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*** DOUG COSBIE ***


Article in 1995 Football Program by Dick Sparrer

Doug Cosbie wasn't quite sure what to expect. There had never been a Santa Clara Valley All-Star Football Game before the summer of 1974. So when he was selected to represent St. Francis High School on the North team, he wasn't sure what he was getting himself into. After all, a week of two-a-days just to prepare for a single game wasn't exactly something to look forward to. That was two decades ago.

Since that time, hundreds of graduated high school seniors have looked forward to and played in the "Best Game in Town." It's become something of a summer classic in the Santa Clara Valley. And Cosbie has gone on to greatness as a football player, first at Santa Clara University, then as a professional for the Dallas Cowboys.

Cosbie played for 10 years in the National Football League. Three times he played for the Cowboys in NFC Championship games, and three times he represented Dallas in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. But even after playing in scores of professional football games, Cosbie has fond memories of a summer evening in 1974 when he played for the North 'Stars in the first Santa Clara Valley All-Star Game at Spartan Stadium.

"It was the first one," said Cosbie. "The only All-Star Game I knew of was the Shrine Game that they played every summer." But this was something new, and Cosbie was proud to be a tight end on a very talented North squad. "On paper, we had a better team," he recalled, "but I think we got killed." He remembers it well. The North lost 48-36 to the South, and it was only that close because of a special rule that allowed the losing team to receive kick-offs even after their own touchdowns if the game was getting out of hand.

Cosbie certainly proved to be worthy. And he would be on the field at Spartan Stadium when the North met the South in the first All-Star clash. Playing on the Spartan turf is a thrill for local football players, but it was nothing new for Cosbie - he'd been there before. The Lancers had made it to the finals of the Central Coast Section play-offs the previous fall before losing the title game 32-30 to Saratoga. "We were losing 26-6 at the half, but we made some adjustments in the second half," he said, recalling that 1973 championship game. "The two high school games I really remember are the CCS championship game and that All-Star Game," he added. That's really something, considering the many games Cosbie would play after that summer classic in '74.

He started for four seasons as a tight end for Pat Malley at Santa Clara University and was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1979 college draft. By his third season in Dallas, he was sharing the starting tight end spot with Billy Joe DuPree, running in plays for Head Coach Tom Landry. He played well enough in the fall of 1983 to earn All-Pro honors, and he has matched that in 1984 and 1985. He also played for the Cowboys in NFC Championship Games against the Eagles, Redskins and 49ers.

He retired from the NFL in 1988, and spent two years as an assistant to Head Coach Bill Walsh at Stanford. When Walsh left The Farm, Cosbie chose to leave, too. He's now involved in a business venture, but would like to get back into coaching at some point. Right now, though he just hopes to get out to San Jose City College for the 21st Annual All-Star Football Game. "I haven't seen the game since I played in it," said Cosbie. And he'd like to see one, now that he knows what to expect.