on defense is getting old. Harvey Martin, Too Tall Jones and John Dutton are 32 and Randy White is 30. If you add it all up, they have eight legs, weigh a thousand pounds and are 126 years old. Does that make them the oldest octopus in the sea?
8. As losers of three straight NFC championship games, the Cowboys now have gone five years without appearing in a Super Bowl. This is their longest drought since they first made it to the Super Bowl in 1970. Is this proof that God is alive? The Cowboys are 0-3 in NFC title games since Ronald Reagan was elected president. How can we get Reagan to run again?
9. The Cowboys were admitted to the NFL in 1960 and had their first winning season in 1966. They have been winning ever since--and the world has come unglued: the Beatles have never sung together again; Richard Nixon was elected president twice and Billy Martin was hired seven times; unemployment rose along with inflation; a Milky Way costs 35 cents; the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, and Slim Whitman and John Travolta became stars. Is Slim Whitman any relation to Walt Whitman? How would Willie Nelson look with a Mohawk?
10. The Cowboys' 16th-round draft choice in 1966 was a running back named Tom Piggee. This little Piggee went nowhere. Neither did the 17th-round draft choice, George Allen, a big tackle from West Texas State. George Allen. Will these guys do anything for a laugh?
The answers follow.
1. Sheridan made his famous remark in 1855 while stationed at Fort Clark, Tex. Although the general never got around to setting up rental fees, brave explorers who have made it back from Texas estimate a fair deal would be $2 a day, including a $1 deposit on the key. Take the towels when you leave.
2. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Danny White, who saw Dexter Manley coming and said, "Time to go sleep-sleep."
3. An alarm clock with a five-minute doze feature.
4. He's the only one who knows how to spell "relief."
5. Butch Johnson is the Cowboys' wide receiver who said this week he likes to play here because the Redskins have "ugly players . . . You like to play against ugly players." Butch is to be forgiven these words because he is one of nature's thrice-cursed creatures, a Californian living in Texas working for the Cowboys. Jerry Lewis should do a telethon.
6. No, yes and no, not necessarily in that order.
7. Harvey Martin once threw a funeral wreath into the Redskins' locker room because he thought it was a clever thing to do. Similarly, Too Old Jones once got to thinking and quit football to become a boxer, where he introduced the "flex" defense to the ring (his nose flexed a lot). And Dutton beefed up during this offseason only to find the extra weight slowed him down. An octopus doesn't think so much; he lolls around listening to Willie Nelson records.
8. Tell him if he retires he has to rent a room in Texas.
9. Bobby Knight once said that if we get to the bottom of Watergate, we'll find a football coach. The Cowboys won their first Super Bowl in January of 1972. On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested inside the Watergate. No one has ever asked Tom Landry what he knew and when he knew it.
10. Besides this George Allen, the Cowboys have signed or drafted players named Margene Adkins, Lance Poimboeuf, Ola Lee Murchison, Lowndes Shingler, Zenon Andrusyshyn and Lawrie Skolrood. Rafael Septien's parrot is "J.R." There is a book entitled, "Cowboys' Wives' Family Fitness Guide and Nutritional Cookbook." Check the best-seller shelves at your favorite bookstore.