The running back that many call the first great runner in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, and a native of Waterloo, Iowa, has died.

KWWL reports that Don Perkins has died at the age of 84. Perkins had a stellar career at Waterloo West High School in the 1950s. He then went on play collegiately at the University of New Mexico where he would become an All-American. calls him the first great Dallas running back. Perkins was actually drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1960 but had signed with Dallas prior to the draft. The league allowed him to stay with Dallas in exchange for a 9th-round draft pick. Talk about getting great value on your pick!

Facebook via Ocholive
Facebook via Ocholive

Perkins would go on to play all eight of his NFL seasons with Dallas. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1961, according to KWWL. He would also go on to play in six pro bowls. He ended his career as the all-time leading rusher in Cowboys history. His totals still rank fourth to this day, trailing only Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, and Ezekiel Elliott. reports that Perkins was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1976 along with the quarterback he played alongside, Don Meredith.

Many of us today never saw Don Perkins play in the NFL, or perhaps even knew he was an Eastern Iowa native. Check out the video of some of his career highlights as we remember one of the NFL's and Iowa's all-time greats.


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