Tony Dorsett, runs the ball for the Denver Broncos, Dec. 4, 1988.
He was a beloved star in Dallas. One of the best players to ever wear a star on his helmet. Destined for the Ring of Honor and DFW football immortality.
Then, in an instant, he was gone. To Denver. To be a Bronco.
It’s one of the strangest sights in sports, to be forced to watch one of your favorite players suddenly wearing enemy colors.
In 2014 it’ll be DeMarcus Ware. But in 1988, it was Tony Dorsett.
The running back helped the Cowboys to a Super Bowl and during his 11-year stay in Dallas juked and sprinted his way to a career that would land him not only in the Ring of Honor but also the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But in ’88 the 34-year-old Dorsett’s skills had declined and the Cowboys had a star running back named Herschel Walker to supplant him as their No. 1 back.
Dorsett, at the time by far the greatest running back in franchise history, was promptly traded to Denver for a conditional 5th-round draft pick. I still remember the shock and nausea I felt the first time I saw Dorsett’s No. 33 running around in a Broncos’ helmet.
And in ’88 he had a decent season in Denver. Led the Broncos with 703 yards rushing, but Denver missed the playoffs at 8-8 and Dorsett promptly retired.
Like seeing your ex-girlfriend holding hands with another man, we’d like to erase the vision of Dorsett as a Bronco. And I predict at some point we’ll feel the same about Ware in Denver.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.