Robert Newhouse
No. 44
Position:Fullback / Halfback
Personal information
Born:(1950-01-09)January 9, 1950
Longview, Texas
Died:July 22, 2014(2014-07-22) (aged 64)
Rochester, Minnesota
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:209 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Hallsville (TX) Galilee
NFL Draft:1972 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:4,784
Yards per carry:4.1
Rushing touchdowns:31
Receiving yards:956
Receiving touchdowns:5
Player stats at · PFR

Robert Fulton Newhouse (January 9, 1950 – July 22, 2014) was a football fullback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys for twelve seasons. He played college football at the University of Houston.

Early years

Though Newhouse had rushing performances of over 200 and 300 yards, he wasn't highly recruited coming out of Galilee High School in Hallsville, Texas, with the only Division I (NCAA) scholarship being offered by the University of Houston.

He became part of a very successful stretch for the University of Houston from 1969 to 1971. In 1969, the team finished 9–2 and ranked #12 in the AP Poll. In 1970, the team finished 8–3 and ranked 19th. In 1971, the team finished 9–3 and ranked 17th.

Before his senior season started, he suffered a cracked pelvis in a serious automobile accident; because at the time the redshirt option didn't exist, he went on to play with the injury. He was a tri-captain of the 1971 team, along with Gary Mullins and Frank Ditta. His 1,757 rushing yards were the second most yards in a season in NCAA history and the most in school history at the time.[1] He received second-team All-American honors by the Associated Press at the end of the year.[2]

Newhouse had a remarkable college career, finishing as the University of Houston All-time leading rusher and breaking many of the school's records, some of which still stand today:

Back when the College All-Stars played the Super Bowl Champion from the year before, Newhouse scored a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys.[3] He also played in the Hula Bowl.

In 1977, he was inducted into the University of Houston Athletics Hall of Honor.[4]

Professional career

Newhouse was selected in the second round of the 1972 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, the 35th overall pick. Although he had the ability to play running back, he unselfishly made the switch to fullback in order to help the team as a rookie. In 1975 he was named the regular starter at fullback, replacing the retired Walt Garrison.

Considered small for his position, he played bigger than his size. Newhouse was built very low to the ground and had enormous leg strength. He thrived on second effort, picking up the nicknames The House and The Human Bowling Ball. He was tough to bring down, "like trying to tackle a fire hydrant," at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) and 209 pounds (95 kg), with arguably the largest thighs in the NFL (44 inches (110 cm) in circumference together).

He was also effective as the primary running back and led the Cowboys in rushing in 1975 with 930 yards, eventually running his way through 4,784 rushing yards, 956 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns during his notable career. His longest run from scrimmage as a professional was a 54-yard gain against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973.

While he was on the team, the Cowboys went to three Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos in 1977. His most notable career highlight and Super Bowl moment was the 29-yard touchdown pass he threw (going to his left) to Golden Richards in Super Bowl XII.[5]

Newhouse played sparingly backing up Ron Springs during his last 3 seasons. He retired at the end of the 1983 season,[6] as the fourth all-time leading rusher in team history, after playing for 12 years.

He was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.

Personal life

Newhouse married wife Nancy and together they had four children, including twin daughters. His youngest son Reggie Newhouse played for the Arizona Cardinals in 2004 and 2005. After his football playing career was over, he spent several years with the Dallas Cowboys working in the player-relations department.

His health started declining after suffering a heart stroke in 2010. Unable to get strong enough for a heart transplant procedure, on July 22, 2014, he died at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota of heart disease.[7]


  1. ^ "Newhouse stars in Houston win". The Pittsburgh Press. UPI. November 28, 1971. p. D9.
  2. ^ "The 1971 All-America Teams". Palm Beach Post. Florida. Associated Press. December 2, 1971. p. E6.
  3. ^ Goldberg, Dale (1972-07-29). "Morton Leads Cowboys Over All- Stars, 20-7". The Sumter Daily Item. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  4. ^ "University of Houston Athletics :: UH Cougars :: Official Athletic Site". UH Cougars. Archived from the original on 2016-11-13. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  5. ^ Aiello, Greg (1978-01-16). "Dallas Wins Second Super Bowl. Cowboys Tame Broncos 27-10". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  6. ^ "Robert Newhouse joins growing list of retiring Cowboys". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. wire services. July 19, 1984. p. 37.
  7. ^ Taylor, Jean-Jacques (2014-07-23). "Former Dallas Cowboy Robert Newhouse dies at 64". Retrieved 2014-07-23.,exceptional%20career%2C%20commitment%20to%20academics%20and%20work-life%20balance.