Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
"Life is so short, and there are only so many chances to be in pressure situations. There are only a certain number of opportunities to take your talent and ability and get things accomplished.”
(Navy)...6'3'', 197...Roger Thomas Staubach. . .1963 Heisman Trophy winner. . . Four-year Navy service preceded pro play. . .Noted for last-minute heroics, guided Dallas to four NFC titles, Super Bowl VI, XII wins. . .MVP in Super Bowl VI. . .All-NFC five years . . .Career stats: 22,700 yards, 153 TDs passing; 2,264 yards, 20 TDs rushing. . .83.4 NFL passer rating best ever at time of retirement. . .Four-time NFL passing leader. . . Born February 5, 1942, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Roger Staubach joined the Dallas Cowboys as a 27-year-old rookie in 1969 and didn't win the regular quarterbacking job from until his third season in 1971. But for the nine seasons he was in command of the potent Cowboys attack, the Dallas played in six NFC championship games, winning four of them, and also scored victories in Super Bowls VI and XII.
The 6-3, 200-pound Staubach wound up his career after the 1979 season with an 83.4 passing rating, the best mark by an NFL passer up to that time. His career chart shows 1,685 completions in 2,958 passing attempts, which were good for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns.
Making Staubach particularly dangerous was his ability to scramble out of trouble – his 410 career rushes netted him 2,264 yards for a 5.5-yard average and 20 touchdowns. He led the NFL in passing four times. He was also an All-NFC choice five times and selected to play in six Pro Bowls.
Staubach first starred as a quarterback at the U. S. Naval Academy, where he was a Heisman Trophy winner as a junior in 1963. Following his graduation, he spent a mandatory four years on active duty, including service in Vietnam, before he was able to turn his attention to pro football.
During his finest years with the Cowboys, Roger had the reputation for making the big play. He was the MVP of Super Bowl VI and provided the offensive spark in a defense dominated Super Bowl XII victory.
In 1972, he missed most of the season with a separated shoulder but he relieved Craig Morton in a divisional playoff against San Francisco and threw two touchdown passes in the last 90 seconds to defeat the 49ers, 30-28. With that performance, he won back his regular job and did not relinquish it again during his career.
1970 NFC – Dallas Cowboys 17, San Francisco 49ers 10
Staubach played but did not start. He had no stats in the game.
1971 NFC – Dallas Cowboys 14, San Francisco 49ers 3
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed nine of 18 passes for 103 yards. He also had eight rushes for 55 yards.
1972 NFC – Washington Redskins 26, Dallas Cowboys 3
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed nine of 20 passes for 98 yards. He also had five rushes for 59 yards.
1973 NFC – Minnesota Vikings 27, Dallas Cowboys 10
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 10 of 21 passes for 89 yards and four interceptions. He also had five rushes for 30 yards.
1975 NFC – Dallas Cowboys 37, Los Angeles Rams 7
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 16 of 26 passes for 220 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He also had seven rushes for 54 yards.
1977 NFC – Dallas Cowboys 23, Minnesota Vikings 6
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 12 of 23 passes for 165 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also had four rushes for four yards.
1978 NFC – Dallas Cowboys 28, Los Angeles Rams 0
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 13 of 25 passes for 126 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also had three rushes for seven yards.
Super Bowl V – Baltimore Colts 16, Dallas Cowboys 13
Staubach did not play in this game.
Super Bowl VI – Dallas Cowboys 24, Miami Dolphins 3
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. He also had five rushes for 18 yards. He was named MVP of the game.
Super Bowl X – Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 204 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also had five rushes for 22 yards and three fumbles with two fumble recoveries.
Super Bowl XII –Dallas Cowboys 27, Denver Broncos 10
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 17 of 25 passes for 183 yards and one touchdown. He also had three rushes for six yards and one fumble.
Super Bowl XIII – Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31
Staubach started the game at quarterback. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. He also had four rushes for 37 yards and one fumble.
All-NFL Second Team: 1971 (PFWA, NEA)
All NFC: 1971 (AP, SN, PW), 1976 (AP, SN), 1977 (UPI, SN, PW), 1978 (PW), 1979 (UPI, SN, PW)
All NFC Second Team: 1971 (UPI), 1976 (UPI), 1978 (UPI)
(6) – 1972, 1976*, 1977, 1978*, 1979, 1980
*Did not play
(at time of his retirement following 1979 season)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League, Passing – 2 (1978-79)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Seasons Leading League, Passing – 4 (1971, 1973, 1978, 1979)
• [Tied for 3rd] Fewest Passes Intercepted, Season – 4 (1971)
Super Bowl Records
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 98
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Career – 61
• [2nd] Most Passing Yards Gained, Career – 734
• [2nd] Most Passing TDs, Career – 8
• [2nd] Lowest Percentage Passes Intercepted, Career – 4.08
NFC Divisional Playoff Records
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 179
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Career – 93
• [1st] Most Passing Yards Gained, Career – 1,256
• [1st] Most Passing TDs, Career – 9
Post Season Records
• [1st] Most Fumbles Recovered, Career – 5
• [Tied for 1st] Most Fumbles, Career – 10
• [2nd] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 410
• [2nd] Most Pass Completions, Career – 223
• [2nd] Most Passing Yards Gained, Career – 2,791
• [2nd] Most Passing TDs, Career – 24
• [2nd] Most Passes Had Intercepted, Career – 19
Cowboys' Records held by Staubach at the time of his retirement following the 1983 season
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 2,958
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Career – 1,685
• [1st] Most Passing Yards Gained, Career – 22,700
• [1st] Most Passing TDs, Career – 153
• [1st] Highest Passer Rating, Career – 83.5
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Season – 461 (1979)
• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Season – 267 (1979)
• [1st] Most Passing Yards Gained, Season – 3,586
• [1st] Most Passing TDs, Season – 27 (1979)
• [1st] Highest Pass Completion Percentage, Season – 62.6 (1973)
• [1st] Highest Average Gain Per Pass Attempt, Season – 8.9 (1971)
• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Game – 49 (vs. Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1975)
• [1st] Most Yards Lost Attempting to Pass, Game – 63 (vs. St. Louis, Sept. 21, 1969)
• [2nd] Most Passes Had Intercepted, Career – 109
• [2nd] Longest Pass Completion – 91 (TD to Tony Dorsett; vs. Baltimore, Sept. 4, 1978)
League Statistical Championships:
Passing Touchdown Titles: 1971, 1973, 1978, 1979
Passing Touchdown Titles: 1973
NFC Statistical Championships:
Passing Titles: 1971, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979
Passing Touchdown Titles: 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979
Team Statistical Championships
Passing Titles: 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
• 1971 MVP (MX)
• 1971 NFC Player of the Year (SN)
• 1970s All-Decade Team
• MVP Super Bowl VI
Roger Staubach Enshrinement Speech 1985
Presenter: Tom Landry
Distinguished enshrinees, members of the Hall of Fame and football fans. It is a great honor for me today to be here to be asked by Roger to present him for this occasion. You know in any profession, there are two ways to make a winner. How he performs his job and more importantly, how he performs as a human being. Roger Staubach is an all-pro in both categories. We are here today to honor Roger for his achievements as a professional football player and rightfully so, but if there is a Hall of Fame for people, they better save a spot for him there too.
As coaches, one of our greatest blessings is to be able to coach a player who does not only possess outstanding athletic ability but has the inner qualities that make it just a joy to be around him. Roger it that kind of a person. On the football field, Staubach was at his best just when the opponents thought they finally had him cornered. 23 times he engineered 4th quarter comeback victories. 14 of them were in the final two minutes or in overtime. The odds were against him from the outset. The Cowboys drafted Roger as a future choice in the 10th round in 1964 when he still had a year in the Naval Academy and 4 years of active duty ahead of him. I never thought vie would ever see this Heisman Trophy winner in a Cowboys uniform. But when training camp opened in 1969, there was this 27-year-old rookie from Cincinnati and a navy haircut and a gun-ho attitude. He was ready to play football and it didn't take long for him to make a believer out of me.
In 1971, Roger was the Cowboys starting quarterback. We won our first Super Bowl that year and Staubach was named the Most Valuable Player period we went onto another Super Bowl with Roger at the controls and we lost two. In the two losses, Staubach went down with guns blazing and none of us you saw those two games with the Steelers can't forget him firing away at the end zone when time just ran out on an. Roger did learn one important lesson along the way, don't try to run over a 240 pound linebacker at the goal line especially don't lead with your throwing shoulder because Staubach had most of the 1972 season Just think about that on the sidelines after leading Mr. Marvin McKeaver of the Rams.
This experience did make him less of a scrambler, but he never lost the ability to make the big scramble play when it made the difference of winning and losing. Roger led the NFL in passing five times. When retired upon the 1979 season, he was the top-rated passer in pro football's history. In his last regular season game at Texas Stadium against the Redskins, Roger's entire football career came down to as exciting performance as you will ever see. The Cowboys were behind 17-0, we went ahead 21-17, then we were behind with time running out 34-21 and the Eastern Division was on hand and things looked pretty hopeless. Fortunately for the Cowboys, we had Roger Staubach. He threw a touchdown to Tony Hill that beat the Redskins 35-34 in the last play and Roger really did what every athlete dream of doing, he went out on top. So for Marianne and the five Staubach children, for all his coaches and his teammates for the millions of fans who watched the man become a legend on the football field and perhaps most of all, for the people whose lives he has touched in a hundred different ways, it is my pleasure to present the latest Dallas Cowboys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Mr. Roger Staubach.
Thank you, coach, and ladies and gentlemen. Boy it is a pleasure to be here today. Right where I am too. I want to thank Coach Landry. He came back from Thousand Oaks where he is getting the Cowboys ready for the 1986 Super Bowl, well I know there are not all Cowboys fans out there. I want to thank Coach Landry for being the biggest influence in my life personally from 1969 to present and it is a privilege and honor for me to have him come up here and speak on my behalf. And I also want to mention to some of the old-timers in the Hall of Fame to my left, that Ray Nitschke and Sam Huff told me out at the Super Bowl this past year that I had a shot at this Hall of Fame and when they told me that, I started to believe it and we got to telling sea stories yesterday at our table. Deacon Jones and Sam and Ray Nitschke and, let’s see there was a whole crew there, Frank Gifford was there and Roosevelt Brown and we were really reminiscing about the past, I was mainly listening and I can't wait to come back to Canton and sit at those tables again and start telling a bunch of lies like they were telling because it just gets better and better the longer you are out. And it is an honor to be part of their fraternity and I am looking forward to the future and my involvement with my peers in the Hall of Fame.
Also, we spent some time together in Hawaii this class, and I feel that it has been a lot of fun sharing moments with them and being part of their big day today also. Of course, one of the sports writers at the press conference today mentioned that fact that Joe was about ready to have a little one and O.J. was going to have a little one and I had a grandchild and he said you are really a competitor Roger, what are you and Marianne going to do about that? I said I'm not a competitor with you guys any more, I'm in the Hall of Fame now with you guys. This is as far as Marianne and I are going, but I just hope that their babies turn out as great as our five and I also want to thank the, of course, Tex and The Cowboys organization and some of the organization that is here today for their support and they gave me through my professional football career and, of course, the fans of Dallas Fort Worth and all their support they have given me in the years I have played with the Dallas Cowboys.
You know, I look back and it has been awhile, somebody over the last couple of days, one of the reporters, ask about when I had a dream of the Hall of Fame. Well, I as a young little halfback at St. John Eagles grade school in Cincinnati, Ohio And I was a halfback there and I really wasn't thinking about the professional football Hall of Fame as a quarterback. I got to high school and a coach there by the name of Jim McCarthy decided that I possess something that was in the quarterback mold, so he decided to switch me to quarterback and I didn't want to do it. I was an end; I was a running back and I wanted to really stick to being a receiver and he said you were going to be a quarterback. Well I was the biggest decision in my life because I fought him on it, but he made me a quarterback and I have never regretted the day that I was not a quarterback. So at the old days at Percel High School though I really didn't get a chance until my senior year, I mostly played defense and some people recognized my baseball arm, they thought I could throw the ball and Bob Shell add New Mexico Military Institute helped me develop my arm. And Wayne Harden at the Naval Academy helped me continue throwing the football and, of course, I went on to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and learn how to be a professional quarterback now only as a runner, but also a passer.
Coach Landry and I got along very well. I let me call a few plays and he let me run. And I tried to corral that running and I threw that ball and I learned, of course, to control that baseball arm and the velocity that it had to a professional quarterback and it has been a tremendous past and I cherish the opportunity to be in the Hall of Fame today and I know that at times I really felt uncomfortable after we had won a Super Bowl from just the impact of winning and being on top and the uncomfortable feeling that, gee, other people weren't as lucky as me and there was turmoil here and there and we had to go back to camp also individually and bring it back. So, there was a bit of discomfort. You know when we lost a game and I had some juices that would just fire up inside of me cause I couldn't wait to come back for the next week or if we had a tough season, come back for the next year or tough three quarters, the juices inside would say come on let's turn this thing around.
Well, I think awards are like that. You know there are awards that you get, you know you feel uncomfortable about, you feel you don't deserve them and you are on this high and you just feel you really aren't that good but, gee, you are up there and it is something special. Well the Hall of Fame, this award isn’t like that, I'm not uncomfortable. This is the greatest award in my athletic life, and I am not that uncomfortable with this award and the reason is I've got so many people to share it with. There are a lot of other people up here. It is not Roger Staubach that is up here with me. The friends I got here with me from Dallas that are here with me that are part of this event. The players I have played with, the coaches back to Percel High School, the players that I played with at Percel and I have got teammates from those days. I've got teammates from the Naval Academy and the Captain of our football team in 1963 is here. They are up here to share this award and, of course, the players I played with with the Dallas Cowboys.
I am the first to say that I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be drafted by Dallas. I’m not crazy to say if I was drafted by someone else, I might not be here. I think you sometimes have to take advantage of the opportunities you have and even when I was on the bench second team behind Craig Morton, I still prepared myself physically when I had the opportunity and hopefully I was going to make the best of it. And when I got the chance, boy did I have a good supporting cast and a great coach. And good things happen. We won a lot of games in the 70s and boy was a great time period it was a great time and a lot of players, of course, believed in me and, of course, I believed in them and we did some good things together. So, I think them. I think all the coaches and players that have been part of my history as far as developing as a professional football player as a professional quarterback that are part of this Hall of Fame today. Thanks.
Also, the last thing I want to mention, is off the field it gets a little difficult. You know this is a glamorous life at times, but sometimes itis not so glamorous. But I thank, of course, my family for the support they have given me during my years as a professional football player. Our five young ones at the time... they are older now and their giving me grey hairs in the older teenage years, but when I was playing, they couldn't stay out very late, so I got more sleep as a professional player, but boy I love them and they were there. You know, you have to have your own identity in life and all of us want it. Our kids want it too. But they have shared the spotlight with me and that's great. The other thing I want to mention, you know it was a pretty neat deal when I got married. I married a nurse. I didn't know I was going to be a professional football player at the time, but it sure came in handy. She was a good one. She was a good nurse, but more than that, she was a loving wife and it's tough. It's tough to leave a home and go out and play professional football when things aren't right at home. Boy, it's extra tough. Well, I never had that problem. I had someone who loved me, and I loved her very much. She is up here too. With my teammates and my coaches and I tell you what, I really cherish this moment and you are all part of it. Everyone that is in this stadium today is part of the feeling that I have right now that it is fantastic, it is a good deal and I thank you very much. I thank the people who voted for me because if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here, and I tell you it wouldn't be as much fun as it is right now and I love every daggon’ second of it.