I thought you might like these player notes … always interesting. Randy
Tony Dorsett arrived in Dallas in 1977 via a draft-day deal the Cowboys swung with the Seattle Seahawks for the sole intention of selecting the Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Pittsburgh. Then Cowboys president and General Manager Tex Schramm paid what seemed like a bundle for the right to draft Dorsett: One first-round, and three second-round choices.
In 1964, Bob Hayes earned the title “World’s Fastest Human” by winning two gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. This world-class speed would make him one of the most dynamic receivers in Dallas Cowboys history. Hayes was drafted in the seventh round in 1964 as a futures selection, the same draft that yielded the Cowboys Mel Renfro and Roger Staubach. To this day, Hayes holds ten regular-season receiving records, four punt return records and 22 overall franchise marks, making him one of the greatest receivers to ever play for the Dallas Cowboys.
Coming to the Cowboys in a trade with the Chicago Bears in 1961 after once having given up on his NFL career, Chuck Howley became one of the greatest outside linebackers in Cowboys history and the only player to win Super Bowl MVP honors while on the losing team. Howley’s outstanding speed and agility enabled him to intercept 25 passes for 399 yards during his 14 seasons with the Cowboys while playing linebacker. He was selected to six Pro Bowls and earned six All-Pro selections in a row, enough to become the fourth player in franchise history inducted into the Ring of Honor (1976).
Lee Roy Jordan tackled many challenges throughout his pro football career with the Dallas Cowboys. So it is fitting Jordan, who played middle linebacker during his 14-year career with the Cowboys at just 6-1, 215 pounds, still ranks as the franchise’s all-time leading tackler. Jordan, an All-American at Alabama taken with the team’s top pick in the 1963 draft, was a key member of the Cowboys’ famed “Doomsday Defense.” The 14-seasons he played in Dallas ties him with four others for the second longest playing tenure in franchise history.
Tom Landry paced the sidelines as the “only head coach” in Dallas Cowboys history for 29 years in his trademark fedora. By the time Landry’s coaching career ended following the 1988 season, he had compiled a 270-178-6 record, the third most wins in NFL history. That distinguished career was good enough for Landry to gain entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1993, thanks to leading the Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles, five Super Bowl appearances, five NFC Championships, 13 division titles and an incredible 20 consecutive winning seasons.
Before earning the nickname “Mr. Cowboy”, Bob Lilly was the first player ever drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1961. So it is fitting that Lilly not only became the first Cowboys player inducted into the Ring of Honor in 1975, but also became the franchise’s first player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980. During the course of 14 seasons with the Cowboys, Lilly was named Rookie of the Year in 1961, was selected to the Pro Bowl a club-record 11-times – 10 consecutive selections between 1964-74 – was named to the All-Pro team seven times and played in two Super Bowls, including the club’s very first Super Bowl victory, 24-3 over Miami in Super Bowl VI.
Throughout his nine-year career with the Cowboys, “Dandy” Don Meredith was one of the Cowboys’ most recognizable stars, his brash, outgoing style epitomizing the growing city he played in during his college and professional career. And while the free-spirited Meredith didn’t always have a loving relationship with the Cowboys faithful, his lasting legacy will be that of leading his team to three straight division championships and trips to consecutive NFL Championship games following the 1966 and 1967 seasons, losing both times, though, to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
When Don Perkins retired following an eight-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, only four other running backs in NFL history had rushed for more yards than his 6,217. “I was small,” the 5-10, 204-pound Perkins once said, “but I was one that was afraid. When you’re scared, you can run real fast.” Perkins still ranks third on the franchise’s all-time rushing list. Not bad since the first two are Emmitt Smith, headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame once he retires, and Tony Dorsett, already enshrined in the Hall of Fame. But Perkins always will be known as the first Cowboy to rush for 6,000 career yards, doing so first as a running back and finally as a fullback.
Mel Renfro first came to the Cowboys a highly-acclaimed running back out of the University of Oregon. But Cowboys head coach Tom Landry saw Renfro as a defensive back when they selected him in the second round of the 1964 draft. And what a defensive back he was, becoming arguably the best safety-cornerback during his 14-year career to ever play for the Cowboys, and one of the best to ever play in the NFL. His 52 career interceptions and 26.4-yard career kickoff-return average still stand as team records, both a tribute to his running ability. The NFL certainly got to know Renfro in a hurry, having been elected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first 10 seasons in the NFL – the first six at free safety and the final four at cornerback. His 10 Pro Bowl appearances is second to only Bob Lilly’s 11 for the Cowboys.
Good things come to those who wait, and certainly the Dallas Cowboys’ patience in the mid-60′s was supremely rewarded, landing one of the best players in franchise history because they were willing to wait for Roger Staubach to fulfill his military commitment. For that five years of patience, the Cowboys landed the guy who became better know as “Roger The Dodger” over the next 11 years when he was selected to six Pro Bowls – including five consecutively – and was named the NFL Players Association Most Valuable Player in 1971. Staubach led the NFL in passing four times and was selected to the All-NFC team four times.
Randy White came to the Cowboys from the University of Maryland as the No. 2 pick in the 1975 NFL Draft. Before his career was over, 14 years later, he would become known as the “Manster” – half man, half defensive monster – setting numerous franchise records as the heart-and-soul of the famed “Doomsday Defense”. White struggled in his first two years with the Cowboys when then head coach Tom Landry moved White from his familiar defensive tackle position to linebacker. But, after Landry moved White back to right tackle in 1977, White became one of the NFL’s most dominating defensive linemen and a coveted co-Super Bowl MVP.