clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Regional Semifinals: Mel Renfro vs. Randy White

The Midsummer Madness regional semifinal round is underway! Today’s Sweet Sixteen match-up features three seed Mel Renfro facing off against two seed Randy White. Who will survive and advance to the Elite Eight?

The second semifinal match-up in the Bert Bell Regional features third-seeded Mel Renfro, the ten-time Pro Bowler, and best cornerback - and likely best defensive back - in Cowboys history going up against Randy White, the "Manster," the Super Bowl MVP and Doomsday II's unblockable interior force. Each is a superb representative of Cowboys excellence. Each has bested two worthy opponents. Who will prevail for a third time and advance to face Emmitt Smith for a spot in the Final Four? Read the bios and comments and cast your ballots, faithful followers of Cowboys history!

Wanna keep tabs on the state of the bracket or look ahead to future contests? All the Midsummer Madness info you could ever want can be found right here.

Star_medium

Player: Mel Renfro

Position: free safety; running back; cornerback

Seed: 3

How he got here: defeated Daryl Johnston, 684-171; defeated Tony Romo, 717-708

Essentials:

Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Melvin Lacy Renfro
1964-77
130
10
5
yes
yes

Bio: Renfro, a collegiate running back, was drafted by the Cowboys in the 2nd round of the 1964 draft (and by the Raiders in the 10th round of the AFL Draft), but the defensive-minded Tom Landry decided to start him at safety, where Renfro made an immediate impact, leading the team with seven interceptions and the league in both punt return and kickoff return yardage, capping off his stellar rookie campaign with the first of ten straight Pro Bowl nods. In 1965, he continued his stellar play in the defensive backfield while setting a team record with a 30.0 yards per kick-off return average (in 21 returns).

Renfro briefly transitioned to running back at the beginning of the 1966 season, but the Dan Reeves's emergence allowed him to return to the defensive backfield, and another All-Pro season. In 1970, after he lead the league in interceptions the previous year from the free safety position, the Cowboys asked Renfro to move to cornerback. He continued to excel in his new slot, using his length (Renfro was 6'0") to shut down opposing receivers. From 1970-'73, Renfro missed only one game and continued to be a Pro Bowl regular, earning All-Pro nods in 1971 and '73.

In the 1970 NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, it was a key Renfro interception that led to the Cowboys' game-winning touchdown. He played in three Super Bowls, retiring as a champion after contributing to a Super Bowl XII victory. Renfro remains the Cowboys' all-time leader in interceptions with 52 and in career kickoff-return average (26.4 yards). His 14 seasons with the team ties him for second place in franchise history. Renfro was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 1981 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996.

Member comments:

Member Comment
RKO

Mel was one of the best ever

He is what we hope Lord Byron becomes. An athletic phenom that makes good.

krl97a Renfro is starting CB (opposite Sanders) and KO returner on the Cowboys All Time team.
PettisN New poster. Can’t think of a better time to make my first post than to vote for Mel...[he] was great year after year after year… it’s called Hall of Fame for a reason.

Star_medium

Player: Randy White

Position: linebacker; defensive tackle

Seed: 2

How he got here: defeated Mark Stepnoski, 892-23; defeated Darren Woodson, 644-92

Essentials:

Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Randy Lee White
1975-88
149
9
8
yes
yes

Bio: White was the Cowboys' first round pick (second overall) in the 1975 draft and, as one of twelve rookies from that class to make the team, was part of the famed "Dirty Dozen." As a rookie, he was moved to middle linebacker, where he backed up aging legend Lee Roy Jordan for two seasons. Never particular adept as a linebacker, White was moved to right defensive tackle during his third season (1977), where he blossomed, earning his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods, and, at the campaign's end, sharing Super Bowl MVP honors with Harvey Martin.

At defensive tackle, White presented a terrifying combination of quickness, balance, toughness (he played the final four games of the 1979 season with a broken foot), and raw, brute strength (he had 21" biceps and was the first Cowboy to bench press 500 pounds). Moreover, he had an incredible work ethic, lifting weights and practicing martial arts year round. His hustle was evident during a game against Philadelphia wherein he rushed upfield toward quarterback Ron Jaworski, who hit a receiver on a slant. White peeled off, raced downfield and caught the receiver from behind...49 yards downfield.

In 1978, the "Manster" was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year after terrorizing rival QBs (and garnering a whopping 123 tackles and 16 sacks), and received the second of nine consecutive Pro Bowl nominations (and the first of eight All-Pro nods). In 1982, he was named NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year; from 1983-85, he registered at least 10.5 sacks per season. White finished his career with 111 sacks and more than 1,100 tackles.

From 1975-1985, the Cowboys made the playoffs every year save one (1984). In his career, White played for five division champions, in six NFC Championship Games and in three Super Bowls, missing only one game in his storied fourteen-year career. At the time of his retirement, he had played the second games most of any Dallas Cowboy in history, with 209. White was named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1980s. In 1994, White was placed in the Cowboys Ring of Honor and given a bust in Canton.

Member comments:

Member Comment
BigBad Joe

Mr Manster for the Win

Number 54 on his jersey but number one in my heart

shagnaski

One great White story

On a day after game show in DC (which I always watched when we won), [Redskins] center Len Hauss said that after watching film of White all week he hadn’t been impressed. He said that he planned to knock him down, help him up and say "Welcome to the NFL." Then he laughed and said that when he tried to hit White, he already was well past him!

Yellowbeard

Randy White eats Chuck Norris and craps Ben Gardner

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the Elite Eight?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys