Roger Staubach talks Cowboys, potential Dak Prescott extension and NFL QBs, plus Military-Navy rivalry


The title Roger Staubach brings again fond reminiscences of Dallas Cowboys lore. “Roger the Dodger” guided the Cowboys to 4 NFC titles and two Tremendous Bowl wins. He was a four-time NFL passing chief and retired with an 83.4 passer ranking — an NFL finest when he determined to hold up the cleats. Staubach made the Professional Bowl six occasions and was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1985. He is really an NFL legend, however what makes Staubach particular is among the different aspects of his life. Even when he by no means performed a down {of professional} soccer, Staubach would nonetheless be a legend.

Staubach was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Navy quarterback. He gained the Heisman Trophy in 1963, and in addition served a tour in Vietnam earlier than starting his NFL profession. Staubach has performed in some fairly large video games, however the battles on the gridiron in opposition to Military are one thing he nonetheless considers a significant spotlight of his soccer profession. This Saturday will mark assembly No. 121 between these two groups, and Staubach lately spoke with CBS Sports activities about what it felt like to participate in probably the greatest rivalries in sports activities. 

“You realize, the ’62 sport was the primary one I began,” Staubach mentioned. “I used to be a teenager at Navy and President Kennedy was on the sport and did the coin toss and I used to be only a nervous wreck preparing. However as soon as the sport began, I used to be actually into it. I ran for 2 touchdowns and I threw for 2. It was my first Military-Navy sport and oh man, what a superb win it was. Then we got here into the locker room and there was President Kennedy — I am going to simply always remember it.”

Lower than a yr later, on Nov. 22, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Simply 4 days after this unforgettable day in American historical past, Staubach was awarded the Heisman Trophy. Custom said that the army observe a 30-day interval of mourning, nevertheless it was later determined that the Military-Navy sport can be delayed only one week and performed on Dec. 7. Since Kennedy was an enormous fan of soccer and had loved this rivalry in particular person only one yr earlier, the occasion had a novel environment — certainly one of each mourning after which pleasure. Navy went on to win 21-15 amidst a chaotic end

“In ’63, we performed the sport on behalf of the Kennedy household,” mentioned Staubach. “We have been the No. 2 group within the nation as a result of Texas was undefeated. We have been 8-1 once we performed Military, and we beat them 21-15. These two video games, 1962 and 1963 have been the very best to me.” 

Roger Staubach, Navy’s spectacular quarterback, is proven on the U.S. Naval Academy, after it was introduced that he had gained the Heisman Award because the excellent faculty participant of the yr. The 5 fingers below the “Beat Military” motto point out that the Middies will probably be making an attempt for the fifth straight win over Military when the 2 groups conflict on December seventh. The sport has been postponed one week due to the dying of President Kennedy.
Getty Pictures

Staubach has lately partnered with USAA to launch the “Military-Navy Home” sweepstakes. Followers can add a photograph that exhibits off their fandom or their favourite Military-Navy reminiscence, and one fortunate winner for either side will probably be awarded a visit to the 2021 Military-Navy Recreation in New York, courtesy of USAA. Moreover, 1,000 followers for every Academy will obtain a commemorative ticket.  

“It is a fairly neat deal,” Staubach mentioned of the brand new initiative. “I want they’d have had one thing like this again after I was there.”

Staubach’s NFL profession bought off to a really late begin. He was ineligible to play till 1969 resulting from his four-year army dedication, which made him a 27-year-old rookie. The 1970 season was a dramatic one, as Cowboys head coach Tom Landry determined to alternate between having Staubach after which Craig Morton below middle. Dallas made it to Tremendous Bowl V that season, however Landry went with Morton because the starter within the large sport. The next season, nevertheless, Staubach lastly earned the beginning position — and it rapidly turned evident late within the season that having him below middle full time was a superb factor for the franchise.

In 1971, Staubach gained all 10 video games he began, and threw for 1,882 yards, 15 touchdowns and simply 4 interceptions. Moreover, he additionally rushed for what can be a career-high 343 yards and two extra touchdowns. The 11-3 Cowboys made it again to the Tremendous Bowl, the place they defeated the Miami Dolphins by a rating of 24-3. Staubach threw two touchdowns within the win, together with one to tight finish Mike Ditka, and have become the primary participant in historical past to win each the Heisman Trophy and Tremendous Bowl MVP. It could be the primary of two Tremendous Bowls Staubach would win in a profession that resulted in an induction into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in addition to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. 

As you’d think about, Staubach continues to be as large of a Cowboys fan as ever, and he was very upset that he struck out this previous week whereas rooting for each the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers in opposition to NFC East rivals.

“I used to be pulling for the Steelers on Monday. And I am considering, ‘Man, I do not wish to pull for the Steelers,'” Staubach mentioned with amusing.  

Whereas the NFC East is large open, the Cowboys have the slimmest likelihood among the many 4 groups of incomes a postseason berth. They reside on the backside of the division with a 3-9 file, as nothing has gone proper for this group in 2020. They misplaced star quarterback Dak Prescott early on, the offensive line has been devastated by accidents and the protection presently permits the ninth-most yards per sport. Staubach believes that the worldwide pandemic has been a motive the Cowboys have struggled to seek out consistency on the sphere, and that it actually has thrown off everybody’s rhythm. 

“I feel that the virus is mostly a catastrophe,” mentioned Staubach when requested concerning the Cowboys’ struggles. “It is a world occasion to have individuals dropping their lives and they also should watch out and cautious being out on the soccer subject and practising. It has been a bizarre yr so far as the traditional routine.”

Aside from the virus, dropping Prescott to his ankle harm in Week 5 was surely the largest hit to the Cowboys’ 2020 marketing campaign. Staubach calls himself a “Dak fan,” and appreciates the sort of participant he’s on the sphere, however extra importantly likes the sort of chief he’s. 

Many Cowboys followers have already shifted their focus to this offseason, which is truthful contemplating the large choices that loom. The No. 1 concern Dallas will face within the coming months is one other spherical of contract talks with their beginning quarterback. Prescott entered the 2020 season on a $31.4 million franchise tag after the previous fourth-round decide and the Cowboys once more failed to return to phrases on a multiyear deal, making it his second consecutive contract yr with the membership. As Patrik Walker of CBS Sports activities notes, the present state of affairs concerning Prescott’s well being has “completely not” deterred the group from their objective of revisiting talks as quickly because the common season is over. Staubach actually hopes the 2 sides can comply with a long-term extension quickly. 

“I hope that they get him signed and that he needs to remain right here in Dallas,” Staubach mentioned. “I do not know if Dak would surrender leaving the Dallas Cowboys for the cash on the finish of the day. I am not concerned in it, I simply know that they’re going to miss him if we do not — there’s simply not many quarterbacks round which have Dak’s capacity. And what I like is that the gamers actually like him. He is their chief plus he is a heck of a soccer participant. The video games he performed on this season he actually did properly. I positive hope they signal him to a long-term contract.” 

It is attention-grabbing that Staubach brings up the problem of cash, as a result of it is actually a subject those that have been following this example have been making an attempt to determine as properly. Walker penned a bit earlier this week about how the Cowboys’ looming talks with Prescott might be helped by a rumored cap enhance

Staubach additionally mentioned the present state of the NFL and the evolution of the dual-threat quarterback. The velocity of gamers like Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and even Cam Newton have created solely new aspects for his or her offenses, which is one thing Staubach is a bit of conversant in. 

“I feel if we ran a 40-yard sprint they’d beat me,” Staubach mentioned with amusing. “However I used to be good at dodging.”

“Roger the Dodger” was recognized for his miraculous escapes within the pocket and his capacity to get out of sticky conditions that not many different quarterbacks might. His athleticism actually aided the Cowboys — even when it did not all the time jive with what coach Landry wished.

“There’s fairly just a few which might be actually benefiting from operating,” Staubach mentioned. “Quarterbacks are transferring round much more. Within the previous days, I used to be one of many fewer runners. If it was third-and-7 and I assumed I might run for the primary down, that is what I did. I consider that it is an actual asset a quarterback can have.

“However once more, I did run quite a bit and I used to be pleased with it. Coach Landry would say, ‘Oh, you are going to be taught some day,’ and that was after virtually each sport. We would be watching the movie and for 11 years he would say that. In my eleventh yr I lastly mentioned, ‘Hey coach I am in all probability going to retire actual quickly.’ He wasn’t loopy about my operating however he put up with me.” 

Prescott is extra of a scrambler than a real dual-threat quarterback, however Staubach actually believes he is the way forward for the Cowboys’ franchise. Maybe one other model of “Captain America” who can lead “America’s Group” to the promised land. 



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