Roger Staubach Biography

Roger Staubach “Captain America” was born February 5, 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He grew up in suburban Silverton, Ohio. After one year at New Mexico Military Institute, Staubach played quarterback for the United States Naval Academy. He was a 10th round draft pick in the 1964 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, but due to his military commitment, did not begin playing until 1969 as a 27 year old rookie.

Roger Staubach Jersey #12

 

Player Info

Height 6' 3"
Weight 197 lbs
DOB: 2/5/1942
Quarterback

Roger Staubach Stats

NFL.com

NFL Draft

1964/Round 10/Pick 129

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Roger Staubach Career Highlights

Pro Bowl 1971, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
Awards NFL Awards
Super Bowl VI MVP
1971 Bert Bell Award
Honors Pro Football Hall of Fame
Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor
NFL 1970s All Decade Team
#46 All-Time Ranking by NFL.com

Team(s) As A Player

Dallas Cowboys 1969-1979

 Staubach - The Navel Accademy

Staubach first achieved national attention when he was named the starting quarterback of the Navy football team in 1962. He led the team for three seasons, leading the Midshipmen to two victories in the Army-Navy Game and an appearance in the 1964 Cotton Bowl. During his junior season at Navy, Roger Staubach led his team to a 9-1 record and finished ranked 2nd in the nation. He won the Heisman Trophy that season. He even led Navy to a victory over Notre Dame. During his college career he completed 292 of 463 passes and gained a school record 4253 yards of total offense.

In 1969, Staubach resigned his commission, just in time to join the Cowboys training camp. The Naval Academy retired Staubach’s jersey number 12 during his graduation ceremony after his senior season. In 1981, Staubach was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Roger Staubach & Family Values

When considering polar opposites, you would not have to look any further than Joe Namath and Roger Staubach. While Namath was a let it all hang out party animal, Staubach was considered by many to be a square. It was a distinction he did not run from. Not only was Staubach a great field general, he also is a great family man. Roger on many occasions said the problem in America is the breakdown of the family. He wanted to be a shining example to all in America to show you can be an NFL quarterback and have Christian values at the same time. Sonny Jurgensen once said, “Roger Staubach can play until he is 40 because he doesn’t know what a hangover feels like.” As great of an NFL quarterback as Roger was, I believe he is even a better man. “Roger's image is definitely what he's all about,” Pearson said. “All the good things you've heard are true. He's probably the only teammate I could say that about, including myself. But Roger was more witty than any teammate I ever played with. He had a dry sense of humor. People didn't see that side of him, but he had as much fun as anybody.” (6)

Roger Staubach Dallas Cowboys

When Roger Staubach joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 they already had a starting quarterback in Craig Morton. In 1971 Craig Morton began the season as the starter, but after a loss to the perennial doormat New Orleans Saints, Staubach assumed the role. However, in a game against the Chicago Bears in the seventh week of that season, coach Tom Landry alternated Staubach and Morton on each play, sending in the quarterbacks with the play call from the sideline. Dallas gained more than 500 yards of offense, but suffered a 23-19 loss to a mediocre Bears squad that dropped the Cowboys to 4-3 on the season, two games behind the Washington Redskins in the NFC East race. Staubach assumed the full-time quarterbacking duties in a week eight victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and led the Cowboys to ten consecutive victories.

Roger Staubach Comebacks

During Roger Staubach’s Hall of Fame career he became known as “Captain Comeback” as a result of his 23 fourth quarter comebacks. The game was never over when “Captain Comeback” was in the huddle. Here are a few of his best comeback wins.

49ers vs. Cowboys

In 1972, he missed most of the season with a separated shoulder, but he relieved Morton in a divisional playoff against the San Francisco 49ers with the Cowboys trailing 28-13 late in the third quarter. About halfway through the fourth quarter, Staubach got the Cowboys in position to hit their third field goal of the game and closed the lead to 28-16. Dallas got the ball back and started driving down the field. With 90 seconds left to play Staubach hit Billy Parks for a 20 yard touchdown and brought the score to 28-23. Dallas then recovered an onside kick at the 50 yard line. Three plays later, Roger Staubach connected with Ron Sellers for a 10 yard touchdown to give the Cowboys a 30-28 win over the 49ers. Staubach threw two touchdown passes in the last 90 seconds to win the game. After the game, coach Tom Landry was quoted as saying, “It’s the best comeback we’ve had since I’ve been in Dallas.” With that performance, he won back his regular job and did not relinquish it again during his career. (1)

Cowboys vs. Vikings – Hail Mary Game

Perhaps his most famous moment was the controversial “Hail Mary Pass” in the 1975 playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. With seconds on the clock and the Cowboys trailing 14-10, Staubach launched a 50-yard bomb to wide receiver Drew Pearson, who caught the pass and strode into the end zone for a 17-14 victory. (Although the Vikings argued that Pearson pushed off and should have been penalized for offensive pass interference on the play, no penalty was called.) After the game, Staubach quipped he prayed a “Hail Mary” before throwing the pass. The moment has been emblazoned in football folklore ever since, and the “Hail Mary pass” has entered the realm of football nomenclature. "It was a great catch by Drew Pearson," said Staubach, who unloaded a game-winning touchdown bomb to him with 24 seconds to play, boosting the Cowboys to a 17-14 victory over Minnesota in the National Football Conference semifinal playoffs. "Drew was getting mad at me because he said he'd been getting open and I wasn't finding him,"' the 33-year-old Staubach grinned. (3)

"It was just a lucky catch," said Pearson, who outmaneuvered Minnesota Vikings Nate Wright for the score. "The ball struck me in the hands and I got hit in the arm. The ball slipped down and got caught between my elbow and hip." (3)

Redskins vs. Cowboys for Division Championship

This time it was December 16, 1979 and the Redskins had to beat the Cowboys to make the playoffs. Washington stormed out to a 17-0 first half lead. “We just never quit,” said Staubach. “Even after that 17-point lead they had, we got a lot of momentum going. We still had a confidence factor, because we've been in big games before, but it was really a strange game,” he said. (2) Then the Dallas Cowboys ran off three straight touchdowns to take a 21-17 lead. Then the Redskins captured the momentum, scoring the next 17 points to give the Redskins a 34-21 lead after a 66 yard touchdown run by John Riggins with just 6:54 to play.

With just 3:49 seconds to play, the Dallas Cowboys recovered a fumble on their own 42 yard line, still trailing by 13. The Cowboys scored in just three plays, a 26 yard touchdown pass to rookie Ron Springs with just 2:20 remaining. After Dallas got the ball back, they charged 75 yards down the field and Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson on an eight yard touchdown with 39 seconds left. “The play was designed for another receiver, but when I lined up, Lemar Fairish was playing head up with me. It's kind of like an audible in that situation. I gave him an inside move and broke for the corner, and Roger laid it in,” Hill said. “I'm really elated to a supreme high. I caught the winning touchdown in a title game, and I feel real good.” (2)

Staubach said, “I've never played in a game like that before. I can't remember when I ever got so excited at a football game.” (2) Redskins Coach Pardee said he didn't feel safe after Riggins' touchdown run. “When John gave us that 13-point lead, I still didn't feel safe about the game. Staubach just had a great game. He is so elusive; he was ducking under our linemen and getting the passes off. I thought briefly about a long field goal there, but we decided to throw one more pass. I'm not going to say too much about it...It's over and that's that.” (2) With two touchdowns in the final 2:20 all I can say is wow!

Roger Staubach Super Bowls

The 1971 season would end with Staubach’s first Super Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys were victorious over the Miami Dolphins by a score of 24-3. He was named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl VI on January 16, 1972, completing 12 out of 19 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for 18 yards.

Super Bowl X against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a classic showdown between two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw. The game went back and forth until Pittsburgh took a 21-10 lead. With 3:02 left, Staubach lead the Cowboys on a 5 play 80 yard drive that ended with a 34 yard touchdown pass to Percy Howard. After a failed onside kick, Dallas stopped Pittsburgh on four straight running plays and got the ball back at the 39 yardline. After picking up 23 yards on their first two plays, and then two incompletions, Staubach threw the ball to Howard in the end zone but the ball was tipped and intercepted.

Staubach led the Cowboys to another NFL championship win in the 1977 season. He threw for 183 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions, in Dallas’ 27-10 victory in Super Bowl XII over the Denver Broncos

The next season, Dallas was back in the Super Bowl and once again faced the Steelers. It was a great game going back and forth, but in the end the Cowboys came up short 35-31.

During this run of four Super Bowl appearances and two championships, Staubach’s offensive teammates included standout receivers Drew Pearson and Golden Richards, tight ends Billy Joe Dupree and Jackie Smith, running backs Robert Newhouse, Calvin Hill, and Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett (Running Back, and a fellow Heisman winner) and Rayfield Wright (Offensive Lineman).

Roger Staubach Videos

If you want to see Roger Staubach in action, the Dallas Cowboys Top 10 Games that have Roger Staubach in action. From the 1971 Super Bowl to the Hail Mary Game.

Roger Staubach Career Stats

During Staubach’s Hall of Fame career he was 1685 of 2958 for 22,700 yards, completing 57% of his passes with 153 touchdown passes and only 109 interceptions. He also carried the football 410 times for 2264 yards and scored 20 touchdowns on the ground. In the post season, Staubach was 12-6, starting four Super Bowls and winning two. His post season numbers were 219 of 405 for 2747 yards with 23 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. He added 73 carries for 412 yards rushing during his post season career.

Roger Staubach Hall of Fame

Roger Staubach was an elite quarterback in the NFL after serving in the Armed Forces. Although his career was shorter than it could have been, it was very complete. In 1985 he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here are a couple of quotes from Staubach that might explain why he was so good. "Every time I step on the field, I believe my team is going to walk off the winner, somehow, some way." (4) When Roger was talking about being in the pocket he said, “You have a camera and it's focused downfield. All the other is a blur—the hands, the people, the movement—but your point of focus is beyond them. If you stare at the closer stuff so that you actually see a guy's arm or hand, then you're in trouble. There's an antenna, a sixth sense, inside you that directs the ball past the guy's hands.” (5) Roger Staubach was one of the Greatest Quarterbacks in NFL History.

By A. Goodin
20yardline.com

Related Pages

Roger Staubach Biography Sources

(1)  Defending Champs Overcome Niners (1972, December 24) The Bridgeport Post, pg. 63

(2)  Staubach’s Magic Knocks Redskins Out of Playoffs (1979, December 17) The Capital, pg. 16

(3)  'Lucky Catch,'Says Pearson; Vikings Claim He Pushed Off (1975, December 29) The Charleston Gazette, pg. 4b

(4)  Bullet Bob v. Roger the Dodger (1972, January 17) Time Magazine

(5)  Super Duel at the Super Bowl (1979, January 22) Time Magazine

(6)  O’Donnell, Aikman: On Receiving End of a Legacy: Staubach Led, Victories Followed (1996 January 28) The Washington Post