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Remembering Buddy Dial

January 17, 1937 – February 29, 2008

Gilbert Leroy “Buddy” Dial passed away on Friday, February 29th, at the age of 71.  Dial was a star wide receiver who played 8 years in the NFL, first for the Pittsburgh Steelers and then for the Dallas Cowboys.

Dial played with the Steelers from 1959-1963 and was then traded to the Cowboys per his request in 1964 and remained with the Cowboys until his retirement in 1966.  During his career Dial made 261 receptions for a total of 5,436 yards and 44 touchdowns.  His best year was in 1963, with the Steelers, when he caught 60 passes for 1,295 yards and 9 touchdowns.  His per catch average remains the second-highest in NFL history at 20.8 yards per catch.  Dial made the Pro Bowl in 1961 and 1963, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame.

The bulk of Dial’s productivity came during his years with Pittsburgh. In his final three years with Dallas, Dial was not as productive due to nagging injuries that eventually left him largely disabled after his football career was over.

Dial passed away Friday, February 29th in a Houston Hospital after being recently admitted for treatment of cancer and pneumonia.

Legends of the Star – Lee Roy Jordan

 Lee Roy Jordan began his amazing football career playing linebacker for the University of Alabama from 1960-1962. While he was there he led his team to winning seasons each year, including a perfect season that culminated in a National Championship in his sophomore year. During his senior year, he was a first team All-American and had his most memorable game in the Orange Bowl when he made 30 tackles in one game against the University of Oklahoma. He is enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
 
In 1963, he was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the NFL Draft and was the sixth overall pick. He became one of the key members of the Cowboys’ famed "Doomsday Defense." He was an excellent defender against the run and the pass, and had great instincts that made him one of the best linebackers of his era. He also had a great nose for the ball and is currently second all-time in fumble recoveries for the Dallas Cowboys.
 
He played 14 seasons for the Cowboys and during that time, Jordan became a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler while playing in three Super Bowls and five NFC Championship games.
 
Jordan also holds the Cowboys record for career solo tackles with 743 and is second in career assisted tackles with 493. His combined tackles of 1,236 is still a franchise best! His leadership and competitiveness was legendary and in 1989 he became the seventh member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor.
 
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 – Randy White

 

 

This weeks "Legend of the Star" is the great defensive tackle, Randy White. Randy hailed from the University of Maryland where he was All-American and won many awards including the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award, and the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. His heroics and gamesmanship landed him in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

After a successful college career, the Cowboys drafted Randy White with their first round pick in 1975, he was the second player selected overall. For the first two years he played middle linebacker for the Cowboys, but it wasn’t until they switched him to the right defensive tackle position, that Randy White emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the NFC. For 14 spectacular seasons Randy dominated the league as evidenced by his string of nine consecutive Pro Bowl selections. What was also amazing during that stretch was that he missed only 1 game in 14 years spanning a total of 209 games. In 1978 he had his best season and was named NFC Defensive Player of the Year. He also led the Cowboys to victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII, which earned him the Super Bowl MVP.

Charlie Waters, the Cowboys safety, nicknamed Randy the "Man-ster" because he said he was half-man and half-monster. He was among the most gifted athletes ever to wear a Cowboys uniform and he used his quickness, balance, and ability to excel like nobody else did at his position. When Randy White’s stellar career was finally over, he set team records with 1,104 tackles, 701 solo tackles, and 111 sacks.

He was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994, and is ranked number 51 on the Sporting News’ 100 Greatest Football Players.

 

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. 

Legends of the Star – Tony Dorsett

 

 

 

Before Emmitt Smith came along, whenever Cowboy fans talked about the greatest running back they ever had, only one name came to mind, Tony Dorsett. He was a superstar in every sense of the word. Even before embarking on his Hall of Fame NFL career, he was already a celebrity after being named All-American four straight years while playing for the University of Pittsburgh. His success in college led to his unanimous selection for the Heisman Trophy in 1976.

In 1977, the Dallas Cowboys traded up and made Tony Dorsett the number two overall pick in the NFL Draft. As a rookie, he rushed for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 273 yards and a touchdown on 29 receptions. Just as he had done in college, he took the league by storm in his first year and was the unanimous selection for that years NFL Rookie Of The Year Award. It was the beginning of a remarkable career where he rushed 1,000 or more yards in eight of his first nine seasons, and the only miss was a strike-shortened season where we led the NFC in rushing. He became the first player ever to gain more than 1,000 yards in each of his first five seasons. The Cowboys won an amazing 42 of the 46 games in which Tony Dorsett rushed for 100 yards.  

In 1981, he had his best year when he rushed for 1,646 yards and reeled in another 325 yards on 32 catches. In his career, Dorsett rushed for 12,739 yards and scored 91 touchdowns. He was a three-time All-NFC pick, who was All-Pro in 1981 and a veteran of four Pro Bowls. He played in five NFC championship games and Super Bowls XII and XIII. Tony Dorsett was elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994 and was enshrined in the Texas Stadium Ring of Honor the same year. 

 

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 – Mel Renfro

 

This week’s Legend of the Star is the longtime, outstanding Cowboys safety, Mel Renfro. Mel Renfro was an All-American running back at the University of Oregon, where he not only set many team and college records, but was eventually enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

In 1964, Renfro was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the NFL Draft. However, the Cowboys immediately started him at safety that season rather than at running back and used him extensively on special teams. Although the move baffled many, he ended up leading the Cowboys with seven interceptions, while leading the NFL in kickoff and punt returns in his rookie season.

Although he spent his first few years as a safety, it wasn’t until he was switched to cornerback that his career would skyrocket. Renfro used his speed to intimidate opposing wide receivers and was absolutely dominating in the secondary. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for 10 straight seasons. In his 14-season career, Renfro intercepted 52 passes that he returned for 626 yards. He returned 109 punts for 842 yards and 85 kickoffs for 2,246 yards and a sparkling 26.4-yard average, and led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 1969. Renfro always knew how to turn it up in big games too, and one of his most memorable plays was a key interception that led to the Cowboys’ game-winning touchdown over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Title game in 1970. He helped the Cowboys win nine division titles, four NFC Championships, and Super Bowls, VI and XII.

Mel Renfro was added to the Texas Stadium Ring of Honor in 1981, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
 

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.