By T.J. Troup
Eddie LeBaron began his NFL career in 1952 after a productive career in college, and serving our country with honor in Korea.
|Baugh and LeBaron. Colorization by John Turney|
Head Coach Joe Kuharich believed in a power running game, and with the defense now entrenched in the 4-3 the Redskins became contenders for the Eastern Division crown in 1955.
ball handling skills and his ability to pass after precision fakes led to an upset opening day in 1955 against the defending league champion Browns. His 13-yard scoring canter after traversing the entire field was the final score in the upset. Eddie kept defenses off balance with his roll outs, fakes, and thew continued use of Kuharich's unbalanced offensive alignments for the next three seasons. Though Washington was capable of beating anyone, wins just did not come often enough for Kuharich to keep his job. LeBaron's had a highly efficient season passing in 1958 as he completed 37 of 64 for 686 yards with 9 going for touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions in the four Washington LeBaron . The season highlight came on November 9th when the "Little General" threw 5 touchdown passes in the victory over the Chicago Cardinals. A double run fake; a beautiful touch pass down the right sideline to halfback Jim Podoley for 66 yards set up his 5 yard pitch to Joe Walton. Second quarter and Eddie wins over the middle to Podoley for 20 yards and a score. A mix-up in the backfield would have stymied many a signal caller, but LeBaron had the wherewithal to roll left and find Podoley open for a 10 yard scoring toss. Before the half, Eddie throws to Walton in the right flat for 18 yards and his fourth touchdown after a sterling play action fake reminiscent of Frankie Albert. flips
Expansion in Texas and head coach Tom Landry wants a veteran signal caller to take the reins in Dallas in '60. Though the maiden voyage of the Cowboys is a
struggle; there is a player heading to Los Angeles for the pro bowl. End Jim Doran latched on to enough of LeBaron's accurate passes to earn that distinction. Talented Don Meredith has a fine future in football as he shares the position with Eddie during an improved 1961 season. winless
October 14, 1962, stands out in passing annuals as LeBaron achieves a PERFECT passer rating of 158.3 (completes 7 of 7 for 128 yards and a touchdown) in the win over Philadelphia. Next up; a strong hard-bitten gang of
Steelers by "The Little General's" passing acumen 42-27. First quarter and LeBaron are destroyed to fires for 16 yards and a score. In the second quarter and speedy Frank Clarke (caught more LeBaron touchdown passes than any other player) grabs a pass and strides 45 yards to score. Third quarter; and Clarke Howton two touchdown passes from Eddie (3 and 13 yards) as Dallas takes command of the game. His fifth and final is a 26 yard toss to Lee Folkins. Many fine passers have played for multiple teams, but how many have thrown 5 touchdown passes for two teams in their career? Six weeks into the campaign and LeBaron leads the league in passing as he has completed 60 of 92 for a whopping 945 yards with 11 scores and just 4 intercepted and Dallas has a winning record (3-2-1). Though the Cowboys fell from contention; LeBaron was honored with another Pro Bowl selection. Landry many times during the year rotated quarterbacks with the play. Eddie comes back for one final season in 1963 as Meredith's back-up. The Dallas Cowboys won 11 games during LeBaron's time in Texas. His passing was the key element as his passer rating was 107.7! May the "Little General" rest in peace. catches