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A Closer Look at the AFL/NFL Draft
...and football cards of players drafted by the Cowboys, but played elsewhere

 
By Steve Liskey
July 12, 2010
TheCowboysGuide.com
 

I don’t need much of an excuse to buy football cards and with almost every possible vintage Cowboys card already in my possession, finding a new avenue to pursue can be exciting.  After taking a closer look at the NFL and AFL drafts, that got me interested in quite a few new cards to go after. 

Before the NFL/AFL merger, there were two drafts in which pro teams could stock up on collegiate players up to 1966.  Beginning in 1967, the AFL and NFL conducted joint drafts until the leagues were formally realigned into a single entity in 1970.  There was no competing for players after the '66 draft.  Up to ’66, players being drafted in both leagues had a choice of where to play.  Concentrating on the Cowboys draft picks during this period, there were several players that decided to sign with the AFL team that drafted them, instead of the Cowboys.

After being awarded an NFL franchise, owner Clint Murchison hired Tex Schramm to be his president and general manager.  Schramm then hired Tom Landry to be the teams head coach, and Gil Brandt would be the team’s chief scout.  Together, Schramm and Brandt would use the draft to build the Cowboys into an elite NFL team.

Besides being known as the most powerful general manager in the NFL, Schramm also was the first to consider athletes from other sports as possible NFL talents.  Schramm often used later round picks to gamble on a prospect from another sport.  His theory…if a guy is a gifted athlete, that talent should carry over to other sports. 

Below is a list of players that were drafted by the Dallas Cowboys before the NFL/AFL merger that I found cards for.  Besides AFL teams, there are also players that went on to the CFL, NBA, and MLB.

 

The 1961-66 AFL/NFL Draft

 

1962 Fleer EJ Holub RC

1962 Fleer EJ Holub RC

E.J. Holub –LB Texas Tech, selected in the 2nd round of the 1961 NFL draft by the Cowboys…also selected by the Dallas Texans in the 1st round of the AFL draft, 6th overall.  Played 10 seasons for the Texans/Chiefs where he was a 5-time Pro-Bowler and 2-time first-team All-Pro.

1962 Fleer Wallet #62 E.J. Holub Dallas Texans

1962 Fleer #30 E.J. Holub RC Dallas Texans

1963 Fleer #52 E.J. Holub Kansas City Chiefs

1964 Topps #100 E.J. Holub Kansas City Chiefs

1965 Topps #103 E.J. Holub Kansas City Chiefs

1966 Topps #70 E.J. Holub Kansas City Chiefs

1967 Topps #66 E.J. Holub Kansas City Chiefs

1968 Topps #145 E.J. Holub Kansas City Chiefs

   

1964 Topps S. Barber RC

1964 Topps S. Barber RC

Stew Barber –T Penn State, selected in the 3rd round of the 1961 NFL draft by the Cowboys…also selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 4th round of the AFL draft.  Played 9 seasons for the Bills where he was a 5-time Pro-Bowler and 2-time first-team All-Pro.

1964 Topps #23 Stew Barber RC Buffalo Bills

1965 Topps #23 Stew Barber Buffalo Bills

1966 Topps #16 Stew Barber Buffalo Bills

1967 Topps #18 Stew Barber Buffalo Bills

1968 Topps #44 Stew Barber Buffalo Bills

1969 Topps #242 Stew Barber Buffalo Bills

1969 Topps 4-in-1 #32 Stew Barber Buffalo Bills

   

1962 OPC CFL #17 Norris Stevenson

Norris Stevenson –HB Missouri, selected in the 11th round of the 1961 NFL draft.  According to the only card I found of him, he was the Cowboys final cut before the 1961 season.

1962 OPC CFL #17 Norris Stevenson British Columbia Lions

 (card size 1.75 x 2.5)

   

1962 Fleer Billy Shaw RC

Billy Shaw –G Georgia Tech, selected in the 14th round of the 1961 NFL draft by the Cowboys…also selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 2nd round of the AFL draft, 11th overall.  Played 9 seasons for the Bills where he was an 8-time Pro-Bowler and 5-time first-team All-Pro, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

1962 Fleer #16 Billy Shaw RC Buffalo Bills

1963 Fleer #28 Billy Shaw Buffalo Bills

1964 Topps #38 Billy Shaw SP Buffalo Bills

1965 Topps #41 Billy Shaw Buffalo Bills

1966 Topps #29 Billy Shaw Buffalo Bills

1967 Topps #28 Billy Shaw Buffalo Bills

1970 Topps #229 Billy Shaw Buffalo Bills

   

1961 Nu-Card #146 Sonny Gibbs

Sonny Gibbs –QB TCU, selected in the 2nd round of the 1962 NFL draft by the Cowboys…also selected by the Denver Broncos in the 14th round of the AFL draft.  I believe Gibbs was placed on the Cowboys taxi squad after making the team in ’62, but I have seen him listed on a couple published rosters as an active player.  In ’64 he was waived by the Cowboys and picked up by the Detroit Lions where he saw very little action the only season he was there.  Gibbs made this list because I was able to find a card he was featured on.

1961 Nu-Card #146 Sonny Gibbs TCU

   

1968 OPC CFL #9 Donnie Davis

Donnie Davis –WR Saginaw Valley State, selected in the 6th round of the 1962 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Limited duty on special teams for the Cowboys in ’62, then off to the CFL to play for the Montreal Alouettes, then back to the NFL where he joined the Houston Oilers in 1970.

1968 OPC CFL #9 Donnie Davis Montreal Alouettes

 (back of the card says played for Packers, error)

   

1965 Topps Ray Jacobs RC

1965 Topps Ray Jacobs RC

Ray Jacobs –DT Howard Payne, selected in the 17th round of the 1962 NFL draft by the Cowboys…also selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1st round of the AFL draft, 7th overall.  Jacobs did not play in ’62, played 4 seasons with the Denver Broncos, 2 with the Miami Dolphins, and 1 with the Boston Patriots.

1965 Topps #55 Ray Jacobs RC Denver Broncos

1966 Topps #37 Ray Jacobs Denver Broncos

   

1967 Topps #83 Ernie Park RC

Ernie Park –G McMurry, selected in the 17th round of the 1963 NFL draft by the Cowboys…also selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 19th round of the AFL draft.

1967 Topps #83 Ernie Park RC Miami Dolphins

   

1964 Topps Scott Appleton RC

1964 Topps S. Appleton RC

Scott Appleton –DT Texas, selected in the 1st round of the 1964 NFL draft by the Cowboys (4th overall)…also selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1st round of the AFL draft, 6th overall.  The Cowboys traded the rights to Appleton to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Buddy Dial.  The Steelers couldn’t match the offer he got from the Oilers, so he stayed close to home and played 3 seasons with Houston, was traded to the San Diego Chargers in ’67 where he played 2 more seasons.

1964 Topps #66 Scott Appleton RC Houston Oilers

1965 Topps #66 Scott Appleton Houston Oilers

1966 Topps #46 Scott Appleton Houston Oilers

1967 Topps #118 Scott Appleton San Diego Chargers

   

1969 Topps Billy Lothridge RC

1969 Topps B Lothridge RC

Billy Lothridge –DB-P Georgia Tech, selected in the 4th round of the 1964 NFL draft by the Cowboys…also selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 12th round of the AFL draft.  Runner-up to Roger Staubach for the ’63 Heisman, Lothridge did play for the Cowboys in ’64, in fact, he started all 14 games and averaged 40.3 yards on 62 punts.  He was traded to the Baltimore Colts in ’65 for the rights to Ralph Neely, who then placed Lothridge on waivers.  Lothridge was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Rams where he played for one season, then signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent in ’66 where he remained for 6 seasons.  His final season in the NFL was 1972 with the Miami Dolphins.

1969 Topps #137 Billy Lothridge RC Atlanta Falcons

1969 Topps 4-in-1 Billy Lothridge Atlanta Falcons

1971 Topps #29 Billy Lothridge  Atlanta Falcons

1972 Sunoco Stamp Billy Lothridge Atlanta Falcons

   

1965 OPC CFL #102 Jim Worden

Jim Worden –LB Wittenberg, selected in the 14th round of the 1964 NFL draft by the Cowboys.

1965 OPC CFL #102 Jim Worden Saskatchewan Roughriders

   

1967 Topps #113 Bob Svihus RC

Bob Svihus –T USC, selected in the 4th round of the 1965 NFL draft by the Cowboys …also selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 3rd round of the AFL draft.  Svihus played 5 seasons with the Raiders, and three with the New York Jets.

1967 Topps #113 Bob Svihus RC Oakland Raiders

   

1967 Phil. Brig Owens RC

1967 Phil. Brig Owens RC

Brig Owens –DB Cincinnati, selected in the 7th round of the 1965 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Owens, along with two other players, was traded to the Washington Redskins in ’66 where he played his entire NFL career (1966-77).

1967 Philadelphia #187 Brig Owens RC Wash Redskins

1970 Topps #69 Brig Owens Washington Redskins

1972 Sunoco Stamp Brig Owens Washington Redskins

1973 Topps #442 Brig Owens Washington Redskins

1974 Topps #156 Brig Owens Washington Redskins

1975 Topps #78 Brig Owens Washington Redskins

   
   

1969 Topps Ernie Kellerman RC

1969 Topps E Kellerman RC

Ernie Kellerman –DB Miami (OH), selected in the 12th round of the 1965 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Kellerman was waived by the Cowboys before the start of the ’65 season, and signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns in ’66 where he played 6 seasons (making the Pro-Bowl in ’68) before making two 1-year stops with Cincinnati and Buffalo.

1969 Topps #96 Ernie Kellerman RC Cleveland Browns

1971 Topps #7 Ernie Kellerman Cleveland Browns

1972 Sunoco Stamp Ernie Kellerman Cleveland Browns

1972 Topps #162 Ernie Kellerman Cleveland Browns

   

1970 Topps Merv Rettenmund

1970 Topps M Rettenmund

Merv Rettenmund –DB Ball State, selected in the 19th round of the 1965 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Rettenmund was signed as an amateur free agent in 1964 by the Baltimore Orioles.  His major league debut was with the Orioles in 1968, and when his MLB career was over, he had played for 13 seasons and for four different teams (1968-80).

1969 Topps #66 Orioles Rookie Stars Rettenmund/Adamson RC

1970 Topps #629 Merv Rettenmund Baltimore Orioles

1971 Topps #393 Merv Rettenmund Baltimore Orioles

1972 Topps #235 Merv Rettenmund Baltimore Orioles

1973 Topps #56 Merv Rettenmund Baltimore Orioles

1974 Topps Traded #585 Merv Rettenmund Cincinnati Reds

1975 Topps #369 Merv Rettenmund Cincinnati Reds

1976 Topps #283 Merv Rettenmund Cincinnati Reds

1977 Topps #659 Merv Rettenmund San Diego Padres

1978 Topps #566 Merv Rettenmund San Diego Padres

1979 Topps #48 Merv Rettenmund California Angels

1980 Topps #402 Merv Rettenmund California Angels

   

1971 Topps #187 Austin Denney RC

Austin Denney –TE Tennessee, selected in the 11th round of the 1966 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  There is no record of Denny playing for the Cowboys in ’66, so he may have been a taxi squad player or placed on IR.  He was traded to the Chicago Bears in ’67 where he played for 3 seasons, and then another two seasons for the Buffalo Bills.

1971 Topps #187 Austin Denney RC Buffalo Bills

 

   

1972 NFLPA Wonderful World Stamp #65 Ron Lamb

Ron Lamb –RB South Carolina, selected in the 13th round of the 1966 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Lamb was waived by the Cowboys and signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos in ’68, then was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals later that same season.  Lamb played 4 seasons with the Bengals, then concluded his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons in 1972.

1972 NFLPA Wonderful World Stamp #65 Ron Lamb Cincinnati Bengals

   

1969 Topps Lou Hudson RC

1969 Topps L. Hudson RC

Lou Hudson –Minnesota FL, selected in the 20th round of the 1966 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Hudson was also drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1st round of the NBA draft.  He played 13 seasons in the NBA, 11 of those years for the Hawks, and his final two for the Los Angeles Lakers.  Hudson played in 6 consecutive All-Star games for the Hawks 1968-73.

1969-70 Topps #65 Lou Hudson RC Atlanta Hawks

1969-70 Topps Rulers #14 Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

1970-71 Topps #30 Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

1970-71 Topps #115 All-Star Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

1971-72 Topps #110 Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

1972-73 Topps #130 Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

1974-75 Topps #25 Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

1974-75 Topps #130 Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

1976-77 Topps #96 Lou Hudson Atlanta Hawks

 

The 1967-69 NFL Draft

 

1970-71 Topps Pat Riley RC

1970-71 Topps P. Riley RC

Pat Riley –FL Kentucky, selected in the 11th round of the 1967 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Riley was also selected by the San Diego Rockets in the 1st round (7th overall) in the 1967 NBA draft.  Riley is a 6-time NBA Champion; one as a player, and 5 as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach.  His first three NBA seasons were spent with the Rockets, then was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1970 NBA expansion draft, then immediately traded to the Lakers.  He ended his NBA playing career as a member of the Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns for the 1975-76 season.

1970-71 Topps #13 Pat Riley RC Portland Trail Blazers

1972-73 Topps #144 Pat Riley Los Angeles Lakers

1973-74 Topps #21 Pat Riley Los Angeles Lakers

1974-75 Topps #31 Pat Riley Los Angeles Lakers

   

1970 OPC CFL #28 Paul Brothers

Paul Brothers –QB Oregon State, selected in the 16th round of the 1967 NFL draft by the Cowboys.

1970 OPC CFL #28 Paul Brothers British Columbia Lions

   

1969 Topps Ron Williams RC

1969 Topps R. Williams RC

Ron Williams –DB West Virginia, selected in the 14th round of the 1968 NFL draft by the Cowboys.  Williams was also selected by the San Francisco Warriors in the 1st round (9th overall) in the 1968 NBA draft.  He played 8 seasons in the NBA, 5 with the Warriors, 2 with the Milwaukee Bucks, and his final season he joined the Lakers.

1969-70 Topps #36 Ron Williams RC SF Warriors

1970-71 Topps #8 Ron Williams San Francisco Warriors

1971-72 Topps #38 Ron Williams San Francisco Warriors

1972-73 Topps #123 Ron Williams San Francisco Warriors

1973-74 Topps #23 Ron Williams San Francisco Warriors

   

1971 OPC CFL #24 Rick Shaw

Rick Shaw –FL Arizona State, selected in the 6th round of the 1969 NFL draft by the Cowboys.

1971 OPC CFL #24 Rick Shaw Winnipeg Blue Bombers

 
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