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Clifford Allen Harris (born November 12, 1948 in Fayettevillemarker, Arkansasmarker) is a former professional American football safety who played for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League for ten seasons.

Professional career

Harris was not chosen in the 1970 NFL Draft out of NAIA school Ouachita Baptist College, but the Cowboys found him and invited him to training camp. He beat out Cowboys third-round draft choice Charlie Waters (who did not crack the starting lineup until the retirement of Cornell Green following the 1974 season) for the free safety position his rookie year. Military obligation caused him to miss the second half the season, although he returned in time for the Cowboys' victory in Super Bowl VI over the Miami Dolphins. He continued as starting safety until his retirement following the 1979 season. During his career he made five Super Bowl appearances, was chosen for the Pro Bowl six consecutive times and was voted All-Pro four times.

Harris was nicknamed "Captain Crash" by his teammates for his reckless pursuit of ball carriers. Pro Football Hall of Famemarker safety Larry Wilson said of Harris, "I feel Harris is the finest free safety in the business today. He changed the way the position is being played. You see other teams modeling their free safeties around the way Harris plays the pass, and striking fear in everyone on the field because he hits so hard." Harris made it a point to wear the pads of place kickers in order to keep his speed and quickness up.

Cowboy fans were surprised when Harris announced his retirement following the 1979 season at the age of 31 to concentrate on his business ventures. He is in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame and Sports Illustrated writers named him their Dream Team free safety. In 2004, he was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker. He was added to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2004.

He and teammate Waters wrote a book about their Cowboy memories called Tales From the Dallas Cowboys. Outside of football, he works with Charlie Waters at an electricity marketing company.

Harris finished his ten NFL seasons with 29 interceptions, which he returned for 281 yards and one touchdown, and 18 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 91 yards. He also gained 418 yards on punt returns and 1,622 yards returning kickoffs.

Personal life

Cliff Harris's son, Matt Harris, is a regular starter for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team as a safety.

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