Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Miami Dolphins

Here are the 10 cards for the Miami Dolphins in 1971, the year they met the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl VI. Although the Dolphins lost, the following season they would compile a 17-0 record, capped by a Super Bowl victory over the Redskins.

In 1971, all AFC player cards have red borders. Players designated as all-stars in each conference have red and blue card borders.

#160 Bob Griese - Griese joined the Dolphins as a rookie in 1967 (the franchise's 2nd season). He was the team's starting QB in each of those seasons.

#45 Larry Csonka - The Dolphins' bruising fullback was the team's #1 draft pick in 1968. At Syracuse, he had broken all the school's rushing records previously held by Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance, and Floyd Little. Csonka was the AFC's 2nd leading rusher in 1970, with 874 yards.

#186 Jim Kiick - The Dolphin's starting halfback, Kiick joined the team as a rookie in 1968, and in 1970 rushed for 658 yards - 2nd on the team to Larry Csonka. He was also frequently used as a pass catcher.

#91 Mercury Morris - A Dolphins' rookie in 1969, Mercury was primarily a kickoff and punt return specialist from 1969-71, until taking over the starting halfback job from Jim Kiick in 1972.

#261 Paul Warfield - After starring with the Cleveland Browns for his first 6 seasons, Warfield joined the Dolphins in 1970 and immediately became Bob Griese's primary target. With the Browns, he played in the NFL Championship Game in '64, '65, '68, and '69.

#121 Garo Yepremian - Garo, from Cyprus, played with the Lions in 1966 and 1967, then after idling on the Lions reserve list for 2 seasons, joined Miami in 1970. This is an early picture, because he wore #1 for most of his time in Miami. Anyone who watched Super Bowl VII will never forget Yepremian's feeble attempt to throw a pass after a botched field goal attempt, which ended up as a Redskins' touchdown.

#147 Nick Buoniconti - Nick played 7 seasons with the Boston Patriots before coming to Miami in 1969 to head up the Dolphins' "No-name Defense". He was chosen as the Dolphins' MVP in 1969, and was the Patriots' MVP twice.

#17 Lloyd Mumphord - Lloyd was Miami's 16th-round pick in 1969, and not only made the team, but became a starting cornerback as a rookie, leading the team with 5 interceptions.

#67 Dick Anderson - Anderson was the team's starting strong safety, and was also used occasionally as a punter and punt returner. He led the team with 8 interceptions in 1970.

#211 Jake Scott - Scott joined Vancouver in the Canadian Football League after his junior year in college. After only 1 season in the CFL, Jake joined the Dolphins in 1970, and was their rookie of the year. In addition to starting at free safety, he was 3rd in the AFC in punt returns.

Also check out the 1968 Dolphins.

Next time: San Francisco 49ers

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

Welcome to my 1971 football cards blog!

Welcome to my new 1971 football card blog. I collected football cards in 1967 and 1968, but not in '69 or '70. In 1971, I jumped back into collecting. (You can read my football card back-story here on my 1967 football card blog.)

The 1971 card set consisted of 261 player cards and 2 checklists. This works out to 10 players for each of the 26 teams. The NFC cards have blue borders, while the AFC cards have red borders. There are no "special" cards in this set, but some of the players are designated as all-stars, and have half-red/half-blue borders.

In each post, I will include all the players for one team. I will not be scanning the card backs, but in this introductory post, I am including a sample card back, and the checklists.

Here you can see that back in 1971, I collected all the cards except #21 Charlie Smith, a running back for the Raiders. I got that card last week, so my set is complete!

All player card backs have this same layout, except that linemen don't have a stat chart (unless they happened to run back a fumble for a touchdown!)

First up: The Dallas Cowboys