Our first Final Four match-up features two men who were teammates one one of the best squads in Cowboys' history, the late seventies group that featured the early-to-mid careers of the "Dirty Dozen," the superlative 1975 draft class that reinvigorated the aging roster that had gone to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1970 and '71. The talented twelve helped a Dallas team led by a peak-of-career Roger Staubach to a surprise appearance in Super Bowl X (1975), and then, as they ripened into a real force, a dominating win and a crushing, controversial loss in Super Bowls XII and XIII, respectively.
That team's best players on each side of the ball, each with an awesome nickname, are featured in today's epic contest. In one corner, we have the champion of the Bert Bell Regional, second-seeded Randy White, the "Manster," and the first round pick in the "Dirty Dozen" draft, fresh off an upset of top-seeded Emmitt Smith. In the other, we have the Paul Tagliabue Regional's champ, and the number one seed in the whole shootin' match, Roger Staubach, Captain America himself. If White is to win the tournament, he'll have to defeat three consecutive #1 seeds. Can he make it two in a row, or will prohibitive favorite Staubach advance to the Championship Game? You know the drill, people: read the bios and comments, and check out all the videos (including the links). Then make up your mind and cast your ballot. And may the best Cowboy win.
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.
Player: Randy White
Position: linebacker; defensive tackle
How he got here: defeated Mark Stepnoski, 892-23; defeated Darren Woodson, 644-92; defeated Mel Renfro, 601-76; defeated Emmitt Smith, 980-770
|Name||Years||Career AV||Pro Bowls||All-Pro||RoH||HoF|
|Randy Lee White
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.
More (and better, yet not embeddable) videos (hat tip to krl97a):
-9 Consecutive All-Pro Selections
When it comes to the greatest Cowboys, you think Tom Landry and great defensive players!
Randy had to line up against the Hogs two every year during the 80s, and still he was dominant. Randy, I think, and I know I’ll have hell to pay for saying this, is the greatest defensive player we’ve ever had, yes, even greater than "Mr. Cowboy." His hands were incredibly quick for a DT, probably from that karate training he did, and his ability to dominate one-on-one match-ups was something else, and sometimes, two linemen weren’t enough. I don’t think there has been a better DT since him.
I went with Randy.
To me, the greatest defensive player we’ve ever had and, along with Dorsett and Danny White, comprised the ‘triplets’ of my childhood.
Player: Roger Staubach
How he got here: defeated Eugene Lockhart, 671-22; defeated, 676-23; defeated , 641-185; defeated Michael Irvin, 694-147
|Name||Years||Career AV||Pro Bowls||All-Pro||RoH||HoF|
|Roger Thomas Staubach
Bio: A 10th-round "futures" draft pick in the 1964 Draft, Staubach, who attended the Naval Academy, joined the team in 1969 after fulfilling his military commitment. After backing up and sharing time with Craig Morton for two plus seasons, Staubach took over the starting role for good midway through the 1971 season, leading the team to ten straight wins, including its first Super Bowl victory (where he won MVP honors, becoming the first Heisman Trophy winner to be a Super Bowl MVP). Later that decade, "Roger the Dodger" led the Cowboys to a second Super Bowl victory and two other appearances in the Big Game (both agonizing losses to the Steelers).
Staubach had several nicknames; he was was known as "Roger The Dodger" for his scrambling abilities (in his career he made innumerable scrambles to buy time for a receiver to get open, and also carried the ball 410 times for 2,264 yards. Staubach was also known as "Captain America," as quarterback of "America's Team"; from 1971-'79, the Cowboys won an astonishing 95 games with him at the helm, and never won fewer than eight games in a season. And, finally, he was known as "Captain Comeback" due to his penchant for leading the Cowboys to improbable victories. In his career, Staubach led the Cowboys to 23 game-winning drives (15 comebacks) in the fourth quarter, with 17 of those in the final two minutes or in overtime, the most famous of which was the "Hail Mary" pass in a divisional round playoff game against the Vikings in 1975.
Staubach retired as the NFL's highest-rated passer of all time (when we subtract Otto Graham's AAFC numbers); he was the NFL's top-rated passer four separate seasons, each of which he also led the league in adjusted yards per attempt, finished with a .750 career winning percentage, and six Pro Bowl invitations. He played on five Super Bowl teams, four as the primary signal-caller, and twice took home a Lombardi. Staubach was a member of the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1970s, and, in 1999, was ranked 29th on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the second-ranked Cowboy behind Bob Lilly. In 2010, a Dallas Morning News poll selected him as the greatest Cowboy of all time. Staubach was inducted into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor in 1983 and elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Staubach profile from NFL Network's "Top Ten Clutch Quarterbacks" (they have him at #4)
Greatest game ever: Cowboys 35, Redskins 34, 1979Great comeback-oh, sorry, TWO comebacks-
Against division rival—-THE rival back then, you youngsters may not realize it, no one cared about the Eagles much in those days-
tied for first place, loser’s out of the playoffs-
And does it in his final (thenextgamedidnothappen, thenextgamedidnothappen..) game !
I’ve never been as emotional during and after a game as that. Had to lock myself in my bedroom with a tiny black/white TV, couldn’t be around other people, chewing my blanket to shreds like Tarkanian.
Roger Staubach posted a 104.8 passer rating for the 1971 season. The NFL average that year was 59.3.
For perspective, after decades of rule changes mostly favoring the offense, the average NFL passer rating in 2014 was 88.9. Staubach would be lighting up the stat boards if he played today.
On the eighth
day God created Roger Staubach, then he did away with the eighth day after achieving perfection. That is why we have seven days in the week
Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the championship game?