Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Roger Staubach has nearly as much competition for the greatest player to wear #12 as Troy Aikman does with #8.
John Roach, QB, SMU, 1964
Statistics: Roach started four games in 1964. He completed only 47.1 percent of his passes for 349 yards with 1 TD and 6 Ints.
Longevity: Roach ended his career with the Cowboys after having played several seasons with the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals and then with Green Bay. He only lasted one year in Dallas.
Intangibles: Roach was brought in to provide a veteran backup for Don Meredith. However, his performance was lackluster, and he was replaced in 1965 by Craig Morton.
Roger Staubach, QB, Navy, 1969-1979
Statistics: In 11 seasons with Dallas, Staubach threw for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns. At the time of Staubach’s retirement in 1979, only Otto Graham had a higher career passer rating than Staubach.
Accolades: 6 Pro Bowls, 5-time All-Pro, Ring of Honor, Hall of Fame.
Longevity: After missing five seasons due to commitments to the Navy, Staubach joined the Cowboys in 1969. He spent two seasons as Craig Morton’s backup before taking over the starting job midway through the 1971 season. He remained the starter for the next nine seasons.
Intangibles: Staubach proved he was a winner even as his supporting cast changed throughout the decade of the 1970s. When Dallas won its second Super Bowl title of the decade in 1977, only two starters from the 1971 squad remained– Staubach and tackle Ralph Neely. Few quarterbacks have been so successful while leading a team through a transition period as Staubach during that decade.
Here are the results of the poll for this number:
- Roger Staubach (96%, 215 Votes)
- John Roach (4%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 223
If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.
My Vote: Staubach
Aikman won one more Super Bowl title and surpassed Staubach in most of the major statistical categories. But unlike Aikman, Staubach was always a winner, having never suffered through a losing season as a pro, even with his supporting cast changing around him. And also unlike Aikman, Staubach improved as his career progressed, transitioning from a running quarterback to a prolific passer by his final season as a pro.
Getting back on point: he was better than John Roach.