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Tony Dorsett has an underrated legacy; Where is he now?

Tony Dorsett has an underrated legacy; Where is he now?
Tony Dorsett at a NASCAR event in October 2021. (Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)

DALLAS (BVM) – When comparing resumes, Tony Dorsett’s stacks up with the best of them: a national championship in college, Heisman Trophy winner, Super Bowl Champion, and a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Dorsett is not typically brought up when discussing the all-time greats, but maybe he should be.

Before becoming a household name

Dorsett grew up just outside of Pittsburgh where he attended Hopewell High School.

In his junior year, he became a spectacle.

He racked up 1,034 yards along with 19 touchdowns and was named to the All-State team. He followed this up with 1,238 yards his senior year.

Later on, his number was retired by his high school. They also renamed the stadium after Dorsett.

College career

Dorsett stayed local, attending the University of Pittsburgh under head coach Johnny Majors.

He became a phenom as just a freshman with 1,586 rushing yards. He finished second in the entire country behind Northern Illinois’ Mark Kellar.

Only three games into his sophomore year, Dorsett became the all-time leading rusher in school history. 

Dorsett saved the best for last, rushing for 2,150 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior.

He took home the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award for his spectacular 1976 season. He capped it off by leading Pittsburgh over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, ultimately leading to their National Championship crown.

Dorsett finished his collegiate career with 6,526 rushing yards and 59 touchdowns on the ground. His yard total ranks fifth all-time in college football history.

Pro career

Dorsett was selected No. 2 overall in the 1977 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys packaged three picks in order to acquire the second selection from the Seattle Seahawks.

His rookie contract exceeded one million dollars, setting the Cowboys record at the time. But Dorsett immediately lived up to the billing.

He ran for over a thousand yards as a rookie with 12 touchdowns and was named rookie of the year.

That season, Dorsett emerged as a vital part of a Cowboys team that marched to a Super Bowl victory against the Denver Broncos.

The following year, Dorsett racked up 1,300 yards, once again leading Dallas to a Super Bowl appearance.

In 1981, he put together his best pro season with 1,646 yards and four touchdowns. This would stand as the Cowboys rushing yard record until Emmitt Smith’s 1992 season when he ran for 1,713 yards.

The Cowboys decided to bring in Herschel Walker prior to the 1986 season, removing Dorsett from the “Bell Cow” role that he previously served.

In 1987, Dallas shifted Walker to the lead role, resulting in a trade request from Dorsett.

He was sent to Denver for the 1988 season where he played one year before retiring due to injury at age 34.

Dorsett finished his career with 12,739 yards, 77 touchdowns and four Pro Bowl selections.

Where is he now?

In 2013, Dorsett announced that he had been diagnosed with CTE.

However, he has not allowed that to sideline him as he is still out and about meeting fans and helping others.

Dorsett has recently attended events to create awareness for illiteracy, funds for police and fire departments, and gender equality in sports.

The 68-year-old also recently attended the Pittsburgh-Tennessee game in September.