Don Meredith, QB, 1960-68
Dandy Don is one of the greatest personalities the NFL has ever produced.
He was the Cowboys’ original star quarterback and helped the franchise quickly become relevant on the field. He went 47-32-4 as a starter, leading the league in yards per completion in 1965 and 1966.
Meredith threw for 17,199 yards with 135 TDs and 111 interceptions during his career. The fact he threw more TDs than interceptions is notable given the era he played.
Meredith was a three-time Pro Bowler and made the All-Pro team in 1966. He finished third in MVP voting that season.
Meredith retired at 30 years old and was still one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks when he left the game.
Then came a memorable broadcasting career as part of a memorable Monday Night Football commentary team including Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell. Meredith’s light-hearted, folksy persona was a hit.
And his singing “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” will forever be in MNF broadcasting lore.
Meredith is often referred to as the original Dallas Cowboy, signing a contract with the franchise before it had adopted a nickname, hired a head coach or even made a draft pick.
Meredith went into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor in 1976, but he’s never been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite having the resume as both a player and contributor to the game.