Cliff Harris

Cliff Harris Cliff Harris, destined for the NFL Hall of Fame, is regarded as one of football's all-time greats, having established himself among the National Football League's elite performers following a stellar collegiate career. Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Cliff attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he earned a degree in math with a minor in physics. When he was overlooked in the 1970 NFL draft, Cliff signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys who were convinced of his abilities after viewing films of his collegiate exploits. After winning his starting position for the Cowboys, Cliff's rookie season was interrupted by a tour of duty in the United States Army in 1970. But he wasted no time in regaining his starting position following his military commitment and emerged as the NFL's finest free safety. Playing for the Cowboy’s, he quickly became known and feared for his reckless pursuit of ball carriers.

Hall of Fame Safety Larry Wilson said of Harris, "I feel Harris is the finest free safety in the business today. He changed the way the position is being played. You see other teams modeling their free safeties around the way Harris plays the pass, and striking fear in everyone on the field because he hits so hard."

While starting at free safety, Cliff essentially never left the field. He consistently was a team leader in tackles, interceptions, punt and kickoff returns. During his 10-year career with the Cowboys, Cliff played in a record five Super Bowls, was named to six Pro Bowl squads and was named First Team All-NFL for four successive seasons. Only he and teammate Roger Staubach started in both of the 70's Super Bowl victories.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee also named Cliff to the All-Pro Team of the 1970's. More recently, he was inducted to the NAIA Hall of Fame in Kansas City and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Following his retirement from football in 1980, Cliff was voted to its Silver Season All-Time Team in 1991. When given the assignment to choose an "All-Time Dream Team" from all the football players in history, the experts at Sports Illustrated named Cliff as their Dream Team Free Safety (Sports Illustrated Classic Special Issue). After the Cowboys victory in Super Bowl XXX, Sports Illustrated named Cliff to their all time Cowboy Super Bowl team. In 1997 was awarded the NFL Alumni Legend's Award. He is also the free safety on the Madden NFL Video game. In 2004 he was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was added to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2004.

Today, Cliff Harris resides in Rockwall, Texas with his wife Karen and their children. He is President of Energy Transfer Group, an energy company. Cliff is active in civic affairs, served as a Board Member of the Kent Waldrep's National Paralysis Foundation and was the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Rehabilitation Institute. For thirteen years the Cliff Harris/Charlie Waters Celebrity Golf Tournament has helped charities. In the last few years, the tournament has supported the American Diabetes Foundation where today he is a Board member. He is a past President of the Ouachita Baptist Former Students Association. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Dallas NFL Alumni. For the last four years Cliff has also hosted the Cliff Harris FCA tournament in his hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas. His incredible Coach Tom Landry started this tournament.

He and teammate Charlie Waters wrote a book about their Cowboy memories called "Tales From the Dallas Cowboys."


   

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