Roger Staubach, Quarterback SEPTEMBER 4, 1978

May 14, 2001
May 14, 2001

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May 14, 2001

Roger Staubach, Quarterback SEPTEMBER 4, 1978

The newly hired young man would arrive early, around eight
o'clock, at the real estate office in the spring of 1970, go to
his desk and begin a long round of sales calls and meetings. His
boss, Henry Miller, was delighted to have a bright, ambitious
U.S. Naval Academy graduate working for him, so much so that he
didn't mind when the young fellow left early each afternoon to
train for his second job. "When I started, it didn't really occur
to him that I was a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys," says
Roger Staubach. "To him I was just a hard-working former academy
guy, so he didn't mind my schedule. And after all, I was working
on commission."

This is an article from the May 14, 2001 issue

Those off-seasons spent learning real estate paid off for
Staubach, now 59 and chairman and CEO of The Staubach Co., the
Dallas real estate consulting firm he founded in 1977. The
company has certainly grown since then. In March it won the
contract to develop and run Manhattan's new $788 million
Farley-Penn Station, the sort of high-profile project that
Staubach only dreamed of 24 years ago and is now a routine part
of his business. "I had three little girls when I started this
[he and wife Marianne now have five grown children], and I knew I
needed something after football," says Staubach, who never made
more than $230,000 a year during his 11-season NFL career. "As
good as the real estate business has been, though, those years
with the Cowboys were almost perfect."

As was the unflappable Staubach. After becoming Dallas's starting
quarterback as a 29-year-old third-year pro--his four-year
commitment to the Navy kept him from the NFL until he was
27--Staubach, a six-time Pro Bowl choice with a knack for leading
the Cowboys to come-from-behind victories, was at the helm during
two Super Bowl wins. When asked to cite his favorite moment as a
player, Staubach doesn't hesitate: "Nineteen seventy-five, the
50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with time running out
against the Vikings in the playoffs. After the game, I told
reporters, 'I just closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.' That's
where that term started, and it got me a nice letter from the
pope." After a beat he breaks the stunned silence with a laugh.
"Just kidding."

Staubach's timing always was top-notch. In 1980, after Dallas
made him a two-year, $1.5 million offer that was astronomical by
the standards of the time, Staubach--wary of the concussions he'd
begun to suffer with increasing regularity--retired from football.
(He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in '85.) "I
couldn't ask for a better end to my career," he says. "I wanted
to focus on the company, and I never wanted to stay around too
long. Now I get to look back and smile, with no regrets."

--Josh Elliott

After one miraculous comeback, he coined a phrase when he said,
"I just closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary."