Robert Steele is a former Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver. He played for the Cowboys in 1978, the year the ‘Boys went to Super Bowl XIII. During his time with the Cowboys, he recorded one catch, ten yards, and one blocked punt – and yet Robert Steele has a game ball and a Super Bowl ring to go with it. When it comes to the biggest game in Football, the question is – do the players that go to the Super Bowl have to earn it? Are they just lucky? And what does Robert Steele know about it? Find out this week on Episode 8 of A Cowboy Life.

Rober Steele grew up as the son of an entrepreneur. Though dad had a passion for Baseball, Robert leaned towards the gridiron, and cut his teeth playing Football in high school. And while he may have started small, a growth spurt junior year landed him a spot as tight end that eventually turned into a scholarship at the University of Northern Alabama where he made the quick pivot to Wide Receiver – mostly so he wouldn’t get crushed by the opposition.

His fast hands worked out for him, and eventually he got a call from the Dallas Cowboys to come play for them in the ‘78 season – right before getting the very same call from the Seattle Seahawks. But some quick thinking and a fairly convincing argument from scout Walt Yowarsky convinced him otherwise, and he decided to chase down the Cowboys, with a little advice from former Cowboy Harlan Hill, of course. He called up veteran Cowboys scout Gil Brandt too, and convinced Gil to let Robert come to Dallas for the summer, which only worked in his favor.

But Cowboys summer camp isn’t your average summer camp, and Robert had to work harder than ever to start catching passes from quarterback Roger Staubach. His attention to detail, fast hands, and a little lemon pound-cake from Grandma went a long way, and he managed to just beat out Wide Reciever Golden Richards for a spot on the team in 1978 as an undrafted free agent. And in a surprise twist, he got moved to holder, and the Cowboys never once threw him a pass.

But that didn’t stop Robert from playing in Super Bowl XIII, to defend the Cowboys Super Bowl XII title from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that he’d never forget. And though his record may be small, Steele is more than the sum of his parts. Because his story is one that resonates with all of us – the story of a man who had a plan, worked his plan, and achieved exactly what he wanted – to become a Dallas Cowboy.

Guests featured on today’s episode include:

Richie Gaskell, former University of North Alabama Offensive Coordinator

Show Notes & Links:

  1. Want to know more about Robert Steele? Check out this article from The Flor-Ala all about him.
  2. Wait, 1978? Didn’t Robert play with Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters? He sure did! Here’s a link to our episode about ol’ “Captain Crash” himself from just a few weeks ago.
  3. So all Robert did was catch one ball and score one touchdown? Well no, of course there’s more to it than that! You can learn all about it in his book, “Steele Here,” courtesy of Amazon.com.
  4. Where can I see some highlights from Super Bowl XIII? YouTube’s your best bet. Here’s a link to the goods.

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