OK, here's today's Favorite Underrated Player: Don Perkins, RB 1961-68 Perkins was the first in a long line of outstanding RBs that has become a tradition for the Cowboys. He was selected to the Pro-Bowl 6 times in his 8-year career and is STILL 3rd in rushing for the Cowboys, and that was mostly on a losing team! He was also named rookie of the year in 1961. At the time that Perkins played, Landry ran a 2-back offense so he shared carries with Amos Marsh, then with Dan Reeves. This was a major reason why he never had a 1000+ yard season although he came close in 1962 with 945 yards. Perkins was a good all-around back who could run and catch well and was excellent as a blocker. He played both the HB & FB positions, which were nearly interchangeable in Landry's offense. Even though he was the 5th leading rusher in NFL history with 6217 yards when he retired there has never been serious consideration by the HoF for him. The guys ahead of him when he retired were: Jim Brown - 12312, Joe Perry - 9723, Jim Taylor - 8597, & John Henry Johnson - 6803. Perkins ranks #62 currently partly because of the era he played, the few number of years/games he played, the relatively few number of carries, and playing for a losing team for most of his career. About the time he would have been eligible for induction consideration there were a slew of RBs who were putting up multiple 1000+ yard seasons like OJ Simpson, our own Calvin Hill, Lawrence McCutcheon, Larry Csonka, Franco Harris, and others so his standing as the 5th highest didn't last long and too many were putting up bigger numbers per year than he ever did. Again, a lot of that had to do with the changes in offenses from a 2-back to a feature-back running attack. When you look at what Perkins did in the era, style and team he did it in it is amazing! To be selected to 6 PBs in 8 seasons is phenomenal. Don Perkins holds a special place for me because he was the "first" to do so many things for the Cowboys and was our first real star player. I loved watching him run, in fact Barber reminds me of him sometimes in his determination. He was as tough as they come on the field an as nice as could be off it. At least the Cowboys understood his value to the team as he was the 2nd member of the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium (He & Don Meredith went in together in 1976. Lilly was the first in 1975.). Some highlights from Wikipedia: Perkins signed a personal-services contract with the Dallas Cowboys for a $1,500 bonus and a $10,000 salary. This meant he would play for the Cowboys if and when they received an NFL franchise. But he was drafted in the 1960 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts, before he was granted to an NFL franchise. Because of this issue, the Colts were compensated with a Cowboy's 9th round draft pick, in the 1961 NFL Draft. He sat out the entire 1960 season with a broken foot (fifth metatarsal) he suffered in training camp. He was a runner that lacked long-distance speed, but made it up with outstanding quickness and deft agility. He also had great balance and could really cut. He was considered a superb blocker. Perkins has said that he was a blocker first and a runner second, even though he finished in the NFL’s top 10 rushing, in each of his eight seasons in the league. He became the first running back in Dallas Cowboys history to run for 100 yards in a game. It came against the expansion Minnesota Vikings at the Cotton Bowl on September 24 1961, when he rushed for 108 yards on 17 carries. Don Perkins best year was in 1962, when he rush for 945 yards and seven touchdowns. In that year, he became the first Cowboy to make All-NFL. He was coming off his two best all-around seasons with the Cowboys, when he decided to retire prior to the 1969 season. When he retired following an eight-year career, all of them with the Dallas Cowboys, only four other running backs in NFL history had rushed for more yards than his 6,217. During his career, he maintained a 4.1 yards per carry average, accumulating 6,217 yards total over eight seasons (third on the Cowboys' all-time list behind Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett) and was named to six Pro Bowl teams. He gained a reputation in the NFL for his courage and his resolve on some of worst teams in Dallas Cowboys history. Perkins wore No. 43, and even though he played the fullback position at 5-10 204-pounds, he led the Dallas Cowboys in rushing, in six of his eight NFL seasons, which ranks third in club history, as does his 42 career rushing touchdowns. His 10, 100-yard games in his career ranks fourth in club history. And his four consecutive seasons leading the team in rushing touchdowns, ranks him in a second place tie behind only Emmitt Smith. Probably the only thing he couldn't do, was complete Tom Landry’s annual “mile run” in camp. Tom Landry once told NFL Films: "[Perkins] was in the toughest times,", "The guy was a remarkable runner, a great pass blocker and one of the best players in our history." He was inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium alongside his quarterback Don Meredith in 1976. Only Bob Lilly got inducted ahead of them in 1975. Walt Garrison was the player that replaced him in the starting lineup. Garrison once said: "Don Perkins was the best fullback the Dallas Cowboys ever had".