Monday, December 19, 2016

Rhome If You Want To: Jerry Rhome

Topps 1965 1966 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 football cards

Jerry Rhome tore up college football at Tulsa with an offense that had did something no other team – college or pro – had dared to do.  That was pass the ball ALL THE TIME.  If you talk to Jerry Rhome, he has no problem discussing how Tulsa revolutionized the passing game.  He ought to know.  As a senior he passed for 2,870 yards and threw for 32 touchdowns (versus only 4 interceptions), narrowly losing the Heisman Trophy to Notre Dame’s John Huarte.  With numbers like that, he seemed destined for the passing-crazy AFL, but he wound up a Dallas Cowboy.

He was drafted in 1964 as a future pick by both the Cowboys and the AFL’s New York Jets.  Signing with the established league, he backed up Don Meredith with another young quarterback, Craig Morton.  Though he only started one game for the Cowboys during his time there (1965-1968), he felt that coach Tom Landry gave him a legitimate chance at becoming a starter.  Once Roger Staubach arrived permanently in 1969, Rhome asked to be traded. He was dealt to the Cleveland Browns where he backed up Bill Nelsen in 1969.  His time in Cleveland may be most notable for the information he provided the Brown on the Cowboys offensive tendencies, resulting in a whomping 38–14 win in the 1969 Conference Championship game. 

By 1970, the Houston Oilers traded for him but he only played there one year before the Oilers went with a youth movement in rookies Dan Pastorini and Lynn Dickey. He played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1971 and then in the Canadian Football League in 1972 for the Montreal Alouettes before calling it a career.  After retirement, he went back to Tulsa and became an assistant coach before reappearing in the NFL as a coach with the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins during their Super Bowl XXII win.  He was inducted into the College Football Hall Of Fame in 1988.  RetroCards has designed several cards for this college great.  Coming soon!

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