Hall of Fame runningback Tony Dorsett "guarantees" that the Dallas Cowboys will beat Houston in its NFL season opener.
"If the Cowboys lose to Houston, the state of Texas will never be the same," said Dorsett, who visited New York-New York last week to promote several business ventures in Las Vegas. "It just can’t happen."
The Cowboys are only a 3 1/2-point favorite, which isn’t much considering their gaudy history compared to a team that has never played a pro game.
"Believe me, there would be serious ramifications if Dallas were to lose," Dorsett said. "It would be far worse than losing to the Redskins. The Cowboys shouldn’t even play anymore. Just stick in a hole and hide."
Of course, Dorsett lives in Dallas and is slightly prejudiced. But this is an honest, direct individual. If TD has something on his mind, he doesn’t hold back.
"I still feel today that my skills were not entirely appreciated," he said. "I did a lot of things for the small guy. To play at such a high level at 183 pounds I often felt that I didn’t get my props."
This is not a bitter man. On the contrary, Dorsett is happy to be promoting health products, working to help fight drug abuse and dabbling from time to time in blackjack.
"My system for blackjack is beat the dealer," he laughed. "If you have a 12 and the dealer has 3, you stay. Heck I stay on 17 if a dealer has 3."
Dorsett admits being approached by people in the gaming business as a football player, and it wasn’t about blackjack.
"I was never afraid to talk to anyone in the business," he said. "You have to be really down and out to gamble on games, especially ones you are involved in.
"You have to have some severe financial and mental problems to want to get involved in fixing games," he said. "We knew the spreads were out there to see, but most players didn’t talk about them."
Dorsett keeps in touch with the NFL from a distance, choosing not to attend that many games.
"I wouldn’t mind doing an NFL television studio job," he said. "Things haven’t worked out in that respect yet, so I just watch the games from the comforts of home."
That homefront includes contact with his son Anthony, a defensive back with the Raiders who was injured last week against Tennessee.
"Anthony is doing fine," he said. "He has some soft tissue between his heel and arch. It shouldn’t be a problem."
Dorsett was willing to share a few observations on the NFL, free of charge.
Emmitt Smith: "A class act. The ultimate professional. I admire the man and like everything he stands for."
Barry Sanders: "High-octane. Off the charts. I loved the way he ran. But he has to take a back seat to T.D."
St. Louis Rams: "One of most explosive teams in NFL history. Frightening for a defensive coordinator. I like their style and game. A dream offense. They will embarrass you."
College: "My four years at Pittsburgh were the best of my life. I arrived an introverted young man and came out a man. I wish I could go back and revisit those days."
Cowboys: "Did a lot of positive things in offseason getting (La’Roi) Glover and (Kevin) Hardy. I left their camp very impressed. Verdict still out at quarterback. Lack the depth of Super Bowl times, but getting it back."
NFL: "The game is pretty much the same, only larger players and more attitude. I liked the era I played in where rivalries with Oakland, Cleveland and Pittsburgh meant more. But, I wish I could have made today’s money."