|Date of birth:November 4, 1956|
|Place of birth: Williamsburg, Virginia|
|Date of death: May 12, 2011(aged 54)|
|College: Ohio State|
|NFL Draft: 1979 / Round: 5 / Pick: 136|
|Debuted in 1979 for the Dallas Cowboys|
|Last played in 1986 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
Career NFL statistics as of 1986
Ronald Edward "Ron" Springs (November 4, 1956 – May 12, 2011) was a professional American football running back, who played eight seasons in the NFL, for the Dallas Cowboys from 1979 to 1984, followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985–1986. He is the father of NFL cornerback Shawn Springs. He also played with Lawrence Taylor and Mel Gray at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Springs graduated from Lafayette High School where he played football alongside the former New York Giant and Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, and one of the best return specialists in NFL history in Mel Gray. As a senior at Lafayette in 1974, he rushed for a then-Peninsula District-record 1,876 yards, including 315 in one game.
The following year, he enrolled at Ohio State University, where he played three years under Woody Hayes and led the Buckeyes in both rushing (1,166 yards) and receiving (16 catches for 90 yards) in 1977. In 1978, he was elected a team co-captain.
In 2003 he was among the first inductees into Lafayette’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Springs was primarily a blocking back for Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, but he got plenty of opportunities to run and catch in Tom Landry's multiple set offense. In this system he thrived as a versatile player that could run, catch, block, and occasionally even throw the option pass.
In 1981 he gained 984 yards rushing and receiving combined and led the team with 12 touchdowns and 46 catches. Although his most important role might have been his leadership qualities, that gained him the respect of many people within the Cowboys organization.
He was released during the 1985 training camp.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Health concerns and death
Springs was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1990, which led to him having both his right foot and two toes from the left amputated. In 2004, needing a kidney, he was placed on the national transplant list. Though his son, Shawn, offered to end his career and donate a kidney, Ron refused. In 2006, former teammate and best friend Everson Walls agreed to donate one of his kidneys, and the transplant took place in March. On Tuesday, October 16, 2007, it was reported that Springs slipped into a coma after going into cardiac arrest while having an operation performed on an elbow cyst the previous weekend. He remained in this state until his death, and his son left his team to be with Ron during that time. Doctors reported in 2007 that there was no chance of Springs surviving; however, his family continued encouraging Ron by talking to him daily. On January 5, 2008, former Cowboy teammate Bill Bates held a charity event to help raise funds for the foundation connected with Ron's illness. Ron's wife, Adrianne, continued to show encouragement to those concerned about Ron's condition, stating that news of the event's turnout might help wake Ron from his coma.
On January 21, 2008, Adrianne Springs filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband against the two doctors who performed the surgery, alleging malpractice.
Springs died on May 12, 2011, due to a heart attack.
- La Canfora, Jason (2005-12-18). "A Son's Offer, A Father's Decision". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
- Watkins, Calvin (May 12, 2011). "Former Cowboys RB Ron Springs dies". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "Bleak outlook for Springs". Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- "Springs' wife sues doctors for letting husband slip into coma". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
|Ohio State Buckeyes