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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 – Rayfield Wright

 

 

Many people never thought Rayfield Wright had any chance of making it in the NFL. For Rayfield, this was nothing new. He has been defying the odds ever since he was a child growing up in poverty in the deep south.

After lettering in basketball in high school, he went to Fort Valley State University where he was named All-American. In 1967, he was drafted by the Cowboys in the 7th round and his prospects of making the team were slim at best. However, he forced his way onto the team through his hard work and sheer determination, and for the first three years of his career, he was used in a variety of roles that included tight end, defensive lineman, and offensive tackle.

In 1969 he got his big break when he replaced an injured Ralph Neely at offensive tackle. He would never look back. For the next 11 seasons Rayfield Wright started at right tackle and became one of the best players at his position ever to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl for six straight seasons, but Cowboys fans best remember Rayfield for helping to lead the team to five Super Bowls and winning two of them. While he was on the team the Cowboys led the league in offense five times. He was the co-captain of the Cowboys for seven years and helped the team win ten division titles and six conference titles.

In 2004, Rayfield Wright was inducted in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, and in 2006, he was inducted 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 – Drew Pearson

 

Last week when I wrote up Roger Staubach’s “Legend of the Star,” I mentioned the famed “Hail Mary” pass. Who better to follow up last weeks “Legend of the Star” than the recipient of that famous catch, wide receiver, Drew Pearson.

Drew Pearson, or “Mr. Clutch” as he was commonly called, didn’t start his career out as wide receiver, and in fact he replaced Hall of Famer, Joe Theismann, at quarterback, when he began his football career at South River High School.

Soon after, he attended the University of Tulsa and graduated in 1972. While he was there he won the university’s President Award. Drew was not drafted in the NFL draft, mostly because he was wide receiver in run based offense while in college. However, that did not stop the Cowboys from drafting Pearson as a free agent in 1973 and blossoming into one of the greatest wide receivers ever to play the game.

Drew got his nickname because of his many game-winning catches and his ability to make a clutch play whenever his team needed one. Legendary Cowboys head coach, Tom Landry, had this to say after the famous “Hail Mary” game, “It was amazing, unbelievable. I can’t believe the ball stuck on Drew’s hip like that. It was a thousand-to-one shot, but I tell you, I’ll take it. The game was out of my hands.”

Drew Pearson helped the Cowboys to three Super Bowl appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XII in 1978. He was named All-Pro 3 times and made Pro Bowl appearances in 1974, 1976 and 1977. He led the NFC in pass receptions in 1976 with 58. He also served as a captain for the Cowboys for four years. He ended his marvelous career with 489 receptions and 7,822 receiving yards, and 50 touchdowns. He was named to the NFL’s 1970’s All-Decade Team.

Since his retirement in 1983, Drew has gone on to become a sports broadcaster for CBS and HBO; and he also hosted the Dallas Cowboys post-game show. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest receivers ever to wear the Dallas Cowboys uniform.

 

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. 

 

Football Season’s Over? Yeah Right!

 

 

Well, I guess it’s safe to say that the football season is officially over… yeah, right! Who am I kidding? Football season is never over for a Cowboys fan, it’s a 24/7 365 days a week job staying on top of everything the team does, because it’s all about the "silver and blue" baby!

Let me be the first to say that our Pro Bowl Cowboys didn’t disappoint us in the least. Despite the loss, the only fighting chance the NFC had was due to our beloved Cowboys, and everybody knows it. I was totally impressed by Tony Romo, and I was happy to see him shake off the dust of that muffed field goal. We need Romo to get passed all that and it looks like Tony Romo is going to be just fine. And speaking of Tony Romo, several sources are reporting that Jerry Jones is going to sign Romo to a brand new contract extension and is 100% committed to Tony Romo leading the Dallas Cowboys for the rest of the decade.

As I look at the team now, I certainly have a few concerns, or should I say questions. Here are my top 5 questions for Dallas Cowboys as they enter into the new season.

1. I love both Julius Jones and Marion Barber equally, but both of them want to start and yet only one of them can. How does this situation resolve itself next season?

2. Wade Phillips is certainly the main man on the sidelines for the Dallas Cowboys, or is he? Can the laid back style of Wade Phillips be enough to temper the enigmatic Terrell Owens, or will the combination end up being lethal for one of them?

3. Can Wade Phillips rebuild the confidence of a defense that had a major meltdown during last 6 games of the season, and can he take players like DeMarcus Ware and Bobby Carpenter to the next level?

4. Speaking of defense, something’s gotta give in the secondary. There are too many questions regarding the effectiveness of Pat Watkins and Keith Davis. There are rumblings that Roy Williams may be asked to switch positions too. Should the Cowboys draft the best safety available in the NFL Draft?

5. What about all those Bill Parcell’s players like Aaron and Terry Glenn? Will they still be with us when the new season opens?

Sure there are many more questions than these to ponder for next season, but these are the ones that concern me the most right now. Yes, I also wonder if Martin Gramatica will be re-signed or do the Cowboys draft a kicker or, I shudder to think this, sign the best kicker in the free agent market?

We’ll see how it all plays out in the coming weeks, but rest assured I’ll be keeping my eyes open and my ears peeled for all the latest rumblings and grumblings from Valley Ranch.

Wade Phillips to be Cowboys Head Coach

 

  A formal announcement will be made today at 5 p.m., but reports are saying Wade Phillips is the Dallas Cowboys next head coach. Phillips was the only candidate who would keep the 3-4 defense and Jerry Jones did not want to have a losing record for 2 years while a coach came in and redesigned the team. Phillips was also supportive of Jason Garrett the new offensive coordinator hired by Jones.

The San Diego Chargers went 14-2 in the regular season with its defense run by Wade Phillips. Phillips was the head coach of Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills with a 48-39 record.

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. 

Third Time’s A Charm

 On Saturday, February 3, 2007 Michael Irving became the 10th Dallas Cowboy in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the 3rd Cowboy in the last 2 years. This was the third time Irvin made it to the final round of the selection process.

 Michael Irvin, Wide Receiver

1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys – 12 seasons, 159 games

Cowboys’ first-round pick (11th overall) in 1988 draft

First rookie wide receiver to start a season opener for Dallas in more than 20 years.

Irvin’s 20.4-yards per catch average during his rookie year led the NFC

Led league with 1,523 yards on 93 catches in 1991

Had 1,000-yard seasons in all but one year from 1991-1998

In 1995, Irvin played his finest season: 111 catches for 1,603 yards. He also established an NFL record with 11 100-yard games and scored 10 touchdowns.

Cowboys made four straight appearances in NFC championship game (1992-1995) and won three Super Bowls

Finished career with 750 receptions for 11,904 yards and 65 TDs

Selected to five straight Pro Bowls

Picked for NFL’s all-decade team of the 1990s

Future Looks Bright

 

The future is looking bright in Dallas. Norv Turner spent the day with Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells interviewing for what could be the biggest move of his career. Turner has an impressive resume and a history with the Dallas Cowboys that could be the decision maker. He has been the head coach of the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders, and the Offensive Coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and currently the San Franscisco 49ers.

Turner was with the Cowboys when they won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993. He guided hall of famer Troy Aikman during those years and could be quite an influence on the young Tony Romo. Alongside the new Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, Turner could help lead this team to a championship season. Garrett worked under Turner in the 90s and Turner tried to get Garrett on his team in Oakland. The two could work wonders for the Dallas offense. Which only leaves one question… Defense anyone?

Back in Dallas

 

 

 

Jason Garrett… name sounds familiar. Oh yeah, he was Troy Aikman’s back up QB in the 90s. Those were some great years! Even though Garrett didn’t get to play very often, he was still there taking it all in. And now after a day long meeting at the Ranch with Jerry and Stephen Jones and Bill Parcells, Garrett has been offered the job as Offensive Coordinator. Not only that but he is now one of the top candidates for the Head Coach Opening. What? This guy wasn’t even on anyone’s list as a probable contender. Well, since when does that matter?

Wade Phillips seems to be a very likely possibility. The Dallas Cowboys requested and were granted permission from the Chargers to talk to Phillips. During an interview the native Texan told reporters:

"I’m really happy where I am. I can’t say enough about the (Chargers’) organization and the players and the fans. But I have family and a home there. Us Texans, even though we haven’t been there in 20 years, it’s always home and the Cowboys are our home team."

That sounds pretty promising to me. Considering the way the 06 Chargers season went, I think I’d be happy with that. Phillips has been head coach of 4 NFL teams: Saints, Falcons, Bills and Broncos. He has the experience and has been very successful most recently as the defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers who were 14-2 this past season.

I believe Phillips and Garrett would make an awesome pair. However there are still other names and possibilities that have been tossed around and no decision has been confirmed yet. So back to the waiting game. I feel confident whatever the decision, that 2007 will be a very successful year for the Dallas Cowboys. A new leader… a new year… a new outlook.

Legends of the Star – Don Meredith

Although he never led the Dallas Cowboys to an NFL Championship or a Super Bowl, "Dandy" Don Meredith was one of the most popular players in team history. After an amazing college career as a quarterback for Southern Methodist University, he gained national recognition and was selected as an All-American in 1958 and 1959. In 1960 he was drafted with the 3rd overall pick by the Chicago Bears and immediately traded to the NFL’s newest franchise, the Dallas Cowboys.

After languishing on the bench for his first 5 years on the team, he was named starting quarterback in 1965 by Tom Landry and never looked back. He made an immediate impact with his gritty style of play and his mental and physical toughness. He set many Cowboys records which still stand today, including the longest pass in franchise history, a 95 yard strike to Bob Hayes in 1966. He also threw a record 5 touchdowns passes in a single game, a team record that was recently matched by Tony Romo last season. After leading the Cowboys to their first winning seasons as a franchise, he shocked the sports world by announcing his sudden retirement shortly before the 1969 season. During his short career as starter he was selected to the Pro Bowl twice and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1966. He threw for an impressive 17,199 yards and 135 touchdowns in his career, and in 1976, Don Meredith was inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.

After leaving the game he went on to become an actor, but gamed national fame once again as the color commentator of "Monday Night Football" from 1970 until 1984. Some of you may also remember Don as the spokesperson for Lipton tea in 1970’s and 1980’s.

 

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.