Each year in August in preparation for the Texas Bowl played at Reliant Stadium in late December “Gridiron Legends” are chosen by Texas Bowl officials and they are honored at Houston Texans preseason game. Two of the five men honored Saturday night, August 17th at halftime of the preseason game between the Texans and the Miami Dolphins were former Dallas Cowboys greats Bob Lilly and Dat Nguyen.
We had the opportunity to talk with both men at a media even in the Texans team cafeteria shortly before kickoff of the game. We asked Bob Lilly his thoughts about how much the NFL game has changed since he played.
“I don’t think I made but $450,000 my whole career. I never dreamed the salaries of players would go where they are today. I didn’t even know there was that kind of money in the world.”
We also asked him how things were going in his life. “Everything’s good. I’ve had a little bit of a rheumatoid type thing and it’s kinda knocked me down a little bit, but it’s curable, so that’s good.”
We concluded our interview by asking Mr. Lilly his thoughts of how the Texans and Cowboys are likely to fare this season. “For Houston, I could see it (making it to the Super Bowl in February). With Dallas, I’m not sure. I think they’re thin at the offensive line. That’s really important. Looks like they’ve got some young running backs that look pretty good. If their defense does what I think they will and their offense hangs together, they’ve got a good shot (of making it to the Super Bowl), I think they do.”
We asked Nguyen what being named as a Gridiron Legend meant to him. “It’s an honor and it’s a humbling experience. I think when you go out and play the game of football and you do something you love and enjoy and realize that you make an impact on people, it’s just fortunate.”
Dat’s career in the NFL with Dallas was cut short due to injuries. We asked him how he was doing since hanging up his cleats. “I’m doing good, but it has its moments. The knee hurts a little bit. I think I could be the meteorologist and tell you what the weather’s going to do, and when a storm’s coming and when a cold front’s coming, but overall, knee, shoulder, neck, it has its days, but Aleve has been very good to me.”
We also asked Dat his thoughts about the Cowboys chances in 2013. “The Cowboys, I like the skill players. I like Tony Romo, I like Dez Bryant, I like Jason Witten, and I think the offense can be very explosive, you know if DeMarco Murray stays healthy. I think the offensive
line’s going to be an issue. Any good team you have to worry about the offensive line; not just during the season, but late in the year when you have to run the ball, I’m a little worried about that. I’m confident in the defense with Monte Kiffen. It’s a defense I believe in. It’s a bend, but don’t break, which will allow the offense to get the ball back, and hopefully, they can score points and play great in the red zone.”