Bob Lilly, or also known as Mr. Cowboy, is a former American football player. He started his career playing college football for the TCU Horned Frogs. After that, he became the defensive tackle of the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Bob Lilly spent fourteen seasons playing professional American football. In 1980, Bob Lilly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and after a year, he was added into the College Football Hall of Fame. In this article, we are going to learn more about the iconic professional football career of the iconic Bob Lilly.
Early Life and Career
Bob Lilly or Robert Lewis Lilly was born in Olney, Texas. Ever since he was a kid, Lilly showed his talent and interest in football. Bob Lilly attended the Throckmorton High School, where he managed to earn All-District honors in football. In fact, he was terrific in playing the game; he was even named as All-District and Honorable mention All-State.
After graduating high school, Bob Lilly accepted an athletic scholarship from Texas Christian University. During his third year at the university, he played alongside Don Floyd while being able to help his team earn a tie at the Southwest Conference Championship in a game against the University of Arkansas.
When Bob Lilly was a senior, he became a consensus All-American and an inductee to the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame.
Professional Football Career
During the first round of the 1961 NFL draft, Bob Lilly became the first-ever college draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys. Lilly started his football career as a defensive end for the Cowboys; however, during the 1963 season, the Dallas Cowboy’s coach decided to move Bob Lilly to defensive tackle. That is why Bob Lilly had to make adjustments because he became the main man in the Dallas Cowboy’s “Doomsday Defense.” As a defensive tackle, Bob Lilly became the first team All-NFL choice from 1964 to 1969 and once again in 1971. During the Super Bowl VI in 1971, Bob Lilly and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys managed to win against the Miami Dolphins. Lilly’s 29-yard sack of Bob Griese, the Dolphin’s quarterback, became one of the most iconic plays in Super Bowl defensive history.
Bob Lilly was hailed as an All-Pro seven times, and he was also picked to play in 11 Pro Bowl Games. His iconic moves were his pass-rushing skills, as well as his talent to slice plays using his instincts and agility. Aside from that, Bob Lilly is also commended for his distinct stance where he can place both hands on the field, which creates greater force, especially when rushing straight ahead. Bob Lilly stands out from other defensive tackles because of his strength, agility, and conditioning.
Bob Lilly’s name was the first to be inscribed in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, placed above the Texas Stadium. Bob Lilly became an iconic Dallas Cowboy player that the team even honored him by having a Bob Lilly Day on November 23, 1975. It was also the same year when Lilly announced that he was going to retire from playing football.
In 1980, Bob Lilly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Throughout his 14-year career, Bob Lilly missed just one game, which is considered to be a remarkable achievement for a player who played two of football’s most challenging positions. After Lilly retired from being a football player, he gets on a successful career as a photographer.