Dennis Morgan (American football)

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Dennis Morgan
No. 37, 42
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1952-06-26)June 26, 1952
Place of birth: White Plains, New York
Date of death: October 25, 2015(2015-10-25) (aged 63)
Place of death: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: White Plains Senior (NY)
College: Western Illinois
NFL draft: 1974 / Round: 10 / Pick: 255
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 17
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Dennis Morgan (June 26, 1952 – October 25, 2015) was an American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Western Illinois University and was drafted in the tenth round of the 1974 NFL Draft.

Early years

Morgan, grew up in White Plains, New York and attended White Plains Senior High School. After Bradley University dropped its football program, he transferred to Western Illinois University where he played running back and was named Honorable-Mention All-American in 1972.[1]

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 10th round of the 1974 NFL Draft. Known as “Strawberry” due to his red hair,[2] his speed allowed him to have an early impact on special teams.

As a rookie, he tied the longest punt return in NFL history with a 98-yard touchdown (also a franchise record) against the St. Louis Cardinals.[3][4] That season he finished third in the NFL in punt return average with 15.1 yards and led the team in both punt return yards (287) and kickoff return yards (823).

Morgan was cut on August 4, 1975, because Tom Landry didn't think he could afford the luxury of keeping a player that could only help the team in the return game.[5]

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles claimed him off waivers,[6] but he played in only 4 games during the 1975 season. He had 170 yards (24.3 average) on kickoff returns and 60 yards (7.5 average) on punt returns.


Morgan died on October 25, 2015 after suffering a heart attack while attending the New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys game at MetLife Stadium.[7]


  1. "LEATHERNECK TRADITION" (PDF). 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  2. Buchanan, W.T.B.; Stainkamp, S.D.; Staubach, R. (2006). Glory Days: Life with the Dallas Cowboys, 1973-1998. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 164. ISBN 9781461626114. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  3. "Herald-Journal - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  4. "Gainesville Sun - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  5. "The Evening Independent - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  6. "The Free Lance-Star - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  7. Former Dallas Cowboys player dies after heart attack at Cowboys game