ARLINGTON — Danny White, Cowboys quarterback from 1976-1988, knows about winning football teams being a Super Bowl XII champion in 1977.
Speaking Tuesday at Cowboys Stadium at EarthLink’s unveiling of their NextGen Cloud Platform, White opined where the Cowboys should go this Thursday in the draft.
“Offensive line. That’s an easy one. I really hope they get some help up front because that’s where everything starts,” White said on the field at Cowboys Stadium in the midst of an autograph session at the 50 yard line. “And it doesn’t matter how many good receivers they have or anything else, it all starts up front. And they really need some help.”
Aside from Tyron Smith, the Dallas Cowboys have not devoted first-round resources to offensive line in Jerry Jones’ tenure. Since 1994, the Dallas Cowboys have devoted seven second-rounders to offensive line, and only six third-rounders to offensive line. Among those thirteen total picks, only Larry Allen, Flozell Adams, and Andre Gurode stayed with the team longer than four seasons.
For Dallas fans, the debate between Romo and the offensive line is like the “chicken and the egg” conundrum. If Romo has the resources, does he have the leadership to get it done?
Having backed up Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, White answered pointedly: “Absolutely.”
“People are under the misconception that the quarterback is the guy that gets you there. But the quarterback is the last guy to do his job,” White explained, having gotten his team to three consecutive NFC Championship games from 1980-82. “He gets the protection and the receivers get separation and you have a good running game, a good deceptive game, then it makes the job easy for the quarterback.”
Since Romo took over in 2006, the average rank of his defenses has been 14th. The average rank of his rushing game has been 15th. Where Aikman had nine All Pro players blocking for him, Romo has had one.
White continued: “Tony hasn’t had that. He just hasn’t had the team around him, the D — there’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle and the quarterback is just one of them.”
Though himself not a Hall of Famer, Danny White played with numerous ones and was coached by one in Tom Landry. Who amongst White’s peers belongs in Canton?
“Well, the first one that I think of [who deserves to be the Hall of Fame] is Drew Pearson,” said White. “Drew probably made more big catches in big games than any receiver in the history of the game. You think about the Hail Mary, the ball he caught from me against the Falcons — two balls in the last four minutes, the block he made on Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard run.”
Drew Pearson caught 489 passes for 7,822 yards and scored 48 touchdowns in his 11-year career, which is 153 more catches and 2,360 more yards than Hall of Famer Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I mean, every time you turn around, when there’s a big play needed, Drew was the guy, you know. So, Drew Pearson absolutely should be in the Hall of Fame,” White concluded.
To hear the entire interview with Danny White, click here to listen.