Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dallas Cowboys

Here are the 1967 Dallas Cowboys. Each of these players (except Dan Reeves and Lee Roy Jordan) just came off a Pro Bowl appearance in 1966. All of these players except Don Meredith would still be on the team when they got to Super Bowls V and VI. I had all of these cards back in 1967 except Meredith, Manders, and Howley.

#49 Cowboys Team - Here's the first team we've seen that has posed their players in numerical order. Man, that Tom Landry was organized! (Hey, only 2 guys in the 80's?)

#57 Don Meredith - Meredith was the Cowboys QB for much of the 1960s, but retired just before they began their Super Bowl period. He then went on to announce Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell.

#58 Dan Reeves - Dan was the starting halfback in the mid-1960s, but the Cowboys upgraded with Calvin Hill and Duane Thomas to make their Super Bowl runs, leaving Reeves as a role player. After retiring, he was an assistant coach with the Cowboys, then a head coach with the Broncos and Falcons.

#52 Bob Hayes - The card back says Hayes was the only player to be selected All-Pro at 2 positions in 1966, but are split end and flanker really 2 different positions? Bob was a former Olympic gold-medal sprinter, and was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. (Is he signaling the photographer?)

#56 Dave Manders - Dave took over as the starting center in 1965, and anchored the line through the early 1970s. Here we see him with a football, an unusual pose for an offensive lineman (who are usually posed with arms up, simulating a block),

#50 George Andrie - George played his entire career (1962-72) with the Cowboys, and was their starting right defensive end in all but his last season.

#55 Bob Lilly - This defensive tackle was the Cowboys' #1 draft pick in 1961, and played EVERY game until retiring after the 1974 season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

#54 Lee Roy Jordan - The Cowboys' #1 pick in 1963, Jordan played his entire career (1963-76) with the Cowboys, and was their starting middle linebacker from 1966 to 1976.

#53 Chuck Howley - The senior statesman of this bunch, Howley played 2 seasons with the Bears before coming to the Cowboys in the expansion draft. He played all but 4 games for the Cowboys between 1961 and 1972 (on the left side, until moving to the right side in 1969), but only played 1 game in his final season in 1973. Although the Cowboys lost Super Bowl V, Howley was named the MVP. He looks like a serious challenger to Johnny Unitas for best all-time crewcut.

#51 Cornell Green - Green played his entire career (1962-74) with the Cowboys, and never missed a game. He was their left cornerback through the 1969 season, then moved to strong safety in 1970 with the arrival of Herb Adderley.

#59 Mel Renfro - Mel played his entire career (1964-77) with the Cowboys. He was the free safety for his first 6 years, then moved to right cornerback in 1970. He also returned kicks and punts for his first 3 seasons (leading the league in both during his rookie season). Renfro was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

#60 Cowboys Logo - Eddie LeBaron was an "all-time great"? Who knew?

Also check out the 1968, 1971, and 1972 Cowboys.

Next time: Detroit Lions

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cleveland Browns

Here are the 1967 Browns. I got all these cards back in 1967 except for Ernie Green.

#37 Browns Team - In 1966 (their first post-Jim Brown season) they STILL led the league with 2166 yards rushing, and finished with a 9-5 record.

#44 Frank Ryan - After serving as the backup with the Rams from 1958-61, Ryan was traded to the Browns, and soon took over as the starting QB. He made 3 Pro Bowls, before being replaced by Bill Nelsen in 1968. His last 2 seasons (1969-70) were spent backing up Sonny Jurgensen in Washington.

#43 Leroy Kelly - Primarily a return artist in his first 2 seasons, when Jim Brown retired following the 1965 season, Kelly became the starting halfback in 1966, rushing for 1141 yards, making his 1st Pro Bowl, and was voted All-League by all 3 news services. He led the NFL in rushing in 1967 and 1968. Kelly was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

#41 Ernie Green - Previously the Browns starting halfback (where he averaged 480 yards per season from 1963-65), Green switched to fullback in 1966 (replacing Jim Brown). Ernie rushed for 750 and 710 yards in '66 and '67.

#39 Gary Collins - Collins played his entire career (1962-71) with the Browns. His best seasons were 1963-67, and 1969. He was also the Browns punter from 1962-67.

#46 Paul Warfield - Paul was the Brown' starting split end from his rookie season in 1964 through the 1969 season (missing most of 1965). He was the Dolphins' top receiver from 1970-74, and played in 3 consecutive Super Bowls there. After a year in the WFL (1975), Warfield returned to Cleveland for his final 2 seasons. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983.

THREE offensive linemen are featured in this Browns' set - and with good reason: All 3 made the Pro Bowl in 1966. These guys cleared the way for Jim Brown, and later, Leroy Kelly.

#42 Gene Hickerson - Gene spent his entire career (1958-73) as Cleveland's right guard. He made 6 Pro Bowls and was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 2007.

#47 John Wooten - This 2-time Pro Bowler played for the Browns from 1959 to 1967, before wrapping up with the Redskins in 1968.

#45 Dick Schafrath - Another career Brown (1959-71), Dick was a fixture at left tackle, and made 6 Pro Bowls.

#38 John Brewer - Brewer played for the Browns (1961-67) and the Saints (1968-70). He was a tight end until switching to outside linebacker in 1966.

#40 Ross Fichtner - Ross played safety for the Browns from 1960 to 1967, before finishing up with the Saints in 1968.

#48 Browns' Logo - The Browns never get mentioned as a "winner" because they've never been in the Super Bowl. From the time they joined the league in 1950 up until the start of the Super Bowl era, they were in the NFL Championship game 8 times, winning 4 ('50, '54, '55, '64) and losing 4 ('51, '52, '53, '65). They also lost a tie-breaker playoff game to the Giants in 1958, which allowed New York to face the Colts in "The Greatest Game Ever Played". The Browns also won the AAFC Championship for each year of that league's existence (1946-49).

Also check out the 1968 and 1972 Browns.

Next time: Dallas Cowboys