2 NFL Greats From Wyoming Who Should Be In The Hall Of Fame
Five former Broncos are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2017 Class. Terrell Davis, Karl Mecklenburg, Steve Atwater, John Lynch and Brian Dawkins.
Terrell Davis, a Hall of Fame semifinalist 11 times, was quoted by the Denver Post, “The longer you’re out, the more you start to get a taste. You showed me the doughnuts. You brought me in a store. You’re letting me just smell them baking, but I can’t taste them. Imagine that feeling.”
We'd honestly vote T.D. in, but for some, the doughnut shop closed years ago.
Boyd Dowler retired in 1971, a year before Terrell was born. From what was just one Cheyenne High School in the early 1950s, Boyd would be 25th overall pick in the 1959 NFL draft. His first year in Green Bay was also the first year of a coach named Lombardi. In 11 seasons as a Packer, he helped them win 5 NFL championships, and the first two Super Bowls.
After a late hit in the 1966 NFL Championship, Dowler aggravated a shoulder early in the first Super Bowl two weeks later, allowing rarely-used Max McGee to star. Boyd did make a big impact in Super Bowl II. He's a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, but Boyd’s bust is still not in Canton, Ohio.
Mister Dowler is currently a scout for the Atlanta Falcons. By the way, his father, Walter Dowler, once had a good career on UW Cowboy football teams, himself.
Jay Novacek was born in South Dakota, and grew up in Nebraska, but anyone from University of Wyoming in the College Football Hall of Fame is a Wyomingite to us.
In his first season, Jay had few chances to prove his worth in coach Al Kincaid's run offense that threw 18 passes per game. In 1984, though, a tight end was born. Novacek posted 33 receptions for 745 yards, and an NCAA single-season record for average per reception (22.6 yards). That was good enough for WAC first team.
Jay was on his way to the NFL, in 1985 taken in the sixth round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Novacek played special teams as a rookie, then spent 1986 on injured reserve, but he was a future Dallas Cowboy.
1990 was a break out year. Jay was a favorite for Troy Aikman in the early 1990s. Keep in mind Troy had other weapons named Irvin and Smith. Jay played in five straight Pro Bowls, helping the Cowboys make the playoffs each year and winning the Super Bowl 3 of 4 years. Novacek came up big when it counted, in franchise playoff history, he was third in receptions (62), had huge receiving yards (645) and caught six touchdowns. One of the important criteria for the Hall of Fame is Super Bowl rings, and Mister Novacek has them, but has no bust in Canton.
On July 15, 1997, the old Cowboy officially retired with chronic back pain. Jay did a youth football camp at the University of North Texas every summer for 20 years.