As a kid growing up in the Dallas area during the 1970s, I had a front-row seat to the Cowboys’ dynastic rise to “America’s Team” status. As a result, I always envisioned Tony Dorsett to be way more than just one of the greatest running backs of his or any other generation. In my mind, he was a mythological masterpiece; an impeccable blend of speed, grace and toughness whose image appeared on one of my favorite childhood T-shirts and, occasionally, in my football dreams.

During a ridiculously successful 13-month span from December of 1976 to January of 1978, Dorsett earned the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship with the University of Pittsburgh, went second overall in the NFL Draft, claimed NFL Rookie of the Year honors and won a Super Bowl. All he did after that was become one of the immortals.