Dallas Cowboys Greatest Quarterbacks: Number Fifteen – Clint Longley (1974-75, 1 Start)
Clint Longley is one of the most unique quarterbacks on this list because he had just one start with the Dallas Cowboys, and he also entered a game on Thanksgiving Day 1974 when he replaced an injured Roger Staubach in the third quarter, leading the Cowboys to a 24-23 victory over the Washington Redskins.
He didn’t last much longer with the team. As the story goes, he punched “Roger the Dodger” in their training room, leading to his suspension and being traded to the San Diego Chargers for a first- and second-round draft choice.
The Cowboys eventually turned those two picks and some others into the No. 2 pick of the 1977 NFL Draft, leading to them drafting future Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett. That is another reason Longley is on this list, because even without playing with the team (and throwing a punch), he still contributed to the Cowboys in a Hall of Fame manner.
It is tough to know just what he thought when he punched Staubach on that fateful day in the training room.
As for his one big moment as “the man” for “America’s Team,” Longley entered the Thanksgiving Day game in the third quarter with the Cowboys trailing by a 16-3 score to their biggest rival, the Washington Redskins. Longley found Billy Joe DuPree for a 35-yard touchdown, then helped lead the Cowboys on a 70-yard drive.
The game continued with the Redskins leading, and eventually Longley had a big fourth down conversion and later a threw a 50-yard touchdown to Drew Pearson to win the game.
It is tough to know just what he thought when he punched Staubach on that fateful day in the training room. For at least one moment in time, he was the best quarterback the Cowboys had left, and he stepped up to the moment, gaining what has turned into a historic win nearly 42 seasons later.
Longley ended his career after one season with the Chargers in ’76. He made one start.
Next: Cowboys All-Time QBs: No. 14