Chat transcript with Roger Staubach

12/08/2000

Roger Staubach put together an incredibly exciting career as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, leading the team to two Super Bowl victories. Roger joined us for a chat session Friday afternoon to re-live some of the classic moments in his career and to give insight on today's game.

MODERATOR: Thanks for chatting today Roger. How are you doing?
Roger Staubach: I'm staying busy with my real estate firm. We have offices around the country and we're working hard! I'm also trying to figure out how to get the Cowboys back on track!

beauregardduke: Do you like your nickname "Roger the Dodger"? Who coined it?
Roger Staubach: I think it began when I was in high school. However, when I was a running quarterback, I got the name. However, it didn't really stick till I was in the Navy.

Pete: Do you wish you could started in the NFL right away instead of waiting until you were 27?
Roger Staubach: I don't regret my time at the Naval Academy and the service I put in. I would've liked to play professional football longer, but I did play 11 years. I also had some concussions that made me retire before I wanted to (at age 38).

conattila: Have you spoken with Troy Aikman about his future playing football? Having had experience with multiple concussion injuries yourself?
Roger Staubach: I talked to him earlier in the year, and in fact, I am having dinner with him soon. He's been talking with good doctors to evaluate his future. He's 34 years old and has said he wants to play longer. He also has back problems that have hindered him. I do, however, see him playing a few more years.

mdawg: Who do you think will win the Heisman Trophy this year? Was the voting close when you won it?
Roger Staubach: This year, I really feel that Heupel from Oklahoma will win it. They've had such a great year, although they struggled offensively at the end. I'm also a big fan of Brees from Purdue. And of course, Weinke from Florida State is in the running. Finally, there's Thomlinson from TCU. But of those four, I would go with Heupel. As for when I won it, it wasn't that close. I think Billy Lothridge was second, but it really wasn't that close.

mikey68: Of all the games in which you played, does one stand out for you, personally?
Roger Staubach: Well, there's a couple. The first time I played in an Army-Navy game was very exciting for me (1962). Also, when I joined the Cowboys, were we struggling at the end of the season. We were described as a "team that couldn't win the big game." Then we won the Super Bowl (1971) and it took the pressure off the shoulders of people like Tom Landry and myself.

steve b: Do you still get fired up when you see the video of the Hail Mary pass to Drew Pearson at Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota?
Roger Staubach:
You know, I do! Ironically, last night I was at this party and Charlie Waters was there. He had a VHS tape of that game and sent a copy over to me today! I'm going to try and watch that whole game. We were a Wild Card team that year against the Vikings and a big underdog. It was 14-10 at the time and time was running out. When I threw the ball to Pearson, I kind of under-threw it. The term "Hail Mary" was developed because after the game, I told the press I closed my eyes and said a "Hail Mary."

bronzebust: Do you still keep in touch with your old teammates? Every play a pick-up game?
Roger Staubach: I see a lot of them in Dallas. A lot of them still live here. We used to have touch games but haven't done that in a while. This past Thanksgiving, I threw the ball around and the arm looked good. Our team won and I think I could play on some NFL teams today!

mikey68: Mr. Staubach, how did Coach Landry affect your life professionally and privately?
Roger Staubach:
He was a fantastic football coach who always had us prepared. We never had a losing season in the 11 years I was in Dallas. We were in the playoffs every year but one during those years. Off the field, he was a man of his word. He was a great example for all of us, even the players who got cut or didn't have the best experiences with him. Landry was a classy person who truly walked-his-talk as a human being.

conattila: Where do you keep your Heisman Trophy?
Roger Staubach: On the hood of my car! Actually, I have a room in my house where I keep it. There's a very nice spot for it there. The trophy is there among Navy stuff, etc. I also used to use it as a door-stop. My kids would ride around the room on it!

bronzebust: In the NFL All 20th Century lists that have come out this year, there's a lot of discrepancy at most of the skilled positions. But not at QB. You are always named the best of the best. Why is that and how does that make you feel?
Roger Staubach: It's great to be lumped in there with those guys! Football is such a team sport, and you have to take into consideration your team and who you played with. There are things you bring to the game that distinguishes you from other players. I look back on my career and see things that were deserving and things that were great as a team. So, to be considered in that category is something I'm proud of. When I was elected into the Hall of Fame, it was a great moment for me and I got to share it with those who helped me when I played.

mdawg: Who do you think is the best quarterback in the league today?
Roger Staubach: I would put a couple guys on top. Although he's having a rough year, I would put Troy Aikman on there. I also like Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner, who's coming back from an injury. Culpepper from Minnesota is also looking good. And then there's McNabb from Philadelphia, who really makes plays. He's a winner and I really like the way he plays. Then there's the guys having the off-years like Brunell and McNair. McNair is a heck of a player. And I'd also like to mention Brian Griese from Denver. He's hurt but was having a good year.

MODERATOR: Thanks for chatting with us today, Roger, any final thoughts for your fans?
Roger Staubach: For my fans, I wish you a great holiday and great family time! Have a happy new year and don't give up on those Cowboys! There's always hope!

MODERATOR:
Thanks for all of your great questions today. Have a great day!

Staubach, Roger