Most Obscure Player of 1978: Larry Brinson

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The 1978 Dallas Cowboys featured several running backs that many (with memories of the 1970s) would remember. This list includes not only Tony Dorsett and Robert Newhouse, but also Scott Laidlaw, Preston Pearson, and Doug Dennison.

The team did not have great candidates for the Most Obscure Player Award, so we’re going with one of the lesser-known running backs.

Option #1 was Alois Blackwell, with his 9 carries for 37 yards in 1978.

Option #2, our winner, was Larry Brinson.

Brinson joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1977. He saw action in all 14 games in 1977 but was cut during training camp in 1978.

He rejoined the Cowboys and saw action in 10 games in 1978. He only carried the ball 18 times but he scored two touchdowns in mop-up work against the Redskins (a 37-10 win) and the Jets (a 30-7 win).

He made it on the stat sheet for Super Bowls XII and XIII as a kick returner. Against the Steelers, he averaged 20.5 on two returns.

He played three years in Dallas and one in Seattle. After leaving the NFL, he became a college running backs coach. He has served on the coaching staffs at Arkansas, Clemson, Rice, Kentucky, and Kansas.

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Most Obscure Player of 1977: Bruce Huther

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It was yet another struggle to find an obscure player on a Super Bowl-winning team. I found one, though, thanks to Super Bowl XII itself.

Most Obscure Player for 1977: Bruce Huther (#57).

Most Obscure Player for 1977: Bruce Huther (#57).

John Facenda famously said of Super Bowl XII, “It was fiercely fought, but frightfully flawed.” The Cowboys’ 27-10 win over the Denver Broncos featured a total of 10 turnovers, including eight by the Broncos. Of those eight, four were fumble recoveries.

In the second quarter, the Cowboys led 13-0.  A Dallas drive stalled, leading to a punt. Denver’s John Schultz fumbled the ball on the return, and the player who recovered the fumble is our Most Obscure Player for 1977—

Bruce Huther

He signed as a rookie free agent in 1977. He played in all 14 games that year, primarily on special teams.

His fumble recovery in Super Bowl XII was a main career highlight. However, the play did not lead to any points.  Dallas drove into field-goal range, but Efren Herrera missed a 43-yard field goal attempt.

Huther played four seasons in Dallas before being traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1981. He played one year in Cleveland and another in Chicago before returning to the Cowboys as a free agent in 1983.

He signed with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL in 1983 but was involved in a trade before ever playing with the Blitz. Chicago traded Huther to the Pittsburgh Maulers in exchange for none other than Efren Herrera, the same kicker who missed the field goal after Huther’s fumble recovery in SB XII.

Huther finished his career in Denver (another small irony) as a member of the Denver Gold in 1984.

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