The original #80. Tony “Thrill” Hill is IMO one of the top 4-5 receivers in Cowboys history. And most Cowboys fans know little to nothing about him.
Tony Hill was drafted in the 3rd round in 1977, and after a slow rookie season, he led the Cowboys in receptions, yards and TDs for the next 9 seasons.
In 1979, Hill and Drew Pearson- along with the great Tony Dorsett- became the first team in NFL history to have two 1,000-yards WRs and a 1,000-yard RB, when he recorded 60 receptions, 1,062 yards and 10 TDs. Pearson and Hill also became the first WR tandem in Cowboys history, to record 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the same year.
Hill was often in the shadow of the OG #88, HOF WR Drew Pearson who made the NFL’s 70s All Decade Team. But Hill had a surprisingly great career. Here are some of his highlights:
- Tony Hill had more career yards than Bob Hayes, Drew Pearson and Dez Bryant, making him 3rd all time in receiving yds in team history.
- He led the team in receptions 9 straight seasons from 1978-86.
- Hill played in 17 playoff games in his 10 seasons, including 2 SBs and 5 NFC championships. He caught a thrilling TD reception in SB XIII against the Steelers.
- Averaged 16.7 yds per reception for his career.
- Had a whopping 26 games of 100 yds or more receiving.
- He caught passes in 59 straight games.
- Hill was named to the Cowboys 50 year anniversary team.
- Hill should be in the ROH.
The next time a list of the all time great Cowboys receivers is made, don’t forget about Tony “Thrill” Hill. I have him as the 4th best WR in Cowboys history behind only Michael Irvin, Drew Pearson, and Bob Hayes.