In 1956, Herman "Sleepy" Morgan brought a kid from Mount Vernon, Texas with a rocket arm to the Hilltop believing that he would be the next great quarterback to come out of the Southwest Conference. That kid was none other than "Dandy" Don Meredith. In his first season at the helm of the Mustangs' offense in 1957, Meredith set a Southwest Conference record with a .696 completion percentage. His 1957 season has earned Meredith his rightful place on our list of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
After spending his freshman season as the captain of the Mustang freshman team, Meredith earned the starting job at quarterback at the start of his sophomore year. Coach Bill Meek employed one of the earliest versions of the run and shoot offense to complement Meredith's passing abilities. "Dandy" Don ended up leading the conference in several passing categories including completions, attempts, yards, and touchdowns. He set the SWC record with .696 completion percentage in 1957, and would lead the conference for three consecutive years in that category.
Meredith became a two-time All-America selection in 1958 and 1959. In 1959, he was the fifth rated quarterback in the nation. He completed 61% of his passes for his career while throwing for 25 touchdowns and running for another 14. He became a first round draft choice in the 1960 AFL Draft by the Dallas Texans and a third round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in the NFL Draft. The Bears traded his rights to the expansion Dallas Cowboys. He played quarterback for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1968, leading the team the two NFL championship games including the legendary Ice Bowl in 1967.
After retiring from football, Meredith went on to become one of the original announcers for Monday Night Football along with Howard Cosell and Keith Jackson. He was a mainstay on the program from 1970 to 1973 and again from 1977 to 1984. He also did the color commentary for NBC with Curt Gowdy between his stints on Monday Night Football. He was honored by the Dallas Cowboys in 1976 by being placed in the team's Ring of Honor.
In 2002, "Dandy" Don returned to campus to be the honorary captain for the Mustangs in their opener against Navy. SMU would like to honor him once again with a place among all the SMU greats on our list of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History