Controversy in 1972: Who Calls the Plays?


This post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.

During the post-game interviews following Super Bowl VI, one of the comments Roger Staubach made was that he wanted to start calling the plays.

Just weeks after SB VI, Tom Landry addressed the issue, saying:

I’m sure Roger would love to call his own plays. But we won’t change the pattern we’ve been winning with. If he can move in there and take over at training camp and in the pre-season games then he will call them. Otherwise, we won’t change.

The Cowboys had other concerns as well. Some key members of the championship team were beginning to show their age, and the team was starting to make plans to replace them.

One player was Herb Adderley, the former Packer who had been with Dallas for two seasons. He led the team with six interceptions in 1971, but the 1972 season would be his 12th. Charlie Waters was the leading candidate to replace Adderley.

Another player of concern was linebacker Chuck Howley, who turned 36 before the 1972 season. Dallas had a solid backup in D.D. Lewis, but Howley would be tough to replace.

Running back Dan Reeves announced his retirement in February 1972 (though he came back to play once the regular season began). Landry was stacked at running back, with Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill, and Walt Garrison.

Thomas, of course, wasn’t going to last long in Dallas.

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