Growing up in the West Texas town of Midland at the start of the decade of the 1960’s….a time known as the birth and development of the “Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll” generation….which was even making inroads into a place as conservative as all of West Texas. This was a time when “black gold” was frequently being found underneath the vast lands of “Ranch Barons” throughout the entire area of West Texas….and in Midland, it was cattle, oil and cotton….along with Friday Night football….and Sunday afternoon with the Dallas Cowboys that dictated most conversations out West…..which equated to a Sunday afternoon ritual with Pops and los tres hermanos (three brothers) all watching the NFL….and mostly, the Dallas Cowboys….so, Bone Daddy grew up with the Dallas Cowboys with QB “Dandy Don” Meredith throwing bombs to “Bullet Bob” Hayes….therefore, this story about the only man to ever win both an Olympic gold medal and the Super Bowl in US history….as each an every Cowboy fan (the entire population of West Texas) just loved the Bullet.
NFL – 1965 To 1975 – Special Highlights – “The Only Man To Win Olympic Gold + Win A Super Bowl Ring”
“Bullet Bob” Hayes (December 20, 1942 – September 18, 2002) was an Olympic sprinter turned American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys for 11 seasons….who as an American track and field athlete was a two-sport stand-out in college in both track and football at Florida A&M University. He has one of the top 100 meter times by NFL players. Hayes was enshrined in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2001 and was selected for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January 2009. He was officially inducted in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2009. Hayes is the 2nd Olympic gold medalist to be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, after Jim Thorpe…..who still today currently holds the world record for the 70-yard dash with a time of 6.9 seconds…..plus he also is tied for the world’s 2nd fastest time in the 60-yard dash. He was once considered the “world’s fastest human” by virtue of his multiple world records in the 60-yard, 100-yard, 220-yard, and Olympic 100-meter dashes. Hayes tied the world record to win the 100 meters, then anchored the U.S. 4×100-meter relay team that broke the world record…..as Bullet Bob is the only athlete to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. He was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
Track & Field + NFL – 1962 To 1975 – Special Film Narrated By Robert Powell – Bob Hayes: “The Fastest Man On Earth”
Hayes was a highly recruited athlete and accepted a football scholarship from Florida A&M University, a historically black college, where he also excelled in track & field. He never lost a race in the 100 yard or 100 meter competitions….but mainstream schools of the area still did not invite him to their sanctioned meets….however, in 1962 the University of Miami invited him to a meet on their campus….where he tied the world record of 9.2 seconds in the 100-yard dash….which had been set by Frank Budd of Villanova University the previous year. He also was the first person to break six seconds in the 60-yard dash with his indoor world record of 5.9 seconds. In 1963, although he never used a traditional sprinter form, he broke the 100-yard dash record with a time of 9.1…..which was a mark that would not be broken for eleven years….until Ivory Crockett ran a 9.0 in 1974. That same year, Hayes set the world best for 200 meters at 20.5 seconds…. although the time was never ratified….and ran the 220 yard dash in a time of 20.6 seconds….while running into an eight mph wind. He was selected to represent the United States in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. His football coach Jake Gaither was not very high on giving Hayes time to train, which caused then president Lyndon B. Johnson to call him in order to allow Hayes time off and to keep him healthy. He was the AAU 100-yard dash champion three years running, from 1962–1964….and in 1964 was the NCAA champion in the 200 meter dash. He missed part of his senior year because of his Olympic bid for the Gold medal. In 1976, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Florida A&M University Sports Hall of Fame. In 1996, he was inducted into the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
Olympics – 1964 – Tokyo Games – Track & Field Special – “The Truth About Bob Hayes 4 x 100m Relay”
The Dallas Cowboys selected Hayes in the 7th round (88th overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft with a future draft pick….which allowed the team to draft him before his college eligibility was over….while taking a chance that the Olympic sprinter with unrefined football skills could excel as a wide receiver. He was also selected by the Denver Broncos in the 14th round (105th overall) of the 1964 AFL Draft….also with a future selection. The bet paid off, due to his amazing “feats in cleats”…..as Hayes has been credited by many with forcing the NFL to develop a zone defense….along with the bump and run to attempt to contain him.
Track + Field & NFL – 1964 To 1972 – Special Film – Bob Hayes: “The Only Man To Win Olympic Gold & A Super Bowl”
Hayes’ first two seasons in the NFL were very successful….during which he led the NFL both times in receiving touchdowns with 12 and 13 touchdowns, respectively. In 1966 Hayes caught six passes for 195 yards against the New York Giants at the Cotton Bowl…..and later, in the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins match-up, Hayes caught 9 passes for 246 yards….which was a franchise record until Miles Austin broke it with a 250-yard performance on October 11, 2009 against the Kansas City Chiefs…..as Hayes’ speed forced other teams to go to a zone since no single player could keep up with him…..when spreading the defense out in hopes of containing Hayes allowed the Cowboys’ talented running game to flourish….with rushers like Don Perkins, Calvin Hill, Walt Garrison and Duane Thomas taking advantage of the diminished coverage at the line of scrimmage. In the 1967 season, Hayes led the NFL in punt return yards….and went on to set an NFL playoff record with 141 punt return yards in Dallas’ 52-14 win over the Cleveland Browns…..as Bullet Bob also caught 5 passes for 145 yards in that game….which included an 86-yard touchdown catch.
NFL – 1965 To 1975 – Special Film – Featuring Bob Hayes On Speed + Explosion
Hayes is also infamous for two events….with both involving the NFL championship games in 1966 and 1967….and both being against the Packers. In the 1966 game, on the last meaningful play of the game, Hayes missed an assignment of blocking linebacker Dave Robinson…. which resulted in Dandy Don (Meredith) nearly being sacked by Robinson….which resulted in him throwing a desperation pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Tom Brown. In the 1967 NFL championship, the “Ice Bowl” played on New Year’s Eve….that is when Hayes was alleged to have inadvertently disclosed whether the upcoming play was a pass or run due to the fact that on running plays he kept his hands inside his pants to keep them warm….and the Green Bay defense knew they didn’t need to cover him.
NFL – 1967 – NFL Season Opener Highlights – Cleveland Browns Vs Dallas Cowboys – Featuring “Dandy Don” And “Bullet Bob”
In addition to receiving, Hayes returned punts for the Cowboys….and was the NFL’s leading punt returner in 1968 with a 20.8 yards per return average and two touchdowns….which included a 90 yard return against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was named to the Pro Bowl 3 times….and was selected as 1st team All-Pro twice….as well as being selected 2nd team All-Pro twice. He helped Dallas win five Eastern Conference titles….two NFC titles….and played in two Super Bowls….when he was instrumental in Dallas’ 1st ever Super Bowl victory in 1972…..while making Hayes the only person to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. Later in his career, as defenses improved playing zone and the bump and run was refined…..which resulted in Hayes’ value as an valuable decoy rather than a deep threat diminished….for professional football defensive secondaries began to use defenses that were designed to diminish the deep threat….and the fact remains that Bob Hayes was the only player from 1966 to 1972 that could be defined as a “deep threat”…..cuz he wasn’t just the gold standard for “deep receivers”…..he was the ONLY true “deep threat” in the NFL.
NFL – 1971 – Monday Night Football – Giants Vs Cowboys – Featuring 48 Yd TD Pass From Morton To Hayes – With Howard Cosell + Dandy Don Meredith Behind The Mike
Something about Bob Hayes skill set as an NFL player was the fact that he wasn’t just a guy that could go deep…..but he also was a multi-talented wide receiver who could catch “the flair” ….“the swing”….“the screen”….“the slant”….and “the down and out”….for this Cowboy wide receiver was much more than a “deep threat”…..as the videos posted in this story herewith provide unquestioning evidence that Bullet Bob was much more. Hayes was the 2nd player (after Franklin Clarke) in Cowboy history to become a 1,000 yards per season (ground or air)…. and he did that in his rookie year by finishing with 1,003 yards. Also during his rookie year, he led the team with 46 receptions….while setting franchise records for total touchdowns (13) and total receiving touchdowns (12). He finished his 11-year career with 371 receptions for 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns….which gave him an impressive 20 yards per catch average….as both career touchdowns and yards per catch average remain Cowboy franchise records in 2020…..plus, he also rushed for 68 yards….gained 581 yards on 23 kickoff returns….and returned 104 punts for 1,158 yards and three touchdowns.
Track + Field & NFL – 1964 To 1975 – Special – Bob Hayes Career Highlights
In 1965 he also started a streak (1965–1966) of seven consecutive games with at least a touchdown catch….which still stands as a Cowboys record shared with Franklin Clarke in 1961–1962….Terrell Owens in 2007….and Dez Bryant in 2012. His 7,295 receiving yards are the fourth-most in Dallas Cowboys history. To this day, Hayes holds ten regular-season receiving records, four punt return records and 22 overall franchise marks, making him one of the greatest receivers to ever play for the Cowboys.
Track + Field & NFL – 1964 To 1975 – Special Film – “How Fast Was Bob Hayes?”
On August 27, 2008, Hayes was named as one of two senior candidates for the 2009 Hall of Fame election. On Saturday, January 31, 2009, he was selected as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009. On August 8, 2009, Hayes was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame…..as Cowboy teammate QB Roger Staubach….along with Hayes’ son Bob Hayes Jr., unveiled the bust….which was sculpted by Scott Myers. On hand were six members of Bob’s Gilbert High School championship team. He was later Inducted into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame, Class of 2017. At the end of the day….Bullet Bob was an athlete of exceptional talent….as probably the fastest man to ever live on the face of the Earth….and the best speed receiver to ever play the game….and whether others agree with this assessment isn’t really of any matter….cuz “Dandy Don goes deep to Bullet Bob” holds a special place in our memory banks here at ImaSportsphile….as Bob Hayes deserves his story in the annals of the best vintage sports museum on the internet.
Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Special Interview – Frank Gifford With 1964 100m Gold Winner Bullet Bob Hayes