Bill Clinton photo

Remarks to the 1996 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys

February 13, 1996

Please be seated. Mr. Hill, it's good to see you. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the White House. It's a great pleasure and honor for me to welcome Jerry Jones and his family and Coach Switzer and the entire Dallas Cowboys team, the coaches, the staff. Welcome back to the White House. This is beginning to be boring for them, I think. [Laughter]

But this is the only thing that happens at the White House as regularly as the State of the Union Address. In some ways, it's better. It's shorter—[laughter]—and there's no response. [Laughter]

I think everyone in America knows the remarkable record of the Dallas Cowboys, is well aware that they have won the Super Bowl 3 out of the last 4 years and that makes eight trips to the Super Bowl and five victories. This year I thought was especially important for the team, and Jerry Jones said so after the victory over Pittsburgh, I might add, a hard-won victory and an excellent game. And the Steelers put up a great fight.

But Jerry must have been thinking about the injuries the team had overcome, the fact that there were two losses in December. And I have to say to my longtime friend and fellow Arkansan Barry Switzer—he was second-guessed so much, for a while I thought people had mistaken him for the President. [Laughter]

I want to congratulate everyone who played on this team: Emmitt Smith for his remarkable record-setting 25-touchdown year—be a long time before that's—[applause] I congratulate those who are here and those who are not here, Troy Aikman, all the receivers, the defensive backs.

But I would be remiss, as someone who understands what it's like to get the limelight all the time, when you're backed by a team that deserves the credit and they don't often get it—that's the way Presidents are. I'm always up giving the speeches, always getting the credit. But as somebody who has been a footfall fan ever since I was old enough to know what the football looked like, I don't believe I've ever seen a team play better, from tackle to tackle, on offense and defense, as the line did for the Dallas Cowboys in the closing games from the playoffs up to the Super Bowl. They were awesome, and they deserve a lot of the credit as well.

I want to say a special word, too, to Charles Haley, who came back from all of his injuries and played in the Super Bowl. It was wonderful to see him on the field. And if he wasn't out of pain, he sure hid it. And if you can play in pain, you can run for public office. [Laughter] It's something you might consider.

I also want to say a special word of appreciation—I think all Americans and people who are fans of the Cowboys and people who are fans of the Steelers were glad to see the performance that Larry Brown put into the Super Bowl that won him the MVP award, especially after he lost his young son. I think every parent in America identified with it and admired his courage as well as his performance.

So this was a good year for the Dallas Cowboys. But because of the way they won and the way they played and the obstacles they overcame, it was a good year for professional football and for reminding us all that talent is never enough. You also have to want to win. You have to have the courage to accept adversity and overcome it when you face it. And you have to keep going when the going gets tough. This year the Dallas Cowboys did just that. And every one of us in America can cheer them for that great accomplishment.

So, congratulations. We're glad to have you at the White House.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:05 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Dallas Cowboys former player Calvin Hill, owner Jerry Jones, and quarterback Troy Aikman.

William J. Clinton, Remarks to the 1996 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives