Don Perkins attended the University of New Mexico and played running back and kick returner. He won many awards during his college career and in 1958 he led the nation in kickoff returns.
Although being initially drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 1960 NFL Draft, he was awarded to the Dallas Cowboys who had signed him to a contract before the draft. The Colts were awarded a compensation pick instead.
Don immediately became the Cowboys starting running back and their first legitimate star. Along with his quarterback Don Meredith, they became the face of the Dallas Cowboys. He became the first Dallas Cowboy to rush for 100 yards in a game when he racked up 108 yards against the Minnesota Vikings on September 24th. Don was named the NFL rookie of the Year in 1961 with 815 yards rushing. He made his first Pro Bowl the following season after another big season in which he rushed for 945 yards. During his 8 seasons with the Cowboys, Don was named to the Pro Bowl 6 times and was the Cowboys career leading rusher with over 6,000 yards when he retired.
When all was said and done, he rushed for 6,217 yards on 1500 carries and 42 touchdowns. He also caught 146 passes for 1,310 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is currently third all time in career rushing yards for the Cowboys, behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.
In 1976, he was inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium.
Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.