Monday, February 05, 2007

#12's #65

Today is also Roger Staubach's birthday, something that was not blaring all over the radio today in the Dallas area for some unknown reason. After all, Staubach is a legend here, for good reason. He won two Super Bowls and barely lost two others to the best team of the '70s, the Steelers. He served his obligation in the Navy after a college career that guaranteed him a top place in the NFL. And he's one of the few top QBs from the '60s-70s era whose bang-to-hype ratio is respectable even in modern terms. Consider the "great" QBs of the era -- Bob Griese never passed for 2500 yards in a season; Bradshaw had a career TD/INT ratio of 212-210 and completion percentage under 52; Snake Stabler's career TD/INT ration was 194/222; Namath's is worse -- 173/220 and only a 50.1 completion rate (compare Stabler and Namath to Kenny Anderson who had 197/160 as his ratio with lesser teams).

Staubach was only a career 57% passer, but did that in an era of sub-55% completion rates. No West Coast draw-and-screen offenses operated then -- the purpose of the pass was to gain serious yardage downfield. Receiving was more difficult because defensive backs could be all over WRs like the jump instructor in a tandem skydive (up until about 1978 when the NFL stiffened the interference rules -- and Staubach's last two seasons were '78 and '79) . Staubach's 2500+ yard passing seasons from 1974-77 in the last years of the 14-game schedule may sound paltry today, but each landed him in the top 5 in the league in passing yardage (ditto his 1978 and 1979 totals when he cracked the 3000 yard mark). And unlike his Hall of Fame contemporaries Bradshaw, Griese and Namath (Stabler's not in; Lenny Dawson whose numbers are similar to Staubach, with higher TD% and higher INT%, is), Staubach had an impressive 153/109 TD/INT ratio.

So happy birthday to a local legend . . . who's played smart even after football and become a real estate mogul in the Dallas metroplex.

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