Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dandy Don and the Single Back Offense

by T.J. Troup

As a 15-year old reading Street & Smith's pro football in late summer of '66 reading about the improvement of the Dallas Cowboy offense in '65. 

Statements that Dallas had Meredith roll out more as the key element are only partially true. Watching film of Dallas in the second half of '65 (2-5 in the first half) saw that Tom had the Dallas offense in a single-back wing alignment much of the time.

Yes, Dandy Don did roll out, but much more important with Hayes's speed, and three other receivers quickly into their patterns. The Cowpokes go 5-2 and "earn" a Playoff Bowl berth. Mel Renfro was moved to offense in '66 to further this alignment and with his speed and athletic ability no doubt he would have contributed. Injury allowed free agent Dan Reeves to get playing time; which he took advantage of—especially as a receiver).

Using 16 games as an evaluation of Dandy Don (last seven of '65, and first nine of '66) he completed 230 of 436 for 4,265 yards, with 37 going for touchdowns, and 21 intercepted. The most impressive part of his passing stats you ask? 9.78 yards per pass, which is Otto-esque!
Ok, guys your thoughts?


  1. Pretty impressive 16 game total by Dandy Don. Except for the high interception number, his passing stats would fit nicely in the NFL in 2014.

  2. Don never got the credit or respect he deserved, especially from local Cowboy fans.

    They booed him mercilessly when things weren't going well. They never forgave him for those consecutive championship game losses to the Packers in 1966 and 1967. When the Cowboys lost the Eastern Conference Championship to the Browns in 1968, I think Meredith felt he had also lost all fan support.

    Well that, plus Coach Landry routinely hung him out to dry in the media, never taking the blame for a bad game plan, but instead blaming the players (especially Meredith) for poor execution. After the 1968 season, Meredith had had enough and finally called it quits, after just nine seasons.

    Roger Staubach showed up as a 27 year old rookie in 1969. You wonder if Meredith had stayed on, would Roger have been content as a third stringer? I think not, and the decade of the 1970s might have been quite different for the Cowboys, had Roger forced a trade.