On December 16, 1989 the Dallas Cowboys were -- according to their head coach, Jimmy Johnson -- a laughably weak team. After watching his offensive line and running backs fail to score four times from the 1-yard line late inan ugly 15-0 loss to the New York Giants in The Meadowlands
, Johnson fumed after the game that his team needed to get mentally and, especially, physically stronger.
Johnson's solution: He fired long-time strength coach Bob Ward, a guy who grew up with the Cowboys under Tom Landry. And, on a recommendation from fullback Daryl Johnston, hired Mike Woicik.
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Six Super Bowl rings later, Woicik is poised to return to Valley Ranch as the Cowboys' strength and conditioning coach.
Woicik won three rings in Dallas and the Cowboys went 89-38 with 12 playoff wins under his program. After a stint with the Saints, he then won another three championships with the New England Patriots, making him the NFL's only "coach" with six rings.
Woicik is a beast, one of those Neanderthal types who bids hello and goodbye with only a low, primal grunt. Johnston -- who developed under Woicik at Syracuse -- and Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson swear by him.
While current strength coach Joe Juraszek was friendly and affable, I have to admit that the Cowboys may have gotten better at one position this off-season.