Don McIlhenny

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Don McIlhenny
No. 42, 35
Position: Halfback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1934-11-22) November 22, 1934 (age 82)
Place of birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school: South Houston
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 3 / Pick: 27
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 40
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Donald Brookes McIlhenny (born November 22, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former American football halfback in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and the San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at Southern Methodist University.

Early years[edit]

McIlhenny attended South Houston High School before moving on to Southern Methodist University.

Professional career[edit]

Detroit Lions[edit]

McIlhenny was selected in the third round (27th overall) of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. As a rookie, he was the team's leading rusher during the first four games of the season, before injuries limited his productivity and finished with 372 rushing yards in 9 games.

On July 25, 1957, he was traded to the Detroit Lions along with offensive tackles Ollie Spencer and Norm Masters, and offensive guard Jim Salsbury, in exchange for quarterback Tobin Rote and defensive back Val Joe Walker.[1]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

The Green Bay Packers used him as a reserve halfback for 4 seasons. He led the team in rushing in 1957 with 100 carries for 384 yards and was fifth in the league in kickoff return average (25.9 yards).

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

McIlhenny was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft, becoming the first starting halfback in franchise history. In the Cowboys 1960 inaugural season, Don scored the first rushing touchdown for the Cowboys[2] and was second on the team in rushing with 96 carries for 321 yards in 11 games (7 starts). He was waived on October 11, 1961.[3]

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

He was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco 49ers and played in 5 games during the 1961 season.

Personal life[edit]

His son Lance McIlhenny played for Southern Methodist University and is the winningest quarterback in school and Southwest Conference history.