While doing my research on this week’s former Dallas Cowboy, I was a bit surprised with what I found. According to Google, this Cowboy had married Lorrie Morgan, the country music star formerly married to Keith Whitley, plus half the country music industry. This was her 6th marriage! After digging deeper, luckily, it was NOT our beloved Dallas Cowboy. Bullet dodged!
The #54 has been worn by a total of eight Cowboys; seven linebackers and one defensive tackle. In a fan poll, this Cowboy was voted, hands down, the favorite to wear that jersey. That jersey belongs to none other than Randall Lee White, born January 15, 1953 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In high school he played football at Thomas McKean High in Wilmington, DE, and graduated with the title of “Best All-Time Player” which he holds today. Recruited by the University of Maryland in 1971, the Terps, he played fullback his freshman season. His coaches decided fullback was not the right fit, so they moved him to defensive end his sophomore season. Turned out to be a wise decision and one that would benefit him later in life. He received multiple awards his senior season, including the Lombardi and the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. Good coaches know how to discern the true talents and skills of players. It’s also good that White was flexible enough to make the move.
The 6’4”, 257 pound White was picked at #2 in the 1975 National Football League draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Once again the coaches made the decision to play him at middle linebacker where he backed up Lee Roy Jordan. After Jordan retired, in 1977, White moved to right defensive tackle. This proved to be very advantageous to the team and to White. He was named All-Pro, made his first Pro Bowl, and was named co-MVP of Super Bowl XII with teammate, Harvey Martin. In 1978, he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Year. Nine consecutive All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams, three Super Bowls, six NFC championship games, and one game missed in 209 games in 14 seasons. No wonder people called him the Manster! He retired in 1988, the same year as his coach, Tom Landry. In 1994, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame; as well as the Ring of Honor.
After retirement, White, like his fellow former Cowboy, Walt Garrison, became the spokesperson for Smokey Mountain Chew, atobacco- and nicotine-free smokeless tobacco alternative. He currently lives in Tennessee, where he enjoys his four children. In April, 2012, the NFL received a lawsuit involving 174 former players. They are accusing the league of covering up the link between concussions and permanent brain injuries. White is one of the 174, along with Bob Lilly, Rayfield Wright and several other retired Cowboys. (Read more here.)
Was he the greatest Cowboy to ever play the game? That is debatable, but he is certainly in the top 10. The Manster – half man, half monster – was a force to be reckoned with as part of the Doomsday Defense.