Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Rochester, Beaver County
University of Pittsburgh standout and Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett was born in Rochester.
Awards: Heisman Trophy, Football Hall of Fame
Anthony Drew Dorsett was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania, in 1954. He attended Hopewell High School, where he excelled in football. After moving from linebacker to running back in his junior season, Dorsett broke records and was noticed by the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, Dorsett broke many records, and rushed for over 1,000 yards in all four seasons. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, the number two pick overall in 1976. For the cowboys Dorsett lead the Cowboys to Super Bowl XII in his rookie season, and had a great career with the Cowboys. In 1988, Dorsett was traded to the Denver Broncos for one season. In June of 1994, Dorsett was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Anthony Drew Dorsett was born April 7, 1954, in Hopewell Township, Rochester, Pennsylvania. Anthony, better known as Tony, was born to Wes and Myrtle Dorsett. His parents hoped one of their seven children would reach beyond the towns limits. Tony did. While still in high school Dorsett's coach made a decision to move him from linebacker to running back, where he rushed for over 1,000 yards as a junior. This move earned him a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh.
Unlike Dorsett's four older brothers, he was the only one to attend college where he excelled. Dorsett was named to the All-American team as a freshman with the Pittsburgh Panthers, and again as a junior. Playing under legendary coach Johnny Majors, Dorsett was the only running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards in all four seasons with the Panthers, and the first to rush for more than 1,500 yards in three seasons. In 1976, Dorsett won the Heisman Trophy, the award for the best collegiate football player. His collegiate career caused him to be drafted as the number two pick in the 1977 draft, selected by the Dallas Cowboys.
As a rookie with the Cowboys, Dorsett signed a $1.1 million contract, more than the team captain Roger Staubach. Dorsett rushed for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns in his rookie season, and he also added 273 yards on only 29 receptions. He was named NFL's offensive rookie of the year, and marched all the way to Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos. Dorsett got even better as the years went on; the 1,000 yard seasons seemed almost automatic for Dorsett. The star running back reached the peak of his career in his fifth season in 1981, when he rushed for a team record 1,646 yards, and had 32 receptions for 332 yards that year. Injuries in the 1986-1987 seasons slowed Dorsett down, and the Cowboys acquired another great running back, Herschel Walker. The carries would be split between the two backs. Walker who was younger, bigger, and in better shape would get more carries, because Dorsett was playing on two sore ankles. Before the 1987 season, Dorsett would get surgery on both ankles, and after the season Walker would out rush Dorsett 891 yards to 456, in 1987. After the season, Dorsett asked to be traded, ending up with the Denver Broncos. He spent one year with the Broncos when doctors told him it was time for him to retire; in 1989, Dorsett retired after an amazing football career.
It was tough for Dorsett to give up the game of football, a game he loved. However, he went down in history as one of the best running backs to ever play the game; he is still being talked about and compared to even to this day. On June 30, 1994, Dorsett would smile again when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with all of the other great football players ever to play the game.
Since his retirement, Dorsett has become an entrepreneur, founding Touchdown Products. His company, "Tony Dorsett Foods," markets bottled water, barbecue sauces, marinades and, other products. He has also made the rounds of motivational speaking and acting on television. He also contributes time and money to charities in both Texas and Pennsylvania.