Don Meredith: Ring of Honor

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    :star: 17 - Don Meredith :star:
    "Dandy Don"
    1960 - 1968
    QB, Southern Methodist University


    3 time Pro Bowl...1966 - 68

    Inducted in Cowboys Ring of Honor 11/7/76

    Link to Don Meredith's Ring of Honor page.

    Throughout his nine-year career with the Cowboys, "Dandy" Don Meredith was one of the Cowboys' most recognizable stars, his brash, outgoing style epitomizing the growing city he played in during his college and professional career. And while the free-spirited Meredith didn't always have a loving relationship with the Cowboys faithful, his lasting legacy will be that of leading his team to three straight division championships and trips to consecutive NFL Championship games following the 1966 and 1967 seasons, losing both times, though, to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. During the 1966 season, the Cowboys' first winning season in franchise history (10-3-1), Meredith was named NFL Player of the Year, throwing a career-high 24 touchdown passes that season. He also was one of nine Dallas players named to the Pro Bowl that year, Meredith's first of two career Pro Bowl selections.

    Meredith still is one of only three Cowboys quarterbacks (Roger Staubach and Danny White the other two) to have thrown for at least 300 yards in three games during a single season. And he still holds the record for the longest pass completion in franchise history, hooking up on a 95-yard touchdown pass to Bob Hayes on Nov. 11, 1966. Meredith also is tied for the franchise lead for having thrown the most touchdown passes in a single game, completing five in three different games, the most of any of the four other quarterbacks he's tied with.

    "Dandy" Don unexpectedly retired before the 1969 season, and while the fans in Dallas were known to get on him at the Cotton Bowl, his coaches and teammates were not ready to let him go.

    "I tried to talk him out of it," late Cowboys head coach Tom Landry said. "But when you lose your desire in this game, that's it."

    Meredith eventually would go on to a prosperous TV career as an analyst on Monday Night Football.

    Meredith spent his entire college and pro careers in Dallas, attending SMU for four years and playing nine for the Cowboys. He was a two-time All-American at SMU where he shattered all of SMU's passing records. The Cowboys, in an attempt to prevent the AFL upstart Dallas Texans from signing Meredith out of college, worked a trade for future draft picks with the Chicago Bears to acquire his rights and allow original Cowboys owner Clint Murchison Jr. to sign him to a personal services contract.

    In 1976, Meredith joined former Cowboys running back Don Perkins as the second and third members of the Ring of Honor. Meredith and Perkins began and ended their careers together, so it was fitting they be inducted into the Ring together.

    Born April 10, 1938, in Mount Vernon, Texas. ​
  2. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Seeing him on King of the Hill. There was a MNF game where Dallas made a late comeback to beat the Saints. He had already sung turn out the lights the partys over before Dallas made the come back, so it was kind of funny.

    I am too young to have seen Meredith play. I know I missed out.
  3. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Meredith helped pave the way in the success of the franchise. Great sense of humor but tough as nails in an era where the QB was not protected and was a true team leader.
  4. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Stories about Don Meredtih by Walt Garrison are classics. These are from his book Once a Cowboy.

    "Meredith was one of the best athletes on the team, but his calves were like skinny sticks of wood. Dan Reeves always used to tell him, 'You should sue your legs for non-support.'"

    All of the Cowboys players had nicknames courtesy of Don Meredith apparently. In the book Garrison tells about going out on a Saturday night drinking with Meredith. It was a Cowboys tradition to get a rookie drunk the night before a game. Meredith told Garrison that every time he had a drink, Walt had to have one.

    After 2 or 3 Crown Royal Mists Garrison is wanting to slow down. Meredith is still pounding them down. Garrison poured his drink in a potted plant and Meredith caught him. "Don't ever do that again."

    He got Garrison so drunk he has no memory of when they got in or how many they had but he did not want to play football. He said the next morning Meredith looked like he had slept "48 hours."

    At the end of the game Landry sends Garrison in and Meredith is glad to see the hungover rook in the huddle. He calls a trap up the middle. Walt gets 1 yard.

    Meredith said, "That ain't gonna do it. You were All American. Let's try that again."

    8 or 9 yards.

    "Now that's better, let's run it again."

    He called the same play 9 straight times and ran the clock out. Garrison describes how in those days the Steelers knew they were going to lose so they made you pay for your win. After a rather vicious hit he says he limped back to the huddle and Meredith looked at him "like I just tracked dog **** on his new carpet."

    Meredith said, "You're hurting? Let me tell you, you're nothing but a little *****. But I can't call you that in public, so from now on I'm going to call you Little Puddin. But that means Little *****."

    Little Puddin. Damn! I always wanted a nickname like Rocky or Bonecrusher or Jackhammer. But Little Puddin was my name. I go back to a Cowboys reunion even today and guys still call me that. "Hey Puddin, what's happening?"

    'Well, we're at the back of the plane. I'm on the aisle and Meredith and Gent are sitting in the last row of the plane where they always sit. Don is sittin there drinkin him a beer, smokin a cigarette.

    It was snowing, the plane takes off and shudders. It sounded like a bomb went off. BOOM! They tried climbing again and BOOM!

    We'd been sitting on the ground for about two hours while they de-iced the plane three of four times and in the meantime Lilly must have drank a case of beer. So Lilly was ripped. Lilly stands up in the aisle and says, 'we've all had it, baby. It's alllllllllll over.' And he's still chugging beer.

    The plane is flying at about a 45 degree angle because they can't get it in the air and all Lilly's beer cans start rolling down the aisle. One of the stewardesses comes skidding down the aisle on her hands and knees. The beer cans are flying by her and she's screaming, 'we're in trouble! We're in trouble!'

    Everybody is scared to piss. Pete Gent yells, "Don, Don! We're gonna crash!'

    But Meredith is just sitting there and finally he takes a long drag off his cigarette and a big swig of beer and says, 'well, it's been a good un, ain't it?'

    Now that's cool."
  5. Chuck 54

    Chuck 54 Well-Known Member

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    For those who think they know what a "tough" QB is and never saw Don Meredith play, .... Think again.

    He wasn't the best QB to ever play in Dallas, but fans loved him because he was without a doubt the toughest QB to ever play in Dallas. Don Meredith took a horrendous beating in those early years with the expansion Cowboys, but he always got up, and whether he was limping or dragging or hanging a bad shoulder, he kept lining up and dishing out more.

    Believe me, if you read the earlier post with the Walt Garrison stories, you know there's no way an average QB gets away with talking to a position player the way Meredith did unless he's considered by his teammates as a tough mother....

    Staubach and Aikman were both better QB's, who won more games, but line them up against Meredith on the playing field and they might as well be wearing diapers....Don Meredith was a man with a freaky tolerance for pain.

    THUMPER Papa

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    I would also add that had Meredith played longer and had a chance to play on some of the really great teams that came after him his stats would have been a lot better. As it was, once we got good in 1966 his stats looked pretty good.

    Had he played for the Bears (who originally drafted him) he might have had a much better career as they were a good team back then. But if he though Landry was tough on him he would have hated to play for Halas!

    Actually, I don't think Landry was all that tough on him, just that he didn't understand Don at all. His approach to the game was to give your all and have fun doing it. Landry was all business and didn't get a guy who could joke about stuff the way Meredith did.

    Still, the players respected Dandy Don's toughness and competitive fire. His last game was one of his worst (1968 playoff loss to the Browns) and brought about his premature retirement. I am positive that if we would have won that game we would have gone on to beat the Colts in the NFL Championship Game, then the Jets in the SB. We were one of the best teams in the league that year and should have gone further.

    I believe Landry felt the same way and was crushed when we lost that game. He uncharacteristically blamed Meredith publicly for the loss. Don retired shortly afterwards. Too bad too because he was a much better QB than Morton who followed him and we would have probably won it all in 1969 and 1970 with Meredith at the helm.

    Dandy Don was one tough SOB and a much better QB than people think.

    Where's Skip, he usually has some good memories to share about Meredith.
  7. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I posted some stats that showed how Meredith compared to the rest of the NFL during his time.

    From 1960-1968(league average in parentheses)

    50.7% completion percentage(50.1%)
    7.5 yards per attempt(7.1)
    14.7 yards per completion(14.1)
    5.8% of tds to attempts(5.1%)
    4.8% of ints to attempts(5.7%)
    74.8 QB rating(66.4)
    He was better than the league average in every single category especially in TD%, INT% and rating.

    I thought I heard a story about Meredith faking having an injury before a big(playoff?) game. He pretended to have got his face it or something. I think he had a friend in hollywood that hooked him up with makeup to make it look real. The rest of the team got bummed because they didn't think he would be able to play, then he revealed the joke. I tried googling the story, but found nothing. There was a close up picture of his face with a large bandage across it. I am sure someone can dig the story up.
  8. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I have heard the story before, Landry did not think it was funny. :laugh2:
  9. 5Stars

    5Stars Here comes the Sun...

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    I always liked his, "Turn out the lights...the parties over...." in that drawl of his while he was an announcer...wonderful QB.

  10. 5Stars

    5Stars Here comes the Sun...

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    It's in Walt Garrisons book, the one Hostile quoted from.

    Every Cowboy fan should read that book! You will not be able to put it down once you start reading it, and you WILL read it another time or two...

    It's great!

  11. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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  12. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Entertaining as hell. He threw a GREAT long ball.

    As stated above, tough as nails.

    And yep, it was kinda sad the way he retired. He was at the top of his game but was targeted as the reason why the team never won the big game.
  13. jackrussell

    jackrussell Last of the Duke Street Kings

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    ''Isn't Fair Hooker a great name?"


    "Fair Hooker" and then after a short pause adds "Never met one".


    There are a lot of comments here about Cosell's "Little Monkey" quote, but does anyone remember the following week? Howie deadpanned his "apology" to the camera about how some things are said that are misconstrued blah blah blah (never actually mentioning the incident specifically). Well after he was done, Dandy Don turned to him and said "Well, that's OK you big baboon!"


    Turn out the la-ahts, the parties overrrr.
    Allll good things, must end some taaahmm.


    Meredith described the program(MNF) in those days as ''Mother Love's Traveling Freak Show."


    ''Welcome to the Mile High City, and I really am."


    "They're controlling the ball," Cosell said during a Jets drive during the second half. "That means Cleveland can't score." "Good point," Meredith said, puncturing a Cosell banality with two words.


    If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, wouldn't it be a Merry Christmas? ~Don Meredith


    "The only trouble we had with Don Meredith was hoping he could find the right city." -Frank Gifford, "Monday Night Football" broadcaster, The Sporting News, 1986


    Lineman Jim Boeke on quarterback Don Meredith: "If Meredith
    had led us over a cliff, I would have been the first one to follow. He
    was that great a leader


    "If he was married to Racquel Welch, he'd expect her to cook." - Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Don Meredith on the perfectionism of his coach, Tom Landry (quoted by Wallace O. Chariton in "This Dog'll Hunt")


    "Glad to meet ya, Mr. Vice Prez. Love ya, but didn't vote for ya." — Don Meredith, broadcaster and former professional football player, to Vice President Spiro T. Agnew


    If there ain't no place to go, there's no way to take a trip.

    -- "Dandy" Don Meredith

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