Welcome back to another edition of the Countdown to Kickoff series. Currently, we sit 30 days until we see your Dallas Cowboys take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and while that may seem like a long time, I wouldn't be too upset.
Want to know why?
Although it's a preseason bout, I know there will be fans yelling at their TVs as they act like the Boys are playing in the playoff game. (Notice how I said playoff game because the odds of them reaching the Super Bowl aren't there. Well, not yet.)
But to get you even more excited about the regular season approaching– we're diving into the Greatest #30 in franchise history. This guy not only succeeded as a player, but also showed his expertise as a coach.
Without further ado, let's welcome Mr. Dan Reeves. And don't forget to check out the other players who also wore #30 below.
- Anthony Brown, CB
- Alonzo Coleman, RB
- Mike Dowdle, ILB
- Lance Frazier, CB
- Issiac Holt, CB
- Christine Michael, RB
- Sterling Moore, CB
- Timmy Newsome, RB
- Dan Reeves, RB/ Player-Coach/ HC (After he departed from the Cowboys)
- Allen Rossum, DB
- Darren Studstill, DB
- George Teague, FS
- Dick Van Raaphorst, K
- Chauncey Washington, RB
- Bryant Westbrook, CB
- Kenny Wheaton, CB
- Charley Young, RB
Dan Reeves's NFL Journey
So far in this series, I have come across some interesting players. From seeing players switch positions and making legendary careers out of it to hearing a player was an actual Cowboy his whole life, and playing as a Dallas Cowboy was the cherry on top–I have seen it all.
But with Reeves, I was amazed at how his NFL career path played out. And, I have to admit he's arguably one of my favorite players that have been spotlighted during this series.
His football journey began in high school, where he was a multi-sport athlete, and because of it, he earned himself a scholarship to the University of South Carolina. From there, he would become the starting QB for the Gamecocks, play three years, and attempt to make it to the NFL.
You would imagine that switch from quarterback to safety would be his position for the rest of his playing career, but nope, Reeves would get thrown into the RB mix in his second year after several injuries to the group.
And boy, without that move, you could argue Reeves wouldn't have had a successful NFL career.
Now slotted as the team's backup RB, Reeves got his chance after running back Mel Renfro got hurt in the opener. And phew, his performance gave me a fictional football movie character vibes, as he had had 38 rushing yards, six receptions for 120 yards, and three TDs.
(I say fictional football movie character vibes because you know when they have the performance of their life when they finally get a chance.)
Reeves proved his debut wasn't a fluke, as he went on a tear for the rest of the season by finishing with 1,314 total scrimmage yards and 16 total touchdowns.
Statistically, 1966 would be the best year Reeves would have, as he only cracked the 1000-yard mark one more time (1977) and was derailed by injuries. But that wouldn't spell the end of Reeves's involvement with the Boys, as Landry converted him into a player coach for the rest of the season.
— Sohe Coop (@SoheCoop) May 27, 2021
Following his retirement in 1972, Reeves became a full-time assistant for the team. After several seasons of getting his feet wet in the coaching world, Reeves got his first shot as the “jefe” in 1981 and became head coach for the Denver Broncos.
(How ironic that this post is coming out when the Cowboys and Broncos play each other, it's like I planned this out; and I knew Reeves had to get honored.)
Reeves compiled a 110-73 record with the Broncos and took the team to three Super Bowl appearances but lost all of them. After 12 years in the Mile High, Reeves jumped ship to the New York Giants for a four-year stint before finishing his career with the “Dirty Bird” Atlanta Falcons.
While he did make the Super Bowl again with the Falcons, he wound up losing again– making him 0-4 as an HC.
Despite the losses, Reeves's accomplishments included:
- 2x AP NFL Coach of the Year,
- 2-Time Super Bowl Champion (With the Cowboys, at least he didn't leave the league without hardware)
- Texas Sports Hall of Fame member
- George Halas Award winner
- Denver Broncos HOF member
- State of South Carolina Athletic HOF member
- One of nine head coaches to win 200 games
But today, we're adding one more award to his legendary resume as he's the Greatest #30 In Dallas Cowboys History. I can only hope he's smiling from heaven after hearing that he got today's nod since he tragically passed away earlier this year from dementia.
Congratulations to Mr. Reeves, and may he rest in peace. A Cowboys legend, forever.