Chat transcript with Tony Dorsett

General Published on : 10/27/2000
Tony Dorsett played for the Cowboys for 11 seasons through 1987 and then finished off his brilliant career with the Denver Broncos in 1988. He rushed for 12,739 yards and accounted for 16,326 combined net yards in 12 seasons. Dorsett not only passed Jim Brownin both categories but ranked second behind only Walter Payton at the time of his retirement early in 1989. In his first year of eligibility, Dorsett was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994

Tony Dorsett

MODERATOR: What have you been up to since you retired?
Tony Dorsett: Been doing a lot of things…I'll talk about the more recent things. As of June 3, I became a newlywed, I have a wife and a 2-year-old daughter and a step daughter. I'm living in Dallas, I'm also considering getting into commercial real estate. I do a lot of promotional work for different corporations.

MODERATOR: What was it like winning the Super Bowl as a rookie?
Tony Dorsett: It was the highlight of my career. That's everybody's final goal, and to have that experience, and not only to go there but to win it, in my rookie year, it was an indescribable experience.

MODERATOR: Did it set the bar too high for future success for the team?
Tony Dorsett: No, I don't. that's what we're in the business for, to be winners. We train to be winners, to accomplish just that.

MODERATOR: Can you describe the 99-yard touchdown run?
Tony Dorsett: That was, as we know, probably the most memorable one of my life. Not in my opinion, the best run I've ever made, but it was the most memorable. It was on Monday night, and a lot of people saw it. Everywhere I go, somebody comes up to me and tells me where they were at when that 99-yard run happened. It makes you feel good that people appreciate your accomplishments.

cclark: Who was the toughest defender you had to play against?
Tony Dorsett: I would probably say two people. Jack Ham for the Steelers. The reason I say that is because he did a lot of film study, he knew who he was supposed to get. Also, he was not a very big guy, but a perennial all-pro. The other guy would be Lawrence Taylor. Of course, he created a lot of havoc, big, strong…he changed the game.

joe f: Is there any one key factor that led to your enshrinement into the hall?
Tony Dorsett:  I don't think it's just any one key factor or event or thing. It's a combination of a lot of things happening right, and consistent for a long period of time. I had some very fine coaches, and that includes being in the right system.

MODERATOR: Do you think you could have topped Walter Payton's record had you carried the ball more?
Tony Dorsett: Yes.

cclark: Do you try to give your son advice about playing in the NFL, and if so, does he take it?
Tony Dorsett:  No, I don't give him advice. I've given him advice from a financial standpoint. We talk every week after his game. I do some critiquing, but I really don't want to jump in. He's doing it his way. He doesn't need my input, he needs my encouragement.

joe f: Does any one coach stand out in your mind as your favorite? Why?
Tony Dorsett: Wow. It would probably be Jackie Sherrill. Because he recruited me at Pittsburgh. He had a lot to do with helping me understand football.

MODERATOR: Do you think your Hall of Fame bust looks like you? Did you approve it?
Tony Dorsett: No, it doesn't look like me, and no i didn't approve it, and yes, I want another one. I'm very disappointed in it. Anybody who looks at it says the same thing. It doesn't look like me. But it's a thrill being in the hall.

cclark: Do you have any regrets about your career?
Tony Dorsett:
Not really. No. Being not as emotional as I was, maybe. Being a little more diplomatic.

MODERATOR: Who do you feel is the best running back in the game today?
Tony Dorsett:
Tough question. We got a guy in St. Louis, Marshall Faulk. Very talented. I like his style. Edgerrin James. Other guys out there, I apologize!

MODERATOR: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Tony Dorsett:
My four older brothers were my favorite players. That's why I got into football and sports. Wanted to be like my older brothers.

MODERATOR: What's better, winning the Super Bowl, or being enshrined in the Hall of Fame?
Tony Dorsett:
Phew. That's a tough question. I think they both have a lot of significance. Wining the Super Bowl was something, a great effort we could share as a team. We were all fighting together, the camaraderie, up against the world attitude. We all shared and strutted our strut. All of those great people I played with, they're not in the Hall of Fame, so they don't get to share in that. I appreciate both on those levels. In the Hall of Fame, I become a part of history, that's an accomplishment. If I had to choose, I'd take them both.

MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us today, Tony. Any final thoughts?
Tony Dorsett:  To all of the people out there, I'm an old school type of guy. I like to see things change a little bit in this world, and we should save this world for our children. When I say old school, I mean when I did something wrong as a kid, I'd get in trouble, I'd get a spanking, but you can't do that anymore. We need to take care of our children.