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