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Montana-49ers split heads list of bad NFL breakups

US Presswire
Tiger Woods and Steve Williams are no longer two peas in a pod.


Tiger Woods dismissed his caddie, Steve Williams, this week, and the New Zealander isn't taking it too well, either -- which makes sense considering how much money these guys made together.

But breakups are a part of sports, and that goes beyond Tony Romo's much publicized breakup with Jessica Simpson years ago. Players, coaches, teams, and even cities have been known to split, and not all of them have been amicable.

In honor of Mr. Williams, here are the six most contentious breakups in NFL history.

And without further ado ...

6. Eric Dickerson and the Los Angeles Rams
There were a couple of things you could count on in Anaheim every summer -- the Angels folding and Dickerson holding out for more money. All of it came to a head when madame Ram traded Dickerson to the Colts on Halloween in 1987 -- which was the true start of the "Major League"-ization of the Rams as Georgia Frontiere and henchman John Shaw started dismantling the team to make a move to St. Louis possible.

5. Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys
The Cowboys were coming off back-to-back Super Bowl wins, and owner Jerry Jones bragged that 500 coaches could win with the Cowboys. Jones and Johnson then split, and the Cowboys owner managed to find coach No. 501 as the Cowboys lost in the 1994 NFC Championship Game. Jones and Barry Switzer did get the last laugh, beating the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX in 1995, but the Cowboys have since dismantled that dynasty.

4. Marcus Allen and the Raiders
Allen might have been the most popular player of the Los Angeles Raiders era. And it makes sense, too, seeing that Allen played collegiately at USC and won the Heisman Trophy -- which he still owns! But there was a falling out between Allen and owner Al Davis that led to the running back finishing his career with the rival Chiefs.

3. The Browns and Cleveland
The Browns have had a score of bad breakups during their tenure, cutting Bernie Kosar, Jim Brown retiring early -- hell, founder Paul Brown was unceremoniously removed, forcing him to restart with the Bengals. Nothing will ever beat the Browns organization turning its back on the city of Cleveland, though, to move to Baltimore.

2. Brett Favre and the Packers
Favre might have cost our NFL.com news editor Justin Hathaway years off his life by retiring, returning and repeating over the past couple of years. Heck, it made NFL Network's Scott Hanson a local in Hattiesburg, Miss. And the biggest kick to the groin for Favre (well, other than you know) was watching the Packers being proven correct, as Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay to a win in the Super Bowl last year.

1. Joe Montana and the 49ers
Guys often get into a mid-life crisis and start looking around at younger options. The same happens for dynasties, too. With Joe Montana recovering from a back injury, the team opted for Steve Young to take over the proud franchise. And it worked, kind of, since Young did lead the 49ers to a win in Super Bowl XXIX (thanks to our No. 4 split up). But you have to wonder what could have happened if Montana had played for those 49ers teams from 1992-94.

Got another example? You can send more suggestions via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

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