FIREWORKS: ‘TEXAS BUSTER’

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TRIGGER WARNING: It’s Roy Rogers’ Birthday


Roger Staubach, Americas Quarterback

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The former quarterback on the Cowboys, his famed pass and his success in the real-estate game

Roger Staubach Justin Clemons for The Wall Street Journal; Grooming by Shelly Cervantes

From this weekend’s WSJ, a profile of one of my heroes:

“This year is our year,” says former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. The legendary football player turned real-estate mogul is sitting far from the field in a glass-enclosed conference room overlooking the Dallas skyline. He’s a few feet from his corner office at real-estate company Jones Lang LaSalle, where he is executive chairman of the Americas region. Although he’s hopeful about the Cowboys’ prospects, he adds, “I said that last year.”

“A reporter later asked what he was thinking, and he replied, ‘I just closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.’ The next day, headlines read, ‘Hail Mary Pass Wins Game’.”

Whether they win or lose, to Mr. Staubach, the Cowboys will always be “America’s Team.” And at age 72, he says he sometimes still gets called “America’s Quarterback.” The Cowboys earned their nickname in 1978, when the National Football League released a film of the same name about the team. The previous year, the Cowboys had earned the highest television ratings and sold the most merchandise of any team in the NFL. Mr. Staubach, who played from 1969 to 1979, still remembers a Philadelphia Eagles player knocking the wind out of him and saying, “Take that, America’s quarterback!”

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More From the Interview

What happened after you threw your famous Hail Mary pass?

“One of the fans threw a whisky bottle on the field hit the ref in the head and knocked him out. He was bleeding. I got hit as soon as I threw the ball, so I didn’t really see…I’m laying there and the crowd is silent and I said, ‘Oh,’then I jumped up because I figure if they’re silent maybe he caught the ball. And sure enough there are already some oranges out on the field because the Super Bowl was going to be at the Orange Bowl and the Vikings fans were counting on being in the Super Bowl. They were shocked.”

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