The Dirty Dozen were the rookies that made the Dallas Cowboys team in 1975. These players were credited with helping the Cowboys advance to Super Bowl X and were a key foundation of the team's success during the latter half of the 1970s going into the early 1980s, as by 1979 many of these players would have replaced many of the Cowboys' aging starters of the 1960s. The rookies came up with the nickname inspired by the film of the same name, and spent half of the season without shaving.[1]

List of the rookies


For all of the accolades that the Dallas Cowboys scouting department had received throughout the years, the team had never kept more than nine draft choices and the average number was keeping six. In 1962, 14 rookies made the team - 7 draft choices, 4 undrafted free agents, 2 obtained in trades and one claimed off waivers.

In 1975, eleven picks and one undrafted free agent (Percy Howard) made the team, hence the nickname "The Dirty Dozen" for the 1975 Cowboys draft class. This group of rookies didn't even include linebacker Mike Hegman, who was drafted that year but did not enter the NFL until 1976, nor future Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback undrafted free agent Jim Zorn who made the team, but was later cut to make room for running back Preston Pearson, who had been waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers.[2]

The infusion of new talent not only meant an immediate rebuilding process and competition, but also changed the course of the team in a significant way.[3] This group helped the Cowboys reach Super Bowl X that season, and moving forward would play a key role in the franchise being given the nickname "America's Team".

This draft class is considered to be one of the greatest in NFL history.[4]


  1. ^ "Youth is served on Cowboys but in very limited portions". The Miami News. January 15, 1976. p. 1C.
  2. ^ "Tank Held Out Thursday; Spencer Looks Ready". September 25, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "Rookies shine in Seattle". The Victoria Advocate. August 24, 2005. p. 1B. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  4. ^ "Dallas Cowboys 1975 Draft: The Dirty Dozen, One Of The Best Ever". April 11, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2021.