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"Catching a game-winning touchdown is more of a thrill than winning gold medals. You play football for your team, not for yourself.”
(Florida A&M)...5'11'', 185...
Selected as a future pick by Cowboys, seventh round, 1964 NFL Draft. . .Also drafted as future choice by Denver (AFL). . .Won a pair of gold medals in the 1964 Olympic Games earning him the title “World’s Fastest Human”. . .Four times was named first- or second-team All-NFL. . .. Three times led the Cowboys in receptions. . . Career stats include 7,414 receiving yards and 71 TDs. . .Born December 20, 1942 in Jacksonville, Florida. . .Died September 18, 2002, at age of 59.
When Bob Hayes arrived on the pro football scene in 1965, he had already earned athletic stardom having won a pair of gold medals in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. His medal-winning performance in the 100 meters competition earned him the title "World's Fastest Human." But for the Dallas Cowboys, the team that drafted him in the seventh round of the 1964 NFL Draft, the question lingered, "could a track man succeed in a contact sport like pro football?" The answer came quickly as the rookie's 46 receptions for 1,003 yards led all Cowboys receivers.
Hayes demonstrated time and again that he possessed tremendous football skills and instincts that helped him to develop into a terrific NFL wide receiver. Still, his world class speed was a major factor in his and the Cowboys offensive successes. "Bullet Bob" terrorized defensive backs and demanded the kind of deep double coverage rarely seen in the NFL at that time. It is often said that the bump and run defense was developed in an attempt to slow down the former Florida A&M running back.
"I know one thing, and I played with him," commented Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka, "he changed the game. He made defenses and defensive coordinators work hard to figure out what you had to do to stop him."
Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach knew firsthand the value of the speedy receiver. "He can explode and make things happen," he offered. "As long as Bobby is in the lineup the other team has to make adjustments it doesn't normally make."
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame safety Larry Wilson played against Hayes on a number of occasions. He observed that the difference between Hayes and other track men turned football players was that he had the ability to use his speed "in a football sense," rather than just trying to run fast as he could. "He had several speeds, all of them fast," explained Wilson. "But defensive backs had to figure out which one he was using and which one he was going to use."
Four times Hayes was named first- or second-team All-NFL. Three times he led the Cowboys in receptions, including back-to-back titles in 1965-66 when he caught a total of 110 passes for more than 2,200 yards and 25 touchdowns. For his 11-year career, Hayes accumulated 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns. His 71 career touchdown receptions remain a Cowboys' club record.
1966 NFL - Green Bay Packers 34, Dallas Cowboys 27
Hayes started at left end. He had one reception for one yard.
1967 NFL - Green Bay Packers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17
Hayes started at left end. He had three receptions for 16 yards.
1970 NFC - Dallas Cowboys 17, San Francisco 49ers 10
Hayes started at wide receiver. He had no receptions in the game.
1971 NFC - Dallas Cowboys 14, San Francisco 49ers 3
Hayes started at wide receiver. He had two receptions for 22 yards, returned one punt for 3 yards and two fair catches.
1972 NFC - Washington Redskins 26, Dallas Cowboys 3
Hayes did not start but played in the game.
1973 NFC - Minnesota Vikings 27, Dallas Cowboys 10
Hayes started at wide receiver. He had two receptions for 25 yards.
Super Bowl V - Baltimore Colts 16, Dallas Cowboys 13
Hayes started at wide receiver. He had one reception for 41 yards and three punt returns for nine yards.
Super Bowl VI - Dallas Cowboys 24, Miami Dolphins 3
Hayes started at wide receiver. He had two receptions for 23 yards, one punt return for minus one yard, and one fair catch.
All-NFL: 1966 (AP, UPI, NEA, PFWA, NY), 1967 (NY), 1968 (AP, NY)
All-NFL Second Team: 1965 (UPI), 1967 (AP, UPI, NEA), 1968 (UPI)
All-Eastern Conference: 1965 (SN) * 1966 (SN) * 1967 (SN) * 1968 (SN)
(3) - 1966, 1967, 1968
(at time of his retirement following 1975 season)
* [Tied for 3rd] Most Touchdowns, Rookie Season - 13
Cowboys' records held by Hayes
(Records through the 1974 season, Hayes' final season with Dallas)
* [1st] Most Receptions, Career - 365
* [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Career - 7,295
* [1st Most Yards Receiving, Season - 1,232 (1966)
* [1st] Most Points Scored, Career - 456
* [1st] Highest Average Per Reception, Season - 26.1 (1970)
* [1st] Most Punt Return Yards, Career - 1,158
* [1st] Highest Punt Return Average, Career - 11.1
* [1st] Longest Pass Reception - 95 (from Meredith, vs. Washington, Nov. 13, 1966)
* [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Game - 246 (vs. Washington, Nov. 13, 1966)
* [1st] Most TD Receptions, Game - 4 (vs. Houston, Dec. 20, 1970)
* [Tied for 1st] Most Points Scored, Game - 24 (vs. Houston, Dec. 20, 1970)
* [Tied for 1st] Most Touchdowns Scored, Game - 4 (vs. Houston, Dec. 20, 1970)
* [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Game with Touchdown Reception - 7
* [2nd] Longest Pass Reception - 89 (from Morton, vs. Kansas City, Oct. 25, 1970)
* [2nd] Longest Punt Return - 90 (vs. Pittsburgh, Dec. 8, 1968)
* [2nd] Most Punt Return Yards, Game - 122 (vs. Pittsburgh, Dec. 8, 1968)
* [Tied for 3rd] Longest Punt Return - 69 (vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Nov. 23, 1967)
* [1st] Longest Pass Reception - 86 (from Meredith, vs. Cleveland, Dec. 24, 1967)
* [1st] Longest Punt Return - 68 (vs. Cleveland, Dec. 24, 1967)
* [1st] Most Punt Return Yards, Game - 141 (vs. Cleveland, Dec. 24, 1967)
NFL Statistical Championships
Punt Return Titles: 1968
NFC Statistical Championships
Punt Return Titles: 1968
Team Statistical Championships
Receiving Titles: 1965, 1966, 1970
Scoring Titles: 1967*
Punt Return Titles: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970
Full Name: Robert Lee Hayes
Birthdate: December 20, 1942
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida
Died: September 18, 2002
High School: Matthew W. Gilbert (Jacksonville, FL)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 31, 2009
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 8, 2009
Presenter: Bob Hayes, Jr. (son); Represented posthumously by Roger Staubach, Hall of Fame teammate
Other Members of Class of 2009: Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson, Jr., Rod Woodson
Pro Career: 11 seasons, 132 games
Drafted: 7th round (88th player overall) as future choice in 1964 draft by Dallas Cowboys; Also selected in 14th round as future choice (105th player overall) by Denver Broncos (AFL)
Uniform Number: 22