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Legends of the Star – Chuck Howley

  

Chuck Howley was originally drafted out of West Virginia University by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the NFL Draft in 1958, but after a seaon ending injury in 1959 he was forced to announce his retirement. However, in 1961 Chuck Howley decided to make a comeback, and the Dallas Cowboys traded draft picks to the Chicago Bears for his rights, and thus began his remarkable career as one fo the best defensive players in team history.

Chuck Howley had a punishing style of play and was known for his ability to impact a game with his deceptive speed and blistering tackles. He was one of the best outside linebackers in the league and certainly one of the best ever to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

He played 14 seasons for the Cowboys tying him for the second longest tenure in franchise history, and was selected to six Pro Bowls during that span. Howley helped lead the team to five Eastern Conference Titles, two NFL Championship games and two Super Bowls. He holds the distinction of being the first defensive player ever to win a Super Bowl MVP, as well as being the first player from a losing team ever to named MVP in Super Bowl V.

 In 1976, Chuck Howley was the fourth player to be 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 – 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 – Cliff Harris

This week’s “Legend of the Star” is one of the best defensive players in Cowboys history, none other than Cliff Harris. Although Cliff was not drafted in 1970, he was invited by the Cowboys to training camp where he shocked his coaches with his intense style of play. Although the organization had just drafted the highly touted Charlie Waters, the Cowboys surprised everyone in the league when they announced that Cliff Harris would be the starter at free safety for the season opener.

 Cliff Harris single handedly led the secondary with his “all-out” style of play and due to his relentless pursuit of the ball carrier he was soon nicknamed “Captain Crash” by his teammates. His devastating hits struck fear in the hearts of any ball carrier that got in his way. The new nickname became synonymous with his hard-nosed, bone-crushing style of play and many football experts credit Cliff Harris for changing the way the free safety position is played today.

His rookie year was interrupted due to military service, but he returned just in time to help the Cowboys win Super Bowl VI over the Dolphins. He continued playing at free safety for the next 9 seasons, and began to compile some incredible achievements while playing one great season after another. He was considered by many to being the most dominating defensive player in the NFL during his tenure. In a stunning decision, he announced his retirement following the 1979 season to pursue his business ventures.

Harris finished his 10 NFL seasons with 29 interceptions, which he returned for 281 yards and 1 touchdown, and 18 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 91 yards. He also gained 418 yards on punt returns and 1,622 yards returning kickoffs.

During his short yet remarkable career, he made 5 Super Bowl appearances and was chosen for the Pro Bowl six consecutive times. He is in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame and Sports Illustrated Writers named him their Dream Team free safety. In 2004 he was selected to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor for his contributions to the franchise. He truly was a “Legend of the Star” in every sense and I enjoyed telling you a little about this great Cowboy.

 

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.