Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Stalled Contract Talks and Retirements in the 1970s

A 1973 football card featuring Jethro Pugh, who had contract problems before the season.

Continuing with the quote trivia series, this post focuses on three players who made the news during the mid-1970s. The first two players had contract problems, while the third was a legend who tried to keep the peace with management.

“This is to inform you per your telephone conversation July 16th that I have retired from the Dallas Cowboys. I seriously regret that nine years of loyalty to such a great team should have to end on such a note.”

Center Dave Manders in a telegram to Tex Schramm in July 1973. Manders ended up playing two more seasons, retiring after the 1974 season ended.

Source: Bangor Daily News, July 16, 1973

“Most of the guys are unhappy when they find out what others around the league are making. Most feel used…taken advantage of. There’s pride involved, too. They feel like managements’ dragging its feet on contract negotiations.”

Jethro Pugh about contract problems several members of the Cowboys were having before the 1973 season. At the time of the comment, the Cowboys had not resigned either Pugh or cornerback Charlie Waters.

Source: Bangor Daily News, July 16, 1973

“That little bit of quickness. That milli-second of quickness I’ve lost through the years.”

Bob Lilly about why he decided to retire before training camp in 1975.

Source: Beaver County (Pa.) Times, July 21, 1975

Did You Know?

Lilly considered playing in 1975, and Tom Landry wanted him back. However, tests showed that Lilly could suffer permanent neck damage if he decided to play.

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