Happy Sunday, one and all!
Last night the Cowboys had their “dress rehearsal” against the Minnesota Vikings. Speaking from personal experience a dress rehearsal is when you put on your Peter Pan costume in 4th grade and listen to Ms. Hayes tell you how your flying on the harness doesn’t “look natural.”
The Vikings game proved to be a little different as Romo, Terrance Williams, and Darren McFadden gave fans something to be excited about. The excitement should be as high as ever because in 14 days the Cowboys take on the New York Giants in Week 1 of the 2015 regular season.
As is tradition around here we will be continuing our Countdown To Kickoff series with the Greatest 14 in Dallas Cowboys History. So come along and enjoy!
I’ve since outgrown the Peter Pan costume if you were wondering.
The Following Players Have All Worn 14 For The Dallas Cowboys:
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
The great prophet Ricky Bobby once said, “If ya ain’t first, you’re last.”
The first is always the best, second is the one with the treasure chest (if you remember that childhood rhyme). Everybody always wants to be the first: the first to cross the finish line, first to finish their plate of hot wings, Dallas Cowboys fans everywhere were upset that the Pittsburgh Steelers were the first to win six Lombardi Trophies.
The Greatest 14 in Dallas Cowboys History can lay claim to one of the greatest firsts in franchise history. Please allow me to present to you, the first starting quarterback in Dallas Cowboys History.
A product of San Rafael, California, Eddie LeBaron played tailback, defensive back, and kicker in high school. Standing a tall 5’7”, the college prospects feared that LeBaron was just too short for the collegiate level… leaving his college options limited.
He enrolled in what is now the University of the Pacific where he played quarterback and safety in the mid 40s. LeBaron was a college football stud, as exemplified by his place in the College Football Hall of Fame, but he was so much more than that.
Eddie LeBaron was called to serve his country in the Korean War. He was actually shot twice; he would later receive the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, and served nine months in Korea.
The Dallas Cowboys began play in 1960, but were a little too late to the party to participate in the NFL Draft. They decided to trade their first round pick in 1961 to get themselves a quarterback.
After a seven-year career in Washington, LeBaron was ready to retire from pro football and become a lawyer (what a fascinating time in the NFL, by the way). Tex Schramm called him up and said that the law could wait… the Dallas Cowboys wanted Eddie.
The Little General
When you’re 5’7”, people notice. LeBaron’s size led to one of the more clever nicknames of his day and ages… the Little General.
This Little General started 10 games in each of Dallas’ first two seasons. While he wasn’t lighting up the scoreboard or record books, Eddie LeBaron was a valuable commodity to the Dallas Cowboys. He served as a valuable mentor to the Greatest 17 in Dallas Cowboys History, Don Meredith, while Dandy was getting acclimated to the NFL.
#14: Eddie LeBaron
LeBaron was a natural-born leader both in the military and during his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
He will forever be the first starting quarterback in Dallas Cowboys History, and his tutelage of Don Meredith helped Don lead the Cowboys in an era post-LeBaron.
With the first game of the 2015 season just 14 days away it is fitting that we pay homage to the first starting quarterback in franchise history – the Greatest 14 in Dallas Cowboys History, Eddie LeBaron.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 13 in Dallas Cowboys History is!