Lee Roy Jordan was one of the best and most decorated linebackers in college and pro history. He starred for the University of Alabama where he lost two games in three seasons, and he starred for the Dallas Cowboys where, as a member of the “Doomsday Defense,” he went to three Super Bowls and seven NFC title games.
Jordan has a fondness for both places but says he can relate more to today’s collegiate game than he can the pros … and he explained why on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast.
“It seems like the pros don’t have much respect for the opposing players and teams,” he said. “They’re in fights all the time and heated discussions and everything. So they don’t have much respect for the opposing players or people. That just kind of disillusions me a little bit with the pro game.
“The college game is still out there (as) a spirited game but shows respect for the opposing team, their fans and players and coaches and everything. I just feel like there’s just a little lack of respect for the game that the pros are showing these days.”
Jordan, who was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983, knows all about respect. He played for two of the most successful and disciplined football coaches anywhere — Alabama’s Bear Bryant and the Cowboys’ Tom Landry — and has no trouble recalling what he valued in each.
“(Coach Bryant) was such a motivational coach,” he said, “and he treated people so respectfully and (in a loving manner). He cared about his people, the players and the coaches. and that was not only when you played for him. But years and years and years after you played for him he was always calling to check on you.”
“Coach Landry was probably the smartest and most brilliant coach I’ve ever met,” he said. “Sometimes it got in his way a little bit because he’d still be changing plays in what game plan we were going to have Friday morning, Saturday morning and Sunday morning after you worked on them all week.
“But he would go back and look at film and find something that might work a little better. He was such a brilliant coach on the offensive side, (and on) the defensive side of the football he knew every thing that every person needed to do on offense and defense.”