Tony Dorsett

Dallas Cowboys Player Tony Dorsett

Before the Dallas Cowboys

Anthony “Tony” Dorsett was born on April 7th, 1954 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. He attended Hopewell High School where he played both football and basketball. As a sophomore, he started as a cornerback. His coaches didn’t believe that the 147 pound Dorsett was big enough to play running back, but in a competition in 1971 he proved them wrong by taking a screen pass 75 yards for a touchdown.

Dorsett ended the year as an All-State selection, rushed 1,034 yards and scored 19 touchdowns.

At the end of the next season, Dorsett was again an All-State selection, and set a single game rushing record with 247 yards. His single season rushing record was 1,238 yards and he led his team to a 9-1 season. At the end of his senior year, he played at the Big 33 Football Classic, and it was the first time that future coach Johnny Majors saw him play live.

Dorsett continued on to the University of Pittsburgh, and became the first freshman in 29 years to be named All-American. He finished second in the nation in rushing with 1,586 yards in 11 games and led the Pittsburgh Panthers to their first winning season in 10 years. He played powerfully through his years at college, and ended his senior year as the winner of the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award, and the United Press International Player of the Year.

Dallas Cowboys Career

Dorsett was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the second pick of the first round in 1977. In his rookie year, he rushed for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns and picked up the Rookie of the Year honors. In the tenth game of the season, Dorsett was announced as starter, and he would keep that position for many years. He ended his first year with the Cowboys with a Super Bowl win against the Denver Broncos. In his second season in 1978, Dorsett rushed 1,325 yards and 9 touchdowns, and once more made the Super Bowl, but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-31.

Dorsett didn’t stay with the Dallas Cowboys through his entire career. He moved to the Denver Broncos after having a total of 12,033 yards with the Dallas Cowboys. He was traded in 1988 for a condition fifth-round draft choice. During his time with Denver, he led the Broncos with 703 yards and five touchdowns that year, but due to previous injuries, he was forced into retirement in 1989.

• Recorded 12,733 yards total
• Recorded 77 touchdowns
• In 1983, he broke a 99-yard touchdown run against the Vikings
• Made Pro-Bowl 4 times (1978, 1981-1983)
• Rushed for over 1,000 yards in 8 of his first 9 seasons
• 1-Time All-Pro
• NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
• 3 All-NFC selections
• 1 Super Bowl Title ( Super Bowl XII)
• NFL Record 99-yard TD Run (1/3/83 @ Minnesota)
• 4th All-Time NFL Career Rushing (12,036)
• 3rd All-Time Franchise Career Points (516)
• 2nd All-Time Franchise Career Touchdowns (86)
• 2nd All-Time Franchise Career Rushing Yards Gained (12,036)
• 1st All-Time Franchise Rookie Rushing Yards Gained (1,007)

Get to Know Your Dallas Cowboy

After leaving the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, Dorsett has hosted the Tony Dorsett Celebrity Golf Classic for McGuire Memorial. The event is in its 17th year and has raised nearly $5 million in support of McGuire Memorial’s mission.

• Has a street and stadium named after him in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
• Most productive season was in 1981, where he recorded 1,646 yards
• His son Anthony also played football at University of Pittsburgh and played as a defensive back in the NFL from 1996 to 2003.
• He made Super Bowl appearances with both the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders.