Danny White

Last updated

Danny White
No. 11
Position: Quarterback
Punter
Personal information
Born: (1952-02-09) February 9, 1952 (age 72)
Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:193 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Westwood
(Mesa, Arizona)
College: Arizona State (1971–1973)
NFL draft: 1974  / Round: 3 / Pick: 53
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
As a player
As a coach
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts:2,950
Passing completions:1,761
Completion percentage:59.7%
TDINT:155–132
Passing yards:21,959
Passer rating:81.7
Punting yards:24,509
Punting average:40.2
Head coaching record
Regular season:142–82 (.634)
Postseason:20–13 (.606)
Career:162–95 (.630)
Player stats at PFR

Wilford Daniel White (born February 9, 1952) is an American former football quarterback who played for 13 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He was the third major franchise quarterback in Cowboys history, following Roger Staubach and Don Meredith. White was 62–30 as a starter, was a second team All-Pro selection in 1982, and led the Cowboys to five playoff appearances, with three consecutive appearances in the NFC Championship game from 1980 to 1982. White was also among the last Cowboys quarterbacks in the Tom Landry era, alongside 1988 starter Steve Pelluer.

Contents

White primarily played the quarterback position, but occasionally played punter. Upon his retirement, White coached in the Arena Football League (AFL). He has been the color commentator for Cowboys games on Compass Media Networks' America's Team Radio Network since the 2011 season. [1] He played college football for the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Early life

A graduate of Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona, White did not receive a lot of notice while being the starter at quarterback, due to his perception as a better baseball prospect.

Frank Kush, then the football head coach at Arizona State University, helped convince Bobby Winkles, the school's baseball coach, to sign White to a scholarship with the provision that he would also play punter for the football team. During those early years Kush gave him a chance to improve his skills as a quarterback, which eventually would lead him to become the starter midway through his sophomore season, ending up throwing for six touchdowns in a game against the University of New Mexico.

White went on to have a stellar career as a quarterback and punter, compiling a 32–4 record, winning three Fiesta Bowls, setting seven NCAA passing records and being named an All-American in 1973, when he led the nation's second rated total offense. He finished with 6,717 passing yards, 64 touchdowns, 42 interceptions and averaged 41.7 yards per punt. [2]

Besides having his jersey retired, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, the State of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and the Arizona State University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was named Arizona Athlete of the Century by the Arizona Republic . He also was an inaugural member of Dunham and Miller Hall of Fame.

On October 29, 2010, White was honored, along with other Sun Devil Quarterbacks, at a Legends Luncheon hosted by the Arizona State University Alumni Association and Sun Devil Club. Other honorees included John F. Goodman, Andrew Walter, and Jake Plummer. [3]

Professional career

Memphis Southmen (WFL)

The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the third round (53rd overall) of the 1974 NFL Draft, but were mainly interested in him as a punter, so he chose to sign with the World Football League's Memphis Southmen for a better offer.

White shared the quarterback position with John Huarte, helping his team reach the semifinals as a rookie and a second-place finish in 1975. During these two years, he passed for 2,635 yards and 21 touchdowns in 30 games, and also led the league in punting his last year. [4]

Dallas Cowboys

In 1976, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys after the World Football League folded. Through 1979, White was the Cowboys' punter and the backup to the team's star quarterback Roger Staubach. After Staubach's retirement following the end of that season, White became the Cowboys' starting quarterback. Until 1984, he continued to serve as the team's punter, making him one of the last starting quarterbacks in NFL history to also start at a different position. He punted for the last time in his career once in 1985.

In a memorable 1980 playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons, White led the Cowboys to a come-from-behind 30–27 victory. He also played in one of the Cowboys' most painful playoff losses against the San Francisco 49ers in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, famous for the Joe Montana-to-Dwight Clark game-winning play, which would simply come to be known as "The Catch". White threw for 173 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT, and his passer rating in the game was actually higher than Montana's, 98.1 vs. 81.4. He received Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in 1982.

White led the Cowboys to three consecutive NFC Championship Games (19801982). The Cowboys were favored to win all three games even though they played on the road against the NFC's top seeded team in each game - even, oddly, in 1982 when the Cowboys' and Redskins' regular season records were 6-3 and 8-1 respectively. White received criticism, some unfairly, after the Cowboys lost all three games. [5] [6] White was criticized during the 1982 NFL Players Strike by teammate Tony Dorsett for crossing the picket line citing financial reasons, though Dorsett himself was criticized for crossing the picket line with his own financial concerns soon after. [7] Fans and teammates alike began to show support for him to be replaced as the Cowboys quarterback by Gary Hogeboom, who had thrown two touchdowns in the 1982 NFC Championship Game (which they lost to the archrival Washington Redskins) after White was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Even his statistically career-best 1983 season failed to silence the critics, after ending it with consecutive blowout losses to the Redskins (at home) and the 49ers after a 12–2 start. To add insult to injury, the Cowboys lost the NFC Wildcard Playoff game to the Los Angeles Rams. That apparently was enough for him to lose his starting job to Hogeboom at the start of the 1984 season. Under Hogeboom, the Cowboys looked impressive with a 4–1 start, but then a loss to division rival St. Louis and ineffective plays by Hogeboom convinced coach Tom Landry to reinstate White as his starter. The Cowboys finished 9–7, but missed the playoffs in 1984 for the first time in a decade; but with White as quarterback, the Cowboys made it back in 1985 with a 10–6 record. However, they lost again to the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.

In 1986, the Cowboys started 6–2, had the #1 offense in the NFL, were tied for the lead in the NFC Eastern Division and White was also the number one rated passer in the NFC at that point in the season. During an away game against Bill Parcells's New York Giants, however, a blind-side sack by Giants linebacker Carl Banks broke White's throwing wrist and tore ligaments, knocking him out of the game and ending his season. Dallas lost the game, 17–14, and without him the team faded badly, finishing the year 7–9 and the Cowboys first losing season since 1965.

White returned as the starter at the beginning of 1987, but after inconsistent play, he was benched in favor of Steve Pelluer for 4 of the final 6 games. In 1988, Pelluer won the starting job in training camp, relegating White as a backup. White appeared briefly in only two games, and in his second game he suffered a season-ending knee injury. An option on his contract was not picked up in April 1989 and he announced his retirement on July 12, 1989, paving the way for the recently-drafted Troy Aikman to take the reins of the by-then struggling franchise. [8]

White had 1,761 completions on 2,950 attempts for 21,959 yards, 155 touchdowns, and 132 interceptions in his career. He also gained 482 yards and scored 8 touchdowns rushing. Unusual for a quarterback, he had two pass receptions for touchdowns, both from a halfback option pass. On special teams he punted 610 times for 24,509 yards, an average of 40.4 yards per punt, with 144 punts inside the 20 and 77 touchbacks. His record as the Cowboys' starting quarterback was 62–30 (.659 winning percentage) during the regular season, and 5–5 in the playoffs.

Being Roger Staubach's successor and never reaching a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback contributed to White's being an unappreciated player, even considering all of the successes he achieved for the Cowboys and the NFL during the decade of the eighties. [9] "I don't think anybody could have followed Roger and done as well as Danny", Coach Tom Landry remarked, "Danny was a solid winner." [10]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
BoldCareer high

Regular season

YearTeamGamesPassingRushingPunting
GPGSRecordCompAttYdsTDIntRtgAttYdsAvgTDAttYdsLngAvgBlk
1976 DAL 14013202132294.46172.80702,6905438.42
1977 DAL 140410350110.41−2.0−2.00803,1715739.61
1978 DAL 1611–020342150165.2571.40763,0765640.51
1979 DAL 16019392671258.412525.00763,1687341.70
1980 DAL 161612–42604363,287282580.7271144.21712,9035840.90
1981 DAL 161511–42233913,098221387.5381042.70793,2226040.80
1982 DAL 996–31562472,079161291.117915.40371,5425641.70
1983 DAL 161612–43345333,980292385.618311.74381,5435040.61
1984 DAL 1463–31262331,580111171.56213.50823,1515438.40
1985 DAL 141410–42674503,157211780.622442.011434343.00
1986 DAL 764–2951531,15712597.98162.01
1987 DAL 1193–62153622,617121773.210141.41
1988 DAL 3029422741365.00000
Career1669262–301,7612,95021,25915513281.71564823.0861024,5097340.25

Coaching career

White's career as a coach began shortly after his playing days ended. This is appropriate considering that, while an active player, he was widely regarded—like Staubach before him—as knowledgeable of the game and as something of a coach on the field. He also began working as a broadcast commentator during his coaching career, which was possible because he coached Arena football, which is played during the outdoor game's off-season.

White served as the head coach of the Arizona Rattlers from 1992 to 2004, winning the ArenaBowl championship in 1994 and 1997. White's contract was not renewed by the new Rattlers ownership after the 2004 season following three consecutive ArenaBowl losses. He was named the head coach of the Arena Football League expansion Utah Blaze, which began play in 2006. He led his teams to the playoffs in 10 of 11 seasons, including two championships (1994 and 1997), finishing with a 162–95 record as a head coach.

In 2002, he was inducted into the Arena Football League Hall of Fame in recognition for his coaching success.

Head coaching record

TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
WonLostWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
ARI 1992 46.4003rd in AFL Western Division
ARI 1993 75.5832nd in AFL American Conference11.500Lost to Detroit Drive in Semifinals
ARI 1994 84.6672nd in AFL American Conference301.000Won ArenaBowl VIII
ARI 1995 75.5832nd in AFL Western Division01.000Lost to Iowa Barnstormers in Quarterfinals
ARI 1996 113.7861st in AFL Western Division11.500Lost to Tampa Bay Storm in Semifinals
ARI 1997 122.8571st in AFL Western Division301.000Won ArenaBowl XI
ARI 1998 104.7141st in AFL Western Division11.500Lost to Orlando Predators in Semifinals
ARI 1999 104.7141st in AFL Western Division11.500Lost to Albany Firebirds in Semifinals
ARI 2000 122.8572nd in AFL Western Division21.667Lost to Orlando Predators in Semifinals
ARI 2001 86.5712nd in AFL Western Division11.500Lost to San Jose Sabercats in Quarterfinals
ARI 2002 113.7862nd in AFL Western Division21.667Lost to San Jose Sabercats in ArenaBowl XVI
ARI 2003 106.6253rd in AFL Western Division31.750Lost to Tampa Bay Storm in ArenaBowl XVII
ARI 2004 115.6881st in AFL Western Division21.667Lost to San Jose Sabercats in ArenaBowl XVIII
ARI total12165.6512010.667
UTA 2006 79.4383rd in AFL Western Division01.000Lost to Arizona Rattlers in Wild Card Round
UTA 2007 88.5003rd in AFL Western Division01.000Lost to Los Angeles Avengers in Wild Card Round
UTA 2008 610.3753rd in AFL Western Division01.000Lost to Colorado Crush in Wild Card Round
UTA total2127.43803.000
Total14282.6342013.606

Personal life

White's father, Wilford "Whizzer" White (no relation to Byron White, who also was nicknamed "Whizzer" and played American football), was the first Arizona State University All-American football player and still ranks third in school history with 1,502 rushing yards in a season (1950), [11] he also played halfback for the Chicago Bears from 1951–52. [12]

In 1983, White briefly recorded as a country music artist for the Grand Prix label. His only single, "You're a Part of Me", a duet with Linda Nail, reached #85 on the Hot Country Songs charts. [13]

White and his wife, JoLynn, have four children, Ryan (d. 2015), Geoff, Heather and Reed, and sixteen grandchildren. He now makes corporate appearances and motivational speeches. JoLynn died on August 15, 2016. White is currently married to Linda L. Bang. In recent years he has been seen on TV doing ADT security infomercials. [14]

White is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [15]

See also

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References

  1. "Compass Media Networks Announces Broadcast Talent For 2011 Football Season". Compass Media Networks. July 20, 2011. Archived from the original on October 17, 2011.
  2. Danny White at the College Football Hall of Fame
  3. "ASU Alumni Association to Honor Sun Devil Quarterbacks at Oct. 29 Luncheon". Arizona State University Alumni Association. 2010. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  4. Newman, Bruce (August 18, 1980). "The Great White Hope". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  5. "A Capital day for the Skins". Sports Illustrated. January 31, 1983. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  6. "Ex-Cowboy Danny White Felt Tony Romo's Pain". Dallas Morning News. October 14, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  7. "A Divisive Time, The 1987 Strike Caused Frustration For Cowboys Veterans". Dallas Cowboys.com. October 20, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  8. "Cowboys Quarterback Danny White Retires". latimes.com. Associated Press. July 12, 1989. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  9. Ellis, Josh (June 4, 2012). "The Ultimate 53: Danny White Fills Two Roles". Dallas Cowboys. Archived from the original on June 29, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  10. Galicia, Thomas (October 4, 2011). "Tony Romo and the 10 Least Clutch Quarterbacks in NFL History". Bleacher Report . Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  11. Demaret, Kent (November 17, 1980). "After Four Years in Staubach's Shadow, Danny White Flexes His Muscles as Dallas' New Leader". People. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  12. "Whizzer White". NFL.com.
  13. Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 457. ISBN   978-0-89820-177-2.
  14. "Danny White's Official Website - Former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback". dannywhite.com.
  15. "LDS football players on a mission: To mesh church service, sports". July 16, 1998.