Getting It Done Through The Air

Jim Doran was the first Cowboy to be named to the Pro Bowl. After 9 years with the Detriot Lions, Doran came to the Cowboys in the 1960 expansion draft. In his first year with Dallas he led the team with 31 catches and 554 yards.  He retired after the 1961 season.
 

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1960
12 
31 
554 
17.9 
1961
14
13
153
11.8
1
Jim Doran #83

Billy Howton was LaBaron and Meredith's "go to" man in those early years with the Cowboys.  He caught 56 passes for 785 yards in 1961, his best season as a Cowboy.  He signed with the Cowboys in 1960 after seven excellent years as a Packer and one with Cleveland.  The former All-American from Rice was a smart runner with the ball retired with over 500 catches and almost 8,500 yards receiving.  He was selected as All-Pro two times during his career.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
1960 
11 
23 
 363
15.8 
1961
14
56
785
14.0
4
1962
14
49
706
14.4
6
1963
11
33
514
15.6
3
Dallas Tot
50
161
2368
14.7
17

Frank Clarke was one of the original 36 veterans the Cowboys picked from the 1960 expansion pool.  The fact that he stayed on board for more than a year made him even more rare.  In 1962 he became the team's first 1000 yard receiver by latching onto 47 balls for 1043 yards and led the league with a 22.2 yard average and 14 touchdowns.  In 1964 he caught 65 passes for 973 yards and was named All-Pro.  His last few years he played tight end primarily and remained a clutch 3rd down receiver and retired after the 1967 season. Frank Clarke

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
1960 
290 
32.2 
1961
14
41
919
22.4
9
1962
12
47
1043
22.2
14
1963
14
43
833
19.4
10
1964
14
65
973
15.0
5
1965
14
41
682
16.6
4
1966
14
26
355
13.7
4
1967
14
9
119
13.2
2
Dal Totals
104
281
5214
18.6
51


Bullet Bob #22 "Bullet" Bob Hayes was an Olympic Gold Medalist sprinter who as known as "The Fastest Man on Earth" mainly due to his 9.1 second 100 yard dash.  Drafted out of Florida A&M in 1964, his first year as a Cowboy caught 46 passes for 1003 yards and 12 touchdowns.  He redefined the term "deep threat" by spreading out the defense in a way no-one had ever done before.  He was impossible to play man-to-man so coaches developed the zone defense to try to contain him.  He holds the Cowboy record with 246 yards in receptions in a single game.  Hayes was an exciting punt returner who led the league in 1968 with a 20.8 yard average, still a Cowboy record.  He retired in 1974 after losing his starting job to Golden Richards and being traded to the 49ers. Convicted for dealing drugs in the Dallas area in 1977 he spent time in prison, but his conviction was later overturned.  An after-football drug conviction has so far kept Hayes out of the Hall of Fame.  He became the first Cowboy receiver to join the Ring of Honor in 2001.  He died in 2002.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1965
13 
46 
1003 
21.8 
12 
1966
14
64
1232
19.3
13
1967
13
49
998
20.4
10
1968
14
53
909
17.2
10
1969
10
40
746
18.7
4
1970
13
34
889
26.1
10
1971
14
35
840
24.0
8
1972
12
15
200
13.3
0
1973
13
22
360
16.4
3
1974
12
7
118
16.9
1
Dal. Totals
128
365
7295
20.0
71

Lance Rentzel after two disappointing seasons with the Vikings and legal problems, the often-injured running back who had been an All-American at Oklahoma was traded to the Cowboys where he blossomed as a flanker.  He led the team in receptions three straight years gaining 1009 yards in 1968.  He had 13 receptions in a game against the Redskins in 1970.  Married to actress Joey Heatherton, Rentzel seemed to have everything, but a few days before the 1970 Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay he was charged with indecent exposure to a minor, a felony.  He and the Cowboys felt it best if he quit the team.  He plead guilty and received 5 years probation.  He authored an autobiography, When All the Laughter Died in Sorrow which chronicled his life up until the incident.  He was traded to the Rams for tight end Billy Traux where he went on to have three more successful seasons and retired after the 1974 season. Lance Rentzel #19

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1967
14 
58 
996 
17.2
1968
14
54
1009
18.7
6
1969
14
43
960
22.3
12
1970
11
28
556
19.9
5
Dal Totals
53
183
3521
19.2
31

Lance Alworth was already a Hall of Fame flanker when he joined the Cowboys in 1971.  He already had seven 1000 yard seasons and had been named to the AFL All-Pro team seven times with the Chargers.  After an injury in the pre-season kept him out the first half of the season, he made up for lost time by catching 34 passes for 487 yards including several clutch catches.  He caught a touchdown pass from Staubach against the Dolphins in Superbowl VI.  He played one more season before retiring. 

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1971
12 
34 
487 
14.3 
1972
14
15
195
13.0
2


Golden Richards   was the Cowboys 2nd round pick out of Hawaii in 1973.  In his first year he led the team in punt returns including a 63-yard touchdown return aginst Minnesota in the NFC Championship game. In 74 he won the starting job from an aged (among other problems) Bob Hayes.  He caught a touchdown pass from Staubach in the 75 NFC Championship game against the Rams but was shut out by the Steelers in the Superbowl and left the game with broken ribs after several hard hits by the Steelers defense. Hampered by a hamstring injury in 76 he gave his punt return duties up and eventually lost his starting receiver job to Butch Johnson.  In 77 he saw his production fall even more due to more passes being thrown to backs like Dorsett and Preston Pearson. His most memorable play as a Cowboy was in Superbowl XII against the Broncos.  He caught a 29 yard touchdown pass from fullback Robert Newhouse.  In 1978 rookie Tony Hill came along and beat both Richards and Butch Johnson out for the starting position and Richards was traded to Chicago for a third-round draft choice a few weeks into the season.  He went on to have a good year with the Bears catching a career-high 28 passes.  He only caught 5 passes in 1979 as a backup and discovered that he had played the entire season with a broken arm.  After failing to make the Denver Broncos in 1980 he retired at the age of 29. Golden Richards
 

A speedster, Richards was 
one of Staubach's favorite 
targets for long scoring 
passes.  He had TD 
catches of 53,52, 58, 46, 
43 and 62 yards, often 
simply outsprinting the 
opposition to the goal line.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1973
12 
91 
15.2 
1974
14
26
467
18.0
5
1975
14
21
451
21.5
5
1976
11
19
414
21.8
3
1977
14
17
225
13.2
3
1978
1
1
2
2.0
0
Dal Totals
66
90
1650
18.3
16

Drew Pearson #88 Drew Pearson signed as a free agent in 1973 after being a star football and baseball player at Tulsa in college.  After stepping in after injuries to Otto Stowe and Mike Montgomery, Pearson found himself catching everything thrown his way during his rookie year finishing with 22 catches for 388 yards.  His second year he led the NFL with 1026 yards followed by five more excellent receiving years.  He always had a knack for last-minute game saving catches.  In 73 in the playoffs against the Rams, he went up between two defenders and came down with a Staubach toss at midfield and then raced 50 yards for an 83 yard touchdown play.  His most memorable catch will always be the "Hail Mary" against Minnesota in the 1975 NFC Championship game.  Pearson retired after a 1984 auto accident that left him with serious internal injuries.  He was named to the Pro-Bowl three times and was named NFL All-Pro three times.  He has established himself as one of the top black businessmen in the country with his line of NFL licensed merchandise and other endeavors.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
Passing -Career
 1973
14 
22 
388 
17.6 
7-5
192 yds
3 TD - 2 Int
1974
14
62
1087
17.5
2
1975
14
46
822
17.9
8
1976
14
58
806
13.9
7
Rushing - Career
1977
14
48
870
18.1
2
Att. 21
Yds. 189
Avg. 9.0
1978
16
44
714
16.2
3
1979
15
55
1026
18.7
8
1980
16
43
568
13.2
6
1981
16
38
614
16.2
3
1982
9
26
382
14.7
3
1983
14
47
545
11.6
5
Totals
156
489
7822
16.0
50

Butch Johnson was possibly the best backup wide receiver in the league during his tenure with the Cowboys.  Always a clutch receiver, his most famous catch was the diving 45 yard TD grab  in the 3rd quarter of Superbowl 12.  He also made the Cowboy's last TD catch in SB 13 to bring the Cowboys to within 35-31, the eventual final score.  Johnson was a third round pick out of Cal-Riverside in 76.  He was primarily used on special teams early in his career.  He proved himself in 81 when Tony Hill was injured and started the first six games.  He had 25 catches, 552 yards and 5 TDs.  Johnson was not afraid to catch passes across the middle.   He is also remembered for his touchdown dance, the "California Quake".  With Pearson's injuries in 83, Johnson saw his best year with 41 catches and 561 yards, but his outspoken personality and flamboyant on-field antics wore thin with Coach Landry and he was traded to Houston for Mike Renfro.  The Oilers released Johnson after 3 weeks of training camp and he signed with Denver where he finished his career, retiring in 1985.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1976
14
84 
16.8 
1977
14
12
135
11.3
1
1978
16
12
155
12.9
0
1979
11
6
105
17.5
1
1980
16
19
263
13.8
4
1981
16
25
552
22.1
5
1982
9
12
269
22.4
3
1983
16
41
561
13.7
3
1984 (Denver)
16
42
587
14.0
6
1985 (Denver)
16
19
380
20.0
3
Dal Totals
112
132
2124
16.1
19
Mike Renfro #82
 

Johnson is best remembered for 
his acrobatic catches and his
"California Quake"

 

Tony Hill was one of the top receivers in the NFL in the late 70s and early 80s.  In 79 and 80 he caught 60 passes for over 1000 yards both years.  Drafted in the 3rd round in 1977, Hill broke all of Gene Washington's records at Stanford. He finished his NFL career with 26 100-yard receiving games and almost 8000 yards receiving. Tony led the team in receiving 4 times and was named to 3 Pro Bowls.  Hill still lives in Dallas where he's worked as a broadcaster, businessman and high school football coach.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1977
14 
21 
10.5 
1978
16
46
823
17.9
6
1979
16
60
1062
17.7
10
1980
16
60
1055
17.6
8
1981
16
46
953
20.7
4
1982
9
35
562
15.0
1
1983
12
49
801
16.3
7
1984
11
58
864
14.9
5
1985
15
74
1113
15.0
7
1986
16
49
770
15.7
3
Totals
141
479
7988
16.7
51

Tony Hill #80
 

Hill also broke all of 
Gene Washington's high
school records at Long
Beach Polytechnic HS


Mike Renfro was the son of former Cowboy assistant coach Ray Renfro. He came to the Cowboys in 84 after six years with the Oilers.  He had grew up in Dallas, been a ball boy for the Cowboys, went to high school in Dallas and played college ball at TCU.  His best year came in 85 when he caught 60 passes for 955 yards and 8 touchdowns including a 164-yard performance against the 49ers.  He played through the 87 season and finished his career 337 yards short of 5000.  He now has a successful real estate career and owns thoroughbred race horses.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1984
16 
35 
583 
16.7 
1985
16
60
955
15.9
8
1986
12
22
325
14.8
3
1987
14
46
662
14.4
4
Dal. Tot
58
163
2525
15.5
17
Mike Renfro #82
 

In 84 Renfro threw a 49-yard touchdown
pass to Doug Donely against the Eagles.

Ray Alexander Ray Alexander led the Cowboys in receiving in 1988 with 54 catches for 788 yards.  He was signed as a free agent after a spectacular season with Calgary in the CFL where he gained over 1500 yards receiving.  He was a college teammate of Nate Newton at Florida A&M.  Injuries limited him to one catch in 89, his final year as a Cowboy.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1988
16 
54 
788 
14.6
1989
2
1
16
16.0
0


Kelvin Martin - "K-Mart"
Selected in the 4th round of the 1988 draft out of Boston College, K-Mart caught 45 or more passes three years (88-90). With the arrival of Alvin Harper, Martin found his role dimished, used in 3rd down situations and excelling as a punt returner. He returned a punt 85 yards for the winning touchdown against the Eagles in 91. He left for the greener pastures of Seattle after the 92 season where he enjoyed some good seasons.  He returned to the Cowboys in 1996 for his final season.

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1987
103 
20.6 
1988
16
49
622
12.7
3
1989
11
46
644
14.0
2
1990
16
64
732
11.4
0
1991
16
16
243
15.2
0
1992
16
32
359
11.2
3
1996
16
25
380
15.2
1
Dal Totals
98
237
3083
13.0
9
Kelvin Martin #83
 

K-Mart led the NFC with 
532 yards in punt returns
in 92 and returned 2 for 
touchdowns.

Michael Irvin #88
 

Single-Game Bests
Receptions - 12 vs. San Francisco, 10/17/93 and at Miami, 10/27/96 
Playoffs - 12 at San Francisco, 1/15/95 

Yards Receiving - 210 vs. Phoenix, 9/20/92 
Playoffs - 192 at San Francisco, 1/15/95 
 

Average Yards Receiving - 26.3 twice, vs. Phoenix, 9/20/92; at Philadelphia, 10/5/92 
Playoffs - 20.8 at Chicago, 12/29/91 

Long Reception - 87t vs. Phoenix, 9/20/92 
Playoffs - 53 vs. Green Bay, 1/8/95 

Touchdowns - 3 twice, at Washington, 12/11/88; 
vs. Phoenix, 9/20/92 
Playoffs - 2 three times, last vs. G.B., 1/14/96 
1988

Michael Irvin - "The Playmaker"
The Cowboys drafted Irvin out of Miami with their first pick in 1988.  He has completly rewritten the Cowboys receiving record books.  He is the all-time leader in receptions, yards, 100-yard games, consecutive game with a catch.  He set Cowboy single season marks for catches (111), yardage (1,603) and 100-yard games (11) in 1995.  He has appeared in 5 Pro Bowls and has led the team in receiving every year since 1991.  Irvin retired following the 1999 season after suffering a season-ending neck injury in Philiadelphia in October. He was diagnosed with cervical stenosis, a congenital condition that means he has a narrow spinal column. 
 
 
Year No. Yds. Avg. Long TD
1988 32 654 20.4 61t 5
1989 26 378 14.5 65t 2
1990 20 413 20.7 61t 5
1991 93 1,523 16.4 66t 8
1992 78 1,396 17.9 87t 7
1993 88 1,330 15.1 61t 7
1994 79 1,241 15.7 65t 6
1995 111 1,603 14.4 50 10
1996 64 962 15.0 61 2
1997 75 1,180 15.7 55 9
1998 74 1,057 14.3 51 1
1999 10 167 16.7 37t 3
Totals 750 11,904 15.9 87t 65

 
Playoffs
Year No. Yds. Avg. Long TD
1991 9 167 18.6 25 0
1992 18 288 16 33 2
1993 16 215 13.4 27 1
1994. 18 303 16.8 53 2
1995 13 185 14.2 36 3
1996 9 125 13.9 22 0
1998 4 32 8 11 0
Totals 87 1315 15.1 53 8

Alvin Harper developed into the Cowboys "Home Run" receiver. Dallas' second pick in the 1991 draft out of Tennessee.  He led the league in 1993 with a 21.6-yard per catch average.  He caught several bombs from Aikman during his Cowboy career. He was espcially valuable during playoff time, against the 49ers in 93 he made a memorable game-breaking 45-yard touchdown catch.  He signed a big contract with Tampa Bay after the 1994 season.  He wasn't successful there and was eventually released. He signed for a short while with Washington who also released him. He rejoined the Cowboys in 99, but wasn't used. Alvin Harper #80

Year
Games
Rec.
Yards
Avg
TD
 1991
15 
20 
326 
16.3 
1992
16
35
562
16.1
4
1993
16
36
777
21.6
5
1994
16
33
821
24.9
8
Dal. Tot.
63
124
2486
20.0
18


 

"Rocket" Ismail Raghib "Rocket" Ismail went from a complimentary role to go-to man when Michael Irvin went down with a career-ending injury. After a successful career in the CFL, the Notre Dame All-American had good seasons with the Raiders, then came into his own as an NFL receiver with Carolina. Once he came to Dallas he set personal highs in receptions and yards. He became only the 6th Cowboy receiver to gain 1000 yards receiving. Rocket was injured in the 9th game of the 2000 season.

Rocket's Cowboy Stats
Year G GS Rec. Rec Yds. Rec. Avg. Long TD Rush Att. Rush Yds. Rush Avg. Long TD
1999 16 14 80 1097 13.7 76t 6 13 110 8.5 27t
1
2000
9
9
25
350
14.0
44
1
8
73
9.1
37
0
 
Rocket Ismail Joey Galloway On Feb. 12, 2000, the Cowboys finalized a trade with the Seattle Seahawks to bring wide receiver Joey Galloway to Dallas in exchange for first round draft choices in the 2000 and 2001 drafts. While his first year in Dallas was cut short because of injury. Teamed with Raghib Ismail, Dallas boasts one of the fastest receiving tandems in the NFL. Originally the eighth overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft, Galloway went on to start 67-of-71 games during his Seattle career and was an AFC Pro Bowl alternate in both 1997 and 1998. Only Cris Carter (52) and Carl Pickens (39) recorded more touchdown receptions between 1995-98 than Galloway's 36. He led the Seahawks in receiving yards and touchdowns in each of his first four seasons and led the club in receptions from 1996-98 after finishing second on the team as a rookie in 1995. His 12 100-yard receiving games are the third-best total in Seahawks history. In addition to his 37 receiving touchdowns, Galloway has one touchdown rushing and four touchdowns on punt returns. With 5,752 all-purpose yards in 72 games, he has averaged 79.9 yards-per-game and has caught a pass in all 72  games of his six-year career. Between receptions, rushes, punt and kickoff returns, Galloway averages 13.9 yards every time he touches the football and a touchdown every 7.6 receptions. 

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Copyright © 1997 Tim Stone
Last Modified - February 1998