Dallas star running back Don Perkins dies at 84

Don Perkins, a six-time Pro Bowl running back with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, died Thursday. He was 84 years old. The Cowboys an...


Don Perkins, a six-time Pro Bowl running back with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, died Thursday. He was 84 years old.

The Cowboys and the University of New Mexico, where Perkins was a standout player before his professional career, announced the death. No announcement said where he died, and none cited the cause.

Perkins rushed for 6,217 yards in 107 games with the Cowboys from 1961 to 1968. He is fourth on the team’s career list behind two Pro Football Hall of Famers – Emmitt Smith, the career leader of the NFL, and Tony Dorsett – and the current Cowboys. running back, Ezekiel Elliott. Perkins’ 42 rushing touchdowns rank fifth in team history.

While originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the ninth round of the 1960 draft, Perkins had already signed a personal services contract with the expansion Cowboys. Dallas won its rights after sending the Colts a ninth-round draft pick.

Perkins missed the Cowboys’ inaugural season in 1960 with a broken foot. He ran for 815 yards in 1961 and finished third in voting for NFL Rookie of the Year, behind Mike Ditka and Fran Tarkenton. He had a career-high 945 rushing yards in 1962.

Donald Anthony Perkins was born on March 4, 1938 in Waterloo, Iowa. He played for New Mexico from 1957 to 1959 and captained the team in its final two seasons. The Lobos’ coach at the time, future Hall of Famer Marv Levy, said Perkins was one of the greatest players he ever coached.

Perkins returned to the Albuquerque area after his professional football career ended. He then worked as a television and radio football analyst.

Information about survivors was not immediately available.

“Don is one of the greatest Lobos, and certainly one of the greatest football players to play for UNM,” New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nuñez said. “He came back to New Mexico and worked for the state and was a tremendous ambassador for so many people.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Dallas star running back Don Perkins dies at 84
Dallas star running back Don Perkins dies at 84
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