Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dallas Cowboys

This is the team that would beat the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI. At the end of the previous season, the Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V, on a last-second field goal.

There are 11 Cowboys' football cards (instead of the usual allotment of 10) in 1971, but I think the Billy Truax card was intended to be a Rams card. The text on the back of Truax' card implies he's still a Ram, and there were only 9 Rams' cards this year.

#171 Craig Morton - After caddying for Don Meredith for 4 seasons, Craig Morton became the starter in 1969, and led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl in the 1970 season. Although Morton is featured here on a 1971 card, Roger Staubach would take over the QB job and lead the team to victory in Super Bowl VI.

#217 Calvin Hill - Calvin was the NFL's rookie of the year in 1969 (and from ivy-league Yale!), rushing for 942 yards. He replaced Dan Reeves as the Cowboys' primary halfback. Hill missed much of the 1970 season due to injuries, but the Cowboys just plugged 1970 rookie Duane Thomas in Hill's place, and Thomas rushed for 803 yards as the Cowboys marched to the Super Bowl!
He is the father of NBA player Grant Hill.

#65 Duane Thomas - As a rookie in 1970, Thomas replaced the injured Calvin Hill and rushed for 803 yards. He continued his excellent play in 1971 as the Cowboys returned to the Super Bowl to defeat the Dolphins. After the 1971 season, the often-moody Thomas sulked to the extent that he was traded away while in his prime.

#8 Walt Garrison - Garrison was with the Cowboys for 3 seasons before taking over the starting fullback job in 1969 from the retired Don Perkins. Walt was a rodeo cowboy in the off-season!

#190 Bob Hayes - Hayes once held the title "World's fastest man". He was a gold-medalist in the 100-yard dash in the 1964 Olympics. A Cowboys rookie in 1965, he accumulated 1003 and 1232 receiving yards in his first 2 seasons.

#152 Billy Truax - After 7 seasons with the Rams, Truax was acquired by the Cowboys before the 1971 season. I don't recall him ever being the Cowboys' primary tight end, as they also had Mike Ditka, and soon Jean Fugett and Billy Joe DuPree would be arriving on the scene.

#89 Ralph Neely - Neely was a two-time All-American offensive tackle at Oklahoma. He was named to the NFL all-rookie team in 1965, and spent many years as the Cowboys' starting left tackle.

#144 Bob Lilly - Bob was a fixture on the Cowboys defensive line for his entire career, joining the team in 1961. On the back of this card, Lilly is quoted as saying "You've got to stomp your guys into the ground a few times to get their respect. Then, [your] moves may work."

#31 Lee Roy Jordan - Jordan joined the Cowboys as a rookie in 1963, becoming a Pro Bowl regular. In 1971, he and Craig Morton were the Cowboys co-captains.

#238 Chuck Howley - Howley played for the Chicago Bears for 3 seasons before joining the Cowboys in their inaugural 1961 season. Chuck was the Cowboys starting right linebacker in Super Bowls V and VI, and won the MVP award in Super Bowl V, despite being on the losing team!

#118 Mel Renfro - Renfro was the Cowboys' right cornerback, teaming with ex-Packer cornerback Herb Adderley and safties Cornell Green and Cliff Harris to give the Cowboys probably the league's best defensive backfield in the early 1970s. A rookie in 1964, he previously played safety, and filled in as a running back in 1966.

Also check out the 1967, 1968, and 1972 Cowboys.

Next time: Miami Dolphins

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