Bob Lilly: Hall of Fame

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

    119,480 Messages
    4,173 Likes Received
    :star: Robert Lewis "Bob" Lilly :star:
    1961 - 1974

    DT, Texas Christian University


    Robert Lewis Lilly. . .Consensus All-America at Texas Christian. . . Cowboys' first-ever draft choice (1961), first Hall of Famer (1980). . . Foundation of great Dallas defensive units. . .Had unusual speed, strength, intelligence, recovery ability . . .All-NFL/NFC eight years. . . Named to 11 Pro Bowls. . .Played in five NFL/NFC title games, two Super Bowls. . . Missed just one game in 14 years. . .Born July 26, 1939, in Olney, Texas.

    Inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame 8/2/80
    Inducted in Cowboys Ring of Honor 11/23/75

    11 Time Pro Bowl...1962, 64 - 73
    6 time All Pro...1964-65, 67-69, 71

    Link to Bob Lilly's Hall of Fame Page
    Link to Bob Lilly's Stats
    Link to Bob Lilly's Home Page

    Bob Lilly was a two-time All-South West Conference pick and a consensus All-America choice at Texas Christian before the Dallas Cowboys' selected him as their first-ever draft choice in 1961.

    For the next 14 seasons, his play on defense was so outstanding that he became popularly known as "Mr. Cowboy." Bob starred as a defensive end in 1961 but then moved to a defensive tackle spot in his third season with even more sensational results. As a tackle, Lilly was a first-team All-NFL choice every year from 1964 through 1969, then again in 1971, and 1972.

    The only years he missed first-team honors was his final two seasons in the league and in 1970 when he was a second-team choice.

    Equally effective as both a pass rusher and a rushing defender, Lilly continually battled double-team and even triple-team opposition but he rarely was delayed in his pursuit of the ball carrier. Quick, agile and coordinated, he even scored four touchdowns in his career. One came on a 17-yard interception return in 1964 while the other three came on fumble recoveries. Altogether, he returned 18 fumbles for 109 yards.

    Extremely durable, Bob played in 196 consecutive regular-season games. His only career "miss" came in the 1973 championship game with Minnesota, when a leg injury put him on the bench. Post-season play became a way of life for the 6-5, 260-pound Olney, Texas, native. The Cowboys played in seven NFL/NFC title contests in an eight-year period from 1966 through 1973 and also in Super Bowls V and VI. Bob also was selected to play in 11 Pro Bowls. He is the first player who spent his entire career with the Cowboys to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  2. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

    27,868 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    You can find some of these pics in my recent media zone threads.





  3. jackrussell

    jackrussell Last of the Duke Street Kings

    4,162 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    Bob first Cowboy memory in the first Cowboy game I ever watched...Super Bowl V.

    Losing the princely sum of 25 cents to my Dad on a Jim O'Brien field goal (I took the team with the star on their head)....Lilly's name was the first to stay in my mind because of his 50 yard helmet toss after the game.

    The next year I got my money back....thanks in part to the 29 yard sack Lilly put on Bob Greise.

    50 yard helmet toss...29 yard sack...When Bob did something...he didn't mess around.
  4. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

    8,398 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    Bob seemed to draw a double team each play and it didn't seem to slow him down much at times...He was the best Defensive Tackle I have ever seen play...others had their moments but Bob was their master.
  5. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

    119,480 Messages
    4,173 Likes Received
    One time I saw an interview with Roger Staubach and he was discussing the incredible concentration Bob Lilly had. He said that one time in a meeting bob Lilly was touching his eyeball with his finger. He explained that he didn't want to blink even if the lineman was trying to poke him in the eye. In every action photo I have ever seen of Bob Lilly, his eyes are intently focused on whomever had the ball.
  6. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

    67,290 Messages
    22,608 Likes Received
    The video of Lilly telling that story is simply awesome. His demonstration of that technique made me blink.

    BTW, those old uniforms just rock. Man those were the days.
  7. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

    119,480 Messages
    4,173 Likes Received
  8. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

    22,271 Messages
    3 Likes Received
    Funny thing is, the thing I remember most about him, didn't happen on the field.

    If you were a Cowboy fan back then, it was beyond depressing at times. The "Next Year's Champion" syndrome seemed to be a curse that was going to follow the team forever.

    So, when the Cowboys finally did win the biggie vs the Dolphins, the sight of Lilly puffing on that cigar in the locker room after the game said it all. We were all celebrating with him.
  9. Cbz40

    Cbz40 The Grand Poobah

    31,365 Messages
    2 Likes Received
    I remember when the news broke that Dallas was, at last, going to have a NFL Football Team. The Texans were better than nothing but they were not a NFL Team.

    The 1960 & 61 teams were difficult to watch but when Meredith arrived one had to be optimistic about the Cowboys future.

    There are so many great and heart breaking memories of games and players during the 20 years of consecutive winning seasons it becomes difficult to choose one. I will have to say the one most memorable moment was winning Super Bowl VI.

    After being labeled "the team that can't win the big one" for so long.....That monkey on our back was once and for all erased.
  10. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

    119,480 Messages
    4,173 Likes Received
    Walt Garrison on Bob Lilly from his book Once a Cowboy.

  11. Cbz40

    Cbz40 The Grand Poobah

    31,365 Messages
    2 Likes Received
    Where are they now: Bob Lilly [​IMG]

    By Lisa Zimmerman

    (Hall of Famer Bob Lilly, the Dallas Cowboys' first draft pick in franchise history, is now a professional photographer.)
    (Sept. 14, 2003) -- If athletes are art in motion, Bob Lilly has had the unique experience of being both subject -- as a Dallas Cowboys superstar -- and creator -- as a professional photographer. While the aggression of football hardly flows seamlessly into the grace of photography, in this case, for this Hall of Famer, one led naturally to the other.

    NFL Net
    Download Super Bowl XXXIX radio broadcasts and highlights to your MP3 player! [​IMG]
    Field Pass
    Listen LIVE to NFL games, plus watch video news and features of your favorite team.
    "In 1961, I was selected as a Kodak All-American for my senior season at Texas Christian University," Lilly explained. "Every player selected got a little 35mm camera and 200 rolls of film and that's how I got started."

    Some of Lilly's favorite subjects early on were fellow Cowboys.

    "I started out taking pictures of my teammates. I took lots of candid shots and eventually put them together for a book called Bob Lilly Reflections," Lilly continued. "It's a reflection of the different periods of the Cowboys while I was there, from the very beginning, to Roger Staubach and the Super Bowl years. I went over different eras and waves of players and it became basically a pictorial essay."

    While capturing his teammates on film was his hobby, capturing the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage was his job, and Lilly learned early it was a tough thing to do.

    "When I first came into the league, we played a preseason game against Baltimore, where I had to go up against Jim Parker. I was a 260-pound defensive end fresh out of school and I was playing against a guy who was six-foot seven or eight, weighed almost 300 pounds, ran a 9.8 hundred and was a sure Hall of Famer. After that game I was depressed.

    'You know,' I said to myself. 'I've got to get bigger, stronger, quicker and smarter or go get me another job.' So I did all of those things."

    And more -- you can add durability and consistency to that list as well.
    After being the first player ever drafted by the Dallas Cowboys franchise, Lilly played for 14 seasons, where he missed only one game in his entire tenure. During that span, he was an 11-time Pro Bowl performer, seven-time All-Pro selection and a member of the defense that held Miami to three points in Super Bowl VI.

    During those 14 seasons, the game slowly evolved into what it is today.
    "It was totally different when I started because in pro football back then, we only have five coaches, including Coach Landry. We had only 33 players and everyone came into camp out of shape and worked their way into shape in the preseason," Lilly said. "The transition to today's game started when I was there. You could see the need for an off-season conditioning program, which, once we started, was basically running. Then, in '66 or '67, we began a weight program to build strength and endurance. We did that four days a week in the off-season starting in April. Up until then, we were just naturally big guys."

    Being "naturally big" used to be a key attribute teams looked for in defensive linemen, but Lilly realizes that now teams look for so much more, as seen in the recent 2003 NFL Draft, where 11 defensive linemen were taken in the first round.

    "Defensive linemen have always been at a premium. The difference now is that the technology and the scouting systems are so sophisticated in finding athletes at a young age. The football players coming out of high school today are better and know more about football than when I came out of college," Lilly said. "They're bigger, better conditioned, have been lifting weights since they were young and they've had more coaching."
    "It takes tremendous skill to be quick off the ball and strong enough to absorb a 300-pound offensive lineman."

    Still, playing on the defensive line in the NFL hasn't gotten any easier, as Lilly explained.

    "It's difficult to find really good interior linemen. There is so much action because one of three players from the offense is always coming at you. You're going to get hit and it's going to be instantaneous. It takes tremendous skill to be quick off the ball and strong enough to absorb a 300-pound offensive lineman. You have to have that sixth sense of where the play is. That feeling can't be coached, but you can see who has it when you watch the great players on Sundays."

    Lilly still watches.

    "I watch at least two games every Sunday and I have high hopes for my Cowboys this year with (Bill) Parcells at the helm. He's establishing discipline and authority, which is important. They've got two young quarterbacks, whom Parcells has kept. He's a huge evaluator of quarterbacks, so we'll see how it works out."

    On the six days where Lilly is not watching football, he enjoys spending his time taking walks with his wife, Ann, and visiting his four children and nine grandchildren. He hunts and fishes on occasion and is trying to take up golf.

    "I've tried to hit my irons and I can putt a little bit, but that's it. I'm still a member of the Hundred Club. If you break a score of 100, three times, you're out, but I'm still a member," Lilly joked.

    He spends the rest of his time taking pictures and making appearances for companies and memorabilia shows.

    "The shows are great. I get to see my old buddies and the fans, which is awfully nice. I also donate a lot of my pictures to charity auctions."
  12. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

    13,693 Messages
    413 Likes Received
    I love reading this stuff...

    I am too young to offer any memories of Lilly, aside from watching the great games on NFL Net or ESPN classic, but I did drive through Throckmorton just a couple of hours ago. Since I was about 12, I remember driving through there and seeing the "Home of Bob Lilly" sign at the courthouse. Saw it again today... I've learned a lot on this board since the last time I drove through, so now that I know more about him, it means a little more than it did when I was 12.

    Keep the stories comin...

Share This Page