Originally Drafted: 122nd overall
Roger Staubach was one of the key figures in the early Cowboys success, as well as building for the future success of the franchise. Staubach led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles and five NFC Championships. The 1971 NFL MVP was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1985. He threw for 22,700 yards and 153 TDs in his career while also gaining 2,264 rushing yards and scored 21 touchdowns on 410 carries. At the time of his retirement, Staubach was the second highest rated passer of all time with a career quarterback rating of 83.4. Staubach became known for his sometimes wild playing style and his knack for leading the Cowboys to improbable comeback wins. He is also widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and to many – the best Dallas Cowboy to ever live. I am surely one of those people.
Originally Drafted: 3rd overall
Dick Butkus was simply the greatest linebacker of his generation and in my opinion is the second best defensive player of all time. He even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1970 with the caption, “The Most Feared Man in the Game” and was selected the 70th Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century by ESPN, the ninth-best player in NFL history by The Sporting News, and the fifth-best by the Associated Press. During his nine year career, he was elected to eight Pro Bowls, winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors twice. He accumulated 22 interceptions and 27 fumble recoveries during his NFL career.
Butkus played before the forced fumbles statistic was kept, though it has been noted that he would have been one of the NFL’s all-time leaders in this category. He is the greatest defensive player in Chicago Bears history, arguably the greatest player of his time, one of the two greatest defensive players to ever play in the NFL, and in my opinion, the seventh greatest weapon to ever play professional football. So of course he takes the spot for best player from the 1965 draft, this one was obvious.
Originally Drafted: 2nd overall
Tommy Nobis played college football for the University of Texas at Austin and professionally, in the National Football League, for the Atlanta Falcons. In 1965, Tommy Nobis became the first player ever drafted by the expansion Atlanta Falcons as well as the second linebacker to be chosen first overall when he was taken with the first pick in the 1966 NFL Draft, 1965. This culminated in the nickname “Mr. Falcon”. Tommy Nobis joined the Falcons for their inaugural season in 1966. That season he won the league’s NFL Rookie of the Year, was voted to the Pro Bowl and amassed an unprecedented 294 combined tackles which still stands today as the team’s all-time single-season record, and is unofficially the most tackles ever credited to one player, in a season, in NFL history. Not the most impressive name for 1966 – but I promise you this,
Originally Drafted: 15th overall
Alan Page was a truly stellar defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. Page played for fifteen years, from 1967-1981. In his first eleven years with the Vikings, Page led the defense known as The Purple People Eaters. Page was a fixture on the defensive line, having played in 218 consecutive games. He was a nine time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection, while with the Vikings. In 1971, Page was the first defensive player to be named MVP. He was also the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1971 and 1973. In his fifteen year career, Page accounted for 148.5 sacks and 22 fumble recoveries. Page’s reliability and consistently high level of play were something his teammates and coaches could always count on. Alan Page was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. It seems he is often underrated when talking about the all-time greats in NFL history, but not here – Alan Page takes the spot as the best player from the 1967 NFL draft. Absolutely no question about it.