1965 Draft


[If you haven't figured this out, I am a Cowboys history headcase, and so I will periodically have some posts focusing on the Cowboys history. This is part of a series looking back on the drafts of the past.]

1965 Draft Grade: C-

Craig MortonThe Cowboys made two notable selections in the 1965, including first round pick Craig Morton at quarterback and eleventh round pick Jethro Pugh. That draft otherwise offered very little.

Morton backed up Don Meredith for four seasons before taking over the starting job in 1969. He led the Cowboys to Super Bowl V against the Colts, and then engaged in the major quarterback controversy that marred the first part of the 1971 season. He lost his job to Roger Staubach that season, but saw considerable action in 1972 after Staubach was injured. Morton rarely played during the 1973 season and was traded to the Giants. He joined the Denver Broncos in 1977 and became the only quarterback in NFL history to lead two teams to the Super Bowl when he led the Broncos to the AFC Championship.

Noteworthy Fact: Morton and Staubach share the same birthday (February 5), though Morton is a year younger.

Not-Really-Noteworthy Fact: I share the same birthday (and was born, in all places, in Charleston, Illinois).

Pugh joined the Cowboys from Elizabeth City State in North Carolina. This historically black school is also the alma mater of former NFL receiver Reggie Langhorne.

The Cowboys drafted two players from Rice University, including lineman Malcolm Walker and linebacker Russell Wayt. Walker played with the Cowboys from 1965 to 1969, while Wayt lasted only one season. Walker is one of several notable former Cowboys who are alumni from South Oak Cliff, including Harvey Martin and Michael Downs. The list from that school also includes Dennis Rodman.

Two other players– Garry Porterfield (14th round, DE, Tulsa) and Mitch Johnson (17th round, T, UCLA)– played for one season each with Dallas, but the others never played a down with Dallas. Two other players– Bob Svihus (4th round, T, USC) and Gene Foster (15th round, RB, Arizona State)– played for the AFL.

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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