Golden Richards, Cowboys WR And Former BYU Star, Died At 73

The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver John “Golden” Richards, who was a member of the team that won Super Bowl XII, passed away on Friday at his Utah home from congestive heart failure. His age was 73 years.

Richards excelled as a high school athlete, winning football, basketball, and track and field in Utah and earning all-state recognition. He was the team’s top receiver while he was a student at BYU and a reliable return specialist on kickoffs and punt returns.

Richards was chosen by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1973 NFL Draft after playing his final year at the University of Hawai’i. In his rookie season, he was primarily used on special teams, although he did have an effect by returning a punt for a 63-yard touchdown in the NFC championship game.

In his second NFL season, Golden Richards established himself as a regular starter and emerged as the primary deep threat for the Cowboys. In the 1974 season, he caught 26 passes for a total of 43 yards.

Against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII in 1978, Richards experienced his most memorable game as a professional.

QB Roger Staubach hit a pass to running back Robert Newhouse as the Cowboys lead 20โ€“10 with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. To end the game, Newhouse ran a few yards, spun, and found Richards downfield for a 29-yard touchdown pass.

For their second Super Bowl victory, the Cowboys would maintain their lead.

The next season, Richards was traded to the Chicago Bears and lost his starting position. In 1978, he would record the highest number of receptions (28), but the following two years would be hindered by injuries, forcing him to retire in 1980. With 122 receptions for 2,136 yards and 17 touchdowns, he concluded his NFL career with great success.

During his retirement, Doug Richards revealed to The Deseret News, his brother battled drug and alcohol addiction and was identified as having Parkinson’s disease in 2011. Ten years later, he shattered his hip, necessitating four operations and exacerbating his pre-existing medical conditions.

“A 175-pound wide receiver who sustained multiple concussions over the course of seven or eight years of football field wear and tear. It’s clear that had an impact.”

Dough Richards

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