The word “first” is a fairly basic word with a profound meaning. Being “first” is a sign of domination, of greatness, and of legends. When you think of dominating, great, and legendary Cowboys- names will arise in your mind such as Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, and Tom Landry. However, not too many present Cowboys fans will think of the original Cowboy, a mean player, a player nicknamed “Mr. Cowboy”… Bob Lilly.
Bob was the First Cowboys Draft pick, the First Cowboys Pro Bowl selection, the First Cowboy to be elected into the Ring of Honor, and the First ever Cowboy to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. It was Bob’s superior intelligence, agility, speed, and strength that made him consistently victorious against double, and yes, even triple teaming lineman. He was simply unstoppable, and his play was the birth of the Doomsday Defense.
Lilly had 4 Defensive touchdowns, one off of a interception return, the others off of fumble returns. He had 18 fumble returns total. Though sacks weren’t a “official stat” believe me when I say he was a monster. One particular historic Super Bowl memory came in 1972 against the Miami Dolphins, Bob Lilly sacked Bob Griese an NFL Record 29 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Bob Lilly was a reliable player who hardly missed a game.
Bob Lilly’s accomplishments consist of:
- Rookie of the Year in 1961
- 11 Time Pro Bowl Selection
- Won Super Bowl VI
- Won 2 NFC Titles
- Inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor
- Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Bob Lilly was a revolutionary player that defined the guidelines of Smash Mouth defense, Instilling fear into the heart of offensive coordinators, offensive linemen, and quarterbacks throughout the league. He reminds us of what champions are, what legends are, in a league where team playing legends are scarce. He made the Cowboys “America’s Team” and he brought great history to a team that has become the pinnacle of our sports life.
Check Wednesday for Cowboys Nostalgia: Roger Staubach.