The Dallas Cowboys were still a talent-laden team in 1981 and featured plenty of household names. We had a few candidates for the Most Obscure Player Award, but the name we are going with made the cover of the prestigious Dallas Cowboys Weekly on December 26, 1981.
The player: linebacker and special-team ace Angelo King. Congratulations to him for the MOP Award, but I frankly know little about him.
Of course, if I spent 99 cents on Ebay, I could buy the December 26, 1981 issue of the Dallas Cowboys Weekly and would know much more about the obscure subject of this post.
But I didn’t.
His Wikipedia page in its entirety: “Angelo King was a professional American football player who played linebacker for seven seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions.”
He joined the Cowboys as a rookie free agent in 1981 and played in 15 games. He recorded two fumble recoveries and apparently made many special-teams tackles.
King lasted three years in Dallas before the team traded him to Detroit in 1984 for a sixth-round pick in 1986. King played two full seasons in 1984 and 1985 and played in 11 games in 1986.
He returned in 1987 to play in one game as a replacement player during the first of the infamous scab games. With the Lions (led the great QB Todd Hons) leading 10-0 over the visiting Buccaneers (led by the equally great QB Mike Hold), King had his career moment. He recovered a fumble and returned it nine yards for a touchdown. It was his first fumble recovery since his rookie season in 1981 and gave the Lions a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Lions fell apart after that, though, and lost the game 31-27. Even worse was that King never played another game again.
Incidentally, the Cowboys used the sixth-round pick in 1986 to take quarterback Stan Gelbaugh, who did not end up playing a down in the NFL until 1989.
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I’m not sure what King is doing these days, but he showed up on the list of celebrities at a golf tournament benefiting citizens of Haiti. Other former Cowboys on the list included Drew Pearson, Too Tall Jones, Everson Walls, Rocket Ismail, and Doug Donley.