Tommy McDonald (American football)

Tommy McDonald

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Tommy McDonald signing autographs 2011 04 16 Oaks, PA
No. 25
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1934-07-26) July 26, 1934
Place of birth: Roy, New Mexico
Career information
High school: Roy (NM)
College: Oklahoma
NFL Draft: 1957 / Round: 3 / Pick: 31
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 495
Receiving yards: 8,410
Touchdowns: 84
Player stats at

Thomas Franklin McDonald (born July 26, 1934) is a former American football flanker in the National Football League, where he played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, and Cleveland Browns.

Early years

McDonald attended Roy High School in Roy, New Mexico, his freshman year, then moved to Albuquerque, where he graduated from Highland High School.

He excelled as a running back at the University of Oklahoma, where he was coached by the renowned Bud Wilkinson and never played in a losing game. He received the Maxwell Award in 1956 and was an All-American in 1955 and 1956.

Professional career

McDonald played in the NFL for 12 years as a wide receiver.

Philadelphia Eagles

McDonald was drafted in the third round of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, whom he helped lead to the 1960 NFL Championship.

On March, 20, 1964, he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for Sam Baker, John Meyers, and Lynn Hoyem.[1]

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys switched him from flanker to split end, because the team already had an accomplished flanker in Franklin Clarke and split end Billy Howton had just retired. Looking to improve the receiving corps to help a young Don Meredith, they also traded with the Pittsburgh Steelers for Buddy Dial.

In his only season with the club, he registered 46 receptions for 612 yards (13.3 average) and 2 touchdowns (one of them against the Eagles). With the emergence of rookie Bob Hayes in 1965, he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for placekicker Danny Villanueva.[2]

Los Angeles Rams

McDonald recorded a career-high 67 passes for 1,036 yards and 9 touchdowns in 1965. He was selected to his last Pro Bowl. In 1967 he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a draft choice.[3]

Atlanta Falcons

He was waived on September 10, 1968, following a season with 33 receptions for 436 yards and 4 touchdowns.[4]

Cleveland Browns

McDonald was picked up by the Cleveland Browns, for whom he caught 7 receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown in the 1968 season. His last NFL game was the 1968 NFL Championship Game against the Baltimore Colts. On March 15, 1969, he announced his retirement from pro football.[5]

He was selected for six Pro Bowls, led the league in touchdown receptions twice (1958, 1960), and led the league in receiving yards once (1960). McDonald was the last non-kicker to play in the NFL without a facemask.[6]

McDonald finished his career with 495 receptions for 8,410 yards and 84 touchdowns, the second highest total of touchdown receptions in NFL history at the time. He also rushed for 22 yards and gained 1,459 yards and a touchdown returning punts and kickoffs on special teams, giving him 9,891 career all-purpose yards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Personal life

He also dabbled in art. He owned Tommy McDonald Enterprises, a studio that did portrait paintings and plaques, mainly of athletes. He did not paint the portraits himself, but had two painters who created them, although he signed them as being by McDonald (Enterprises).[7] A portrait of Joe DiMaggio sold at auction for $4,000.[8]


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