Mel Renfro excelled as a blue-chip defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys from 1964 to 1977. The 6-0, 190-pounder, who had been an All-America halfback as well as an outstanding track star at the University of Oregon, was the Cowboys’ second-round pick in the 1964 NFL Draft. It was as cornerback that he enjoyed his greatest success in the NFL. Renfro, who was blessed with 4.65 speed and an exceptional ability for lateral movement, earned a Pro Bowl invitation his first 10 seasons but did miss the 1973 game because of injury. An All-NFL choice in 1964, 1965, 1969, 1971, and 1973, he also earned all-conference honors seven times. In his career, he scored six touchdowns, three on interceptions, one on a punt return and two on kickoff runbacks. Renfro played in eight NFL/NFC championship games and four Super Bowls. His interception set up the Cowboys winning touchdown in a 17-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the 1970 NFC title game. He retired after Super Bowl XII. View Mel's Pro Football Hall of Fame Bio Here.
Mel Renfro moved out of his native Houston, Texas, and attended high school in Portland, Oregon. It was a natural progression for him to move on to the University of Oregon, where he played halfback at 5-11 and 190-pounds. Coach Leonard Casanova called Mel the best all-around football player he ever had. Renfro earned All-West Coast recognition as a sophomore, junior and senior, and led Oregon in rushing and scoring throughout his three seasons. He wound up in third place on Oregon's all-time career scoring list with 141 points, finished seventh on the all-time rushing list with 1,532 yards, and had the third longest run in Oregon history with an 80 yarder against Idaho in 1961. Selected Consensus All-America First Team in 1962, Mel was also chosen for the all-time, all-Northwest football team by a panel of sportswriters and former players from the area. In addition, thanks to a 13.8 clocking in the 120-yard high hurdles, he qualified for All-America status in track. View Mel's CFHOF Bio Here.
Some say Renfro could actually give "Bullet" Bob Hayes a run for his money. The Dallas Cowboys Encyclopedia called him "Deion Sanders before Deion" because he forced quarterbacks no to challenge his side of the field. He played many games without ever defending a pass. Mel led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 1969. In his 14-season career, Renfro intercepted 52 passes that he returned for 626 yards. He returned 109 punts for 842 yards and 85 kickoffs for 2,246 yards and a sparkling 26.4-yard average. He was added to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1981. To read more about Mel's fantastic career with the Dallas Cowboys please Click Here.