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Charlie Waters

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File:Charlie Waters signs autographs Jan 2014.jpg
Waters signs autographs at a Houston sports collectors show in January 2014.
No. 41
Position: Cornerback / Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1948-09-10) September 10, 1948 (age 67)
Place of birth: Miami, Florida
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Career information
High school: North Augusta (SC)
College: Clemson
NFL draft: 1970 / Round: 3 / Pick: 66
Career history
Career highlights and awards
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Charlie Tutan Waters (born September 10, 1948) is a former American football safety for the Dallas Cowboys from 1970-1981 in the National Football League. He spent one season (2006) as a radio broadcaster for the Dallas Cowboys radio network.

Early years

Born in Miami, his family moved to South Carolina where he attended North Augusta High School, starring as a football and baseball athlete. He was a split end early in his football career before being converted to a quarterback. He was selected to play in the 1965 Shrine Bowl.[1]

Waters signed a football scholarship at Clemson University and by the spring of 1968 as a junior, he was competing with Billy Ammons for the starting quarterback job. When Ammons hurt his knee in spring practice, Waters won the position. The defending Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champions started the season 0-3-1. When Ammons’ knee healed, he took over the starting job and Waters moved to split end for the remaining 15 games of his college career. As a senior he caught 44 passes for 738 yards, which was a record that stood until Jerry Butler broke it in 1977.[2]

A three-year letterman from 1967–69, Waters was an All-ACC selection in 1969 at wide receiver as a senior. During his Clemson career, he caught 68 passes for 1,196 yards and 17.1 yards per catch, to go along with four touchdown receptions. He still ranks eighth all-time for yards per reception and eighteenth all-time in receiving yards.[3]

Waters was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1981. He was also inducted into the North Augusta and South Carolina Hall of Hame.

Professional career

He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive back in the third round of the 1970 NFL Draft. Although he nearly was released during training camp, his conversion was successful and became the backup to Cliff Harris at free safety. He ended up starting 6 games after Harris had to serve military duty. Waters had 5 interceptions that season, as the Cowboys would go on to lose Super Bowl V. His performance was good enough to make the NFL all-rookie team as a free safety in 1970.[4]

The next year he was moved to cornerback, where he struggled for four years in a backup and starter role. Waters was eventually moved to Strong Safety in 1975 to replace Cowboys great Cornell Green, responding with 3 interceptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. That season, the Cowboys would end up reaching Super Bowl X before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As a strong safety he became an All-Pro and along with Cliff Harris, formed one of the best safety tandems of that era. He was like a coach on the field, with excellent instincts and the athletic ability, to become one of the league’s top defensive players of the decade. He was selected All-Pro twice (1977 and 1978) and to the Pro Bowl three consecutive seasons (1976-1978).

Waters injured his knee before the start of the 1979 season, and would sit out the entire year. He returned in 1980 and had 5 interceptions. After getting 3 interceptions in 1981, he retired with 41 interceptions, third-most in franchise history. he also played in 25 playoff games, which ranks 5th in NFL history.[5]

Waters played 12 seasons in the NFL, never experienced a losing season and only missed the playoffs one time during that span. He played in five Super Bowls: V, VI, X, XII, and XIII, with victories in VI and XII. He holds the NFL record for most playoff interceptions with 9, including 3 in one playoff game, and has the unique achievement of blocking 4 punts in 2 consecutive games. He also was team's holder for placekicks.

To this day, he is one of the most revered and respected players in franchise history. He was selected to the Dallas Cowboys Silver Anniversary Team in 1984.

Personal life

Waters retired and became an NFL and college football coach. He was the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 1993/1994 and then for the University of Oregon in 1995.

He was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001, but was not elected.

In 2006, the Dallas Cowboys hired Waters as the new color commentator for the Cowboys Radio Network, working alongside Brad Sham when former color commentator and Dallas quarterback Babe Laufenberg resigned his post to spend time with his family.

Outside of football, he works with longtime teammate Cliff Harris at a gas marketing company. In February 2007, Waters announced that he would be leaving the radio booth after only one season, citing a busy work schedule that did not allow him enough time to prepare for the game broadcasts. [6]


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