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Roger Staubach Biography

Roger Staubach Biography

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

Roger Staubach is a two-time Super Bowl champion and the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys during the years they established themselves as “America’s Team.” The former naval officer is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a 6-time Pro Bowler who was one of the more competitive football players of all-time.

Staubach’s story begins long before his actual NFL career. He took the Navy Midshipmen to the number-two ranking in the nation and won the Heisman Trophy in 1963. He wouldn’t take his first NFL snap until 1969. Staubach was drafted in the 10th round by the Dallas Cowboys, but military commitments would keep off the professional gridiron. He saw a year in Vietnam and served out his military duties in time to join Dallas for the 1969 season.

With Craig Morton entrenched as the Dallas starting QB, Staubach languished for a few years, though eager to get his career rolling as a 27-year old rookie. In the ’69 and ’70 seasons, he started only 4 games. The 1971 season saw more of the same, until coach Landry gave Staubach a shot, thus paving the way for one of the more storied careers in franchise history. Staubach won all his games as a starter in 1971 and took the Cowboys into the postseason. In Super Bowl VI, Staubach validated himself with an MVP performance to give the Cowboys their first taste of Super Bowl glory.

Staubach wasn’t able to immediately capitalize on his success, missing almost all of the 1972 season with a shoulder injury. When he came back, Morton had again taken the Cowboys to the playoffs and it seemed he might have to fight again to get his job back. But in the playoffs, Staubach came out of mothballs and threw a pair of touchdowns in under two minutes to beat the 49ers.

1973 was one of Staubach’s best seasons. He led the NFL in touchdown throws and the Cowboys were 10-4. They lost in the second round of the playoffs, but a winning tradition was being forged nonetheless. They took a step back in ’74, missing the playoffs with an 8-6 mark, but in ’75, they were in fine form. Two big playoff performances again got the Cowboys back to the Super Bowl, where they lost their first of two-nail-biters with the most illustrious team on the decade--the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1976, Dallas was 11-3, but lost to the Rams in the first round of the playoffs. Not to fret. 1977 saw Staubach take it to another level, as all his pieces were clicking on both sides of the ball. Dallas was 12-2 and poised for a serious playoff run. It got off to a good start, as the Cowboys squashed the Bears and the Vikings en route to Super Bowl XII. Ironically, the opposing starting quarterback was Craig Morton, now with the Denver Broncos. Staubach and the Cowboys romped to a 27-10 win and their second win in the big game.


Staubach and the Cowboys were not resting on their laurels and the following season, another 12-win season led to another playoff berth. They beat the Falcons before shutting out the Rams, 28-0, to reach their fifth Super Bowl in the 70’s. Looking back, their Super Bowl match-up with Pittsburgh was for the informal title of “team of the decade.” It was a great game to watch, but unfortunately for Staubach and the Cowboys, they came out on the wrong side of a 35-31 shootout.

In Staubach’s final season in 1979, he set a career-high mark in passing yardage with 3586. The Cowboys were 11-5, but the eventual NFC champion Rams made up for the previous year by bouncing Dallas out in the first round of the playoffs. Staubach would announce his retirement at age 37.

With his late-starting career, injuries, and playing behind Morton early in his playing days, Staubach only played 8 full seasons. It’s what he accomplished in that time that made him a no-brainer induction into the Hall of Fame in 1985. At 85-29, his winning percentage of .746 is the gold standard among retired NFL quarterbacks. After all, the whole point in this league is to win games and no one did that a higher rate than Staubach. His stats might not knock your socks off, but make no mistake, Staubach is one of the greatest to ever play quarterback in the NFL.

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