Welcome back to another Countdown to Kickoff post!
Going through all of the players who have worn the number, you realize there is one that stands out more than most. This guy, known as “The House” or “The Human Bowling Ball,” was a player who had the heart of a warrior for his size–and without him, the franchise may be without some titles.
With that in mind, let's get it rolling and honor Mr. Robert Newhouse as today's honoree.
But before we do that, you know the drill. Check out all the players (including Newhouse) who have worn #44:
- Francis Bernard, LB (2020-2020)
- Don Bishop, CB (1960-1965)
- Michael Brooks, S (1990-1990)
- Tyler Clutts, FB (2013-2015)
- Lincoln Coleman, FB (1993-1994)
- Vince Courville, WR (1987-1987)
- Cornell Gowdy, S (1986-1986)
- Chris Gronkowski, FB (2010-2010); GRONKKKKK!!!
- Jake McQuaide, LS (2021-2022)
- Robert Newhouse, FB (1972-1983)
- Robert Thomas, FB (1992-2002)
Newhouse's NFL Career
Newhouse was another guy I never got to see play live, and I wish I would have. Drafted in the 2nd Round of the 1972 NFL Draft, Newhouse was a highly-productive RB coming out of Houston.
Although he was “tiny” for his position (only 5'10), the Cowboys still took a chance on the Houston Cougars legend, and boy did it pay off. To start his career, Newhouse switched to FB so he could help out his team, and in his first year–he had only 124 total scrimmage yards (116 rushing yards, eight receiving yards).
Now you may be thinking, “Didn't you just say selecting Newhouse paid off?” Well, it did. Because he wouldn't get the ball rolling until the second year as he had 523 total scrimmage yards (436 rushing yards, 87 receiving yards) and would average 500+ yards the rest of his career.
And, I have to admit, after watching that pass, I'm hoping there are some trick plays like that in the Cowboys playbook to use during their postseason run, but also, damn, What. A. Guy.
And the offense came up with two big touchdown plays, the first a spectacular 45-yard catch by Butch Johnson, the second a surprise 29-yard flip with a pitchout by Robert Newhouse to wide receiver Golden Richards for the final 4th quarter crusher. pic.twitter.com/1nNdndYfGO
— Dallas Cowboys Old School (@CowboysOld) January 15, 2021
Following that Super Bowl title, Newhouse would play for several more seasons before retiring in 1983. He would leave as the franchise's fourth all-time rushing leader, which now stands as sixth-most after a couple of uber-talented RBs (Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, and Ezekiel Elliott) have come through the franchise.
After his career, Newhouse worked with the Dallas Cowboys for seventeen years in multiple roles (serving mostly as the alumni relations guy). To add, it was nice reading numerous stories about him beyond football because I could tell he was a well-liked man and a fan favorite.
Unfortunately, in 2010, Newhouse's health began declining after he suffered a stroke, and he fatally passed away in 2014. Survived by his wife Nancy, twin daughters Dawnyel and Shawntel, and son Reggie, Newhouse will be always remembered as a husband, father, brother, cousin, neighbor, friend, player, et cetera.
But to add one more thing, let's take time to remember him as the Greatest #44 in Dallas Cowboys History, and may he rest in peace.