MOP Award for 1966: Willie Townes


mop.bmpAmid all of the exciting news from the Cowboys front these days… (Andre Gurode was signed to a six-year deal; Jason Garrett was named offensive coordinator)… I thought I would throw in a MOP Award this week. We are up to the 1966 season, and the award goes to defensive lineman Willie Townes.

What won it for Townes was this blurb from an article in the Cowboys’ 52-21 win over the Steelers in week 7:

For Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, George Andrie, Willie Townes, Jim Colvin and their merry gang, it was an afternoon of pin the tail on the quarterback and bob for the runner, a swinging party.

Not only did they completely destroy Pittsburgh’s poor running game (net: seven yards), they dropped passers George Izo and Ron Smith four times, forced a pair of interceptions, and limited Pittsburgh to six first downs, half of them in the final quarter.

The defense scored the Cowboys’ go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter, Jordan rambling 49 yards with Izo’s misdirected pass. Townes, who had collapsed on Izo like a brick roof to force the poor throw, came across field to throw the clearing block.

As it turns out, this was Townes first NFL start, and it was apparently a gay one using 1960s terminology. At any rate, he later recovered a fumble that led to another Dallas score. Not sure if that was part of the swinging party.

That’s enough for a MOP Award alright, but I had trouble finding much more on him. He played three seasons with the Cowboys, missed the 1969 season, and finished his career by playing one year in New Orleans.

I was fortunately able to find this short bio about him from the University of Tulsa, where he starred in the Bluebonnet Bowl in 1964!

Was one of the most dominant defensive lineman in modern times at The University of Tulsa. Was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection in 1964 and ‘65. Also named the MVC’s Sophomore of the Year in 1964 as selected by United Press International. Was named as the Outstanding Lineman of the 1964 Bluebonnet Bowl and was a member of that year’s All-Bowl team. Was an honorable mention All-America selection in 1964. Was a 1966 second round draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys.

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