1975 Dallas Cowboys Player Rankings: #31 Bob Breunig
One of the more under-appreciated draft steals in franchise history, Bob Breunig arrived at training camp in 1975 as an unheralded rookie whom the Dallas Cowboys’ front-office quietly harbored high hopes for. Had he declared for the pros a year earlier, Breunig would have been taken comfortably in the first-round. But when the Arizona State coaching staff required the speedy linebacker to bulk up to 245 pounds for his senior season, Breunig’s struggles began, causing his draft status to plummet.
Breunig, a three-year starter with the Sun Devils, was a third-round draft selection that Tom Landry expected to take the torch from longtime veteran Dave Edwards at strong-side linebacker in the near future. His early progress, combined with the constant shuffling of Randy White, led to Breunig splitting time at strong-side and in the middle behind Lee Roy Jordan. After overcoming a concussion in late July, Breunig, who Landry said was the most consistent rookie performer in camp, managed to win a backup role at both positions to begin the regular season.
In addition to his duties as one of the Cowboys’ special teams hustlers, Breunig saw regular action in the nickel defense, replacing Jordan on obvious passing downs. And though the big play avoided him all season, Breunig was an integral part of a Dallas pass defense that improved from fourteenth a year before to No. 8 in the league, as the Cowboys rebounded to make the playoffs.
Breunig’s lone standout moment from the 1975 season came in Week 7 against the Redskins, when he caught an impromptu pass from punter Mitch Hoopes for a 21-yard gain on fourth-and-19.