DMN Blog: Anniversary: Roger Staubach retires from Cowboys 30 years ago today

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Posted at 4:41 PM on Wed., Mar. 31, 2010 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
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    "It's going to be different without him. The Dallas Cowboys, as well as the entire game of professional football, are going to miss him. We don't have enough Roger Staubachs in the league."

    A quote from Tom Landry the day Roger Staubach retired from the Cowboys on this date in 1980.

    Click herefor the story from the next day's editions of The Dallas Morning News.

    Roger hangs 'em up

    March 31, 1980
    By CARLTON STOWER / The Dallas Morning News

    Editors' note: The following appeared in the final April 1, 1980 edition of The Dallas Morning News.

    • • •

    Roger Staubach, the man who became the yardstick to measure the success of the Dallas Cowboys during the '70s, announced his retirement from football Monday at one of the largest news conferences ever held in Dallas.

    His voice breaking as he spoke into a bank of about 30 microphones, the 38-year-old quarterback, regarded as one of the nation's greatest sports heroes, applauded the Cowboys organization, his teammates and "the man who wears the funny hats on the sidelines, Tom Landry," before finally speaking the words people have expected him to say for weeks.

    "I thank the Cowboys," Staubach said as tears came to his eyes, "and I'm retiring."

    The announcement brings to an end one of the most celebrated football careers in modern sport.

    Even before joining the Cowboys 11 years ago, his niche in football history had been carved. He won both the Heisman and Maxwell awards in 1963 while playing quarterback for the Naval Academy.

    As a professional, he steps to the sidelines ranked No. 1 on the National Football League's all-time passing list with an 83.5 rating, well ahead of 2nd-place Sonny Jurgensen, formerly of the Washington Redskins. Jurgensen closed his career at 82.8.

    "To my way of thinking," said Cowboys coach Tom Landry, "when you talk of the great quarterbacks in this business, Roger Staubach has to stand right up there with the Otto Grahams and Johnny Unitases. Certainly, he's one of the greatest 2-minute players, clutch players, ever – a Bobby Layne-type in that department."

    Staubach said he had thought about ending his career since the 1979 season closed with an upset loss to the Los Angeles Rams. But, he said, no single factor determined his decision.

    Roger Staubach"It was," he said, "based on several reasons.

    "I want to spend more time, more quality time, with my family. Then, there was a gut feeling that the time had come for me to retire. And the concussions (he suffered five last season alone) were somewhat of a factor, but not the overriding thing.

    "I've never concerned myself too much about injury. If that had been the only thing, I think I would still be playing."

    Neither, he said, would it have made any difference if Landry had told him he could call his own plays.

    "I was successful," he said, "because the system we had was successful. It was successful before I arrived, it was successful while I was here and it will continue to be successful long after I'm gone, chiefly because of the man on the sidelines (Landry)."

    Landry said he did not pressure his veteran quarterback to stay for another season.

    "He was as good last year as he was five years ago," Landry said. "I made him aware of how much we wanted him to play but, actually, I didn't try real hard to talk him out of his decision because of the respect I have for him.

    "It's going to be different without him. The Dallas Cowboys, as well as the entire game of professional football, are going to miss him. We don't have enough Roger Staubachs in the league."

    Before making the announcement to the 179 members of the media who had arrived from across the nation for the noon affair in Texas Stadium, Roger met with his teammates to tell them of his decision.

    "It was something I felt I needed to do," he said. "So often people retire and then never see a lot of their teammates again. I tried to keep it light.

    "I knew I was going to retire pretty much after the last season was over, but I wanted to leave the door open. For quite some time, I vacillated. I talked with Tex (Schramm) and we batted a lot of things around. Coach Landry was basing most of his argument on the fact my performance last year evidently graded high.

    "But both expressed a lot of confidence in Danny White's ability to take over and do the job. And certainly I think he will do an outstanding one. I wouldn't retire if I thought the team was going to flounder."

    Staubach, involved in a highly successful real estate business, said he will continue living in Dallas.

    And while no direct offer has been made, he probably will be working as a football commentator for one of the television networks next fall. "I've been told they are interested in talking to me," he said, "but I've heard it only indirectly. It's something I would consider, but it has nothing to do with my retirement."

    Staubach reflected on his career, in which he completely rewrote the Cowboys record book, quarterbacked the Cowboys to two Super Bowl championships, won four NFL passing titles and was a regular figure in the Pro Bowl.

    "Looking back, I wouldn't do anything differently," the former Cincinnati schoolboy sensation said. Then he grinned and said, "Oh, I might change a few scores around here and there."

    In truth, he did that often during his tenure at the Cowboys helm. During his career, he accounted for no less than 23 4th-quarter comeback victories, including 14 in the final two minutes of play.

    And how would he like to be remembered?

    "Athletically, I'd like to be remembered as a pretty darned consistent performer," Staubach said.

    "There is no question in my mind," said Schramm, the club's general manager and president, "that Roger Staubach is this country's greatest sports hero, maybe of our time. He is unique in that his following spans all age generations.

    "We will miss him."
  2. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    30 years. Where has the time gone. I was numb that day. I remember I couldn't even eat.
  3. 28 Joker

    28 Joker 28 Joker

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    Wow. 5 concussions in one year.

    I remember the Cowboys losing that last game to the Rams in 1979. It was a shock. I don't remember much about the game, though.

    I remember reading about Rodger in my school library as a kid. Of course, I was a huge Dallas fan.

    I had his #12 and a his old school helmet. I still have it.
  4. JakeCamp12

    JakeCamp12 Well-Known Member

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    I remember crying during the press conference...I was 10 years old and he was and is still one of my heros....:bow:
  5. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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  6. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    I remember he left the door slightly ajar, promising to come back if Danny got injured. Twas not to be.

  7. KJJ

    KJJ You Have an Axe to Grind

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    This was the play that pretty much ended it for Roger. He suffered his last concussion on this play. He was asked in an interview shortly after he retired why he made the decision to retire and he said he was experiencing some numbness in his neck and his family was concerned. At the end of the clip you'll notice him with ice on the back of his neck.

  8. ThreeSportStar80

    ThreeSportStar80 Benched

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    Greatest Cowboys QB ever arguably...
  9. Seven

    Seven Messenger to the football Gods

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    No kiddin, Hos. Where has it gone.

    I remember I was pickin' weeds in the front yard and my friend, Robert Burlingame, delivered the news. Rode all the way from his house on his bike just to tell me. Didn't say "hey", or "what's going on" just delivered the news. We didn't say much for awhile.

    BTW - wasn't Jack Reynolds, Hacksaw Reynolds? He sawed a car in half in college? He had a twin brother?
  10. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Jack was nicknamed Hacksaw. Not sure about a twin brother.
  11. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    I never saw him play, and he did go to Navy, but I suppose he was alright ;)
  12. SilverStarCowboy

    SilverStarCowboy The Actualist

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    Wept on this day, whilst listening to Roger, Hank, Brad and Tom, on an AM Radio Station.

  13. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    My dad was a big Dallas fan until Jerry bought them and kicked Landry to the curb.

    He's loved the guy and said he retired prematurely to concussions.
  14. mperfection

    mperfection Member

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    Same here...except for the jersey and helmet. I, too, was numb listening to his retirement. The Cowboys of the 70's had a mystique that, as much as I loved the 90's Cowboys, was unmatched.
  15. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    That was a sad day.
  16. Bullet22

    Bullet22 Active Member

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    I saw every game he played...
  17. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Those concusions were minor ones but I have no doubt that having five in one season was the real reason he hung them up, and rightly so.
  18. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    That was a sad day. Everyone knew Roger could still perform at an elite level and to see leave the game was tough. I know Roger did what was right for him and I know he loved the game and it was not an easy choice to make.
  19. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I for one am glad he got out with his health.

    I remember seeing him do an interview a few years ago and thinking ..... "man .... that guy looks like he has one more series left in him."
  20. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    The fire still burns. I know they have a flag football game around Thanksgiving and couple years ago Roger was QB on one of the teams and a couple of people said his desire to win was just the same as always. Roger once said I don't care what game I play I want to win. That stuck with me, if you are going to do something give it your best and strive to win.

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