Bob Lilly

Robert Lewis Lilly (born July 26, 1939), nicknamed "Mr. Cowboy", is a former American football defensive tackle and photographer. After a college career at Texas Christian University (TCU), he played for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons. Lilly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.

Bob Lilly
Bob lilly signed
circa 1968
No. 74
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:July 26, 1939 (age 79)
Olney, Texas[1]
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Pendleton (Pendleton, Oregon)
NFL Draft:1961 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
AFL draft:1961 / Round: 2 / Pick: 14
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:196
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Born in Olney, Texas, Lilly grew up in Throckmorton, the son of John and Margaret (Redwine) Lilly.[2] Lilly's father and grandfather were both involved in farming and ranching, but the severe 1950s Texas drought forced his family to move at the end of his junior year at Throckmorton High School, where he received All-District honors in football. In basketball, he was named All-District and Honorable-mention All-state.

In 1956, Lilly and his family relocated to northeastern Oregon to Pendleton—where his mother had family and jobs were available—for his senior year. At Pendleton High School, he was named All-state in football and second-team All-state in basketball for the Buckaroos.[3] He also was the state javelin champion in track.

College career

Lilly accepted a college football scholarship from Texas Christian University, where he was nicknamed 'Tiger' by his teammates. As a sophomore, he was a part of the team that won the Southwest Conference Championship, where he was mainly a backup (one start).

He became a starter the next year, playing alongside All-SWC defensive tackle Don Floyd, while helping his team earn a tie for the Southwest Conference Championship with the University of Texas and the University of Arkansas. He also received All-Southwest Conference honors on a defense that allowed only eight points per game.

Lilly was a consensus All-American as a senior in 1960 and was a 2006 inductee to the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980. He is a notable brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Texas Gamma chapter.[4][5]

Professional career

The Dallas Cowboys traded their first round draft choice in the 1961 NFL draft, as part of the deal to get Eddie LeBaron from the Washington Redskins, so the Cowboys had to trade their first round pick (#4-Gary Collins) in the 1962 NFL draft along with offensive tackle Paul Dickson, in exchange for the Cleveland Browns first round draft choice (thirteenth overall) in 1961, in order to select Lilly, the first draft choice in franchise history.[6]

Lilly began his career as a defensive end in 1961, but midway though the 1963 (his third) season Cowboys coach Tom Landry moved him to defensive tackle. Lilly made the adjustment becoming the main man in Dallas's vaunted "Doomsday Defense". As a tackle, Lilly was a first-team All-NFL choice every year from 1964 through 1969, then again in 1971. In 1970, the Cowboys finally made the Super Bowl, against the Baltimore Colts, only to lose the game (V), 16-13, on a field goal in the final nine seconds; after the game, he infamously tossed his helmet in the air, frustrated at the loss. In 1971 he and the rest of the Cowboys convincingly won Super Bowl VI over the Miami Dolphins, 24-3. His 29-yard sack of Dolphin quarterback Bob Griese (an NFL Record) is one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl defensive history. This was the signature play of his 14-year hall-of-fame career.

Lilly was named an All-Pro seven times, and was selected to play in 11 Pro Bowl games. He was also drafted in the second round (14th overall) in the 1961 AFL Draft by the Dallas Texans (now Kansas City Chiefs). His greatest assets were his pass-rushing skills and his ability to slice plays open with his agility and instincts. He had a distinct stance, the so-called four-point stance, placing both hands on the field instead of the more usual one, generating greater force when rushing straight ahead. Lilly's agility and quickness helped him score four defensive touchdowns in his career. His first was returning an interception 17 yards in 1964 while the other three came on fumble recoveries.

What separated Lilly from other defensive tackles was his combination of agility, conditioning and strength (although he didn't start lifting weights until his sixth season in the NFL),[7] that allowed him to make tackles from sideline to sideline. NFL Films did an eight-minute feature on Lilly and called him the "unblockable, unstoppable, force of The Doomsday Defense". He was regularly double and triple teamed for the majority of his career due to his impact in the games. Although the head slap was legal when he played, he never liked to use it to gain an advantage over opponents.[8] Lilly played in 196 consecutive regular-season games. The only NFL game he missed in his career was the 1973 NFC Championship Game loss (10-27) on December 30 against the Minnesota Vikings due to a leg injury. Lilly injured his hamstring in the Cowboys victory (22-10) against the Denver Broncos on December 2. In the first play of the 1973 NFC Divisional playoff game three weeks later on December 23 versus the Los Angeles Rams (Cowboys 27-Rams 16), he re-injured his same hamstring.

Affectionately known as "Mr. Cowboy," his name was the first inscribed in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, above Texas Stadium and the current AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys had a Bob Lilly Day on November 23, 1975, to honor him and make Lilly the first inductee into The Ring of Honor. He has attended every induction of each Ring of Honor inductee since.

Lilly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility, and was the first player who spent his entire career with the Cowboys to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He entered the Hall of Fame along with former teammate Herb Adderley (for two seasons), as well as David "Deacon" Jones and Jim Otto. The Sporting News named him a member of the All-Century NFL Team and "the greatest defensive tackle in NFL history". Lilly, Adderley, and Jones were all drafted in 1961. Tom Landry said of Lilly: "As I've said before, another Lilly won't come along in my time. We're observing a man who will become a legend". This comment is from the 1972 Street and Smith's Pro Football Yearbook. He also said that "Nobody is better than Lilly". He is a member of the National Football League 1960s All-Decade Team and National Football League 1970s All-Decade Team.

In 1999, he was ranked number 10 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the highest-ranking defensive lineman and the highest-ranking Cowboy. The only defensive players ranked ahead of Lilly were Dick Butkus and Lawrence Taylor. Sports Illustrated named him one of the ten most revolutionary defensive players.

Although the Cowboys do not have a practice to retire jersey numbers, Lilly is the only player to wear #74 in team history (with the exception of pre-season games).[9]

Personal life

Bob Lilly signs autographs Jan 2014
Lilly signs autographs in 2014.

When he began traveling with the Cowboys, Lilly regularly had his camera at his side. His interest in photography began when he was named to the College Football All-America Team in 1961, which was sponsored by Kodak. As a part of the honor he was given a 35-mm camera and a year's supply of film by the company.[10] Before and after games, he spent an increasing amount of time studying and photographing old sports stadiums. Lilly co-authored the 1983 book Bob Lilly Reflections with sportswriter Sam Blair, featuring scores of his black-and-white photographs of teammates in candid poses.[11] He was also a photographer for the Texas Air National Guard where he was an Airman 2nd Class. Lilly spent two weeks in 1967 as part of the Texas National Guard at the Rhein-Main Air Base in West Germany.

After his retirement from pro football, Lilly moved to Waco, Texas, where he successfully operated a beer distribution business until 1982, when he saw the impact of a traffic accident caused by drunken driving and decided to sell the company and launch his landscape photography career.[12] He lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico from 1984 to 1989, where he opened a photo art gallery, complete with both color and black-and-white darkrooms. In 1989, he moved back to Texas, settling in Graham, Texas.[3] As of 2016, the grandfather of twelve and great-grandfather of two lived with his wife, Ann, whom he married in 1974, in Georgetown, Texas.


  1. ^ Lilly, Bob; Kristine Setting Clark (2008), A Cowboy's Life, Chicago, Illinois: Triumph Books, p. 3, ISBN 978-1-60078-101-8
    Monk, Cody (2004). Legends of the Dallas Cowboys. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-58261-707-7.
    Anderson, Dave (1967). Great defensive players of the NFL. Random House. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-394-80197-1.
    Smith, Don (1988). NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame All Time Greats. Gallery Books. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-8317-6300-8.
    National Football League (1992). Official 1992 National Football League Record & Fact Book. Workman Pub. Co. ISBN 978-1-56305-247-7.
    Smith, Ron (1997). NFL Football: The Official Fan's Guide. Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-57243-214-7.
    Johnson, Rafer (2009). Great Athletes. Salem Press. ISBN 978-1-58765-473-2.
  2. ^ "Lilly Family Search". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Bob Lilly Biography". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Sigma Phi Epsilon (March 1, 2009). "Dallas Cowboys player and SigEp Bob Lilly publishes autobiography". Sigma Phi Epsilon Journal. 106 (2): 13–14. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  5. ^ Discovering New Grounds. ULM Chacahoula. p. 283.
  6. ^ "Did Eagles pick new lark player?". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. December 28, 1960. p. 21.
  7. ^ "Hall of Famer Bob Lilly lauds J.J. Watt's style of play". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "10 things to know about Cowboys Hall of Famer Randy White". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  9. ^ MacMahon, Tim (April 23, 2010), Cowboys' Bryant to wear sacred No. 88,
  10. ^ Photography Archived July 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. - Bob Lilly Promo
  11. ^ Lilly, Bob, and Sam Blair, (1983). - Bob Lilly Reflections. - Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company. - ISBN 0-87833-338-X.
  12. ^ "10 things to know about Cowboys legend Bob Lilly". Retrieved February 19, 2016.

External links

1960 College Football All-America Team

The 1960 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1960. The six selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1960 season are (1) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), (2) the Associated Press (AP), (3) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), (4) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (5) the Sporting News, and (6) the United Press International (UPI).

Seven players, including 1960 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino of Navy, and College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Mike Ditka of Pitt and Bob Lilly of TCU, were unanimously named first-team All-Americans by all six official selectors.

1961 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1961 Dallas Cowboys season was their second in the National Football League. The team finished with 4 wins, 9 losses, and 1 tie, placing them 6th in the Eastern Conference.

1962 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1962 Dallas Cowboys season was their third in the league. The team finished with a record of 5 wins, 8 losses, and 1 tie, placing them 5th in the NFL's Eastern Conference.

1964 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in the NFL in 1964. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1965 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of National Football League (American football) players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1965. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1966 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and New York Daily News selected All-Pro players following the 1966 NFL season.

1967 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1967. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1968 All-Pro Team

This is a list of players named as All-Pros based on their performance in the 1968 AFL and NFL season. These lists provide a perspective into how players were judged against their peers by critics of their time. Players representing both the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) are included.

1971 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1971 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's 12th in the National Football League and the first at the new Texas Stadium in suburban Irving, Texas. The club led the NFL with 406 points scored. Their defense allowed 222 points.

For the sixth consecutive season, the Cowboys had a first-place finish. They won their second-consecutive NFC championship, then defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI to capture their first Super Bowl championship. They were the first team from the NFC to win a Super Bowl since the 1970 merger of the National Football League and the American Football League, and subsequently, the first team from the NFC East division to win the title.

1972 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1972. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP, NEA, and PFWA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that are included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1972.

1972 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1972 Dallas Cowboys season was their 13th in the league. The team failed to improve their previous output of 11–3, winning only ten games. They qualified for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season but settled for the wildcard spot. A pre-season injury to quarterback Roger Staubach and the trade of Duane Thomas (both had been integral figures in the 1971 championship team) hindered the offense (mitigated somewhat since their replacements, Craig Morton and Calvin Hill, were former starters). In the divisional playoff round, Staubach came off the bench to engineer an improbable 30–28 comeback win over the 49ers (Dallas had trailed by 28–16 with less than 2 minutes to play). The win over the 49ers still ranks as one of the all-time great Cowboys wins. However, the momentum could not carry them to a victory over Washington in the NFC Championship game.

1974 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1974 Dallas Cowboys season was their 15th in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 10–4, winning only eight games. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons and this marked the only season from 1966 to 1983 (18 seasons) that the Cowboys did not qualify.

The Cowboys began with a 1–4 start and although they went 7–2 afterwards, it was not enough to overcome the slow start.

The season featured one of the most memorable Thanksgiving Day games in Cowboys history. Trailing 16–3 in the second half (and having already lost quarterback Roger Staubach to injury), little used backup Clint Longley threw two touchdown passes to lead the team to a 24–23 victory over the Redskins at Texas Stadium.

1974 was also a season of transition; as it would be the final season of future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Bob Lilly. Also finishing their careers that season would be fullback Walt Garrison; and center Dave Manders. Also, this would be the final season for wide receiver Bob Hayes (who would finish his career with the San Francisco 49ers the following year); running back Calvin Hill (who departed for the Hawaiians of the World Football League); defensive end Pat Toomay (who left for the Buffalo Bills); guard John Niland (who left the following year for the Philadelphia Eagles) and quarterback Craig Morton (traded early in the season to the New York Giants) in a Cowboy uniform.

Bill Pickel

William George Pickel (born November 5, 1959 in Queens, New York) is a former defensive tackle who played for twelve seasons in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Raiders (1983–1990) and the New York Jets (1991–1994). Pickel attended St. Francis Prep. He played college football for Rutgers University. As a second round draft pick of the Raiders in 1983, Pickel overcame injuries to win a Super Bowl as a rookie, and was a sack threat during the early part of his career with the Raiders, making the 1985 All-Pro team. He is currently 98th in career sacks with 56. A standout player, Pickel played nearly every Raider defensive snap in 1984 and 1985. He had a distinct 4-point stance, placing two hands down instead of the usual one, as was the case with other quick defensive tackles such as Bob Lilly and Tom Keating.

Pickel guest starred in a 1994 episode of Home Improvement[1]. He is noted for his volunteer work with the Joshua Frase Foundation, a non-profit group that supports research for centronuclear myopathy.

Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor

The Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor (RoH) was a ring around Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas and currently around AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas which honors former players, coaches and club officials who made outstanding contributions to the Dallas Cowboys football organization.

The Ring of Honor was created by Tex Schramm and began on November 23, 1975, which was designated in Dallas as Bob Lilly Day. On that day, the team held the first Cowboys reunion and unveiled Lilly's name and jersey number (74) beneath the press box during half time. As the first honoree, Lilly (who had retired from the NFL in July of '75 after 14 years) donned his Cowboy uniform once more and graciously accepted the honor, along with numerous other gifts, which included a car, a gun and a hunting dog. Also present at the event were Cowboys owner Clint Murchison, president/general manager Tex Schramm and Head Coach Tom Landry. As the first inductee, Lilly has the distinction of returning to present each new member into the RoH. Only nine players received the honor during the first three decades of the Cowboys existence, making the RoH a coveted achievement, true to the dream envisioned by Schramm, who became the 12th person selected to the Ring of Honor; the award was given posthumously in October 2003, a few months after he died.

In 2005, three former Cowboys all-stars were simultaneously inducted during half time ceremonies on Monday Night Football. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, known as "The Triplets", were part of the 1990s Three-Time Super Bowl Championship Cowboys team.Ring of Honor inductees have been chosen by the former president-general manager, Tex Schramm and then by owner Jerry Jones. Schramm set a precedent by placing a high value on the character of the inductees. There was controversy over the selection of Michael Irvin due to his drug charges.In 2017, the Ring of Honor was extended when the walkway was built with the former players' numbers in front of Ford Center, Cowboys' indoor practice facility.On November 1, 2015 Darren Woodson became the 21st member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. On November 29, 2018, Gil Brandt became the 22nd member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

In total, the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor includes 19 players, 2 executives, and 1 head coach.

Dallas Cowboys draft history

This page is a list of the Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft selections. The first draft the Cowboys participated in was 1961, in which they made Defensive tackle Bob Lilly of TCU their first-ever selection.

List of Dallas Cowboys broadcasters

As of 2018, the Dallas Cowboys' flagship radio station is KRLD-FM owned by Entercom.

Brad Sham is the team's longtime play-by-play voice. Working alongside him is former Cowboy quarterback Babe Laufenberg. The Cowboys, who retain rights to all announcers, chose not to renew Laufenberg's contract in 2006 and brought in former safety Charlie Waters. However, Laufenberg did work as the analyst on the "Blue Star Network," which televises Cowboys preseason games not shown on national networks. The anchor station is KTVT, the CBS owned and operated station in Dallas. Previous stations which aired Cowboys games included KTCK (AM), KVIL-FM, KRLD, and KLUV-FM. Kristi Scales is the sideline reporter on the radio broadcasts.

During his tenure as Cowboys coach, Tom Landry co-hosted his own coach's show with late veteran sportscaster Frank Glieber and later with Brad Sham. Landry's show was famous for his analysis of raw game footage and for he and his co-host making their NFL "predictions" at the end of each show. Glieber is one of the original voices of the Cowboys Radio Network, along with Bill Mercer, famous for calling the Ice Bowl of 1967 and both Super Bowl V and VI. Mercer is perhaps best known as the ringside commentator of World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980s. Upon Mercer's departure, Verne Lundquist joined the network, and became their play-by-play announcer by 1977, serving eight years in that capacity before handing those chores permanently over to Brad Sham, who joined the network in 1977 as the color analyst and occasional fill-in for Lundquist.

Longtime WFAA-TV sports anchor Dale Hansen was the Cowboys' color analyst with Brad Sham as the play-by-play announcer from 1985-94. Dave Garrett succeeded Sham on play-by-play in 1995, teaming with Hansen (1995–96), Laufenberg (1996–97), and Mike Doocy (1997). Sham returned as the team's play-by-play voice in 1998.

In 1984 and 2001, the Cowboys used guest analysts in the radio booth for each game. In 1984, Dale Hansen, Charlie Waters, Roger Staubach, Cliff Harris, Vern Lundquist, Drew Pearson, Frank Glieber, and Bob Lilly were guest analysts. In 2001, guest analysts included Charlie Waters, Irving Fryar, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Dan Rather, Michael Irvin, Preston Pearson, John Madden, Pat Summerall, and Dale Hansen.

National Football League 1970s All-Decade Team

This is a list of all National Football League (NFL) players who had outstanding performances throughout the 1970s and have been compiled onto this fantasy group. The team was selected by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The squad consists of first- and second-team offensive, defensive and special teams units, as well as a first- and second-team head coaches.

Punter Ray Guy was the leading vote-getter for the 1970s All-Decade Team, receiving 24 of a possible 25 votes. O.J. Simpson and Lynn Swann were next with 22 and 21 votes, respectively. Linebacker Jack Ham and Tight end Dave Casper each received 20 votes. Next were Defensive end Jack Youngblood and Joe Greene who each had 18 votes.

Holdovers from the National Football League 1960s All-Decade Team were Bob Lilly, Dick Butkus, Merlin Olsen, Larry Wilson, Jim Bakken, and Willie Brown.

Pendleton High School (Oregon)

Pendleton High School (PHS) is a public high school located in Pendleton, Oregon, United States.

Pendleton photographer Walter S. Bowman photographed some of the school's teams in the early 20th century.

Throckmorton, Texas

Throckmorton is a town in Throckmorton County, Texas, United States. The population was 828 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Throckmorton County.

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