A Brief Conversation With Danny White

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Landry once said "I don't think anybody could have followed Roger and done as well as Danny White." Recently, I had the opportunity, through the miracle of modern communications, to ask the former Dallas quarterback a few questions.

During his career, Danny White passed for over 21,000 yards in an era where the passing game was not as prevalent as it is today. He threw a total of 155 touchdown passes while adding eight more as a ball carrier. For good measure, White also added two more touchdowns as a receiver on halfback option plays. At the time he retired, White's quarterback rating was 81.7; at the time he was the highest-rated passer in the history of the league. Today, among his other interests, Danny White serves as the color commentator for Compass Media Network's America's Team Radio Network broadcasts of the Dallas Cowboys games. It was a pleasure to have my childhood hero devote a portion of his time to the Blogging The Boys community. Any errors in the transcription are mine alone.

Dawn: Jason Garrett has a sign posted that reads "It is a privilege, not a right, to play and to coach for the Dallas Cowboys." As someone who helped build a portion of the mystique that surrounds the Cowboys, what would you like this generation of players to take from that statement?

Danny: A lot of sacrifice and hard work has gone into building the Dallas Cowboys Brand. I felt that way when I played. People like Clint Murchison, Tom Landry, Gil Brandt and Tex Schramm had dedicated their lives to building the Cowboy mystique. To be allowed to wear that uniform and be spoken of in the same breath as LeBaron, Meredith and Staubach was an incredible honor and one to be cherished and protected.

Dawn: Coming out of Arizona State, you were drafted by the Dallas Cowboys but chose to play with the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League instead. What led you to make that decision?

Danny: I knew the Cowboys were well stocked at QB with Staubach and Morton and that I wouldn't be playing any time soon. This was an opportunity to play immediately at a level above the college level and with teammates like Paul Warfield and Larry Csonka I knew I could learn and get better quickly.

Dawn: During the first four seasons you were in the league, you served as the back up to Roger Staubach. How would you describe the relationship between the two of you?

Danny: I always had the utmost respect for Roger. He always treated me as a peer and not as a subordinate. I learned a lot from him about being a professional and will always consider him a great friend.

Dawn: On a similar note, what was the relationship between you and Tom Landry, and how much did Coach Landry impact your coaching career in the Arena League?

Danny: Coach Landry was a great leader and one of the last great teachers of life principals in football. It would take volumes of pages to list all the things I learned from him. Not just about football, but about life. I constantly would ask myself, "What would Coach Landry do in this situation?"

Dawn: Looking back over your career, what does being a part of the Dallas Cowboys family mean to you?

Danny: Next to my own family, it's the most important affiliation in my life. When I retired, I briefly considered playing somewhere else but just could not imagine myself in another uniform. I will always be proud to be a Dallas Cowboy and ONLY a Dallas Cowboy

Danny White will always hold a unique place in Cowboys lore. A fine quarterback in his own right, Danny's career has been overshadowed by being both the successor to a Hall of Fame quarterback in Roger Staubach, and the predecessor to a second Hall of Fame guy, Troy Aikman. He led the Cowboys to three straight NFC Championships in his first three seasons as the starter; unfortunately, his teams never closed the deal. Often overlooked, White earned his spot in the long line of great Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks. He remains one of this writer's most admired Cowboys.

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