Tony Dorsett
American football player
Tony Dorsett
Anthony "Tony" Drew Dorsett is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.
Biography
Tony Dorsett's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
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Cowboys great Tony Dorsett trying controversial stem-cell treatment
CBS News - over 1 year
Running back diagnosed in 2013 with degenerative brain disease linked to dementia and suicide in NFL players
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CBS News article
Separated at Birth: Football Coach Tom Parr, Football Founder Walter Camp
Huffington Post Sports - almost 2 years
NFL drafts come and go. Football legends remain. When Tom Parr, longtime football coach of Hopkins, one of the oldest prep schools in the country, retires on June 14, the ghost of Walter Camp, father of the modern game of football, will hover nearby in New Haven, Conn. Camp, a graduate of Hopkins, which was founded in 1660, later studied at Yale, where he not only captained and coached the Elis starting in the late 1870s, he essentially invented football as we know it today. He devised the line of scrimmage, which revolutionized the sport from its origins as a rugby scrum. He introduced the down system, the number of players on each side of the line of scrimmage, the idea of penalties, the quarterback position, and of course the concept of the gridiron itself. Parr, who coached at Hopkins for thirty-three seasons, may not have invented the game, but he turned around a program that was accustomed to losing, and he made it a perennial power in the Fairchester League. ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Tony Dorsett: 'I'm going to beat this'
CNN - about 3 years
Former NFL player Tony Dorsett speaks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his CTE diagnosis.
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CNN article
Health Care Issues Could Mean Collapse of NCAA as We Know It
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Mark my words, "The NCAA's negligence in setting health care standards, particularly with regards to traumatic brain injuries, may result in its demise." OK, that may be a bit over the top, but hear me out... The NFL just agreed to pay out $765 million for injury settlements, medical monitoring, and care for former players who suffered concussions and other brain injuries. NFL players are walking away from the game in order to protect their mental and physical health. Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett and two other former NFL players were recently diagnosed with signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease linked to concussions and repetitive brain trauma. While the NCAA may be turning a blind eye, college athletes are starting to take notice. Yet another mediation session began last week over a class-action lawsuit filed against the NCAA for ignoring concussion ramifications for decades. What's most alarming is the staggering number of players who coul ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Global Climate Change: A Blow to the Head
Huffington Post - over 3 years
As evidence mounts that global climate change is dramatically impacting our lives, resistance hardens. What will cause Americans to address this grave danger? Perhaps the answer lies in the campaign to reduce traumatic head injuries in American football. Both global climate change and football head injuries are controversial. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, there are many climate change deniers. In fact, denial is so heavily funded that it has stymied meaningful Congressional action. Meanwhile, mainstream American lifestyle remains dependent upon consumption of carbon-based fuels: coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Americans suspect that rising temperatures and radical weather are caused by carbon consumption, but we are loath to change our behavior. Americans are also addicted to football, our most popular sport. The 32 National Football League (NFL) teams are the the most profitable in professional sports. Although American football has always been a violent spo ...
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Huffington Post article
NFL player's attorney says harassment went 'far beyond' hazing- Hall of Fame NFL player Tony Dorsett diagnosed with concussion-linked brain disease
Fox News - over 3 years
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Fox News article
Tony Dorsett, former Dallas Cowboys star, struggles with memory loss
CNN - over 3 years
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CNN article
CTE diagnosed in Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, two other living NFL players: Report - CBS News
Google News - over 3 years
Toronto Star CTE diagnosed in Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, two other living NFL players: Report CBS News Tony Dorsett, a Hall of Fame running back, is reportedly one of three former living NFL players to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). ESPN "Outside The Lines" reported Tuesday that Dorsett, 59, former offensive lineman Joe ... Dorsett, others reveal CTE symptomsFOXSports.com Dorsett, others show signs of CTEESPN Three Former NFL Stars Diagnosed With Telltale Signs of CTEFRONTLINE Daily Mail -CBS Local -Washington Post all 61 news articles »
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Google News article
Tony Dorsett diagnosed with signs of CTE
USA Today - over 3 years
Hall-of-Famer admits suicidal thoughts
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USA Today article
Opinion: Saying goodbye to football
CNN - over 3 years
I fell in love on a Monday night. Now, many may say a teenage girl can't know about such things. But that night as I watched Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett roll downfield 99 yards for a touchdown, I fell head-over-heels in love with the NFL.
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CNN article
Tony Dorsett questions whether NFL settlement will be enough - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 3 years
The Guardian Tony Dorsett questions whether NFL settlement will be enough Los Angeles Times A day after the NFL and 4,500 former players agreed to a tentative settlement over concussion legislation, Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett is having second thoughts. “Ask the owners if when the money is divided between the players, will it cover our ... Concussion suit settlement demonstrates a failed two-minute drillWashington Post NFL: Ex-players have mixed feelings about concussion settlementThe Journal News | LoHud.com Former Gamecock Included In NFL SettlementWLTX.com Tampabay.com -San Francisco Chronicle -New York Daily News all 1,328 news articles »
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Tony Dorsett
    FIFTIES
  • 2013
    Age 58
    In November 2013, Dorsett announced he had signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease found in many former football players, boxers, and hockey players.
    More Details Hide Details Specifically, Dorsett referred to memory loss as the major symptom affecting him in retirement.
  • FORTIES
  • 1999
    Age 44
    In 1999, he was ranked number 53 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
    More Details Hide Details He is the first of only two players in history (along with former running back Marcus Allen) 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 School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, is named after Dorsett and a street near Heinz Field, the home stadium of the University of Pittsburgh, is named after him. Tony's son, Anthony also played football at the University of Pittsburgh and 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 event, in its 17th year, has raised nearly $5 million in support of McGuire Memorial's mission.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1994
    Age 39
    Dorsett was elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994 and was enshrined in the Texas Stadium Ring of Honor the same year.
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  • 1988
    Age 33
    On September 26, 1988, he moved into second place of the all-time rushing list with 12,306 yards, and would finish his career with 12,739 yards, trailing only Walter Payton.
    More Details Hide Details He retired after suffering torn left knee ligaments during training camp the following season. Dorsett rushed for 12,739 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, during a Monday Night Football game in Minnesota, Dorsett broke a 99-yard touchdown run against the Vikings, which is the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history. Dorsett broke the previous record of 97 yards, set by Andy Uram in 1939 and Bob Gage in 1949. The Cowboys only had 10 men on the field at the time, as fullback Ron Springs was unaware of the play being called. Despite the feat, the Cowboys lost the game 27–31. 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 did not reach the 1,000 rushing yards milestone was the strike-shortened, 9-game season of 1982, during 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.
    On June 2, 1988, he was traded to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a conditional fifth-round draft choice (#125-Jeff Roth).
    More Details Hide Details He left as the franchise's rushing leader (12,036 yards) and second in league history in postseason rushing yards (1,383). The Denver Broncos acquired Dorsett because they were desperate to improve their running game. He reunited with former Cowboys offensive coordinator Dan Reeves and it was reported that at the age of 34, he could still run forty yards in 4.3 seconds. He also had a positive impact on the offense until being limited with injuries late in the season, appearing in 16 games (13 starts), while leading the team with 703 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.
  • 1987
    Age 32
    In 1987, Walker complained with Cowboys management that he was being moved around between three different positions (running back, fullback, wide receiver) and that Dorsett had more carries.
    More Details Hide Details He would take over as the team's main running back, with Dorsett playing in 12 games (6 starts) and rushing for 456 yards on 130 carries. Dorsett also had two healthy DNP (Did Not Play), which would make him demand a trade.
  • 1986
    Age 31
    In 1986, running back Herschel Walker was signed by the Cowboys and moved to fullback, so he could share backfield duties with Dorsett, becoming the second Heisman backfield tandem in NFL history, after George Rogers and Earl Campbell teamed with the 1984 New Orleans Saints.
    More Details Hide Details This move created tension, because it would limit Dorsett playing time and Walker's $5 million five-year contract, exceeded his $4.5 million five-year contract. Although Dorsett was slowed by ankle and knee injuries that caused him to miss 3 games, he still led the Cowboys in rushing for the 10th consecutive season with 748 yards.
  • 1985
    Age 30
    Prior to the 1985 season, he demanded that his contract be renegotiated and held out, after defensive tackle Randy White had been given a larger contract by the Cowboys.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1982
    Age 27
    In 1982, his streak of 5 straight years with at least 1,000 rushing yards was interrupted by the strike-shortened season.
    More Details Hide Details Dallas only played 9 games, with Dorsett registering 745 yards and 5 touchdowns. In the final regular season game against the Minnesota Vikings, he set an unbreakable record that can only be tied, with a 99-yard run for a touchdown, making it the longest play from scrimmage in NFL history.
  • 1981
    Age 26
    His most productive season was in 1981, when he recorded 1,646 yards, breaking the Cowboys franchise record.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1980
    Age 25
    In 1980 he had one of his best runs.
    More Details Hide Details With the ball on the four-yard line against the St. Louis Cardinals, the right defensive end and linebacker had penetration, while the two cornerbacks were blitzing. Dorsett suddenly pivoted on his right foot, turned 360 degrees and ran wide around the left side, beating the safety and eluding a total five defenders for a touchdown without being touched.
  • 1977
    Age 22
    Entering the 1977 NFL draft, Dorsett wasn't seen as a sure thing, with many scouts considering that his small size would be a liability in the long term and affect his durability.
    More Details Hide Details He had also informed the Seattle Seahawks that he didn't want to play for them. The Dallas Cowboys selected him with the second overall choice, after trading their first pick (#14-Steve August) and three second-round choices (#30-Tom Lynch, #41-Terry Beeson, #54-Glenn Carano) to the Seahawks, in order to move up in the first round. Dorsett signed a five-year contract for a reported $1.1 million, becoming the first player in franchise history to reach this amount, although it was the second largest contract signed for a rookie, with Ricky Bell beating Dorsett with a $1.2 million contract. From the beginning, Dorsett and head coach Tom Landry had differing opinions on how he should run the ball. Landry initially designed precised running plays, but was eventually convinced that Dorsett was a different type of running back and instructed the offensive line to block and hold their man, while Dorsett chose the running lane with his gifted vision and instincts.
  • 1976
    Age 21
    As a senior in 1976, he helped lead his school to a national title, picking up the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award for Player of the Year, and the United Press International (UPI) Player of the Year award along the way as he led the nation in rushing with 2,150 yards.
    More Details Hide Details He was a three-time first-team All-American (1973, 1975, 1976) and a second-team All-American in 1974 by UPI and Newspaper Enterprise Association (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 was the first Pitt player to have his jersey retired, after being a four-time 1,000-yard rusher and four-time All-American. He 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 1994, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
    As a senior in 1976, he had a total of 290 yards against Notre Dame.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1973
    Age 18
    Later in the 1973 season, Dorsett faced some criticism when it became known that his son was born out of wedlock, with some observers contending that he should drop out of school and marry his son's mother and financially support his family.
    More Details Hide Details Dorsett believed that the best way to care for his son was to continue to pursue his football career, a strategy that succeeded due to his successful professional career. Three games into his sophomore season, he became Pitt's all-time leader in career rushing yards, surpassing the old record of 1,957 yards set by Marshall Goldberg, who helped Pitt to a national championship in 1937. Against Notre Dame in his junior year, Dorsett had 303 yards rushing to break his own school single game rushing record.
    At the beginning of Dorsett's freshman year at Pitt, his son Anthony Dorsett was born on September 14, 1973.
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  • 1971
    Age 16
    For all the ability he had, Dorsett could never lead his team to the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, because in those days the teams had to have an undefeated record. The team′s only loss in 1971 came against Sharon after Dorsett suffered a concussion and played less than a quarter, and the only loss in 1972 came against Butler while playing on a muddy field.
    More Details Hide Details At the end of his senior season he played at the Big 33 Football Classic. This was the first time that his future coach Johnny Majors saw him play live. As a tribute to him, the school retired his 33 jersey and in 2001, Hopewell's Stadium was renamed Tony Dorsett Stadium. At the University of Pittsburgh, Dorsett became the first freshman in 29 years to be named All-American (Doc Blanchard of Army was the previous one in 1944). He finished second in the nation in rushing with 1,586 yards in 11 games and led the Pittsburgh Panthers to its first winning season in 10 years. He was Pittsburgh's first All-American selection since the 1963 season, when both Paul Martha and Ernie Borghetti were named to the first team. His 1,586 rushing yards at the time was the most ever recorded by a freshman, breaking the record set by New Mexico State's Ron "Po" James record in 1968. By coincidence, James, like Dorsett, hailed from Beaver County, Pennsylvania, specifically New Brighton. Although he was known as Anthony, the school's athletic department convinced him to go by Tony, to use the marketable initials TD as in touchdown.
    In 1971, a competition between Dorsett and sophomore Michael Kimbrough for the starting running back position ended after Dorsett took a screen pass 75 yards for a touchdown against Ambridge during the season opener.
    More Details Hide Details Dorsett ended the year as an All-State selection after rushing for 1,034 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns, while leading the Vikings to a 9–1 season. He also remained a starting cornerback on the defensive side. In basketball Dorsett helped his team reach the WPIAL quarterfinals. In 1972 he was again an All-state Selection, after setting a single game rushing record with 247 yards against Sharon, a single season rushing record with 1,238 yards and the career rushing record with 2,272 yards, while leading the Vikings to a 9–1 season. Dorsett was also a key player on the defensive side as one of the starting linebackers.
  • 1970
    Age 15
    As a high school sophomore in 1970, Dorsett started at cornerback, as his coaches did not believe the 147-pound Dorsett was big enough to play running back, the position he played in junior high school.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1954
    Born
    Born on April 7, 1954.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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