The wait is finally over. Tonight the Pro Football Hall of Fame will open it’s doors to a man who should have been voted in back in the early 1980’s. A man who changed the way his position was played and the way defenses in the NFL played. “Bullet” Bob Hayes will finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame where he belongs. It’s just a shame he won’t be there to enjoy his special day.
Bob Hayes was known as the “Worlds Fastest Human”. He owns an Olympic Gold Medal, a Super Bowl ring, he is part of the Cowboys Ring of Honor and now the Hall of Fame. He won his gold medal during the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo for the 100 meter in 10.0 seconds. He also helped the track team win another gold medal for the 4×100 meter relay.
He became a member of the Dallas Cowboys in 1965 after being drafted by Dallas in the 7th round of the 1964 draft and quickly took the NFL by storm with his Olympic speed. Defenses around the league started playing zone because man-to-man was just not working for them. Hayes played 10 seasons with the Cowboys and helped them win their first world championship in 1971 when they won Super Bowl VI against the Miami Dolphins.He was also voted to the Pro Bowl three times from 1965-67 and was a two-time fist team All-Pro in 1966 and 1968.
Hayes finished his NFL career in 1975 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, but he will always be remembered as a Dallas Cowboy. In his career he finished with 371 receptions, 7.414 yards and 71 TDs for a 20.0 per reception average. His 71 TDs is still a Dallas record. He also had an 11.1 yard punt return average along with 3 TDs. Add to all of stats that Hayes still holds the Dallas record for longest TD reception of 95 yards in 1966 against the Washington Redskins.
Bob Hayes passed away in 2002 after a battle with prostate cancer. His passing was about a month after he was inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor. His induction into the Pro Football Ring of Honor will be the Cowboys 11th as he joins…
Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Bob Lilly, Randy White, Mel Renfro, Rayfield Wright, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Tom Landry and Tex Schramm.
“This is a deserving honor for one of the Cowboys’ most and truly gifted stars,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. “We all know he changed the game on the field, but he also brought a unique star quality to the NFL that helped make professional football the most popular sport in the world. He was a world champion in two different sports, and he had a world class heart. I couldn’t be happier for Bob, he was always one of my personal favorites.
“This is a great day for Bob Hayes’ legacy, his family and the Dallas Cowboys.”
“It’s a guy that I spent many days with in an apartment when I first got to Dallas, getting to know him and talking to him about the game and talking to him about him,” Irvin said. “Talking to him about bouncing back from difficult times before I knew I’d go through some of the difficult things that I’ve gone through. He helped me in those matters even before I went through it. Just to be here today and be able to celebrate with his family and everybody here is huge for me.”
You can get guys that have numbers and say he deserves it,” Irvin said. “You can get guys that have rings and say that he deserves it. You can even have guys with a number of rings and see if he’s a Hall of Famer or not. But when you have guys you had to change the game for, all these other rods or measuring things in catches, touchdowns, wins, Super Bowls and Pro Bowls are good.
“Understand this — when you get those very few guys that they had to go into a room and come up with an idea of how to do something about this person, that’s a Hall of Famer. That’s got to be a Hall of Famer.”
Congratulations Bob Hayes for everything that you meant to the Dallas Cowboys. This honor has been a long time coming and even though you are not around to enjoy your day I’m sure your family will. The Hall of Fame has been very busy inducting former Cowboys recently. With Troy Aikman getting the honor in 2006 and Michael Irvin in 2008, Bob Hayes in 2009 and in 2010 another former player some of you might remember who wore the same 22 as Hayes did. Emmitt Smith has a slight chance of being voted in this coming February. I’m kidding of course. But today is all about the original number 22.
Enjoy the ceremonies everyone.
Click the link for some photo’s of Bob Hayes from DallasCowboys.com
Click the link for a short tribute of Bob Hayes.