A Look Back: Don Meredith’s New Contract (1965)

Don Meredith was all smiles about his new contract in '65. He was still scheduled to make less than both of his backups.

Don Meredith was all smiles about his new contract in ’65. He was still scheduled to make less than both of his backups.

Try to imagine Tony Romo making less than not one but two backup quarterbacks on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster. Now consider this—

The Cowboys lured quarterback Don Meredith from SMU in 1960 by offering him what “was considered one of the finest in the history of professional football.”

Five years later, the team gave him a “slight raise” to about $27,000 per year when he signed a new contract.

Meredith was reportedly happy. He said, “I got what I wanted and I hope the club gets what it wants next season.”

The team selected quarterback Craig Morton in the first round of the 1965 draft, and Morton would make more as a rookie in 1965 than Meredith made even with the raise.

But what was even stranger was that another backup, Jerry Rhome, also made more than Meredith did. Rhome was a 13th round pick in 1964.

Of course, those were long before the days of free agency, so players had no real bargaining power. Moreover, Tex Schramm and the Cowboys were notorious about underpaying even the best players on the team.

I’m guessing Jerry would be quite jealous.

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Article by Matt Cordon

Blogging impatiently about the Cowboys since 2006. Being a fan since 1977 hasn't required quite as much patience.
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