Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
"Strength is important…you need a combination of strength, speed, and mobility or agility…I know I have good strength; but without the speed and agility to go with it, I would not be playing major league football.”
(Maryland)...6'4'', 257...Randy Lee White. . .Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award winner at Maryland. . .No. 1 draft pick, 1975. . .Possessed quickness, balance, toughness, ability, desire, intelligence. . . Played in 209 games. . . Missed only one game in 14 years. . .Co-Most Valuable Player, Super Bowl XII. . .Played in three Super Bowls, six NFC title games. . .All-Pro nine years. . .Elected to nine Pro Bowls. . .Born January 15, 1953, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Randy White, a 6-4, 257-pound All-America defensive end at the University of Maryland in 1974, was the Dallas Cowboys' first pick and the second player selected in the 1975 National Football League Draft.
For the first two seasons he was tested at the middle linebacker position but he didn't develop into a super-star until his third season, when he became the starting right defensive tackle on a permanent basis. For the remainder of his 14- season, 209-game NFL career, White was an outstanding anchor of the Cowboys' excellent defensive line.
White capped his first season as a regular by being named as the co-Most Valuable Player in the Cowboys' 27-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII. That year he began a string of nine straight seasons running through 1985 as an All-Pro selection. He also was named to nine straight Pro Bowls during that span.
In 1978, White was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year. What set Randy apart from the other Cowboys was not his ability to make big plays but his consistency and his willingness to work hard. At practice, his teammates would suffer just trying to keep up with him.
Blessed with all the traits for a great defensive lineman – quickness, balance, toughness, ability, desire, intelligence and durability – White missed only one game in 14 seasons. He played in 209 regular season games, at the time of his election to the Hall of Fame in 1994, the second most by any Cowboy in history. White played in three Super Bowls and six NFC championship games. He recorded four sacks in the three Super Bowls, including two in Super Bowl X against Pittsburgh. In his regular season career, White was credited with 1,104 tackles, 701 solo tackles and 111 sacks.
Randy White Enshrinement Speech 1994
Presenter: Ernie Stautner
What a place to be, at the end of the line. Through all my career, all I heard was I was too small. All you had to do was draw a line in front of me and tell me I couldn't cross it. Years later when I was coaching with the Dallas Cowboys onto the field walks this kid. Draw a line in front of Randy White and you were in real trouble. Nobody could stop him from crossing. Randy was a blue-collar worker on a country club team. He didn't read the Wall Street Journal. All he wanted to do was to play football and to be the best at what he was doing. Randy was the toughest, most intense player I've ever coached, and I've coached a lot of them. Including Bob Lilly who is already in the Hall, George Andre, Jethro Pew, Harvey Martin, Larry Cole, and Too Tall Jones. Even his own teammates didn't want to practice in front of Randy because he didn't know what practice speed was. Everyone on the field was his enemy. Charlie Watters nicknamed Randy ''The Manster'' because as Charlie put it, anybody that can play the way Randy does has got to be half man and half monster.
Randy has an impressive list of college and professional football accomplishments. Man, they are long. And yet as tough and destructive as Randy was on the field. He was just a gentle and compassionate off the field. Especially when it was dealing with his lovely young daughter, Jordan. Tough, gentle, compassionate, Randy also has a great sense of humor. One day after a very tough and grueling road trip I came into the locker room and there was Randy looking terrible. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, ''God I really feel bad. That was a tough road trip. I'm constipated.'' So, I told Randy to go see the trainer. The next day I came in and Randy was there, and he looked even worse. I asked him if he'd seen the trainer and he said, ''Yeah, I saw him and he gave me a suppository, but I don't think it really helped me at all, besides I have the darnest time swallowing it.'' I've told that story about Randy several times and in front of him. And instead of being embarrassed he laughs the loudest. Any man that can be as destructive on the field as Arnold Schwartzenager in the movies and as gentle and compassionate and down to earth off the field as Mother Theresa. That's a hell of a man and that's why he's here today about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and my great friend Randy White.
Thank you, Ernie, for that great story. And I hate to admit it, but it was true. I tell you standing up here today in Canton, Ohio getting ready to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame I tell ya, it really brings to mind to me a lot of people, all the people that have been such a big part of my life. And, you know when I played football, I was focused on football. A lot of times you don't realize how lucky you are to be associated with and have the people that you've had around not only around you your football career, but in your life. And to me, being here today in Canton Ohio. Going into the Football Hall of Fame the most important thing to me, is that I have in one time in my life the opportunity to thank the people that have meant so much to me in my life.
You know I would like to start off with the fans. I really would. I tell you what. The Cowboy fans in Texas and around the country I tell ya you’re the best in the world. I tell you all you other fans. I'll tell you what, I used to enjoy really enjoy going into RFK stadium in Philadelphia. I tell you what, when you walked on that field you knew they hated you. To me that was a great feeling. That made the game fun being able to play in that type of environment. I want to thank you too. You know the fans have been a part of my life for a long time and I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for letting me be a part of your life. I really appreciate you and what you have done for me. Thank you. If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have the game of football and I wouldn't be standing up here today.
To my teammates. The guys I fought with Sunday to Sunday. John Dunn, one of the most entertaining old grumps I ever met in my life. Roger Staubach, thanks for bringing us back all those times. You know Roger, when you left, we quit going to Super Bowls. Ed Jones and Harvey Martin, where would I have been if I didn't have those guys on the defensive line with me. I tell you what, Larry Cole, the most unselfish player I ever played with and probably one of the best. Don Smerick, I want to thank you for being a good friend. Leroy Jordan, thank you for taking me under your wing when I first came to Dallas. I tell you what, you really helped me out a bunch. And to Bob Lilly, I never got to play on the same team with Bob Lilly. I tell ya, any time my name was mentioned in the same breath as Bob Lilly's I considered that the ultimate compliment. I want to thank Bob for setting the example.
And I would like to take this opportunity now to thank all the player and all the coaches that I have ever been associated with. And all the guys I've competed against because you brought the best out in me and I'll tell you what, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here today.
Okay, the guy that just introduced me Ernie Stautner. I'll tell you what, Ernie Stautner's in the Hall of Fame I tell ya, he's the guy that showed me how to get into the Hall of Fame. Ernie used to tell me, he said, ''Randy as a player when you're out there on the field and you feel something and you know there is a play that is going to happen'' he said, ''You go ahead and go for it.'' But he also told me, ''Randy you better be right a lot more times than you're wrong or we'll both be in trouble with Coach Landry. '' You know Ernie really taught me how to do it, he really did. And I appreciate the fact that a lot of times he gave me a lot of freedom out there on the field to use the knowledge and what I had and my ability on the field. But, besides everything that Ernie did for me on the field, I tell you what, I always wanted to tell you, that Ernie Stautner is one of the best friends that I've ever had in my whole life.
And I love him as much as I do anybody in the whole world. And he told a story about me, so I'm going to tell a quick story about Ernie. Ernie and I used to go fishing on our days off sometimes. Well, we went fishing one day and it rained. Two of the boats were sitting that were sitting on the bank were full of water. So, uh of course we took the one that was easiest to get in the lake. Well this was the one that didn't have any floats in it, a little aluminum boat. So, we are out there fishing and I get a bite and I set the hook and boy I flop over backward into the lake. Well I do a somersault and I come up and look and there's Ernie trying to jockey this and boom there he goes. And > uh, the boat sinks like the Titanic. Well, I'm standing there waiting for Ernie to come up from under the water and he comes up splashing and slapping. I said, Ernie grab the cooler. I thought he was drowning. He goes I'm not drowning; I'm trying to get my rods and reels. And there was a guy sitting on the bank watching all this and he said, ''you know two are better than watching TV.''
Tell you what, to Coach Landry. I tell you what I got to tell Coach Landry, thank you for hanging in with me when I first got to the Dallas Cowboys. I was projected as a middle linebacker. Well I played middle linebacker, I played strong sideline backer, and then I end up playing weak sideline backer. And I was covering Tony Dorsett, one on one in practice coming out of the backfield, and I knew my future was not going to be a linebacker because every time he went out for a pass he caught a touchdown and I was watching the back of his jersey running down the field. So, Coach Landry, thank you very much for moving be to defensive tackle. Tell you something else. I've heard people say that Coach Landry wasn't a great motivator. Well I want to tell you something, he is one of the greatest motivators I've ever been associated in my life. I tell you when I go into a Saturday morning meeting to watch a Friday afternoon practice. I tell ya I thought I lost the game on Saturday morning already. And I'll tell ya, when I walked out of tf1ere I couldn't wait for Sunday afternoon to get there so I could go out and play football. He was one of the greatest motivators that I have ever been around my whole life. I'll tell you something else about Coach Landry.
One night before, in 1980 my father died. I didn't tell a lot of people. I didn't tell anybody about it. But Bob Rooney had told Coach Landry because Bob knew about it. And uh, the next day I was getting ready to get introduced before the game, the defense was getting ready to get introduced. And I tell ya, Coach Landry when I walked out to him I had little tears in my eyes and I shook Coach Landry's hand and he looked me in the eyes, he told me Randy, he said you take as much time as you need with your family. I tell ya, that was more important to me at that time than anything Tom Landry ever taught me on the football field. And if you don't think that man doesn't have a heart this big, then you have never had the opportunity to be around him and know him. He is one of the great people of all time and I just want to tell him how much I appreciate him and everything he has done for me in my life.
Alright my dad. He's not here today, but I'll tell you what. He's right up there and he has a big smile on his face. I'll guarantee you he does. I'll tell you I want to thank my dad. Early on in my life my dad taught me some things real early on. He used to tell me, if you’re going to do something. You do it all the way. Don't do it halfway. You do it right or you don't do it at all. I'll tell you he also told me, he says hey if you start something, you finish it. You don't ever quit. I'll tell you I'm glad he taught me those things because they have carried through my whole life with me. I want to thank him for all the time he gave me too. Because I don't think my dad ever missed a little league football game, high school game, anything I ever participated in. And he was a butcher, he had his own shop I tell you what. If it meant closing the butcher shop to get to a game, he would be there. I appreciate all the time he spent with me. That meant a lot to me.
I tell ya, when I found out I was retiring in 1989. I called my mother who is sitting down here. And I told her mom I'm going to retire. I wanted her to know before I told anyone else. She said Randy well that's good. Maybe someday you'll get into the Hall of Fame before I die. Well mom I'll tell you what. Your here and I'm here and I'm proud to have you here to be a part of this with me. Thank you. I was a pitcher when I was a kid in little league. And uh, a lot of times there wasn't anyone else around to warm me up when I had to pitch. So, I'd run and get the catcher’s mitt and give it to my mom, Heck, she would get out there in the backyard and she wasn't a bad catcher either. She was always there for us. I tell ya when I played professional football we used to go into a lot of different stadiums. The games she mostly got to come to were Philadelphia, Washington, New York, back east. Those are pretty loud stadiums. But she could whistle louder than anybody else you ever saw in your whole life. I always knew she was there because I would be out in the pregame warmup and I'd hear this (whistle). I said, well she made it to the game ok. Mom, thank you. I love you and appreciate you.
To my coaches back in Wilmington Delaware. Mr. Warren Schuller, standing right here with the hat on. Stand up Mr. Schuller. He was my little league football coach. I tell you what, it was the only football team I played on that was undefeated and unscored upon. I'm glad you came. My high school coach, Blaine Tanner. The first guy that put in my head that I may have a chance to go to college and have the opportunity to play pro football and I thank him for that. My college coach, Jerry Clayborn. I thank him for preparing me and getting me ready to go into professional football. I remember Coach Clayborn used to come around and check our rooms. If your bed wasn't made or anything was out of place, even if there was a little piece of paper on the ground. He said, hey if I can't count on you to do the little things how am I ever going to count on you to do the big things. And that's a great lesson. I tell you; I was glad to have the opportunity to be around Coach Jerry Clayborn.
To the guys sitting behind me here, I'll tell you what. I want to thank you and congratulate you. Tony Dorsett, my good friend. Tony and I have gotten to be great friends now that we are not playing football on the same team. We agree on a few things. And Jackie Smith, boy I tell you it was a great pleasure playing with you in 1978. Great to have you on that football team.
And to all my family and friends. Thank you. Thank you for being there. You know I've never been real good at saying thank you and telling you how important you are to me, but you are important to me and I just want you to know that you mean a lot to me and will mean a lot to me as long as I live. My daughter Jordan is here. And I'm pretty proud of my daughter Jordan. Stand up Jordan. Alright when I retired from football Jordan was ten years old. And the media guys came in there and they were doing an interview. Well they asked Jordan a question. They said, ''Jordan, what do you feel about your dad retiring from football?'' And Jordan said, '' Well you know I never really watched the games anyway. I just sat there I drank cokes and ate popcorn. But you know that's my dad. And I love him whether he plays football or doesn't play football. '' And I tell you what. To me, that's what it is all about right there.
I just want to tell you one more time how much I appreciate you all out there and how much I love you. Thank you very much.