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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #12 Roger Staubach

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. And we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

Giants v Cowboys Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 12 and a legendary player, maybe the most legendary of all Cowboys players.

QB Roger Staubach
Born: 5th February 1942 (81) - Cincinnati, Ohio
College: Navy Midshipmen
Draft: 1964, Round 10, Pick 129, Dallas Cowboys

Career Stats:
Games Played: 131
Pass Attempts: 2,958
Pass Completions: 1,685
Pass Accuracy: 57%
Touchdowns: 153
Interceptions: 109
Rush Yards: 2,264
Rush TDs: 20
Passer Rating: 83.4

2 x Super Bowl Winner
Super Bowl MVP (1972)
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year (1978)
1 x All-Pro
6 x Pro Bowl
4 x NFL passing leader
NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team
NFL 1970’s All-Decade Team
NFL Hall of Fame (1981)
Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor

College/Naval Academy:
Roger Staubach entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1961. As a third-class midshipman (sophomore) in 1962, he got his first opportunity to play in the third game of the season. During that season, Staubach started in the famous annual Army/Navy game and President John F. Kennedy performed the coin toss. Staubach led the team to a 34–14 upset win, throwing for two touchdowns and running on the ground for another.

In 1963, Staubach’s second class year (junior season), he won the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell award. He led the Midshipmen not only to a 9–1 regular season record but also helped the team rank second in the national rankings, the highest in Navy’s history. The highlight of the season though was Navy beating rival Notre Dame. Their biggest loss came during the national championship when they lost to the Texas Longhorns.

During his three seasons at Navy, Staubach completed 292 of 463 passes for 18 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, while gaining a school-record of 4,253 yards of total offense. Staubach is the last player from a military academy to win the Heisman Trophy.

Cowboys History:
Staubach was a tenth-round selection made by Dallas in 1964 due to his military commitments as he wasn’t allowed to play professionally until 1969, when he would become a 27-year-old rookie.

In 1968, Staubach was still officially serving in the Navy but attended the Cowboys’ rookie minicamp. He had to use most of his annual military leave to do attend. The next year, Staubach resigned his naval commission just in time to join the Cowboys training camp. The Cowboys would win their first NFC Championship game, but lost in the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Colts by three points in the final seconds of the game.

In 1971, Staubach shared the starting role at quarterback with Craig Morton. Tom Landry literally alternated quarterbacks between plays at one point and giving the respecting quarterback each play on the sideline. But by halfway into the season, Landry made Staubach the permanent starter and led the Cowboys to 10 consecutive wins. In Super Bowl VI, Staubach was named Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys had a reputation of not being able to win the big games, but this changed when they won 24-3 against the Miami Dolphins and took home the team’s first Lombardi.

In 1977, Staubach led the Cowboys to a second Super Bowl. He threw for 183 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. They beat the Denver Broncos 27–10 in Super Bowl XII, beating former teammate Craig Morton. Staubach also led the Cowboys to two more Super Bowl appearances at Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII, losing both times to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1979, Staubach had career highs in pass completions (267), passing yards (3,586), and touchdown passes (27). The Cowboys tried to retain the elite quarterback but he opted to decline the offer based on health reasons. Over the course of his career, Staubach had been diagnosed with over 20 concussions. He chose to retire and was replaced as the Cowboys starting quarterback by Danny White.

Staubach finished his 11 NFL seasons with 1,685 completions for 22,700 yards, 153 touchdowns, and 109 interceptions. He also gained 2,264 rushing yards and scored 21 touchdowns on 410 carries. He is only one of ten players to win the Heisman Trophy and be entered into the Hall of Fame, and is the only quarterback to have accomplished that task. He is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game in NFL history.

He and his wife, Marianne reside in Texas. They have five children, 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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