Don Perkins, a six-time Pro Bowl running back with the Dallas Cowboys within the Sixties, died on Thursday. He was 84.
The Cowboys and the University of Latest Mexico, where Perkins was a standout player before his skilled profession, announced the death. Neither announcement said where he died, and neither cited the cause.
Perkins rushed for six,217 yards in 107 games with the Cowboys from 1961 to 1968. He’s fourth on the team’s profession list behind two Pro Football Hall of Famers — Emmitt Smith, the N.F.L. profession rushing leader, and Tony Dorsett — and the Cowboys’ current running back, Ezekiel Elliott. Perkins’s 42 rushing touchdowns rank fifth within the team’s history.
While he was initially drafted by the Baltimore Colts within the ninth round of the 1960 draft, Perkins had already signed a private services contract with the expansion Cowboys. Dallas acquired his rights after sending the Colts a ninth-round draft pick.
Perkins missed the Cowboys’ inaugural season in 1960 due to a broken foot. He rushed for 815 yards in 1961, and finished third within the voting for N.F.L. rookie of the yr, behind Mike Ditka and Fran Tarkenton. He had a career-best 945 yards rushing in 1962.
Donald Anthony Perkins was born on March 4, 1938, in Waterloo, Iowa. He played for Latest Mexico from 1957 to 1959 and was a team captain his final two seasons. The Lobos’ coach on the time, the longer term Hall of Famer Marv Levy, has said that Perkins was one in all the best players he ever coached.
Perkins returned to the Albuquerque area after his pro football profession was over. He later worked as a television and radio football analyst.
Information on survivors was not immediately available.
“Don is one in all the best Lobos, and definitely one in all the best football players to play for U.N.M.,” Latest Mexico’s athletic director, Eddie Nuñez, said. “He got here back to Latest Mexico and worked for the state and was an amazing ambassador for thus many.”