I see you walking with that extra spring in your step! You’re beaming from ear to ear! And we all know why…
Dallas Cowboys football is back, baby!
The Dallas Cowboys got things started in the 2015 preseason last night against the San Diego Super Chargers (that song is so awesome). It was a fun contest and a great glimpse into what the 2015 season is going to hold for us.
That 2015 season is 30 days away. We’ve been counting down to kickoff here at Inside The Star since 99 days till kickoff with the best Cowboy to wear each corresponding jersey number. The countdown continues today as we, with some Cowboys football in our tummies, discuss the Greatest 30 in Dallas Cowboys History!
The Following Players Have All Worn 30 For The Dallas Cowboys:
It seems fitting that on the day after the Cowboys played what could possibly have been their last game in San Diego (the Chargers are widely speculated to be moving to Los Angeles as early as 2016) that the player we are highlighting was actually offered a contract by them.
He ultimately signed with the Cowboys, don’t get me wrong, but this was a time before the NFL/AFL merger. So after going undrafted in 1965 Daniel Edward Reeves’s services were sought after by both the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.
During his time at the University of South Carolina Dan Reeves was actually a quarterback. When he got to Dallas it only made sense to play him at… safety? Yes, the great Tom Landry put Reeves in the defensive backfield to see what he was made of.
After training camp injuries decimated the depth of the halfback position it only made sense to take the former quarterback turned safety and hand him the ball! Welcome to the running back position, Dan.
1966: Arrival Of Dan Reeves And The Cowboys
Tom Landry was one of the most innovative people to ever dial up the Xs and Os on a chalkboard. Some of the things that he implemented are still used in the NFL today and will be forever. Some of the things that he implemented… didn’t make a lot of sense.
While he was looking for more speed in the backfield Tom Landry moved future Pro Football hall of Fame cornerback to the spot. When Renfro was injured against the G-Men, Dan Reeves stepped in and everything changed forever.
In 1966 Dan Reeves had 757 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 557 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns… all career highs. He played valiantly as the Cowboys finally found their form and marched all the way to the NFL Championship Game. The victor would go on to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the first ever Super Bowl, so needless to say there was a lot on the line. The Cowboys ultimately lost to the Green Bay Packers, but their presence in the game cemented their place as one of the elite teams in the National Football League.
Dan Reeves Runs Through The 60s
Number 30 would have a similarly great 1967 as he had 603 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 490 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns. Dan had two notable games that season as in week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles he ran in a touchdown, caught a pass for a touchdown, and even threw a touchdown! Talk about a hat trick. Reeves also set a team record when he rushed for 4 scores in a single game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Cowboys found themselves once again in the NFL Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers and lost in one of the most iconic games in NFL History… The Ice Bowl.
1968 wasn’t as friendly to Reeves as four games into the season he suffered a right knee injury and missed the rest of the year. This injury, while obviously devastating, is arguably one of the greatest things to ever happen to Dan Reeves. Coach Landry began to utilize Reeves as a player/coach while he molded his new running back corps (which included players like Calvin Hill and Duane Thomas).
Dan Reeves served in his player/coach role from 1968 all the way through the rest of his playing days in Dallas (Reeves retired from playing after the 1972 contest).
As a player he amassed 1,990 rushing yards, 1,693 receiving yards, and 42 total touchdowns. The Dallas Cowboys made the playoffs every year while he was on the roster, and he was a member of the first World Champion squad that the Dallas Cowboys fielded in 1971.
In 1977 Dan Reeves was named the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. He had served, as a protégé of Coach Landry’s and this was a move, which, at the time, seemed natural and inevitable. The Cowboys won their second Super Bowl in franchise history that season, giving Dan Reeves his first (and what would be only) ring as a member of a coaching staff.
Reeves would coordinate the Cowboys offense all the way through the 1980 season, before becoming the then youngest head coach in the NFL… taking over the Denver Broncos. Reeves and his staff would come across one of the finest quarterbacks to ever play the game, John Elway, in 1983. Reeves took the Broncos to the Super Bowl for the second, third, and fourth times in franchise history in 1986, 1987, and 1989… losing all three games.
The Giants called upon his services in 1993 where Coach Reeves enjoyed a four year run, but it was in 1997 when he reached the Falcons that he found serious success again. Dan Reeves would take the Falcons to the Super Bowl in his first year as their head coach, the first and only Super Bowl appearance in Atlanta’s history, and ultimately lost the game to his former team… John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
#30: Dan Reeves
Dan Reeves exemplified all of the qualities that people affiliate with Tom Landry. Considering that Reeves served as a coaching apprentice of Landry, it was never shocking to see him have success at a high level.
Dan Reeves the player was quite extraordinary as he was one of the premier running backs on the Dallas Cowboys roster in the early to late 60s. He helped them establish an identity of running the ball, and his contributions as a player/coach were a key element in the Cowboys winning two Super Bowls in the 1970s.
Among all things Dan Reeves is remembered as an outstanding player and an incredible head coach. I implore you to remember Dan Reeves as one more thing – the Greatest 30 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 29 in Dallas Cowboys History is!