Chuck Howley: Ring of Honor

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    :star: 54 - Chuck Howley :star:
    1961 - 1973
    LB, West Virginia


    6 time Pro Bowl...1965 - 69, 71
    5 time All Pro...1963, 67 - 70
    Super Bowl V MVP

    Inducted in Cowboys Ring of Honor 10/30/77

    Link to Chuck Howley's Ring of Honor page.

    Coming to the Cowboys in a trade with the Chicago Bears in 1961 after once having given up on his NFL career, Chuck Howley became one of the greatest outside linebackers in Cowboys history and the only player to win Super Bowl MVP honors while on the losing team.

    Howley's outstanding speed and agility enabled him to intercept 25 passes for 399 yards during his 14 seasons with the Cowboys while playing linebacker. He was selected to six Pro Bowls and earned six All-Pro selections in a row, enough to become the fourth player in franchise history inducted into the Ring of Honor (1976).

    "Sometimes we allow certain people like Chuck or Bob Lilly to vary from our defensive pattern," late Cowboys head coach Tom Landry once said. "People like Chuck can often do this and get away with it because of their outstanding athletic ability."

    Two years after being drafted by the Bears with a first-round pick in 1958, Howley retired from football because of a knee injury, and began working at a gas station. However, in the spring of 1961, Howley tested the knee in a West Virginia University alumni game and decided to try pro football again.

    The Cowboys were interested, and traded two future picks (1963) to acquire the rights to the one-time multi-sport star at West Virginia.

    What a trade it turned out to be, Howley ending up playing 14 seasons for the Cowboys, tying him for the second longest tenure in franchise history.

    Howley would play in two NFL Championship games and two Super Bowls. He still holds the distinction of being a member of the Cowboys' first Super Bowl-winning team, winning Super Bowl VI over the Miami Dolphins, and having earned MVP honors in Super Bowl V despite losing the game to the Baltimore Colts.

    Howley was a five-sport letterman at West Virginia, including the Southern Conference one-meter diving champion, a sprinter on the track team, and excelled in gymnastics and wrestling. In football, Howley was All-Southern Conference for three years and was named Southern Conference Athlete of the Year his junior year.

    "I just hope I can be considered the best at my position," Howley said once said. "I gave what I could. You look back on life and think, was there more I could have done. I don't know that I could have."

    Born June 28, 1936, in Wheeling, W.Va.

  2. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    I remember in Steve Perkins book on the 71 season "Drive to Win" after the early season loss to the Redskins "Over the Hill Gang" BIlly Kilmer told Steve that Howley was an inspiration to them - being as he was older then most of the Gang for the Skins. Chuck Howley is - next to Bob Hayes- the greatest stain on the so called HOF; there have been several LBs who had less Pro Bowls and fewer ALL Pros who have been inducted. AND Howley got his back when they really meant something.
  3. ZeroClub

    ZeroClub just trying to get better

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    Thanks for posting this.

    Wow. That's quite a story. First time I've heard it. I assumed that the Cowboys acquired Howley through the draft.
  4. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    My grandfather, my dad and myself were fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, and we shook hands with Chuck Howley after what must have been the alumni game. I actually don't remember what game it was, .. I just remember looking at him in awe as my Pop and my dad spoke with him.

    Anyway, being 6 or 7 yrs old, I quickly forgot that encounter. A few years later, my dad was watching a football game on TV when I came into the room. He said, see that guy there wearing #54, .. do you remember him? I said no. He said that is Chuck Howley, .. remember meeting him? I said yes, I do remember meeting him.

    Back in the early 60's thing were different, you just didn't see people on TV that you had seen in person, it was two different worlds, it just didn't happen, especially in Podunk, WV.

    As I watched him, I was mesmorized. And he had a beautiful :star: on his helmet. Instantly that was my favorite team.

    Whenever the team with the star on their helmet was on TV, my Dad would call me to come and see.

    The Cowboys were immediately my favorite team and Howley was my favorite player.

    Since he played at WVU & then for the Cowboys, Chuck Howley is the original WV Cowboy, I am just privileged to share the moniker.(see avatar)

    THUMPER Papa

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    Great story! Thanks for sharing it.

    As Burmfard said, Howley should be in the HoF.
  6. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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  7. jwhardin

    jwhardin Member

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    I have a Chuck Howley autographed player card. He should be in the HOF.
  8. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Many people know the trivia question about the only player from a losing team to be the MVP. In Super Bowl V, Chuck Howley was simply brilliant. There is no other way to describe it. Howley intercepted 2 passes, returning one 22 yards and he recovered a fumble. All day long wherever the ball went, Howley was there. He became the first defensive player to win the award and as already said, the only player from a losing team. Simply put he was the best player on the field all day.

    However, not many people realize just how scared of him that the Miami Dolphins were in Super VI. In the pregame commentary leading up to the game Tom Brooksheir made mention of this very fact, and once again Howley delivered. In the game he intercepted a Bob Griese pass at the 50 and returned it 41 yards to the 9 setting up a Staubach TD pass to Mike Ditka.

    In big games Howley played big. That is his lasting legacy. 6 times he was elected to the Pro Bowl. 5 times he was All Pro. It is a travesty that he is not in the Hall of Fame. It honestly does not make any sense that he is excluded. He was simply put, an outstanding athlete. He lettered in five college sports. In addition to football he received college letters for track, diving, wrestling, and gymnastics.

    Tackles and sacks were not compiled stats when he was playing but he had a lot of both. In addition to this he had 25 interceptions, returning 2 for TDs, and 17 fumble recoveries, returning 1 for a TD.

    Chuck Howley is pure class as a person and is now a real cowboy. Since retiring he now owns and operates a ranch for the training of quarterhorses.
  9. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Dr. Z, to his credit, has always championed Howley's candidacy. Cliff Harris, too.
  10. thundercowboy

    thundercowboy New Member

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    Chuck Howley was always around the football and in the Super Bowls, he always was a force that helped Dallas stop the opponent whoever it was.
    As a kid, he sent me an autographed photo which I still have.
    I really appreciated that.

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