Don Perkins

Donald Anthony Perkins was born on March 4, 1938 in Waterloo, Iowa. He was an NFL running back who spent eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Don Perkins played college football at the University of New Mexico, where he played running back, and was a returner. He was a three-time All-Skyline Selection from 1957-1959, and the Skyline Sophomore of the Year in 1957. In 1958, he led the nation in kickoff returns. One year, Perkins nearly single-handedly beat the United States Air Force Academy, an upset at the time.


Don Perkins #43

Player Info

Height 5' 10"
Weight 204 lbs
DOB: 3/4/1938
Running Back


NFL Draft

1960/Round 9/Pick 106

Career Highlights

Pro Bowl 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968
Honors Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor

Team(s) As A Player

Dallas Cowboys 1961-1968


Don Perkins to the Cowboys 

Perkins was originally drafted in the 1960 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts, but Perkins had already signed a contract with the Cowboys before Dallas was granted an NFL franchise, so the Colts were compensated for his staying with the Cowboys. Don Perkins was a great runner and a phenomenal blocker from the fullback position.

Don Perkins’ Big Games 

It was January 1, 1967 and the Dallas Cowboys were facing off against the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game to see who would play in the Super Bowl. Bart Starr threw 4 touchdown passes for Green Bay to defeat Dallas 34-27. However, Don Perkins was the leading rusher in the game. He carried the football 17 times for 108 yards including a 23-yard touchdown.

December 10, 1967, the Dallas Cowboys faced the Philadelphia Eagles in a regular season affair. Dallas trounced the Eagles 38-17 behind Don Perkins’ 81 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns.

Looking Back on Don Perkins’ Career 

Perkins began playing with the Cowboys in 1961, rushing for 4.1 yards per carry in his first season. Each of his first two years in the league, Perkins had over 1000 yards from scrimmage running and receiving the football. During his career, he continued to maintain his 4.1 yards per carry average, accumulating 6,217 yards total over eight seasons (third on the Cowboys’ all-time list behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett) and being named to six Pro Bowl teams.

Toward the end of his career, Perkins was placed more in a blocking fullback role, where he remained until his retirement prior to the 1969 season. He was inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium alongside his quarterback Don Meredith in 1976.

By A. Goodin,
October 27, 2007

Don Perkins Biography Sources

(1) Packers' Late Goal-Line Stand Stops Cowboys, 34-7 (1967 January 2) The Bridgeport Telegram