Joe Williams (running back, born 1947)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Joe Williams
No. 36, 24
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1947-03-30) March 30, 1947 (age 71)
Center, Texas
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 193 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Dunbar (TX)
College: Wyoming
NFL Draft: 1970 / Round: 12 / Pick: 309
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 26
Games Started: 3
Rushing yards: 139
Rushing attempts: 52
Rushing TDs: 1
Receiving yards: 175
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Joseph Harold Williams (born March 30, 1947) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. He played college football at the University of Wyoming.

Early years[edit]

Williams attended Dunbar High School, where he helped his team achieve a 26-3 record. He accepted a football scholarship from the University of Wyoming.

As a junior, he rushed for 596 yards and 3 touchdowns in 10 games.

As a senior tri-captain, he was one of the fourteen African American players that were dismissed from the team after threatening to wear black armbands during a game against BYU, to protest the racial policies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[1][2] That season he only played in 4 games, rushing for 258 yards and one touchdown. He finished his college career with 1,190 rushing yards, 147 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.

At the time of the incident (known as the "Black 14"), the Cowboys were undefeated (4-0) and ranked 12th in the nation. Even though Wyoming beat BYU 40-7 and San Jose State University the next game without the players, it would lose its last four games of 1969 and went 1-9 the next year, which prompted the school to fire head coach Lloyd Eaton.[3] The incident also affected the University to successfully recruit African American players for several years.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Williams was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 12th round (309th overall) of the 1970 NFL Draft because of his speed.[4] As a rookie, he was used sparingly and spent most of his time on the taxi squad.

He earned a Super Bowl ring in his second year in the league as a member of the Super Bowl VI-winning team under coach Tom Landry.[5] On January 31, 1972, he was traded to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a fourth round draft choice (#83-Tim Kearney).[6]

New Orleans Saints[edit]

In 1972, the New Orleans Saints acquired Williams in a trade, after he averaged seven yards on six carries against them in the 1970 preseason. He played in 14 games (3 starts), posting 72 rushing yards and 116 passing yards. He was waived on June 19, 1973.[7]

Los Angeles Rams[edit]

The Los Angeles Rams claimed him off waivers on June 19, 1973,[8] before releasing him on August 29.[9]


  1. ^ "Wyoming loses 14 players in dispute". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Wyoming 14 and athlete's rights". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  3. ^ "No regrets, says Eaton 13 years after 'crash'". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  4. ^ Epstein, Eddie. Dominance: The Best Seasons of Pro Football's Greatest Teams. Dulles, VA: Brassey's Inc., 2002. 110. ISBN 1-57488-466-2
  5. ^ Perkins, Steve. The Dallas Cowboys: Winning the Big One. Grosset & Dunlap, 1972. ISBN 0-448-02080-7
  6. ^ "Cards Trade Cid Edwards, Williams". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "Saints may deal Atkins". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  8. ^ "No. 2 Pick Inks Pact With Rams". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "Pro Transactions". Retrieved July 15, 2017.

External links[edit]