Oct. 8, 2008
DALLAS (SMU) - SMU honored the legendary Don Meredith by retiring his jersey at halftime of the SMU-Houston football game. Meredith, who wore number 17 during his playing years at SMU (1957-59), was selected to be honored by the SMU Hall of Fame Committee, which is comprised primarily of Lettermen's Club members.
Born April 10, 1938, in Mount Vernon, Texas, Meredith was a two-time All-America selection (1958 & 1959) on the Hilltop, setting a Southwest Conference record with 69.6 completion percentage in 1957. The Chicago Bears then selected Meredith in the third round of the 1960 NFL Draft, but traded him to a young Dallas Cowboys franchise for future draft picks.
Throughout his nine-year career with the Cowboys, "Dandy" Don was one of the Cowboys' most recognizable stars, leading his team to three straight division championships and trips to consecutive NFL Championship games following the 1966 and 1967 seasons.
During the 1966 season, Meredith was named the NFL Player of the Year, throwing a career-high 24 touchdown passes that season. He was also named to the Pro Bowl that year, his first of two career Pro Bowl selections.
In 1976, Meredith was inducted into the Cowboys' "Ring Of Honor".
Following his playing days, Meredith had a successful TV career as an analyst on ABC's "Monday Night Football".
Meredith joined MNF in 1970. After three seasons, he left to work at NBC, but soon returned to MNF alongside partners Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell. He was known for singing "Turn out the lights, the party's over" when the game appeared to be decided.
Meredith retired from the booth following the 1984 season. His final broadcast was Super Bowl XIX.
Meredith was selected as the 2007 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, receiving the award on August 3, 2007.
Meredith also had an acting career, appearing in multiple movies and television shows, including a starring role on "Police Story," as well as a series of commercials in the 1980s.
Currently, he resides in Santa Fe, N.M., with his wife, Susan.
Meredith is the sixth SMU football standout and ninth SMU athlete or administrator overall to have his or her jersey retired. Previous honorees have been Raymond Berry (football), Cash Birdwell (trainer), Eric Dickerson (football), Forrest Gregg (football), Lamar Hunt (football), Karlin Kennedy (women's basketball), Jon Koncak (men's basketball), Jim Krebs (men's basketball) and Doak Walker (football).
Meredith's Stats At SMU
Year Att. Comp. Pct. Yards INT TD Att. Yards TD
1957 102 71 .696 912 6 7 87 143 4
1958 112 65 .580 952 7 7 77 230 8
1959 181 105 .580 1,266 10 11 102 25 2
Totals 395 241 .610 3,130 23 25 266 398 14