Bob Hayes

Dallas Cowboys Player Bob Hayes

Before the Dallas Cowboys

Robert Lee “Bullet Bob” Hayes was born on December 20th, 1942 in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended Matthew Gilbert High School (which is now a middle school) and was a backup halfback on the football team. In 1958, the Gilbert Panthers finished 12-0, and earned the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Associations championship title. At the time, due to segregation laws, this grand achievement went under the radar however they were later recognized as one of the best teams in FHSAA history.

Hayes’ other love during school was track and field. He was the first person to break six seconds in the 60 yard dash. He went on to Florida A&M, and ran a new world record for the 100 yard dash with a time of 9.2 seconds in 1962.

The next year, he amazingly broke his own record with 9.1 seconds. That record stood for the next 11 years. That same year, Hayes won world’s best for 200 meters and tied the world record for the 220 yard dash.

In 1964, Hayes won the 100m and broke the standing world record at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. This was despite poor track conditions and the fact that Hayes was running on borrowed spikes. He followed up with a second gold medal in the 4×100 meter relay. Before the race, France’s anchor runner Jocelyn Delecour famously said to Paul Drayton :“You can’t win; all you have is Bob Hayes”. Drayton replied after the race ,“All you need…” This triumph was Hayes’ last track and field even, after which he made a career change to football.

Dallas Cowboys Career

Bob Hayes was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 1964 NFL Draft. They took a chance on an Olympic sprinter with unrefined football skills, but their risk paid off. Hayes’ first two seasons were glowing. He led the NFL in receiving touchdowns, and in 1966 he caught six passes for 195 yards against the New York Giants at the Cotton Bowl. Later that season, Hayes caught nine passes for 246 yards in a Cowboys-Redskins match. He set a record that would not be broken until 2009. With his speed, no player could keep up with him.

Hayes was also a talented return punter. He led the NFL in 1968 with a 20.8 yard per return average and two touchdowns.

• Second player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys to surpass 1000 yards receiving in a single season
• Super bowl Champion for Super bowl VI
• 3 Time Pro Bowler
• 2 Time All American in the ring of honor
• Lead the team with 46 receptions his rookie year
• Set franchise records with 13 total Tds and 12 receiving Tds
• Totaled 371 receptions for 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns
• Totaled 68 yards rushed, 581 yards gained on 23 kickoff returns, and returned 104 punts for 1,158 yards and three touchdowns
• 4th in most receiving yards in Dallas Cowboy history (7,295)
• Named “World’s Fastest Human” after tying World Record in 100-meter dash

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On September 19th, 2002, Hayes passed away in his hometown of Jacksonville after a long battle with prostate cancer and liver ailments. A controversy surrounded a decision to put Hayes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, but despite the controversy he was finally inducted in 2009.