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    Craig Morton Throws His Way Into #14

    Welcome back to another edition of the Countdown to Kickoff Series. Currently, we sit 14 days until the open up the season against the Bucs, and while I would love to dive into that expected, explosive matchup, let's take a breather and look at something else exciting.

    And that's the Greatest #14 in Dallas Cowboys .

    Looking at the nine guys who wore the number, you realize two things. One, there isn't anyway truly special that pops out, and two, the most impactful player was back in the 1960s.

    So with that in mind, after some research over each player, the guy that won today's crowning was QB Craig Morton.

    Although he never got the chance to lead the Cowboys to the , he was still a part of the 1972 SB-winning team and finished with an over .500 record during his time with Dallas.

    Let's dive into Mr. Morton's NFL Career.

    Craig Morton's NFL Career

    Morton was another guy in this series that I wasn't able to watch in my lifetime, but after skimming through how people felt about him through , I came to a consensus that he was a pretty solid QB–but luck wasn't in his favor.

    Also, to find out that he averaged 17.83 YPC during the 1970 season, which is the most in NFL History, was pretty cool.

    Morton's Cowboys career began in 1965 after he went fifth overall to the franchise and got slotted into the backup QB role behind starting QB . While Morton wouldn't smell the field consistently, he got his shot in 1969 after Meredith's and managed to compile a 2,500 yards-plus passing season with a 21-7 TD-INT ratio.

    But, injuries were the theme of his first season as a full-time starter.

    Morton would put together four modest seasons in his final years with the franchise before departing to the in a –and getting replaced by QB .

    After deep-diving into Morton's career, the moment in his career that stood out for me was when Morton had to face the Cowboys in Super Bowl XII, and of course, he had to compete with the QB who took his spot.

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    Just imagining how big those storylines must have been and the nerves that I bet Morton felt had to be massive, as he likely wanted to prove to his former team that they messed up by getting rid of him.

    But as most fans know, Morton lost to the Boys.

    However, if there were one thing I could tell you that Morton didn't lose to, that would be earning the Greatest #14 in franchise history award. While he couldn't help bring the team a Lombardi Trophy, he will be forever engraved as an impactful QB for the franchise.

    Also, he helped the switch essentially between him and Staubach, so there could be a reality that the Cowboys miss out on two Super Bowl trophies.

    For now, congratulations to Mr. Morton, and check back on Monday for the Greatest #13 in franchise history.

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    Rocky Garza Jr
    Rocky Garza Jr
    Rolling with the Boyz since 96'. Chop up sports with me on Twitter @rockssjr.

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    Gary

    You have no idea how good Morton potentially was. Incredible arm. I think his very first play from scrimmage was a bomb to Bob Hayes that resulted in a TD. He was the only qb who could actually throw a pass that Hayes cd not outrun. The Super Bowl year, he was in the running for MVP.

    Rod Bales

    Thanks for removing the &rsqo or whatever that was. The article said he had done a “ deep dive” into Craig Morton’s career yet really said almost nothing. Craig Morton had a tremendous arm, delivery and accuracy and when he got protection he as terrific. Knee injuries robbed him of mobility and he was a sitting duck at the Super Bowl due to the Broncos offensive line failings.

    Sak

    What do you mean he never got to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl? He was 8-3 in his 11 starts in 1970 & was the starting QB in Super Bowl V.

    Dutch Robbins

    *Dutch Robbins

    If coach Landry started qb Craig Morton his 1965 rookie season and became the Dallas qb starter, if you recall Morton had mobility during those early years 1965-1968.
    Sitting on the bench didn’t help Morton’s career those first 4 season years whatsoever.
    I saw a past 60s clip of Morton escape the defence pass rush and out ran the defense pass rush to the side line and threw a 40 yard bullet pass to the end zone TD in running motion.
    If you recall later part of Morton’s football career was plague of injuries.
    Morton was force as a pocket passer later part of his career, his knees were just as bad as broadway Joe Namath knees.
    Having a weak offence of line didn’t help Namath or Morton’s chances for future greatness of their later careers.

    .