TOFN podcast: The day the Cowboys could've had Joe Montana ... and passed


(EDITOR'S NOTE: To access the podcast just click on the following link: )

Before Greg Aiello joined the NFL office, where he became the league's senior vice president in charge of communications, he worked in public relations and marketing with the Dallas Cowboys. And while he was there, the Cowboys in 1979 had a chance to draft quarterback Joe Montana.

That was Aiello's first year on the job in Dallas ... in fact, it was his first month on the job ... and, as a graduate of Notre Dame, he had a keen interest in Montana. But the Cowboys, who had Roger Staubach, Danny White and Glenn Carano at quarterback, apparently didn't and ...

Well, let Aiello tell the story, as he did on our latest Talk of Fame Network podcast.

"I'm wide-eyed and in the draft room," said Aiello, who retired last month from the NFL, "and I was a graduate of Note Dame. So I had a particular interest as we got into the third round -- and our pick was coming up -- in the guy at the top of our board, Joe Montana. I was curious what we were going to do.

"The Cowboys' system devised by Tex Schramm, and Tom Landry and Gil Brandt specified that the players would be ranked according to who the best players are, regardless of position. Rank the board from one to whatever (how) many they ranked, and whoever ranked at the top of the board when the Cowboys' pick came that was who we were supposed to take, regardless of position.

"So here's our pick, and there's Joe Montana's name at the top. And I remember Tom Landry saying ...."

Ah, that's where we're going to stop. Because if you want to hear what Tom Landry said, all you have to do is click on the following link, and listen to Aiello recall that ... and many more stories ... from his days in Dallas and the league office:


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