Dennis Morgan (American football)

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Dennis Morgan
No. 37, 42
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1952-06-26)June 26, 1952
Place of birth: White Plains, New York
Date of death: October 25, 2015(2015-10-25) (aged 63)
Place of death: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: White Plains Senior (NY)
College: Western Illinois
NFL Draft: 1974 / Round: 10 / Pick: 255
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 17
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Dennis Morgan (June 26, 1952 – October 25, 2015) was an American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Western Illinois University.

Early years[edit]

Morgan, grew up in White Plains, New York and attended White Plains Senior High School. He was a part of the 1969 undefeated football team. He also lettered in track and baseball. He set the high school national record for the indoor 40-yard dash at 4.3 seconds.[1]

He accepted a scholarship from Bradley University, where he was named the starter at running back as a freshman.[2] The next year he was forced to transfer to Western Illinois University after the school dropped its football program.[3] He played running back and returned kickoffs for three seasons. He received honorable-mention All-American honors in 1972.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Morgan was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the tenth round (255th overall) of the 1974 NFL Draft. Known as “Strawberry” due to his red hair,[5] his speed allowed him to have an early impact on special teams.

As a rookie, he tied the longest punt return in NFL history with a 98-yard touchdown (also a franchise record) against the St. Louis Cardinals.[6][7] That season, he finished third in the NFL in punt return average with 15.1 yards and led the team in both punt return yards (287) and kickoff return yards (823).

Morgan was waived on August 4, 1975, because Tom Landry didn't think he could afford the luxury of keeping a player that could only help the team in the return game.[8]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

On August 6, 1975, he was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Eagles.[9] He played in only 4 games, registering 170 yards (24.3 average) on kickoff returns and 60 yards (7.5 average) on punt returns. He was released on October 17.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Morgan served in the United States Army after football. He died on October 25, 2015, after suffering a heart attack while attending the New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys game at MetLife Stadium.[11]


  1. ^ "Dennis Morgan Orbituary". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Hoopin' and hollerin' time at Bradley". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Dennis Morgan, White Plains football star of the 1960s, dies at 63". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Leatherneck Tradition" (PDF). 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  5. ^ Buchanan, W.T.B.; Stainkamp, S.D.; Staubach, R. (2006). Glory Days: Life with the Dallas Cowboys, 1973-1998. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 164. ISBN 9781461626114. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  6. ^ "Herald-Journal - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  7. ^ "Gainesville Sun - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  8. ^ "The Evening Independent - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  9. ^ "The Free Lance-Star - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  10. ^ "KU's Sutton Released By Philadelphia Club". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ Former Dallas Cowboys player dies after heart attack at Cowboys game

External links[edit]