Mel Renfro 20
Mel Renfro was drafted in the second round of the 1964 NFL draft, 17th overall, by the Dallas Cowboys. The selection delayed the draft for 6 hours, while the Cowboys sent a doctor to check an injury he suffered on his wrist. Although he had won many accolades as a running back and at the time teams put their best athletes on the offensive side of the ball, Tom Landry looking to build a dominating defense decided to start him at safety. As a rookie, he had an impressive season by leading the team with seven interceptions, the NFL in both punt return and kickoff return yardage (including a franchise record 273 total return yards against the Green Bay Packers) and culminated his great campaign with an invitation to the Pro Bowl. The 30 yards per kick-off return average he posted in his second year (1965) still remains a franchise record.
Renfro was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first ten seasons in the league, including five All-Pro selections in 1964, 1965, 1969, 1971 and 1973. In his 14 seasons, Renfro intercepted 52 passes, returning them for 626 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned 109 punts for 842 yards and one touchdown, 85 kickoffs for 2,246 yards and two touchdowns, along with recording 13 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 44 yards. Renfro played in 4 Super Bowls (V, VI, X, and XII). Renfro's last NFL game was Super Bowl XII, a Cowboys' 27–10 victory over the Denver Broncos. He remains the Cowboys all-time leader in interceptions with 52 and in career kickoff-return average (26.4 yards). Renfro joined the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1981 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Show your appreciation for Mel Renfro with collectibles, photographs and more here at the Drew Pearson's Cowboys Legends Pro Shop.