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Ring of Honor: Cliff Harris


When rookie safety Cliff Harris arrived in the Cowboys' camp in 1970, he joined a star-studded defensive backfield that included future Hall of Fame members Mel Renfro and Herb Adderley at cornerback, and Cornell Green and fellow rookie Charlie Waters at safety. But Harris would more than hold his own in a standout 10-year career that included six Pro Bowl selections and two Super Bowl titles. Only five players in Cowboys history have been selected to more Pro Bowls than Harris. He was also a four-time All-Pro selection and a member of the NFL's all-decade team for teh 1970's.

During his 10-year career, Harris participated in five Super Bowls, including the Cowboys first world championship with their victory in Super Bowl VI. Only one other player in NFL history has appeared in more Super Bowls than Harris. He is one of only 13 players in NFL history to have played in five Super Bowls.

Undrafted after a solid college career at tiny Ouachita Baptist, Harris was another of the team's many smallschool treasures. In his rookie season, Harris won the starting safety job and played well for most of the season before leaving the team to fulfill a military obligation. Waters played brilliantly in his absence, but Harris managed to win the job back in camp before the 1971 season. With Harris partroling the defensive backfield, the Cowboys defense ranked in the top 10 in the league each of Harris' 10 seasons, including leading the league in 1977.

His role widened to include kick return duties, as Harris averaged a sterling 28.4 yards-per-kick return in 1971. In the secondary, he made the first of six consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 1974. Nicknamed "Captain Crash" for his jarring hits, Harris was at his best in the postsason, finishing his career with six interceptions and four forced fumbles in 21 postseason games.