Joe Williams (running back)

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Joe Williams
No. 36, 24
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1947-03-30) March 30, 1947 (age 68)
Place of birth: Center, Texas
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 193 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Dunbar (TX)
College: Wyoming
NFL draft: 1971 / Round: 12 / Pick: 309
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 139
Rushing attempts: 52
Rushing TDs: 1
Receiving yards: 175
Games Started: 3
Games played: 26
Stats at
Stats at

Joe Williams (born March 30, 1947) is a former American football running back of the National Football League.[1] He was drafted out of Wyoming and earned a Super Bowl ring in his first year in the league as a member of the 1972 Super Bowl VI-winning Dallas Cowboys under coach Tom Landry.[2] He also played for the New Orleans Saints and finished with 139 career rushing yards and 175 yards receiving.

Early years[edit]

As a senior co-captain playing for the University of Wyoming, he was one of the fourteen African American players that were dismissed from the team after threatening to wear black armbands during a game against BYU, to protest the racial policies of the LDS church.[3][4]

At the time of the incident (known as the "Black 14"), the Cowboys were undefeated (4-0) and ranked 12th in the nation. Even though Wyoming beat BYU 40-7 and San Jose State University the next game without the players, it would lose its last four games of 1969 and went 1-9 the next year, which prompted the school to fire head coach Lloyd Eaton.[5] The incident also affected the University to successfully recruit African American players for several years.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Williams was selected in the 12th round (309th overall) of the 1970 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. As a rookie he was used sparingly and spent time on the taxi squad. He was traded to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a fourth round draft choice,[6] which the team would use to select Tim Kearney.

New Orleans Saints[edit]

The New Orleans Saints acquired Williams in a trade, after he averaged seven yards on six carries against them in preseason.[7] After starting three games, he was waived in June 1973.[8]

Los Angeles Rams[edit]

The Los Angeles Rams claimed him off waivers on June 19, 1973,[9] before releasing him on August 29.[10]