'The Dodger'

'The Dodger'

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The scene was Fawcett Stadium, halftime of the AFC-NFC Hall of Fame game on enshrinement day, August 3, 1985. Roger Staubach was the last of the new members to be introduced at midfield. But instead of the traditional wave to the crowd, Staubach wheeled and fired a football 50 yards to the goal line, where it was caught in full stride by the game's ball boy, who happened to be Andy Logan, a local high school player. On the sidelines, Roger had told Logan to run a "fly" pattern when he passed the ball.

Staubach at halftime Just as he had demonstrated many times during his career with the Dallas Cowboys, Staubach's strategy and his mechanics were perfect. And just like the thunderous ovations he often received at Texas Stadium, Staubach's final "touchdown pass" brought down the house.

While throwing a 50-yard bullseye in a suit coat and without warming up is no ordinary feat, Roger's ability to succeed at such an unlikely act, even in fun, should come as no surprise to those who followed his career closely.

There was nothing at all ordinary about Staubach's pro football career from the time he joined the Cowboys as a 27-year-old rookie in 1969 until his final game 11 seasons later.

Staubach was a Heisman trophy winner as a Navy junior in 1963. When he graduated a year later, the Cowboys picked him as a 10th-round future choice. Both Roger and the Cowboys were aware that service in the Navy would come before he could think about football in the NFL.

Since Craig Morton was firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback, Staubach saw only limited playing time his first two years with the Cowboys. It wasn't until the Cowboys faltered midway into the 1971 season - Roger's third in Dallas - that he finally got his chance.

Staubach action The Cowboys were 4-3 when Staubach took charge. Using his dynamic leadership abilities along with outstanding passing and running skills, Roger led the Cowboys to seven straight victories, two playoff triumphs and an appearance in Super Bowl VI. The Cowboys finally won "the big one" that had eluded

them for several years as Staubach completed 12 of 19 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

It is possible that no quarterback ever accomplished more in his first chance at being a regular. "Roger the Dodger," as he had been known since his early days on the Navy grid team, won the NFL's individual passing championship, was named the NFL Player of the Year and finished up with Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowl VI.

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