By tradition, pro football quarterbacks are rarely seen off the field without a drink in hand and a blonde on the arm. But Roger Staubach, the scrambling quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys since 1971, is more likely to be carrying a Bible and consorting with people like Billy Graham.
“God has given us good field position in the game of life,” Staubach is fond of saying. “But you’ve got to have goals. Not just sports goals or immediate goals but eternal goals.”
Staubach, 33, has enjoyed a spectacular sports career, winning the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college player in 1963, being named Most Valuable Player in the 1972 Super Bowl. He is married and the father of four. In his concern for “eternal goals,” he has also become active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes—which says it “strives to strengthen the moral, mental and spiritual fiber of the athletes and coaches of America”—and in the Paul Anderson Youth of Texas Home for boys, founded by the former Olympic weight lifter.
Staubach’s religious convictions were shaped early as a schoolboy in Cincinnati, where his father, a wholesale shoe salesman, was a devout Catholic. By the time Roger got to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, he was attending mass every morning. (In chapel Staubach once reprimanded some fellow midshipmen for falling asleep.)
After being acclaimed as the best quarterback in academy history, Staubach put in his four-year Navy tour, then joined the Cowboys in 1969.
Staubach, who became involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while in the Navy, works as a speaker and counselor for the Fellowship. He has appeared at such convocations as the 1972 Campus Crusade for Christ International rally in Dallas, where Graham was featured.
His involvement with the Anderson home, which harbors about 15 boys, usually referred by juvenile courts, began last March. Staubach’s friend Paul Anderson asked him to serve as a kind of ex officio counselor.
In the last year he has made frequent visits to the privately funded home. “He says he doesn’t think he has done enough for us,” Jerry Campbell, executive director of the home, says. “But it warms my heart that a man as busy as Roger devotes so much time to kids.”
Staubach was a practical joker at the Naval Academy, known to bombard people from his dorm window with water-filled balloons. But his clean-cut good looks and devotion to Christianity have given him a goody two-cleats reputation that occasionally irks him. (“I have a great sex life,” he once said in exasperation. “It just happens to be all with one woman—my wife.”)
Still, he shows no signs of letting up. “Christianity is the most important thing in my life,” Staubach says. “My parents didn’t teach it to me by preaching it. They lived it. I feel I have a responsibility to share this advantage with others.”