Don Perkins, six-time Pro Bowl RB with Cowboys, dies at 84

June 10 (UPI) -- Former All-Pro running back Don Perkins, who spent his eight-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, died at the age of 84, the team announced Friday.

The Cowboys said Perkins died Thursday, but did not provide a cause of death.


Perkins was an All-American at New Mexico from 1957-59. The Waterloo, Iowa, native signed a contract with the Cowboys before he was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the ninth round of the 1960 NFL Draft.

The Cowboys then traded a draft pick to the Colts to retain Perkins' rights.

RELATED Former Cowboys, Bears running back Marion Barber III dies at 38

Perkins went on to finish third in UPI Rookie of the Year voting in his 1961 rookie campaign. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons and was an All-Pro in 1962. Perkins also made the Pro Bowl in each of his final three seasons. He eclipsed 1,000 yards from scrimmage in three separate seasons.

Perkins totaled 6,217 yards and 42 touchdowns on 1,500 carries in 107 career appearances. He also logged 146 catches for 1,310 yards and three scores.

He ranks fourth in Cowboys history in rushing yards, behind NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett and Ezekiel Elliott. He ranks fifth in rushing touchdowns, behind Smith, Dorsett, Elliott and Marion Barber, who died last June 1 at just 38 years old.


Perkins was inducted into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor in 1976, along with former quarterback Don Meredith. He also was part of the inaugural class for the New Mexico Hall of Honor. He joined the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

"Our hearts go out to Don's family, and Lobo fans all around the country," New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nunez said in a news release.

"Don is one of the greatest Lobos, and certainly one of the greatest football players to play for UNM. He was a tremendous student-athlete, and he had a terrific career in the NFL, but he was more than that."

RELATED Raiders, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow agree to $32M contract extension

Perkins served as a football analysts for CBS, ABC and other networks after his football career.

Notable Deaths of 2022

Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake is applauded by the audience at the end of the presentation of his Spring-Summer Men's fashion show in Paris, June 25, 2009. The fashion designer died after battling cancer on August 9 at age 84. Photo by Eco Clement/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines


Follow Us