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Anthony "Tony" Drew Dorsett (born April 7, 1954 in Rochester, Pennsylvaniamarker) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

College career

Dorsett was a college football running back at the University of Pittsburghmarker, and helped lead them to a national title in 1976, picking up the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year), and the UPI Player of the Year along the way as he led the nation in rushing with 1,948 yards. He was a three-time First-team All-American (1973, 1975, 1976) and a Second-team All-American in 1974 by UPI and NEA. Dorsett finished his college career with 6,082 total rushing yards, then an NCAA record. This would stand as the record until it was surpassed by Ricky Williams in 1998.

Dorsett is considered one of the greatest running backs in college football history. In 2007, he was ranked #7 on ESPN's Top 25 Players In College Football History list.

In the first game of the 1976 season, the Panthers faced off against Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. A year earlier, Dorsett had finished with 303 yards rushing in Pitt's 34-20 victory over the Irish. "They even grew the grass high" said Carmen DeArdo, a diehard Pitt alumnus, "and everyone knew Tony would get the ball." "They didn't let that grass grow long enough," Dorsett said later. He darted 61 yards on his first run of the season and tacked on 120 more by the end of the 31-10 Pitt win.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Dorsett was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1977 NFL Draft and played with them through 1987.

In Dorsett's rookie year, he rushed for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns and won the Rookie of the Year honors. Dorsett was announced the starter in the 10th game of the Cowboys' season, and he would stay the starter for many years. Dorsett was the first player to win the college football championship one year, then win the Super Bowl the next, when the Cowboys beat the Denver Broncos 27-10 to win Super Bowl XII. Ironically, Dorsett ended his career as a Denver Bronco. In his sophomore season, 1978, Dorsett recorded 1,325 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Cowboys once again traveled to the Super Bowl, and lost 35-31 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIII.

Dorsett's most productive season was in 1981, when he recorded 1,646 yards.

Denver Broncos

Dorsett had a career total of 12,033 yards in Dallas before being traded to the Denver Broncos in 1988. Dorsett led the Broncos with 703 yards that year, but injuries led to his retirement.


Dorsett recorded 12,733 yards and 77 touchdowns in his 12-year career. Dorsett also had 13 receiving scores and even a fumble recovery for a touchdown. On January 3, 1983, Dorsett broke a 99-yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings, which is the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history. Another notable fact about his record breaking run was that the Cowboys only had 10 men on the field, as the fullback was unaware of the play being called. [41303]

Dorsett made the Pro Bowl 4 times during his career (1978, 1981-1983) and rushed for over 1,000 yards in 8 of his first 9 seasons. The only season that he didn't reach the 1,000 rushing yards milestone was the strike-shortened, 9-game season of 1982 which he led the NFC in rushing with 745 yards. He was a First-team All-Pro in 1981 and a Second-team All-Pro in 1982 and 1983.

Dorsett was elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker and the College Football Hall of Famemarker in 1994 and was enshrined in the Texas Stadiummarker Ring of Honor the same year. In 1999, he was ranked number 53 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. He is the only player in history who has won the Heisman Trophy; won the Super Bowl; won the College National Championship; been enshrined in the College Hall of Fame, and been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

The football stadium at Hopewell High Schoolmarker in Aliquippa, Pennsylvaniamarker, is named after Dorsett.


Tony's son, Anthony Dorsett, played defensive back in the NFL from 1996 to 2003, making Super Bowl appearances with the Tennessee Titans (Super Bowl XXXIV) and Oakland Raiders (Super Bowl XXXVII).

Dorsett hosts the Tony Dorsett Celebrity Golf Classic for McGuire Memorial. This premiere event, in its 17th year, has raised close to 5 million dollars in support of McGuire Memorial's mission.


  1. - College Football - Heisman Heroes - Suzuki presents Heisman Heroes: Tony Dorsett - Friday August 25, 2000 01:29 PM

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