Good things come to those who wait, and certainly the Dallas Cowboys' patience in the mid-60's was supremely rewarded, landing one of the best players in franchise history because they were willing to wait for Roger Staubach to fulfill his military commitment.
For that five years of patience, the Cowboys landed the guy who became better know as "Roger The Dodger" over the next 11 years when he was selected to six Pro Bowls - including five consecutively - and was named the NFL Players Association Most Valuable Player in 1971. Staubach led the NFL in passing four times and was selected to the All-NFC team four times.
"He is one of the finest to ever play the game," Green Bay Packers Quarterback Bart Starr once said of Staubach. "I think if I had some of that Staubach competitiveness, I'd have been much better."
Staubach was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1964 from the Naval Academy, but did not join the team until 1969 due to his Navy commitment. Former president and general manager Tex Schramm signed Staubach to a futures contract in a hotel room in 1964, actually scribbling out the details on a legal-sized tablet that would have Staubach paid annually to participate in training camp practices when he had enough leave built up.
The 1963 Heisman Trophy winner showed up in Dallas as a 27-year-old rookie, but in those 11 seasons still managed carve out the franchise's all-time leading quarterback rating of 83.42 and became a five-time NFL passing champion. But Staubach almost became better known for his scrambling ability, and to this day ranks eighth on the Cowboys' all-time rushing list with 2,264 yards.
Staubach owns the second most passing yards in club history, 22,700, and his 3,586 in 1979 still ranks as the second most passing yards in a single season for the Cowboys. He also still leads the club with a career average of 7.67 yards per attempt and his three, 300-yard passing performances in 1979 has him tied for the single-season lead with Don Meredith and Danny White.
Staubach also become known as "Captain Comeback" for his 23 fourth-quarter come-from-behind victories in regular season and playoff games, including 14 in the final two minutes or overtime. Never was this more apparent than in a 1975 playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings when Staubach connected with wide receiver Drew Pearson on a desperation 50-yard "Hail Mary" touchdown pass that knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs.
"You could never defeat Roger mentally or physically," late Cowboys head coach Tom Landry said in 1983. "He was like that in a game, in practice, or in the business world."
Staubach ended his Cowboys career with four Super Bowl appearances, including wins in Super Bowls VI and XII. In Super Bowl VI, Staubach was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Following the 1979 season, Staubach retired, fearing the after-effects of recurring concussions.
In 1983, Staubach became the sixth member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor and two years later was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Born Feb. 5, 1942, in Cincinnati, Ohio.