Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dallas Cowboys

Here are the 1972 Dallas Cowboys. In 1970, with QB Craig Morton at the helm, the Cowboys finished 10-4, won the NFC but lost Super Bowl V to the Colts. In 1971, they switched to QB Roger Staubach, went 11-3 and won Super Bowl V1. In 1972, they would drop to 10-4 (2nd place behind the Redskins) and lost the NFC Championship game to Washington. What happened in one year? It may have been the fact that QB Roger Staubach only played in 4 games, starting none.

#200 Roger Staubach - Staubach was drafted by Dallas in 1964. After fulfilling his Navy obligations, he joined the team in 1969 and backed up Craig Morton for 2 seasons. In his first season as a starter (1971), the Cowboys won the Super Bowl. After missing most of 1972, he returned to start every game from 1973-1979, and played in 3 more Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XII. Staubach was a 6-time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

#180 Duane Thomas - Duane Thomas was the Cowboys' #1 pick in the 1970 draft. A talented runner, he was also a problem for team management. After his rookie season, a contract dispute led the Cowboys to trade him to the Patriots, but after conflicting with his new coach, the league voided the trade and sent him back to Dallas. No matter, he rushed the Cowboys all the way to a Super Bowl victory. The next off-season, he was traded to the Chargers, who cut him during training camp. After missing the 1972 season, he played 2 final seasons with the Redskins.

#224 Calvin Hill - Calvin Hill was the Cowboys' #1 pick in the 1969 draft. He was their primary halfback from 1969-74 (except for 1971, being replaced by Duane Thomas). In 1975, he jumped to the World Football League, where he played for The Hawaiians. After one season, he returned to the NFL as a backup for the Redskins (1976-77) and Browns (1978-81). He is the father of NBA player Grant Hill.

#301 Walt Garrison - Garrison was the Cowboys' 5th-round pick in the 1966 draft. He played his entire career (1966-74) with Dallas, first as a kick returner, then taking over the starting fullback job from the retired Don Perkins in 1969. In the off-season, he was a rodeo cowboy.

#248 Lance Alworth - Alworth was one of the all-time great AFL receivers, playing flanker for the San Diego Chargers from 1962 to 1970. He led the AFL in touchdowns ('64, '65, '66), catches ('66, '68, '69), and receiving yards ('65, '66, '68). He came to the Cowboys in 1971, and was a starting wide receiver (not tight end, as the card indicates) for 2 seasons, before retiring. Lance was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

#105 Bob Hayes - Hayes was an Olympic sprinting champion in 1964, earning the name "World's Fastest Man". After being drafted by the Cowboys in 1964, he was their starting split end from 1965 to 1973. After one more season in Dallas, he finished his career in 1975 with the 49ers. He was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, seven years after his death.

#329 John Niland - John was the Cowboys' #1 pick (5th overall) in 1966. He was the team's starting left guard from 1966 to 1974, before finishing his career in 1975 as the Eagles' starting left guard. Niland was a 6-time Pro Bowler (1968-73).

#316 Rayfield Wright - Wright was drafted by Dallas in 1967, and played his entire career (1967-79) with the Cowboys. Originally a tight end, he switched to offensive tackle in 1968, and was the team's starting right tackle from 1970-76, and 1978. A 6-time Pro Bowler, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

#27 Mike Clark - Clark kicked for the Eagles (1963) and Steelers (1964-67) before joining the Cowboys as their kicker from 1968 to 1971. Mike led the NFL in PAT in 1968 and 1971. He returned to the Cowboys briefly in 1973.

#145 Bob Lilly - Lilly was the Cowboys' #1 draft pick in 1961. Bob played his entire career (1961-74) for Dallas, starting at left defensive end (1961-63) and right defensive tackle (1964-74). An 11-time Pro Bowler, he was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 1980.

#66 Herb Adderley - Herb was the Packers' #1 pick in the 1961 draft. He started at left cornerback through all the glory years (1961-69), appearing in 2 Super Bowls with the Packers. He finished his career as the Cowboys starting left cornerback from 1970-72, playing in 2 more Super Bowls. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

Also check out the 1967, 1968, and 1971 Cowboys.

Next time: Kansas City Chiefs

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cleveland Browns

Ok, we've all seen enough of Pete Liske to last a lifetime, so let's move on...

Here are the 1972 Cleveland Browns. In 1971, the Browns finished 1st in the AFC Central at 9-5-0, but lost to the Colts in the first round. In 1972, they upped their record to 10-4-0, but finished 2nd to the improving Steelers. As the wildcard team, the Browns lost to the Dolphins in the playoffs.

#211 Bill Nelsen - After 5 seasons with the Steelers, Nelsen came to the Browns in 1968 and was their starting QB for the next 4 seasons. He finished his career in 1972 as the backup to Mike Phipps.

#96 Mike Phipps - Mike was the Browns' #1 pick in the 1970 draft. He rode the bench for 2 seasons, then became the starting quarterback from 1972 to 1975. In 1976, he finally lost the starting job to 3rd-year man Brian Sipe. Phipps also played for the Bears from 1977 to 1981, and was their starting QB in 1979.

#70 Leroy Kelly - Kelly played his entire career (1964-73) with the Browns. Once out of Jim Brown's shadow, Leroy became a star. He led the league in TDs from 1966-68, and in rushing yards from 1967-68. A 6-time Pro Bowler, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

#187 Bo Scott - Scott was drafted by the Browns in 1965, but played for the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders from 1965-68. He played for the Browns from 1969-74, and was their starting fullback from 1970-72.

#239 Fair Hooker - Hooker played for the Browns from 1969-74, and was a starter in all but his rookie season. His best year was 1971, when he had 45 catches for 649 yards.

#315 Milt Morin - Milt was the Browns' #1 pick in 1966, and played there for his entire career (1966-75). He was the starting tight end in every season except 1967 and 1975.

#19 Fred Hoaglin - Fred was drafted by the Browns in 1966, and played center and offensive tackle there from 1966-72. (He was the starting center from 1967-71.) From 1973-76 he played for the Colts, Oilers, and Seahawks.

#46 Joe "Turkey" Jones - Jones played for the Browns in 1970 and 1971. After missing the 1972 season, he logged another year with the Browns before moving to the Eagles for 1 1/2 seasons. In mid-1975, he returned to the Browns for a few more years. Joe wrapped up his career playing for the Redskins from 1979-80.

#292 Walter Johnson - Johnson was the Browns' #2 pick in 1965, and was the starting left defensive tackle from 1966 to 1976. He finished his career in 1977 with the Bengals. I'm surprised to not see the Eagles in his resume, because I have a recollection that he was with Philly in the mid-1970s (just before Dick Vermeil took over, I think.)

#162 Ernie Kellerman - Ernie was drafted by the Cowboys in 1965 but did not play that season. He started at safety for the Browns from 1966 to 1971, before moving to the Bengals ('72) and the Bills ('73).

Also check out the 1967 and 1968 Browns.

Next time: Dallas Cowboys

Monday, March 8, 2010

Philadelphia Eagles

Here are the 1972 Philadelphia Eagles. Although the orange and black borders don't really match their jersey colors (a green/yellow combo would have been better), they are the colors of the neighboring Philadelphia Flyers hockey organ-i-zation. Topps also made some curious choices with player selection: two offensive linemen and two safeties, but no running backs, defensive linemen, or linebackers?

The Eagles also didn't do much right in the early 1970s. For some specific examples, see Pete Liske and Leroy Keyes below.

#228 Pete Liske - After using QB Norm Snead from 1964 to 1970 with little success, the Eagles dumped him after the 1970 season, before another starting QB was acquired. Their brilliant plan was to acquire Greg Barton, the Lions' 3rd-string taxi-squad QB, whose entire NFL career consisted of 1 attempt in 1969. If you think that's laughable, get this: After the Eagles gave Detroit the agreed-upon compensation, Barton (a taxi-squadder, mind you) chose to play in Canada rather than accept a starting NFL QB opportunity with the Eagles!

The Eagles' Plan C turned out to be a hastily-arranged deal with the Broncos for Pete Liske, the former Penn State and CFL quarterback. Liske would last for a year and a half, before being replaced midway through the 1972 season by rookie John Reaves. In 1973, the Eagles finally put an end to their QB shenanigans by acquiring Roman Gabriel from the Rams.

#146 Harold Jackson - Jackson was one of the few bright spots on the Eagles' roster. A rookie with the Rams in 1968, Harold was a star for the Eagles from 1969-1972, leading the NFL in receiving yards in 1969 and 1972. Jackson returned to the Rams for the 1973-77 seasons. He also started for the Patriots from 1978-81, before finishing his career as a backup with the Vikings (1982) and Seahawks (1983).

#21 Steve Zabel - Zabel was the Eagles' #1 pick (6th overall) in the 1970 draft. After a rookie season at tight end, he switched to outside linebacker during 1971 and remained there for the rest of his career. After 5 seasons with the Eagles and 4 with the Patriots, Steve finished his career with the Colts in 1979. Nice stache!

#102 Mark Nordquist - Just like with Zabel's card, Topps has the wrong position on this card. Nordquist was primarily a guard, although he filled in at center from time-to-time due to injuries. This is an older picture, showing Mark in a late-1960's Eagles jersey. He played for the Eagles from 1968-74, and the Bears from 1975-76.

#73 Henry Allison - Allison was the Eagles' 2nd-round pick in the 1971 draft, and was generally a bust. He played all of 1971 and part of 1972 with the Eagles, then was with the Cardinals from 1975-77.

#175 Tom Dempsey - Dempsey joined the Eagles midway through the 1971 season, and stayed through the 1974 season. He also kicked for the Saints, Rams, Oilers, and Bills in a career that lasted from 1969-1979.

#201 Leroy Keyes - In 1968, the Eagles ran their record to 0-11 before foolishly winning 2 of their last 3 games, to finish at 2-12. Since this was slightly better than the Buffalo Bills' 1-12-1 record, Buffalo got the #1 draft pick (O J Simpson) and the Eagles (tied with Atlanta at 2-12) settled for the #3 pick. For some reason they chose Leroy Keyes, a running back from Purdue. (Immediately following this pick, the Steelers chose DT Joe Greene at #4, followed by the Bengals taking QB Greg Cook at #5.) For 2 seasons, Keyes was a bust at running back, then switched to strong safety in 1971, where he was marginally better. After 1972, he was shipped off to Kansas City for his final season.

Since the early 1970s, anytime I hear Leroy Keyes name mentioned, I immediately have the same 2 thoughts:
1) The Eagles had Leroy KEYES, not Leroy KELLY!
2) The Eagles had Leroy Keyes, not O J Simpson!

#45 Bill Bradley - Bradley was the Eagles' 3rd-round pick in 1969, and was their starting free safety from 1971 to 1976. One of the Eagles' few stars on defense, he was also their punter from 1969-70 and 1972-73, and returned punts every season. He finished his career in 1977 with the Cardinals.

#314 Tom McNeill - Here we see Tom in an airbrushed jersey. McNeill was the Eagles' full-time punter in 1971 and 1973, and appeared in a few games in 1972. He also punted for the Saints and Vikings from 1967-70.

#286 Bill Bradley All-Pro - Here is an All-Pro card for the Eagles. Each team's All-Pro cards were issued as part of the rare 3rd series.

Also check out the 1967 and 1971 Eagles.

Coming March 20th: Cleveland Browns

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals' cards are the blandest batch of cards from this set, and probably of all the football sets I have. White jerseys, white backgrounds, white letters in the team name. Bleh! I can't even stand looking at them.

#49 Virgil Carter - After 2 seasons with the Bears, Carter was acquired by the Bengals in 1970, and was the starting QB for 1970 and 1971. He pretty much was just keeping the position warm between rookie sensation Greg Cook's 1969 season and when Ken Anderson took over in his sophomore season (1972).

#219 Paul Robinson - Paul was the Bengals' 3rd-round pick in their inaugural 1968 season, and led the AFL that year in rushing yards (1023), attempts (238), and TDs (8). After his rookie year, he settled back into obscurity. After 4 games in 1972, he left the Bengals for the Oilers, finishing up with Houston in 1974.

#99 Fred Willis - This fullback was the Bengals' 4th-round pick in 1971. I guess the Oilers really liked Paul Robinson, because 1 week after acquiring him, they also picked up Fred Willis from the Bengals. He played for the Oilers until retiring after the 1976 season.

#17 Chip Myers - Myers was a rookie with the 49ers in 1967, then played for the Bengals from 1969 to 1976. He made the Pro Bowl in 1972.

#179 Bob Trumpy - Bob was a 12th-round pick in the Bengals' 1st season of 1968, and played his entire career (1968-77) with Cincinnati.

#328 Horst Muhlmann - Horst was signed by the Bengals in 1969 (at age 29). After 6 seasons in Cincinnati, he played his final 3 seasons (1975-77) with the Eagles.

#67 Mike Reid - Mike was the Bengals' #1 pick (7th overall) in 1970. He had a relatively short career (1970-74), all with Cincinnati. He retired after the 1974 season to pursue a career as a country music songwriter and performer.

#153 Al Beauchamp - Al was the 5th-round pick for the Bengals in 1968, and was their starting left linebacker for 8 seasons. He finished his career in 1976 with the Cardinals.

#307 Lemar Parrish - Parrish was drafted by the Bengals in 1970, and started almost every game at left cornerback for 8 seasons. In 1978 he was traded to the Redskins. After 4 seasons in Washington, he finished his career in 1982 with the Buffalo Bills.

#237 Dave Lewis - Dave was the Bengals' punter from 1970 to 1973. In his first 2 seasons, he was also the 3rd-string quarterback.

Also check out the 1968 Bengals.

Coming March 6th: Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Orleans Saints

I was going to post the Philadelphia Eagles' cards this weekend, but I'm going to post the Saints instead, since this is Super Bowl Sunday. Some (including me) would argue that the choke-artist Eagles have no business being mentioned during Super Bowl week anyway.

Here are the 1972 New Orleans Saints cards. Overall, the talent level here is much improved over the employees featured in the 1967 set. Still, Topps has made some puzzling choices here. Two quarterbacks but only three defensive players? Two offensive linemen but no running backs? At least we have Archie Manning's rookie card.

#55 Archie Manning - Manning was the Saints' #1 pick in the 1971 draft (2nd overall, after Jim Plunkett). After using veteran Bill Kilmer in their first 4 seasons, the Saints were rebuilding with a top, young QB. Unfortunately, that rebuilding process would outlive Manning's career (and then some!) Manning would play 10 full seasons with the Saints (missing 1976 with a broken arm). In 1982 he played for the Saints and Oilers, and in 1983 the Oilers and Vikings, before finishing his career in 1984 with the Vikings.

#191 Edd Hargett - Hargett had a 5-year career as a backup QB with the Saints (1969-72) and Houston Oilers (1973). He started 3 games in 1970 (Bill Kilmer's last season) and started 4 games in 1971 (Archie Manning's first season). Other than that, it was all mop-up duty for him.

#213 Danny Abramowicz - What a find this guy was! A 17th-round pick by the Saints in 1967, Danny played 6 full seasons with the Saints, plus the first 2 games of 1973. In 1969, his 73 receptions were the most in the NFL. He played the last 12 games of 1973, and all of 1974 with the 49ers.

#14 Dave Parks - Dave was the 1st overall pick in the 1964 draft (by the 49ers). He played split end for 4 seasons in San Francisco, and his 80 receptions and 1344 receiving yards were both tops in the NFL in 1965. Parks came to the Saints in 1968, and switched to tight end during the 1969 season. His final season (1973) was with the Houston Oilers.

#164 Jake Kupp - Kupp was one of the Saints' original expansion draft picks in 1967. He held down the Saints' starting left guard spot for most of his time in New Orleans (1967-75). He also played with the Cowboys (1964-65) and the Redskins (1966).

#242 Glen Ray Hines - Hines was a starting right tackle in each of his 8 seasons, with the Oilers (1966-70), Saints (1971-72), and Steelers (1973).

#34 Charlie Durkee - Charlie had a short NFL career. He was on the Cowboys' roster in 1966 but did not play. He kicked for the Saints in 1967-68, and 1971-72, but was not in the NFL during 1969-70.

#87 Richard Neal - The Saints' 2nd-round pick in 1969, Neal played 4 seasons at left defensive end. Richard played for the Jets from 1973-77 before returning to the Saints in 1978, his final season.

#321 Delles Howell - Howell was the Saints' 4th-round pick in 1970. He was the team's starting right cornerback for 3 seasons, before moving to the Jets for his final 3 seasons (1973-75).

#296 Hugo Hollas - Hollas was the Saints' starting strong safety for 3 seasons (1970-72). He missed the 1973 season, then finished his career with the 49ers in 1974.

Also check out the 1967 and 1971 Saints.

Coming Feb 20th: Cincinnati Bengals