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Know Your Cowboy

With training camp coming to an end and the Boys departing San Antonio for the comfy confines of their new palace, I thought this would be a good time to write the first of what could be many brief bios of current Cowboy players. Just a little something to help the fans get to know your Cowboys a little better.

As I sit here and try to pick one of the many Cowboys to start with, I am watching Fridays preseason game versus the Titans. I just watched a beautiful nine minute eleven second, 90 yard drive end in a Marion Barber 1 yard plunge into the end zone for the first score of the game. This was a thing of beauty, a long drive mixing in a bit of Romo to Roy Williams and some pounding by the Barbarian, a sign of things to come for the season no doubt.

So it would seem the obvious player to start with would be Marion Barber after taking his stroll into the end zone. But … yes I did say but, I am also reading up on some of the players on the roster and I realize I do not know much about this years first draft pick, albeit a third round draft pick, but still our first draft pick.

With their first overall selection of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys chose Jason Williams in the third round (69th overall). This 6 foot 1 inch 238 pound Linebacker out of Western Illinois is expected to be a starter (and a good one) on Special Teams and compete for the Nickle and Dime Linebacker positions, as well as be in the mix for substitutions in the regular defense.

In his college career he was a disruptive player tallying 14 forced fumbles, 289 tackles and 15 sacks. In 2008 he set a school record with 6 forced fumbles in one season and was voted an All-America first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, The Sporting News, Associated Press, the Sports Network, College Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association.

In his senior year last year he recorded 67 of his tackles (39 solo) and 4 sacks, showing that as he got older he got better. Hopefully as he transitions into the NFL he will continue to improve his game play and his numbers. This kid has strength and speed and in a few years you probably will see him replace Brookings or someone else as a starter in the defense. The Cowboys may have gotten themselves a steal with this stud.

Oh and by the way, another rushing touchdown, this one by Felix the Great, has the Cowboys up 14-10 at half time.

Miles Austin: The SuperNova

Miles Austin was born on June 30, 1984 in Summit, New Jersey. Miles attended Garfield High School in Garfield, New Jersey, and was a letterman in football,basketball, and track and field. In football he played wide reciever and defensive back, and as a senior he won All-Bergen County honors and All-State honors. In basketball, Austin garnered All-Bergen County honors as well. In track and field, Austin participated in the 100 meter dash, long jump, triple jump, and javelin throw. He recorded the second-longest javelin throw in Bergen County history with a throw of 214 feet, 8 inches. Austin finished third in the long jump and the triple jump at the New Jersey Meet of Champions. Miles Austin graduated from Garfield High School in 2002.

Miles college career took home at Monmouth. In his college career he caught 150 passes for 2,867 yards and 33 touchdowns. He is the school record-holder in recieving yards. He rushed 15 times for 140 yards and 1 touchdown. In 2003 Miles Set a Monmouth single-season record for touchdown catches with 12.

His NFL career started when the Dallas Cowboys signed him as a undrafted rookie free agent. In his rookie year he returned 29 kickoffs for 753 yards and recorded 5 tackles. His main highlight of the year was in the Cowboys playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. He returned 3 kickoffs for 136 yards in the game, including a 93 yard touchdown return. In the 55 postseason games in franchise history, it was the Cowboys’ first ever kickoff return touchdown in the playoffs. Miles caught his first career touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers. In 2008 he had 13 catches for 278 and 3 touchdowns with an average of 21.4 yards per catch.

With the release of Terrell Owens, Miles is expected to start as the No. 2 receiver across from Roy Williams.

Legends of the Star – Jay Novacek

Jay Novacek first made a name for himself playing tight end for the University of Wyoming. He was selected to the All-American football team in 1984 after setting an NCAA record for receiving yards per receptions by a tight end. He had a team record 83 career receptions for 1,536 yards and 10 touchdowns during his college career. Novacek also competed in track and field and earned All-American in the decathlon and pole vault.
 
He was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985, and but later joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1990. Some thought he was hired gun and for a while the name stuck. He was known for his hard-nosed style of play and his athleticism. He was a hard hitter and a great blocker, but it was his pass catching ability that fans will remember most.
 
He was one of the best tight ends ever to wear a Dallas Cowboys uniform, and was one of the key players on a Cowboys team that went on to win three Super Bowls in 1992, 1993 and 1995. In those three games alone, he posted a combined total of 17 catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
 
Jay Novacek’s remarkable pass catching and route running abilities gave him a total of 422 receptions for 4,620 yards and 30 touchdowns during his NFL career. He was selected to five pro bowls. Although he may not have had a long career with the Cowboys, he made each of his 6 seasons count, and was one of the best tight ends in the league throughout his Cowboys career.

 
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. 

Legends of the Star – Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker started his football career while playing for the University of Georgia. In his freshman year, he set an NCAA rushing record and helped his team win the national title. He earned All-American honors three consecutive years, set 10 NCAA records, 15 Southeast Conference records, 30 Georgia all-time records, and capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy in his third and final year.

In 1983, Walker turned professional and joined the New Jersey Generals of the now defunct United States Football League. Herschel was absolutely dominating and was considered by many to be the best and most electrifying player in football. He won the leagues Most Valuable Player award and set the all-time single season pro football rushing record with 2411 yards.

In 1986, Herschel Walker joined the Dallas Cowboys, and in his first season with the team he led the NFL in rushing and scored 14 touchdowns. His best year came in 1988 when Herschel rushed for 1,514 yards. He earned Pro Bowl honors with the Cowboys in 1987 and 1988. During his years with the Cowboys he was their most talented and most popular player, but the team was not winning.

In the middle of the1989 season, the Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in a deal that would change the face of the Cowboys for years to come. Besides receiving 5 players, the Cowboys also received a total of six draft picks, two of which were used to draft Emmit Smith and Darren Woodson. Jimmy Johnson used the other draft picks to make trades with other teams around the NFL which led to drafting Russell Maryland with the first overall draft pick in 1991. This trade has long been considered one of the most lopsided deals in NFL history.

After continuing his career as one of the premier running backs in the league, Herschel would later return to Dallas in 1996 and retired as a Cowboy in 1997.

Walker was one of the most productive players in the history of football and even if you discount his 3 seasons with the USFL, he still had 82 career touchdowns, 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards, and 5,084 kickoff-return yards. He is the only player to have 10,000+ yards gained on offense and 5,000+ yards on kickoff returns.

Although his career as Cowboy was not that long, during his years with the team he was the lone bright spot despite the fact that the team never made the play-offs. His contribution to the team in terms of trade value transformed the team into the most powerful team in the NFL for an entire decade. 

Walker was one of the top running backs in the pros, gaining more yards than anyone in professional football history, counting his seasons in both the NFL and USFL. He finished his professional career with a total of 8,225 yards and 61 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 512 passes for 4,859 yards and 21 scores.

 
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. 

Legends of the Star – Don Perkins

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. 

Legends of the Star – Roger Staubach

 

Roger Staubach started his great career as a quarterback for the United States Naval Academy. He made a name for himself by making big plays when he was on the verge of being sacked. His scrambling skills also made him a dangerous weapon on the ground and had great cutting ability which he used to drive defenses crazy. In 1963 he was recognized for his achievements and was awarded the Heisman Trophy. In 1981, he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

After his college career, Roger was given the option of staying in the United States to fulfill his commitment to the Navy, but instead he chose to volunteer for a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he served as an officer.

After being drafted by Dallas in 1964, he finally joined the Dallas Cowboys as a 27-year-old rookie in 1969, after completing his military obligation. He eventually took over as the starting quarterback in 1971, and for the next nine seasons he led the Dallas Cowboys to six NFC Championship Games, and four Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowls VI and XII.

During his career, Staubach developed a reputation for pulling out victories when defeat looked inevitable. His determination to never give up earned him the nickname, "Captain Comeback." He led the Cowboys to 23 come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter. Seventeen of those comebacks came in the final two minutes of games.

His most famous moment was the "Hail Mary Pass" in the 1975 playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. With seconds on the clock and Dallas down 14-10, Staubach launched a 50 yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson, for a 17-14 victory. Staubach told reporters that he prayed a "Hail Mary" before throwing the pass. The name stuck and is widely used in football today.

He finished his 11 NFL career with 1,685 completions for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns, with 109 interceptions. He also gained 2,264 rushing yards and scored 20 touchdowns on 410 carries. At the time of his retirement, he was the highest rated passer in NFL history with a 83.4 passer rating.

The Naval Academy retired Staubach’s jersey number in 1964, and in 1981, he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. He was slected to the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1983, and in 1985 he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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.