Don Perkins, arguably the first great running back in Cowboys history, has passed away at the age of 84.
Perkins played eight seasons – all with the Cowboys – from 1961 to 1968. He rushed for 6,217 yards, which still ranks fourth in franchise history. His 42 rushing touchdowns also rank fourth in club history.
Perkins was inducted into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor in 1976, along with his quarterback – Don Meredith.
Perkins was initially drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1960 although he had signed a contract with the Cowboys before the draft. Eventually, the NFL allowed Perkins to play for the Cowboys, as long as they gave the Colts a ninth-round pick in exchange.
It turned out to be a great move for the Cowboys, picking up a dynamic offensive player.
Unfortunately, Perkins' death is yet another blow to the Cowboys' family. He's the second Ring of Honor member to pass away recently, along with Rayfield Wright. Back in January, the Cowboys lost former players Dan Reeves and Ralph Neely. Marion Barber passed away last week and the Cowboys have lost former running backs coach Gary Brown, as well as former scouting director Larry Lacewell. Jerry Jones' personal assistant Marylyn Love died this past spring.
The Cowboys provided this statement on Perkins:
"We were all deeply saddened by the passing of Don Perkins. As one of the first players to sign with the Dallas Cowboys, Don was a man who set the standard for future generations of Cowboys running backs. He laid the foundation for the strong history of the position in Dallas, and it is a true testament to his skill, ability and versatility that he is still the fourth-leading rusher in franchise history to this date. He was a true family man, a pillar of his community, a well-deserved Ring of Honor member and a selfless teammate. Our condolences and deepest sympathy go out to Don's family, friends and loved ones."