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ROGER STAUBACH

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

ROGER STAUBACH'S EARLY YEARS

Roger  Thomas Staubach was born on  February 5, 1942 in  Cincinnati, Ohio.   Staubach attended a Catholic high school-Purcell High School (now named Purcell Marian High School).  After graduating from high school, Staubach attended New Mexico Military Institute (Roswell, New Mexico)  for one year.   He then transferred to  the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland). 

UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN

At the United States Naval Academy, Staubach became the starting QB during his sophomore season.  During his junior year,  Roger Staubach led the Naval  Academy Midshipmen (coached by Wayne Hardin) to a 9-1 regular season record, a #2 national ranking  and a berth in the 1964   Cotton Bowl against the #1 ranked and undefeated  Texas Longhorns (coached by Darrel Royal).  The Longhorns would defeat  Roger Staubach and the Naval Academy and win the 1963 National Championship.

Staubach was awarded  the the Heisman Trophy at the end of the 1963 season and is the last player from a military academy to win the Heisman Trophy.  Naval Academy Head Football Coach Wayne Hardin said  that Roger Staubach was the "greatest quarterbach Navy ever had".  The Naval Academy retired Staubach's  jersey number (#12) during his graduation ceremony after he finished his senior season. 

 1964  COTTON BOWL

At that time, the 1964  Cotton Bowl was the second time a bowl game featured the #1 ranked team against the #2 ranked team.  The 1964 Cotton Bowl game was played six weeks after President  John  F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. 

UNITED STATES NAVY

Staubach  was a 10th round draft pick (#129) in the 1964 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys but, due to his military comittment, he  began his tour of duty with the United States Navy, as a Supply Corps offficer.  Staubach's military  duty included a one year  stint (1966-1977)  in  Chu Lai, Vietnam during the Vietnam War. 

In 1969, Roger Staubach resigned his comission from the United States Navy and proceeded to join the Dallas Cowboys training camp as a 27 year old rookie QB. 

DALLAS COWBOYS  

 1969--QB Don Meredith had retired after the 1968 season.   Craig Morton (University of California) earns the starting  quarterback job and leads the Cowboys to a 11-2-1 season.  Rookie running back Calvin Hill (Yale Univesity) runs for 942 yards and becomes the Rookie of the Year in the NFL.   The Cowboys lose to the Cleveland Browns 38-14 in the Eastern Conference championship game in the Cotton Bowl.

1970--QB Craig Morton leads the Cowboys to a 10-4 season.  In the Divisional Round of the play offs, the Cowboys defeat the Detroit Lions 5-0 (the lowest scoring playoff game in NFL history).  In the NFC championship game, the Cowboys defeat the San Francisco Forty Niners 17-10.  

SUPER BOWL V

Baltimore  Colts 16.  Dallas  Cowboys 13

January 17, 1971

Miami Orange Bowl,  Miami, Florida

AFC-- Baltimore   Colts--Head  Coach  Don   McCafferty. QB Johnny  Unitas.

NFC-Dallas  Cowboys--Head  Coach  Tom  Landry. QB Craig  Morton.


This was the first Super Bowl to be played after the AFL-NFL merger and the first Super Bowl for the Cowboys.   This Super Bowl is known as the "Blunder Bowl" or the "Stupor Bowl" because of the  many fumbles, penalties, and officiating mistakes in the game.  

In the 4th quarter with the Cowboys leading 13-6, Craig Morton throws two interceptions.   The Colts score  10 points off the Dallas turnovers and eventually win 16-13.  Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley is awarded the Super Bowl MVP trophy and becomes the only player in Super Bowl history to win the MVP award on a losing team. Howley refuses to accept the trophy because his team had  lost the game. 

1971--The Cowboys start the season 4-3 with Tom Landry alternating Craig Morton and Roger Staubach at quarterback.  On November 7th, Tom Landry makes   Staubach  the starting  quarterback,  the Cowboys win their final 7 games  and roll to a 11-3 season record.   In the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Cowboys defeat the Minnesota Vikings 20-12.  In the NFC championship game, the Cowboys defeat the San Francisco Forty Niners 14-3.  

SUPER BOWL VI

Dallas Cowboys 24.  Miami Dolphins 3.

January 16, 1972

Tulane Stadium.   New Orleans, Louisiana.

AFC--Miami Dolphins--Head Coach Don Shula.  QB Bob Griese.

NFC--Dallas Cowboys--Head Coach Tom Landry.  QB  Roger Staubach. 


The Cowboys  came to the Super Bowl with a reputation of not being able to win "big" games.  Their  opponents,  the Miami Dolphins  were making their first Super Bowl appearance.   The Cowboys dominated the Dolphins, setting records for most rushing yards (252),  most first downs (23), and the least points allowed (3).  The Dallas defense (the "Doomsday Defense" anchored by defensive tackle Bob Lilly)  crushed quarterback Bob Griese and  the potent Dolphins rushing attack.  At that time, the Cowboys were the only Super Bowl team to keep their opponent from scoring a touchdown.  The Cowboys  defeated the Dolphins 24-3 and Roger Staubach earns the MVP award.  The Cowboys became the first team to win a Super Bowl after losing in a Super Bowl the previous year (the Miami Dolphins would do the same thing in the next Super Bowl--Super Bowl VII).  

 1975--The Cowboys finish the season with a 10-4 record and earn a Wild Card playoff berth against the Minnesota Vikings.  In the fourth quarter,  the   Cowboys were losing to the Vikings 14-10 with 24 seconds left in the game.  Staubach then threw a 50 yard  bomb to wide receiver Drew Pearson who was covered  by All-Pro cornerback Nate Wright.   Pearson did a "swim move" to separate from Wright.  Nate Wright stumbled  in the ensuing contact, Pearson caught the ball  on the five yard line  and ran  in for  the touchdown.   No penalty was called on Pearson and the Cowboys defeat the Vikings  17-14. 

After the game, "Roger the Dodger" told reporters that he prayed  a "Hail Mary" (I closed my eyes and said a "Hail Mary")  as the ball flew through  the air towards Drew Pearson   who caught the ball at the five yard line and ran  into the end zone for the game winning touchdown.   The "Hail Mary" pass play against the Minnesota Vikings became Staubach's signature play in the NFL.  

HAIL MARY 

The touchddown pass play from Roger Staubach to wide receiver Drew Pearson (University of Tulsa) would become legendary  in NFL football lore and would be known as the "Hail Mary" pass.   Since then, any long, last second, desperation pass play to the end zone (the play has  a low probability  of being successful as the opposing team's defensive coordinator knows the play is coming and  has set up his defensive secondary to foil such an attempt)  has become known as a "Hail Mary" pass.  The odds for a successful pass completion by mere mortals  are so small that only "divine intervention" could ensure the success of the  play, hence the name "Hail Mary" for any such pass attempt.   

The use of the term  "Hail Mary" in American Football originated in the 1930's  with   Notre Dame's  "Four Horsemen"--Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley and Elmer Layden who were coached by the immortal Knute Rockne.     

In the NFC championship game, the Cowboys defeated the Los Angeles Rams 37-7 to earn a trip to Super Bowl X.  

SUPER BOWL X

Pittsburgh Steelers 21.  Dallas Cowboys 17.

January 18, 1976.

Miami Orange Bowl,  Miami, Florida.

AFC--Pittsburgh Steelers.  Head Coach  Chuck  Noll.  QB Terry Bradshaw.

NFC--Dallas  Cowboys.  Head Coach Tom Landry.  QB  Roger Staubach.

The  Pittsburgh Steelers won back-to-back Super Bowls by defeating  the Dallas  Cowboys  21-17.  The Steelers had dominated the AFC with their "Steel Curtain" defense and their strong running game featuring fullback Franco Harris (Penn State University)  and a capable passing game led by QB Terry Bradshaw and wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.    The Cowboys were the first NFC team to qualify for the Super Bowl as a "Wild Card" team.  

 

1976--The Cowboys end the season with a 11-3 record.  They then lose to the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Playoffs  14-12.  The Rams expose a weakness in the Cowboys' offense--a lack of a quality running game.  In the 1977 NFL draft, the Cowboys deal draft picks to the Seattle SeaHawks in order to move up in the draft to enable them to  select running back Tony Dorsett (University of Pittsburgh).  Dorsett had won the Heisman Trophy during the 1976 season.   Dorsett  would  become  a major factor in the Dallas offense by providing a much needing running game that would take some of the pressure off Roger Staubach.  

1977--The Cowboys dominated the NFC, rolling to a 12-2 record behind Offensive Rookie of the Year Tony Dorsett's strong running.  In the Divisional Playoffs, the Cowboys defeated the Chicago Bears 37-7.  In the NFC Championship game, the Cowboys defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-6, qualifying them for a record fourth trip to the Super Bowl.  

SUPER BOWL XII

Dallas Cowboys 27.  Denver Broncos 10.

January 15, 1978.

Louisiana Super Dome,  New Orleans, Louisiana.

AFC--Denver Broncos-Head Coach Robert "Red" Miller.  QB Craig Morton.

NFC--Dallas Cowboys--Head Coach Tom Landry.  QB Roger Staubach.  

The Cowboys faced the Denver Broncos in the first Super Bowl played in a domed stadium and  the first Super Bowl played in prime time.   The Broncos were led by former Cowboys quarterback, Craig Morton and their defense known as the "Orange Crush".  

 The Cowboys offense revolved around quarterback Roger  Staubach and rookie running back Tony  Dorsett.  The Dallas  defense known as the "Doomsday Defense" dominated the Broncos and  the Cowboys would win the game 27-10.   Cowboys defensive players  Harvey Martin and Randy White would share the MVP award (the first and only time to this day that this has happened.) 

Dallas running back Tony Dorsett became the first player ever to win an NCAA championship (University of Pittsburgh) one year   and a Super Bowl  championship the next year.
 

Denver Broncos quarterback Craig Morton became the first quarterback to start a Super Bowl game for two different teams (Dallas Cowboys--Super Bowl V, Denver Broncos--Super Bowl XII.  Later, quarterback Kurt Warner  would also  start a Super Bowl for two different teams--the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals.)

Super Bowl XII was the last Super Bowl to be played with a regular season schedule of 14 games.  The next year, the NFL changed their schedule format to a 16 game regular season schedule.   

 

1978--The Cowboys finished the season with a 12-4 record.  They then defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-20 in the Divisional Playoffs.  In the NFC championship game, the Cowboys defeated the Los Angeles Rams 28-0 to earn their fifth trip to the Super Bowl. 

SUPER BOWL XIII

Pittsburgh Steelers 35.  Dallas Cowboys 31.

January 21, 1979.

Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida.

AFC--Pittsburgh Steelers.  Head Coach  Chuck Noll.  QB  Terry Bradshaw.

NFC--Dallas Cowboys.  Head Coach Tom Landry.  QB Roger Staubach.

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers were led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who was named the game's MVP,  fullback Franco Harris, wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth and their famed and feared defense, the "Steel Curtain".   

The Cowboys featured Roger Staubach at quarterback, Tony Dorsett at tailback, and wide receiver Drew Pearson on offense.  Their defense was the "Doomsday Defense" led by defensive linemen Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Harvey Martin, Randy White, and defensive backs Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters.   

In the first ever Super Bowl rematch,  the Cowboys were defeated by  the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-31 as the Cowboys were unable to overcome turnovers, dropped passes (one in the Steeler's end zone for a sure touchdown) and penalties.   The Steelers recovered a Dallas onside kick  in the final 22 seconds to seal their victory.  

1979--The Cowboys completed the season with a 11-5 record.  They lost to the Los Angeles Rams 21-19 in the Divisional Playoffs.   After the season, Roger Staubach announced his retirement from professional football  in March 1980.

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Roger Staubach was considered by Dallas head coach Tom  Landry  "as  possibly the best combination  of a passer, an athlete, and a leader to ever play in the NFL".

In 2010,  the Dallas Morning News conducted a poll and Staubach was named the "number one Dallas Cowboy of all time". 

In 1985, Roger Staubach was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 



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