Older Cowboys fans will remember the swashbuckling ways of George Allen. When he was hired from the Rams to coach the Redskins in 1971, Allen immediately declared Dallas his enemy and told long-suffering Washington fans, who had endured endless and futile rebuilding efforts, "the future is now." He then went on a a buying spree, trading handfuls of future draft picks for older veterans, who were dubbed "The Over-the-Hill-Gang."
The plan worked. The '71 squad put Washington in the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. In '72, Allen's gang beat the hated Cowboys in the NFC Championship.
The free agent efforts of Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells the past two weeks make me wonder if they are not channeling Allen in some late night Valley Ranch seances. The news that they are now interested in former Patriots CB -- and Parcells draftee -- Ty Law only adds to the belief that their motto for '05 and '06 is "the future is now."
Of the four current offseason additions, only Anthony Henry is younger than 30. If Dallas acquires Darren Howard, that number will be two. But both are 28, which is prime time by NFL standards. If Parcells finds that Law's injured foot is sound and convinces him to join the Cowboys, he will have four new old veterans on his squad.
To me, the phrase Over-the-Hill Gang always conjured up the aging cowboys in the movie The Wild Bunch. It didn't fit a bunch of Redskins. Given Allen's success, maybe it's past time a new Over-the-Hill-Gang saddled up.