SI Vault
Edwin Shrake
December 10, 1973
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December 10, 1973

Qb Or Not Qb: That Is The Question

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In the summer before Staubach's first full pro season, Meredith retired, leaving Staubach to back up Morton. In training camp several veterans took Staubach to a bar. They wanted to see if they could live with him. They made him drink a few beers. Staubach works with the Boy Scouts, the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He does not hang out in bars (he and his wife Marianne go out to dinner once every couple of weeks). The rookie curfew passed. The veterans told Staubach to order another beer. "Their point was that since I was as old as they were, or older, I didn't have to abide by the rookie curfew."

The result was a $100 fine for Staubach. A delegation of veterans went to Landry, explained what had happened and asked that the fine be removed. "I understand what you did, but it'll still cost him $100," Landry said. As a discipline lover Staubach could appreciate that. The veterans liked the fact that Staubach took it with humor. "We found out he could be a pretty loose guy," said Linebacker Lee Roy Jordan.

"I don't think Staubach wants to get to know anybody on the team too well in case they get hurt or traded or cut," says Al Ward, a Cowboy vice-president. "He's got the same attitude as a flight commander or a head coach."

"The guys I played with at Navy are still my best friends," Staubach says. "In Dallas there's not many really close friendships."

Last month it was mentioned to Staubach that there might be a groundswell of pro-Morton sentiment since the Cowboys had already lost three games. "If there is, I haven't noticed it," he said. "I don't feel Washington was my game. Maybe if I throw a few more interceptions, I'll start to notice, but not yet."

Morton says his arm is as strong as it was when he was a rookie and they used him to throw 60-yard passes to practice kickoff returns. Bob Hayes says two of Morton's passes have split his palms open, "but Roger bruised one of my ribs with a ball, so you'd have to say they can both throw it pretty strong." Which brings us back to what Ralph Neely was saying: separate but equal.

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