Tony Dorsett: Hall of Fame

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    :star: Anthony Drew "Tony" Dorsett, Sr. :star:
    1977 - 1987
    RB, Pittsburgh
    1976 Heisman Trophy Winner


    Anthony Drew Dorsett, Sr. . .1976 Heisman Trophy winner. . .Draft-day trade made him Cowboys’ No. 1 pick, 1977. . .Played in two Super Bowls, five NFC championship games, four Pro Bowls. . . All-NFL, 1981. . . NFC rushing champion, 1982. . . Career totals: 12,739 yards rushing; 398 receptions for 3,554 yards, 16,347 combined net yards, 91 touchdowns. . . Ran record 99 yards for TD vs. Minnesota, 1983. . . Born April 7, 1954, in Rochester, Pennsylvania.

    Inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame 7/30/94
    Inducted in the Cowboys Ring of Honor 10/9/94

    4 time Pro Bowl...1978, 81 - 83
    1 time All Pro...1981

    Link to Tony Dorsett's Hall of Fame Page
    Link to Tony Dorsett's Stats

    Tony Dorsett, a 5-11, 192-pound running back from the University of Pittsburgh, already was a celebrity by the time he joined the Dallas Cowboys as their first-round draft pick in 1977. A four-time All-America at Pittsburgh, Dorsett also won the 1976 Heisman Trophy.

    Just as he had done at Pitt, he took the National Football League by storm in his rookie 1977 season. Dorsett rushed for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns and was a virtually unanimous choice for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Dorsett, who was born April 7, 1954, in Rochester, Pennsylvania, rushed for more than 1,000 yards eight of his first nine seasons – the only miss was the strike-shortened 1982 campaign which, ironically, saw him win his only NFC rushing championship.

    His top production came in 1981, when he rushed for 1,646 yards and added 325 yards on 32 receptions. Dorsett spent the first 11 seasons of his 12-year, 173-game NFL career with the Cowboys before being traded to the Denver Broncos for a fifth-round draft pick in 1988. He led the Broncos in rushing with 703 yards in 1988 but injuries prevented him from playing after that first campaign in Denver.

    For his career, Dorsett rushed for 12,739 yards. He totaled 16,326 yards from scrimmage. He scored 546 points on 91 touchdowns, 77 by rushing, 13 by receiving and one on a fumble return. Dorsett, a three-time All-NFC pick, who was All-Pro in 1981 and a veteran of four Pro Bowls, played in five NFC championship games and Super Bowls XII and XIII. He had impressive post-season statistical totals -- 1,383 rushing yards and 1,786 yards from scrimmage in 17 games. In 1982 during a Monday night game against the Minnesota Vikings, Dorsett set a record that may some day be tied but will never be broken – a 99-yard touchdown run.
  2. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Herschel Walker's first game. I was eager to see what Landry could do with both backs. I remember some of my friends saying that Dallas should have gotten rid of Dorsett, but I felt that both backs could do some good things.

    Well it was the opening game on MNF at home facing the Giants. Both teams struggled to score early. Tony sprained his ankle early, but still was the guy to get the scoring started. It was third and very long and Dallas threw a screen pass to Tony. One of those typical plays that they used to run quite a bit of back in the day. And Tony was the best at running it. He took it 30 or so yards for a TD running on his sprained ankle. The ankle got worse and he had to sit out the rest of the game while Walker shined the rest of the game in his debut.

    The game was all about Herschel, who is one of my favorite Cowboys, but Tony also had a shining moment as well. For some reason that always stuck in my head. That play just exemplified Dorsett's style.
  3. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    When Tony Dorsett rushed for 100 yards, the Cowboys won. It was a simple thing to root for every game. I think they only lost 3 times in his entire career when that happened. One of them is an all time funny memory for me.

    Monday Night Football and it's the Cowboys versus the Vikings. My Mom was pulling for the Vikes and they punt the ball and down it on the 1 foot line. Mom asked me what the Cowboys were going to do. I said, "no problem, give the ball to Tony Dorsett and he's going to break the NFL for the longest rushing TD in history which is 97 yards." No joke, I called it.

    So the ball is handed to Dorsett and he explodes through the line to the right outside. I moved to the edge of my seat. When he finally got past the last potential tackler I leapt up with my right arm pumping a fist. Just above me a little bit was a hanging fern plant that my Mom loved. It went flying and I destroyed it.

    I'm talking it was all over the room and hanging all over my head. She had recently watered it and there was wet peat moss and water all over. I was soaking wet. So I am in a quandry. On one hand I was thrilled that Tony scored. On the other I had destroyed one of my Mom's favorite plants. Through the shred of fern I looked over at her on the couch and she was cracking up. I mean she lost it.

    I said, "I'm sorry Mom." She replied, "that's okay. It's worth it to see the look on your face."

    There are so many things about that play I will never forget. As I mentioned it was one of the few times we lost when Tony broke 100 yards, longest TD in history, Drew Pearson was the first person to congratulate Tony, there were 10 Cowboys on the field instead of 11 making it all the more incredible because the missing player was Ron Springs, Tony's lead blocker. I will also remember the smell and feel of wet fern and water and cleaning up the living room.
  4. starman22

    starman22 Active Member

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    I remember a day back in 1976, my Father was watching a football game on tv,, it was Pitt and Penn St. My Dad was a huge Penn St. fan (He's also a Steeler fan) and he called me in to watch this runningback for Pitt. He told me that this guy was incredible. Well I proceeded to watch the second half with him and Dorsett lit up Penn State for 173 the 2nd half!! I just couldn't believe how fast he was.

    I remember telling him how great it would be if he would go to the Cowboys. I was pretty young at the time, and he proceeded to explain to me how it would never happen because the best college players go to the worst pro teams.

    Well, needless to say the Boys traded some picks and ended up getting Tony D and the rest, as they say, is history. My Dad still doesn't understand my love for the Cowboys, but he has accepted it.

    BTW, Super Bowl X is still one of my most painful memories as a Cowboy fan. That was before Dorsett, of course three years later with Dorsett, we still lost by 4 points to Pittsburgh in SB XIII.

    Sorry for the rambling post, just brings back memories.
  5. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    Kewl Stories.

    I have only seen ESPN classic games and NFL Network replays of him. But every time I see him, it's pretty amazing what he was doing even without decent blocking. Alot of times I'll watch and it looks like the line is completely out of sync - but he shifts around in the backfield, and his initial burst when he decides to make that go after the cut, looks like a rare thing.

    Kinda looks like Barry Sanders before there was Barry SAnders. Rare talent, it looks like.
  6. WoodysGirl

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

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    I was too young to really appreciate Tony Dorsett's tenure. I just remember the 99-yd TD and I remember I hated when he went to Denver, even tho I liked Herschel Walker.

    Can you guys imagine the kinda debates we could've had on messageboards about those two? The arguments about JJ and Barber go hundreds of posts deep. The debate about those guys would've gone thousands.

    I think this thread would be cool if someone could post some vids of him.
  7. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    After my Mom died my Dad met my future mother and she lived in WV.

    So we went down there to see her and meet my future brother who was 18 years older and lived in Pittsburgh.

    It was Thanksgiving 1976.

    It was the Friday after and my Parents went out to a club, so me and my brother sat there and watched Pitt and Penn St play.

    Pitt won 24-7 with Dorsett running wild. 224 yards with 173 coming in the second half.

    I said to my Brother man I wish the Cowboys could get him...never really thinking there would be any way for it to happen.

    I love Emmitt Smith...But Dorsett will always be my favorite Cowboy RB.

  8. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    same play, but i was in a friends car and we were listening to it on the radio. i remember howard cosell saying "the cowboys need to know they can't just turn it on and off whenver they want to..."

    dorsett for the td.

    howard "well, i guess they CAN turn it on whenver they want to!!!"

    we went nuts in the car and i think we upset the father who was driving by how crazy it got.
  9. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I totally forgot Cosell saying that. Great story. How anxious were you to watch the news and see the actual play?
  10. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    all i remember was all the celebrating we were doing in the car. i know i've seen it dozens of times since then, but *nothing* will ever compare to us getting pe-o'd at cosell for daring to dis our cowboys and then shoving it right back in his face. i'd love to have seen it live, but i'm the kind of guy that once over, watching it just isn't the same when you know the result.

    one reason why i got so mad at a friend who told me the ending of "the 6th sense" before i could watch it.

    kinda off but one of my best dorsett memories i didn't even see live.
  11. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    Memories of Dorsett...

    1 - Electricity on the field. A home run threat everytime he touched the ball.
    2 - Somewhat immature during most of his playing days. Very, very proud. Cocky.
    3 - Very offended when Dallas signed Herschel.
    4 - I literally dreamt at night what it would be like with Herschel & Tony in the same backfield
    5 - Absolute master at running the screen play. Absolute master!
    6 - 100 yards plus for Tony = Dallas wins!
    7 - Near the end of his Dallas career teh seemingly endless graphic of # consecutive games Tony had gone without reaching 100 yards rushing. Over and over and over... :mad:
    8 - Sad when he was traded to Denver as I'd hoped he could co-exist with Herschel, but glad it was Reeves & Denver since I lived in Colorado.

    Dorsett was truly something special. No disrespect to any other Cowboy but Tony is probably my all-time favorite because of his talent, style, and something about that immature charm he had.

    I love how he has embraced the Cowboys since his retirement. The respect he ultimately gave Landry & the organization. Regrets that he ever finished elsewhere. Yup, he's my favorite.
  12. lurkercowboy

    lurkercowboy Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone remember that toss sweep play Dallas ran over and over? It was a thing of beauty. He would find a crease and accelerate.

    Also, Dorsett was a good up the middle runner as well. He could get the tough yards. I remember the 1981 game in Philadelphia. A tough game and not a spectacular one for Dorsett. There was a critical third and short that he picked up near the end of the game that helped Dallas win.
  13. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    I remember seeing Tony in a blue cape, with a glittering #33 on the back at a club on Central Expressway. I believe the song MacArthur park was playing.
  14. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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  15. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Forgot to add that I was at the Hall Of Fame to see Dorsett and Randy White inducted.

    Tom Landry...Tony Dorsett...Randy White and Ernie Stautner all in the same day.


  16. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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  17. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    Just reposting the blurb from the Main site about Dorsett in the ROH

  18. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    nooooo, he was just a visionary.
  19. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    The Run.

    We've all seen it, but hey. I'm struggling finding video highlights for Dorsett here. :)
  20. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    His Converse shoes that he wore on that play are in the Hall Of Fame.

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