When it comes to great hitting in the NFL, much of it takes place on the line of scrimmage, away from the camera following the football. However there are players who deliver those hits on quarterbacks, running backs and those same offensive linemen. Randy White was one of those players. An intense desire burned in him if you ever watched him play.
In fact it was that desire which helped him turn in probably the NFL’s greatest defensive play in our CEO’s estimation. In the 1980 season finale, Dallas needed to beat the Eagles by 25 points to win the NFC East. The Eagles were near midfield when they completed a slant to wide receiver Scott Fitzkee, who took off for the goal line. White, who had seen the pass whiz by turned and chased down Fitzkee tackling him at the 5 yard line. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw a defensive lineman chase down a receiver after a 49 yard gain??
Of course that wasn’t a great hit but it showed unbelievable heart. When you thought of the Dallas Cowboys during the late 1970’s and thought of toughness, he was the one that came to mind. He wasn’t that big either and thrived on his quickness to get into the “A” gap of opposing offenses.
One aspect of his play that is unusual is his size for a defensive tackle. The Cowboys had him listed at 6’4″ 257 lbs but that was a smokescreen. He looks like he’s about 6’1 or 6’2 and played at a weight where most of his contemporaries were pushing 275-280 lbs. We have yet to see in any film where White was bigger than a player trying to block him.
Over his 14 year career he made the Pro Bowl 9 times and was voted All Pro in 8 of them. He was the impetus to the Doomsday Defense II that followed the original unit Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, Dave Edwards, and Chuck Howley played on. In fact along with Howley, White shares the distinction of being named Super Bowl MVP while wearing #54 for the Cowboys. Howley did so as the only player from a losing team, to nab that distinction in Super Bowl V.
As for White, he was the co-winner along with the late Harvey Martin for chasing Craig Morton all over the Super Dome in game number XII. In that contest he and the defensive line hounded Denver quarterbacks into 4 interceptions on 8 of 25 passing for 61 yards. In a Super Bowl?? Yikes. For his career he finished with 9 Pro Bowls and 7 – 1st team All Pro selections. A sure Hall of Fame performer which raises an interesting question: Who was the Dallas Cowboys all time greatest defensive tackle?? Bob “Mr. Cowboy” Lilly or Randy “Manster” White??
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