Dallas Cowboys: 15 best draft-day steals of all-time

Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Bob Hayes, Dallas Cowboys
Bob Hayes, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Best draft-day steals by the Dallas Cowboys of all-time: 3. Bob Hayes

1964 NFL Draft: Round 7, Pick No. 88

Bob Hayes was fast. And when I say fast, I mean Olympic Gold fast, as he displayed during his time as a track star. When he arrived at Florida A&M, Hayes became one of the elite track runners in the country. By the time he made his Cowboys debut in the NFL, he had shattered world records, and brought home Olympic Gold for the United States.

During the 1964 NFL Draft, the Cowboys made Hayes a future pick, meaning they could draft him before his eligibility was up at Florida A&M. The Denver Broncos also made Hayes a draft pick that year, but called on him in the 14th round of the AFL Draft, though Hayes would choose the NFL over the AFL.

A seventh-round pick in 1964, Hayes would go on to become an immediate star for the Cowboys, leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns in each of his first two seasons. In his rookie season, he became only the second player in team history to go over 1,000 yards on the ground, or in receiving yards, as he changed the way defenses played wideouts.

An incredible punt returner as well, Hayes would go on to be named to three Pro Bowls and was twice named a First-Team All-Pro. During his time with the Cowboys, his speed helped the team to two NFC titles, and he played a key role in the team’s first ever Super Bowl victory.

Even today, Hayes is the only athlete in history to win both an Olympic Gold Medal and a Super Bowl ring. He is by far one of the greatest athletes in sports history.

Hayes was finally elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, thanks to the senior committee. However, that came posthumously, as it was seven years after his death.