Lee Roy Jordan 6'1" 215 Linebacker Dallas Cowboys 1963 - 1976 14 Seasons 186 Games Played 32 Interceptions 18 Fumble Recoveries 3 Touchdowns 1 Safety 5 Pro Bowls
Lee Roy Jordan was the Dallas Cowboys first draft pick of the 1963 draft. He was the sixth player chosen overall. Jordan was already a gridiron legend in college, after a spectacular career at Alabama University. He started as soon as he was eligible as a sophomore (freshmen were not allowed to play varsity sports during that time), and was the MVP of the 1960 Bluebonnet Bowl. The Crimson Tide won the national championship behind Jordan's leadership, then went 10 - 1 in his senior year. In his last game with Alabama in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma University, Lee Roy piled up a whopping 30 tackles and was named the games MVP. Lee Roy Jordan is a member of the Alabama Hall Of Fame and the College Football Hall Of Fame.
Lee Roy only suited up for seven games in his rookie year, but started each game at Outside Linebacker on the left side. He ended up swiping three interceptions and recovering a fumble. Jordan would pick off one pass the next year, then none the following season. He was moved to Middle Linebacker in 1966 and would stay there the rest of his career. This was the time the famous "Doomsday Defense" was at its beginnings, and Lee Roy was the leader. He picked off one pass that year and returned it 49 yards for a score. Lee Roy had 3 interceptions the next year for a career best 85 yards, while scoring another touchdown and recording a safety. The Cowboys would end up making it to the 1967 NFL Championship Game before losing to the Green Bay Packers in the famous "Ice Bowl". Lee Roy was named to the first of three consecutive Pro Bowls that season. Jordan had 3 picks in 1968, then 2 the following year. After getting an interception in 1970, Jordan ended up playing in Super Bowl V, the first Super Bowl after the NFL/ AFL merger. The Cowboys ended up losing in the waning seconds to the Baltimore Colts in a game dubbed "The Blunder Bowl" because it was a game that featured 11 turnovers by both teams and 10 penalties against Dallas. Lee Roy had 2 interceptions in 1971, and a career best 3 fumble recoveries. The Cowboys would go on to beat the Miami Dolphins 24 - 3 in Super Bowl VI. It is the only Super Bowl where a team was prevented from scoring a touchdown. Jordan had 2 more swipes in 1972, then had a career high 6 interceptions in 1973. In one game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Texas Stadium, Jordan picked off 3 passes in a five minute span. He took one ball for a 31 yard touchdown, and was named to the Pro Bowl after the season. Lee Roy made his final All Pro Team in 1974, after having 2 interceptions. 1975 saw Jordan tie his career high of 6 interceptions, while leading the Cowboys to Super Bowl X. The Cowboys ended up losing a close game to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jordan again started every game in 1976, but did not record any turnovers for only the second time of his career. He then retired after that season as the franchises all time leader in tackles, and his 32 interceptions are still tied for the third most ever by a linebacker in NFL history. Lee Roy Jordan is a member of the Cowboys Ring Of Fame.
There are a few theories as to why Jordan still awaits his call to Canton. One is that he was a member of a fantastic defense that featured Hall Of Fame Defensive Tackle Bob Lilly, along with such greats as George Andrie, Chuck Howrey, Jethro Pugh, Charlie Waters, Cornell Green, and Cliff Harris. Then there is some that say is was because of the genius diagramming of Hall Of Fame Coach Tom Landry that the "Doomsday Defense" was so effective. Others believe that the voters have some anti-Cowboys bias from that era as well. Maybe all those points have some validity, but you cannot ignore the facts that Jordan has placed in front of all to see through his play on the field. He was a true leader who always gave it everything he had on every play without fail. Not only was he a tackling machine, but the man helped get the ball back for his teams offense over 50 times in his career. Jordan gathered a turnover in every 3.72 games he played in his career, an outstanding percentage. His three interception game was named one of the ten most memorable moments in the history of in Texas Stadium in 2008. Not a big man in size or stature, Jordan's heart was immeasurable, and he was one of the top linebackers in the NFL almost every year that he played. When you see the late Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs inducted, though deservedly so, it can make one wonder. Thomas was known for just rushing the passer, and was not the complete player that Jordan was. Lee Roy Jordan certainly is deserving of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
Notable Players Drafted In 1963 ( * Denotes Hall Of Famer )
2. Jerry Stovall, DB, St. Louis Cardinals 5. Bob Vogel, OT, Baltimore Colts 7. Pat Richter, WR/ P, Washington 13. Don Brumm, DE, St. Louis 14. Dave Robinson, LB, Green Bay 16. Bobby Bell, T, Minnesota * 17. Bob Reynolds, OT, St. Louis 18. Ray Mansfeild, OT, Philadelphia 19. John Mackey, TE, Baltimore * 21. Walter Rock, OT, San Francisco 23. Jim Kanicki, DT, Cleveland 28. Tom Brown, DB, Green Bay 35. Ron Snidow, DE, Washington 44. Paul Flatley, WR, Minnesota 47. Jerry Logan, DB, Baltimore 55. Chuck Walton, G, Detroit 88. Lee Roy Caffey, LB, Philadelphia 89. Willie Richardson, WR, Baltimore 102. Tom Woodeshick, RB, Philadelphia 114. Willis Crenshaw, RB, St. Louis 129. Jackie Smith, TE, St. Louis * 136. Bill Nelsen, QB, Pittsburgh 144. Ralph Heck, LB, Philadelphia 145. Winston Hill, OT, Baltimore 146. Ray Schoenke, G, Dallas 152. Karl Kassulke, DB, Detroit 154. Marv Fleming, TE, Green Bay 157. Chuck Walker, G, Saint Louis 186. Nate Ramsey, DB, Philadelphia 220. Andy Russell, LB, Pittsburgh 241. Larry Stallings, LB, Saint Louis 259. Jim Turner, K, Washington 265. Buck Buchanan, DT, NY Giants * 278. Homer Jones, WR, NY Giants
Mick Tingelhoff 6' 2" 237 lbs Center Minnesota Vikings 1962 - 1978 17 Seasons 240 Games Played (Consecutive) 6 Pro Bowls
Henry Michael Tingelhoff was an undrafted rookie signed by the Vikings before the 1962 season. Mick earned three letters during his collegiate football career at Nebraska University, but did not start until his senior year in 1961. Mick was a co-caption on that team, which had its biggest offensive output in over five seasons. Tingelhoff participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile , Ala. , and in the All-American Bowl after the season was over. Mick Tingelhoff is a member of the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
Mick earned the starting job at Center in the second preseason game of his rookie year. It was a role he would not relinquish until he retired after 1978. He made his first All Pro team in 1964, and would attain that honor every year until 1969. 1969 was the year the Vikings were crowned NFL Champions, and went on to play the AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV and lose. He was named to the 1,000-Yard Club in 1969, honoring the NFL’s top blocker. In 1970, he was named to the First Team All NFL by both the Pro Football Writers and Pro Football Weekly. He was named First Team All Conference by the Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly. He was named Second Team All NFL by Newspaper Ent. Association and Second Team All Conference by the UPI. The Vikings went back to the Super Bowl in 1973, before losing to the Miami Dolphins. The Vikings returned to the Super Bowl the following season, but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Vikings continued to be an NFL powerhouse throughout the decade and returned to Super Bowl XI in 1976, but lost to the Oakland Raiders. Mick returned after the 1978 season having started every game the Vikings played his entire career. His 240 consecutive starts were then the second most in NFL history, thirty starts behind his Vikings team mate Jim Marshall. The only player in Nebraska University history to enjoy a longer NFL career was Tingelhoff's Husker teammate, Ron McDole, who spent 18 years in the league from 1961 to 1978. Mick has been inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor and has had his #53 jersey retired by the franchise.
Mick's omission from Canton is one of the most confusing in all of my CCC profilees. The numbers are obvious. Mick was one of the most dominant Center's of his era, and defined the true definition of an iron horse. You can easily note his consecutive starts streak, the fact he was a Pro Bowler six straight seasons, and was part of the most dominant team in the NFC during the 1970's. The Vikings were a well balanced offense that scored points off the ground and via the air. Tingelhoff snapped the ball to such great NFL QB'S like Hall Of Famer Fran Tarkenton and Joe Kapp. He also helped pave the way for Vikings great Chuck Foreman, and others, to gain huge chunks of yardage. Much of the yardage Tarkenton acquired thru the air to set a then NFL record in passing yards and passing touchdowns were helped along by Mick's protection. He was a sound technical blocker who used his intelligence, grit, and determination to get the job done better than most Centers who ever played the game. The fact that the voters have passed on him over these years truly shows many hardly pay attention to the battles in the trenches. There is absolutely no question that Mick Tingelhoff belongs in the NFL Hall Of Fame.
Notable Players Noted in 1962 (* Denotes Hall Of Famer)
1. Ernie Davis, RB, Washington 2. Roman Gabriel, QB, Los Angeles Rams 3. Merlin Olsen, DT, LA Rams * 4. Gary Collins, WR, Cleveland 8. Lance Alworth, WR, San Francisco * 10. John Hadl, QB, Detroit 12. Irv Goode, G, Saint Louis Cardinals 16. Joe Carollo, G, LA Rams 40. Pat Holmes, DE, Philadelphia 43. Billy Neighbors, G, Washington 66. Dan Birdwell, DT, Detroit 82. George Andrie, DE, Dallas 88. Jim Bakken, K, LA Rams 93. Fred Miller, DT, Baltimore Colts 104. Gary Ballman, WR, Pittsburgh 115. Ike Lassiter, DE, LA Rams 151. Clifton McNeil, WR, Cleveland 163. Bake Turner, WR, Baltimore 211. Tommy Brooker, DE, Washington 220. Tom Sestak, DT, Detroit 249. Sonny Bishop, G, Cleveland
Lionel Thomas Taylor was an undrafted rookie signed by the Chicago Bears for the 1959 season. Lionel went to college initially at West Virginia University before quickly transferring to New Mexico Highlands University. The Highlands has produced 21 pro football players, including two Rookie Of The Years (Don Woods and Carl Garrett). Taylor was a two way player who also starred on the schools basketball and track teams. He played Defensive End and Wide Receiver. The team ran a single wing formation, so the team rarely passed the ball. One season the team played with just 25 healthy players, and 4 of those men were banged up. So the healthy guys played all 60 minutes of every game. Taylor was still able to make All Conference in 2 seasons as a WR, as well as making the Little All American team one year. Lionel Taylor is a member of the New Mexico Highlands Hall Of Fame.
Lionel only got in on 8 games as a rookie with the Bears. He only played special teams and accumulated no statistics. Not happy with his role with the Bears, Lionel joined the expansion Denver Broncos of the fledgling American Football League in 1960. He started out as a fourth string receiver on the roster. He was playing catch with Frank Tripuka, an assistant coach on the Broncos. The quarterbacks the Broncos had in camp were not acceptable, so Tripuka was asked to suit up. He told the Denver staff how impressed he was with Taylor's ability to catch anything thrown his way, so the Broncos promoted Taylor to the starters job at Split End. He started producing immediately. He had 92 receptions, which led the AFL. Taylor also had career highs of 1,235 yards and 12 touchdowns. He took one pass for a career long 80 yards as well. Taylor was named to his first All Pro team that year for his efforts. 1961 would be the year that Lionel Taylor would be most remembered for. He became the first player in the history of professional football to have 100 receptions in one season. He had 1,176 yards and 4 touchdowns also, and was named to his second All Pro squad. Lionel was named to his third straight All Pro team the next year, when he had 77 receptions for 908 yards and 4 scores. 1963 saw Lionel lead the AFL in receptions for a fourth straight season, when he snagged 78 balls for 1,101 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was named to the UPI AFL Second Team for his efforts. He followed that up with 76 receptions for 873 yards and 7 scores the next season. Taylor made his last All Pro team in 1965, when he led the AFL with 85 receptions. He also gained 1,131 yards and scored six times. 1966 was a rough season for the Denver Broncos. They were last in the AFL in passing, running, and total offense. They played 5 quarterbacks and won only 4 games. Taylor was third on the team with 35 receptions for 448 yards and scored once. Lionel then joined the Houston Oilers in 1967. He played in just 8 games and caught 18 balls for 233 yards and a scored once. Lionel's last year in professional football was in 1968. He appeared in 9 games and caught a career low 6 passes for 90 yards without scoring. He retired after that season.
I really am confused to as why Lionel Taylor has not yet been inducted into Canton. You look at recent inductee "Bullet" Bob Hayes and can make a case that Taylor is much more deserving. Taylor had almost 200 more career receptions than Hayes, despite being the Broncos only option in the passing game. Taylor frequently was covered by two or more defenders on each passing down. He caught his 100 balls in a 14 game season which also included the 10 yard chuck rule, thus making it even harder for a pass catcher to do his job. Taylor was an intelligent and crafty player not blessed with great speed, but often faked defenders out of position with a wide variety of moves. He also had incredible hands and caught seemingly every pass caught his way. He did not play on any good teams that had other options to go to like Hayes. He was all Denver had pretty much. He led the AFL in receptions in five of his first six seasons, and averaged over 84 yards per reception over that span. It was then a record as the highest total over a six year span. Taylor is still first in Broncos history with his 6,872 receptions yardage, and is second with 543 receptions. Lionel Taylor is a member of the Denver Broncos Ring Of Fame and the Colorado Sports Hall Of Fame. Some may argue that Taylor did not have long enough of a career of excellence to be inducted, but then I point out Gale Sayers. Taylor, like Sayers, stood out on some teams that did not win much. Both were the primary weapons of their teams as well. I tend to think the real reason is because Taylor played in the AFL. I always say that this is the PRO Football Hall Of Fame, NOT the NFL Hall Of Fame! Many great AFL players, as you may have read in some other CCC selections, are still awaiting the call unjustly. I think it is quite evident that when you look at Lionel Taylor's numbers and impact on the game, he belongs in Canton.
Notable Players Drafted In 1959 (None are a Canton Inductee Yet)
2. Dick Bass, FB, Los Angelos Rams 3. Bill Stacy, DB, Chicago Cardinals 5. Dave Baker, DB, San Francisco 6. Nick Pietrosante, FB, Detroit 9. Paul Dickson, DT, LA Rams 12. Jackie Burnett, LB, Baltimore 15. J.D. Smith, OT, Philadelphia 17. Bob L. Harrison, LB, San Francisco 19. Mike Rabold, G, Detroit 21. Rich Petitbon, DB, Chicago Bears 22. Buddy Dial, WR, NY Giants 23. Dick Shafrath, OT, Cleveland 25. Bowd Dowler, WR, Green Bay 26. Wray Carlton, RB, Philadelphia 28. Emil Karas, LB, Washington 29. Eddie Dove, DB, San Francisco 34. Joe Morrison, RB, NY Giants 35. Fran O'Brien, OT, Cleveland 41. Monte Clark, DT, San Francisco 44. John Tracey, LB, LA Rams 47. Dave Lloyd, LB, Cleveland 49. Bob Wetoska, OT, Washington 53. John Wooten, G, Cleveland 58. Dick LeBeau, CB, Detroit 80. Eddie Meador, DB, LA Rams 102. Bobby Joe Green, P, San Francisco 119. Bob Zeman, DB, Cleveland 123. Art Powell, WR, Philadelphia 125. Harry Jacobs, LB, Detroit 141. Mike Connelly, C, LA Rams 164. Joe Robb, DE, Chicago Bears 167. Elbert Dubenion, WR, Cleveland 173. Bruce Maher, DB, Detroit 177. Roger LeClerc, LB, Chicago Bears 209. Joe Kapp, QB, Washington 219. Alan Miller, FB, Philadelphia 223. Dave Kocourek, TE, Pittsburgh 242. Dale Memmelaar, G, Chicago Cardinals 249. Donnie Stone, RB, Chicago Bears 250. Jim Fraser, LB, Cleveland 266. Fred Glick, DB, Chicago Cardinals 313. Timmy Brown, RB, Green Bay 319. Charley Tolar, FB, Pittsburgh 331. Ron Hall, DB, Pittsburgh 353. Jim Colclough, WR, Washington