White had a stellar career as a quarterback and punter at Arizona State
University. White played three seasons for the Sun Devils, leaving as
both the school’s and the NCAA’s all-time passing leader. He also set
seven NCAA passing records. In 1973, his passing and running game placed
him second in the nation in total offense. Sports Illustrated named
White as the second-best rated collegiate quarterback of all-time,
behind only Steve Young.
Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1974 NFL Draft, White put off his
NFL career to play two seasons in the World Football League. He threw
for 2, 635 yards and 22 touchdowns in just under two full seasons with
the Memphis Southmen. In 1976, he joined the Cowboys and, through 1979,
appeared primarily as a punter and backup to star quarterback Roger
Staubach, but after Staubach's retirement following the end of that
season he became the starting quarterback himself and for a few years
did double-duty as its punter until around 1984. He made the Pro Bowl in
1982 and led the Cowboys to three consecutive NFC championship games
In 1986 the Cowboys started 6-2 under White's field generalship. During
an away game against the New York Giants Danny's career ended. A
blindside sack by Giants defender Carl Banks knocked White out of the
game. Dallas lost 17-14 and X-Rays later revealed that Banks had broken
White’s throwing wrist. Without Danny White, Dallas faded badly,
finishing the year 7-9, their first losing season since 1965. Tom Landry
would be fired two years later.
Danny would suffer a knee injury and miss the final nine games of the
1988 season. An option on his contract was not picked up in April 1989
and he retired.
He ended his career as the Cowboys’ most accurate passer, setting career
records for completions and touchdown passes. He still holds eight
Cowboys’ records. During the 1982 season, White broke or tied eight club
season passing records. His record as a starter was 67-35, including a
41-11 at Texas stadium. White had 1,761 completions on 2,950 attempts
for 21,959 yards, 155 touchdowns, and 132 interceptions in his career.
He also gained 482 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. On special
teams, he punted 610 times for 24,509 yards, an average of 40.4 yards
per punt, with 144 punts in the 20 and 77 touchbacks.