Gold Jacket Spotlight: Randy White turned ferocious on game day
During the NFL Films presentation "Top 100 Greatest Players," teammate Charlie Waters summarized Randy's play this way: "On game day, this humble person turned into a monster. He was ferocious on game day. He scared me, and I’ve never been afraid of anything, and Randy White scared me."
Waters' fear resulted in him bestowing the nickname, "Manster," on Randy, describing this member of Dallas' "Doomsday Defense" as "half man, half monster."
A fear-inspiring Hall of Famer (Class of 1994), Randy blasts his way into this week's Gold Jacket Spotlight.
After winning the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1974 while playing at the University of Maryland and encouraged by Randy's collegiate coach Jerry Claiborne's assessment that, ". . . if he could make their team, they'd be Super Bowl champions," the Cowboys selected Randy with their first-round pick — second overall – in the 1975 NFL Draft.
"Randy is the finest lineman at 4.8 seconds in the 40 we've ever drafted," Dallas head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer TOM LANDRY told a newspaper reporter after the draft. "I want White to play where he wants to play. If he wants to take on the challenge of middle linebacker, he can. If he doesn’t make it there, he will make a great down lineman. He will be a star ... a Pro Bowler."
Landry's predictions were accurate.
Following three less-than-stellar years as a linebacker, Landry moved Randy to defensive tackle, where position coach and Hall of Fame player ERNIE STAUTNER worked with Randy.
"I was elated," Randy declared in a Ray Didinger story. "Ernie worked with me before practice; I could feel myself improving every day. I never felt comfortable at linebacker. I was always reading, worrying about the pass. At tackle, it's more of a physical game, hit and react. That's more my style."
Randy's hitting and reacting resulted in 1,104 total tackles, 701 solo tackles and 52 sacks (prior to 1982, sacks were not an official statistic) during his career. Accumulating those numbers accounted for Randy's appearance in nine consecutive Pro Bowls.
"White allows no interruptions, no distractions, no loitering. The scrimmage line is his domain and to be possessed and defended," NFL Films proclaimed in a feature on him. "A place where he sends ferocious messages to all corners of that unique world known as pro football."
Former Indianapolis Colts coach Rod Dowhower acknowledged, "You cannot go into a game without accounting for his presence. You may have a player who will play well against him one time, but over the long haul, you're going to have to account for him with more than one player, and that's the ultimate respect the player can get from the opposition."
Randy and his Cowboys teammates appeared in six NFC Championship Games and three Super Bowls (X, XII, XIII). After leading a defense that triggered eight Broncos turnovers, Randy and teammate Harvey Martin were named co-MVPs of Super Bowl XII when Dallas defeated Denver 27-10.
Described by Stautner as a "blue-collar worker on a country club team," Randy simplified the review of his abilities to Dallas Cowboys Official Weekly in 1990.
"I've never felt comfortable talking about myself," Randy said. "People – reporters – don't seem to understand when I tell them my approach to playing football is very simple, that I just go out every Sunday and try to do the very best that I can do. I can't analyze it more than that."
Randy added, "You start counting your trophies and reading how good you are and pretty soon somebody's going to come along and knock you on your tail."
It is highly unlikely Charlie Waters ever imagined the "Manster" getting knocked on his tail.
Tony Boselli to receive Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence
The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Kay® Jewelers, the Official Provider of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence, will honor Class of 2022 member Tony Boselli at a special halftime ceremony Sunday, Oct. 9.
'The Mission:' Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1998’s Anthony Muñoz
To help look ahead to Week 5 of the NFL schedule, joining The Mission is Cincinnati Bengals Legend Anthony Muñoz, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 1998.