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Legends of the Star – Larry Brown

 

Nobody expected Larry Brown to make the team when he was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the 12th round of the 1991 NFL Draft. The smallish cornerback hailed from Texas Christian University and his numbers while in college were good, but not spectacular.

However, Larry Brown will always be remembered for his big game during Super Bowl XXX. Trailing 13-7 in the third quarter, Brown intercepted Steelers quarterback, Neil O’Donnell at the Cowboys’ 38-yard line and returned it all the way down to Pittsburgh’s 18. It was his second interception and it led to a touchdown run by Emmitt Smith.

Larry Brown’s two interceptions led to 14 second-half points and helped lift the Cowboys to their third Super Bowl victory in the last four seasons and their record-tying fifth title overall. For his efforts, he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXX and became the first cornerback ever to win the award.

Brown became a free agent immediately after his MVP performance and signed with the Oakland Raiders, but returned to Dallas for the 1998 season, which would be his last. He retired with 14 career interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 2 fumble recoveries and was named to 2 Prow Bowls.

Larry Brown is now the cohost of “Countdown to Kickoff” on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, the flagship station of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network. 

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 – Daryl Johnston

 

Daryl Johnston gained national attention while playing for Syracuse University. He rushed for 1,830 yards and caught 46 passes during his collegiate career and once gained 138 yards rushing, the most by a Syracuse running back since Larry Csonka rushed for 154 yards in 1967. He was an All-American and All-East pick in 1988.

Johnston was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft.

On the day he arrived for his first mini camp, he was nicknamed "Moose" by former teammate Babe Laufenberg. Babe remarked, who’s that big ol’ moose over there during his first team meeting and the name stuck.

Johnston started out as a reserve, but became a full-time starter in 1991 and was a key member of the Cowboys’ three Super Bowl winning teams in 1993, 1994 and 1996. He played 12 seasons for the Cowboys before retiring in 2000. He was a fierce ball carrier but was best known for being the lead blocker for all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith.

He was also a true iron man, having never missed a game in his NFL career, playing in 143 straight games. Every time Johnston touched the ball, "Moose" chants can be heard resonating at Texas Stadium.

He finished his career catching 294 passes for 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns, as well as 232 rushes for 753 yards and eight touchdowns. He had a career-high, 50 receptions in 1993.
 

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 – Crazy Ray Jones

 

This weeks Legend Of The Star is dedicated to someone who never played a down for the Dallas Cowboys, but was on hand for more Cowboys games than even Tom Landry, Emmitt Smith, and yes, Jerry Jones. Of course I am referring to Crazy Ray, who passed away Saturday morning after a prolonged battle with heart ailments and diabetes.

His passionate affection for the Cowboys made him a legend in his own right and gave a new meaning to the word fan. His passing will be felt by everyone in the Cowboys family and that includes players, coaches, and fans alike.

For over 40 years, Crazy Ray touched the lives of thousands of Cowboys fans, and seeing him decked out in his western attire with six-shooters blazing will be missed by all. His passion for the team made him a national celebrity who made numerous talk show and radio show appearances, which revealed a man whose passion for life was just as important to him as his passion for the game.

His overflowing enthusiasm was a model not just for fans of the Cowboys, but for people everywhere in all walks of life. There was a lesson for all fans, in the way Crazy Ray lived his life. And while football players are so willing to admit that they are not role models these days, Crazy Ray was indeed a role model for us all.

So Starstruck gives a huge Texas-sized farewell to a true Legend of the Star who will be missed by us all. He is now among the stars in heaven, and if I know Crazy Ray, those stars are all silver and blue.

 

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.