With the Broncos playing the Dallas Cowboys this week, I was thinking, who is the most notable ex-Cowboy to have a great influence on the Broncos?
To me, that’s an easy one. It’s Cornell Green.
Now, many fans will say, who the heck is Cornell Green? The answer is, a big time contributor to the Broncos now and for many years in the past, and a huge part of Dallas Cowboys history as well.
Cornell Green this year enters his 30th year as an NFL scout and 23rd doing so for the Denver Broncos. Hard, tough, sometimes thankless work, lots of travel, cold meals when you wish they were hot and early wake-up calls when you want to sleep in. Scouts are the backbone of the NFL.
He has seen a lot of players in his time, and one of the great tributes to a scout is maintaining his role in a new administration, which Cornell has done several times.
Before his involvement with the Broncos, Cornell scouted for the Cowboys, after a playing career that can only be called illustrious. He began scouting for the Cowboys in 1970 while still an active player—that is something that does not happen every day!—and came to the Broncos in 1987.
Cornell Green never played one minute of college football, but was a two-time All-American basketball player at Utah State (1959-60 and 1961-62), where he averaged 23 points per game at forward for the Aggies.
The Cowboys admired his athleticism and signed him as a free agent. Cornell went on to play for Dallas from 1962-75, and in that 14-year career played cornerback for 10 seasons and then moved over to safety for his last four.
Cornell Green earned Pro Bowl honors seven times, winning that honor at both positions. A major player in Cowboys history, he is also a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in both the states of Oklahoma and Utah.
An amazing career to consider, a basketball player taking a flyer on pro football in 1962 and still active as a scouting consultant for the Denver Broncos five decades later.
And by the way, his brother, Pumpsie Green, had a lengthy career in major league baseball and literally was the man who integrated the Boston Red Sox—but that’s another story.
Broncos-Cowboys week: let’s tip our caps of the two teams to Cornell Green!