Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Roger Staubach was not only a Super Bowl-winning quarterback on the field, but he was a champion off the field as well.
Staubach, who won the 1963 Heisman Trophy award while attending the United States Naval Academy, served four years in the U.S. Navy, which even included a tour in Vietnam. After he served, he joined the Cowboys as a 27-year-old rookie, and he played all 11 seasons of his professional career with the franchise.
Staubach spoke to Fox News on Wednesday on behalf of USAA and its Salute to Service sweepstakes for military members. He said if it weren’t for Gil Brandt, former Cowboys vice president of player personnel, he may never have left the service to play in the NFL.
“I spent four years in the service, but I admire those who’ve spent a lot more time than me and retired there. I can’t thank our veterans enough,” Staubach said. “Every day they get up and care about us and our families. Men and women in the services they are in very difficult, confusing times right now. Our military on Veterans Day should get an extra hug.”
Staubach added: “When I joined the Dallas Cowboys, Don Meredith retired, so they gave me a chance to play with Craig Morton, and we battled back-and-forth. I was very fortunate when I came out of the service, to go with the Cowboys. And I’m not sure I would have come out if the Cowboys hadn’t believed in me.”
Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys gameplay. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Staubach has taken notice over the recent months of the national anthem protests across all of the major sports, including the NFL. When it comes to racial inequality and social injustice, Staubach said that he’s “very much on the side of getting rid of discrimination.”
“Well, first of all, we have a great country. We just got off to a bad start,” Staubach said. “We had a bunch of white guys that didn’t understand the evils of discrimination. And even women couldn’t vote until 1919. We’re coming around, but it’s still not there yet.
“A lot of my good Black friends, they have their grandparents and great-grandparents tell them what happened. They know it’s still not where it should be. There’s a lot of us working on making sure that we understand the evils of discrimination. My parents were very good. They taught me that it was wrong to discriminate.”
Staubach, a two-time Super Bowl champion, was a part of the 1970s All-Decade Team, as well as the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. He led the Cowboys to five Super Bowl appearances, four as the starter, and when he was named the MVP of Super Bowl VI, he was the first of four players to win both the Heisman Trophy as well as a Super Bowl MVP, along with Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen and Desmond Howard.