Mel Renfro

#17 Mel Renfro

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Back 1964-1977

Cowboys Hall of Fame Defensive Back Mel Renfro Bio

Date of birth: December 30, 1941
Birth Place: Houston, Texas
College: Oregon
NFL Draft 1964 / Round 2/ Pick 17

Cowboys Cornerback Mel Renfro Career Highlights

4-Time All-Pro
10-Time Pro Bowl
3-Time All-NFC
Cowboys Career Record 52 interceptions
Dallas Cowboys Career Record 26.4-yard kickoff-return average
Dallas Career Record 626 interception return yards
2 Super Bowl Titles 
4 NFC Championships 
9 Division Titles
Consensus All-American, 1962

More info from DCA on Ring of Honor inductee Mel Renfro:

Out of the University of Oregon, Mel Renfro was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 1964 draft. He came to the Cowboys a highly acclaimed running back, however, Tom Landry envisioned Renfro as a defensive back for the team.

Renfro spent 14 years with the Cowboys and was arguably the best safety-cornerback ever to play for the Cowboys and one of the best to ever play in the National Football League. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first 10 seasons and played in four Super Bowls and eight NFC Championships.

The Cowboys soon figured out a way to capitalize on Renfro’s running ability, having him return punts and kickoffs early in his career. It is, however, his interception abilities that Renfro was best known for during his career.

Mel Renfro became the fifth member of the exclusive Ring of Honor in 1981 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996 in his 14th year of eligibility.

Mel Renfro’s Combined Career Stats

Kickoff Returns

Year Ret Yds Avg Long TD
1964 40 1017 25.4 64 0
1965 21 630 30 100 1
1966 19 487 25.6 87 1
1967 5 112 22.4 30 0
1968 0 0
1969 0 0
1970 0 0
1971 0 0
1972 0 0
1973 0 0
1974 0 0
1975 0 0
1976 0 0
1977 0 0
Total 85 2246 26.4 100 2
Punt Returns

Year Ret Yds Avg Long TD
1964 32 418 13.1 69 1
1965 24 145 6.0 35 0
1966 21 123 5.9 38 0
1967 3 -1 -0.3 7 0
1968 0 0
1969 15 80 5.3 34 0
1970 13 77 5.9 29 0
1971 0 0
1972 0 0
1973 0 0
1974 1 0 0.0 0 0
1975 0 0
1976 0 0
1977 0 0
Total 109 842 7.7 69 1
Offensive (1966)

Att Yds Avg Lg TD Rec Yds Avg Lg TD
8 52 6.5 27 0 4 65 16.3 42 0
Defensive

Year Fum TD Int Yds Avg TD
1964 4 1 7 110 15.7 1
1965 3 1 2 92 46 1
1966 2 1 2 57 28.5 0
1967 0 0 7 38 5.4 0
1968 0 0 3 5 1.7 0
1969 2 0 10 118 11.8 0
1970 1 0 4 3 0.8 0
1971 0 0 4 11 2.8 0
1972 0 0 1 0 0.0 0
1973 0 0 2 65 32.5 1
1974 0 0 1 6 6 0
1975 0 0 4 70 17.5 0
1976 0 0 3 23 7.7 0
1977 0 0 2 28 14 0
Total 12 3 52 626 12 3

Wow Coach Landry said that!!!

In the middle of Renfro’s All-Pro 1969 season, Legendary Coach Tom Landry was uncharacteristically complimentary toward one of his players, calling him “the best in the league at free safety.”

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