The concept of an NFL player requiring to take a second job in the off-season to help in paying to bill sounds quite ridiculous. Currently, the NFL league minimum for a player with zero years, a rookie, is $660,000. Even after the taxes, that is a lot of money to spend the off-season relaxing, partying, and training for the next season.
In the current age, can you imagine an active NFL player putting on a suit in the off-season and going to work in a new job? Now imagine where not just a rookie, but the starting quarterback of the world-famous Dallas Cowboys, needs to work on an off-season job. He did not do it out of boredom but to support his family. That sounds insane. As crazy as that might be, it was a common occurrence in the 1970s NFL.
Understanding that reality is critical to understanding the life of the legendary Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. Despite being an all-star player, Roger never made lots of money to make ends meet from his NFL salary alone. Yet today, he is one of the 10 richest athletes in the world.
Roger is richer than Shaq, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, A-Rod, and Floyd Mayweather. He is hundreds of millions of dollars richer than any of the other active and former NFL players. But only a small percentage of his net worth came from throwing a football. Most of the Roger Staubach fortune started with a humble side job that became an empire with time.
Roger Staubach was born on February 5, 1942, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He went to two high schools in nearby Silverton and then attended the New Mexico Military Institute (NMI). Roger played in the 1960 college football season for NMI but later transferred to the United States Naval Academy.
Roger won the 1963 Heisman Trophy in his junior year while he played for the Navy Midshipmen. He was then drafted by the Cowboys before he started his senior year in college (which is something the NFL allowed in the Wild West era of the 1960s.) After college, he did his mandatory four years of active duty, which included one year tour of duty in Vietnam, and joined the Cowboys in 1969.
The NFL currently is much different than it was in the 1970s. Interestingly, the first Super Bowl that happened at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum did not sell out. The most expensive tickets were $12. Average NFL salaries in 1970 were only $23,000, translating to $173,000 in today’s dollars.
An average ticket price for the Super Bowl currently is thousands of dollars and The NFL average salaries hover at about $2 million. As a 27-year-old rookie, Roger Staubach earned a salary of $25,000. As a Cowboy, Staubach was known for his usual last-minute heroics, his deft handling of Tom Landry’s offenses, and his Hail Mary passes.
The Hail Mary pass was invented by Staubach. In the 1975 playoff game versus the Minnesota Vikings, he let a 50-yard pass fly with only seconds left on the clock and the Cowboys were trailing 14-10. Wide receiver Drew Pearson caught the pass and he easily ran into the end zone for a 17-14 Dallas victory.
After that game, Roger Staubach told reporters that he had prayed the “Hail Mary” after he released the ball for that epic pass. Since then, any last-minute long pass into the end zone in an attempt to seal a victory has been known as a “Hail Mary pass”.
At 6’3″ and 200-lbs, Roger Staubach proved hard to defend against since he could scramble his way out of trouble. He had 410 career rushes for 2,264 yards and 20 touchdowns. Throughout his career as a passer, he had 1,683 completions on 2,958 passing attempts for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns in nine seasons.
Based on the current standards, Roger Staubach would have Peyton Manning or Tom Brady-level superstardom and the salary to go with it. Staubach led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl wins, and four NFC titles as the Starting quarterback, he became the MVP of Super Bowl VI and got invited to the Pro Bowl six times, 1971 NFL MVP, 1971 NFC Player of the Year, and two times all AFC.
After the 1970 season, he started working as a real estate broker in the off-season for the Henry S. Miller firm. The Henry S. Miller Company was launched in 1914 and it became one of the largest and most respected businesses in Texas.
Henry Miller mentored the Cowboys quarterback in all that commercial real estate in Texas entails. At the end of every season, he would shift to selling commercial real estate. In 1977, Staubach decided it was finally time to leave the Henry S. Miller firm and launch his company – The Staubach Company.
The Staubach Company
Roger retired from the NFL in 1979 and shifted all his hard work and dedication to his burgeoning real estate empire. He added partners and expanded the company nationally in the 1980s. In 1985, Rogers Staubach was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In the 1990s and 2000s, his client roster increased massively. He became the go-to guy for retail, office, and industrial space in the whole of Texas. Concurrently during the time, the Texas economy grew and faltered – as it happened across the United States. However, the Staubach Company survived and thrived.
Roger Staubach appeared to have the same golden touch in business that he did as a quarterback. The company had 1,100 employees in 50 offices by 2008. In the same year, Staubach entered a multi-year Deal with the Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle to acquire his company. At the end of the payout period, Jones Lang LaSalle paid Roger Staubach a cool $640 million to purchase his firm.
Currently, Roger has a personal net worth of $600 million, an impressive growth from his salary of $25,000 in the 1970s. Staubach spread his wealth around, giving some equity to long-time employees and putting half of his payout into a trust for his children.
In 2013, he received the final payout on the 2008 deal and it featured an extra $36.9 million performance bonus. In total, he earned about $675 million from the sale. Roger Staubach is the guy who keeps earning. He is still the executive chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle. He makes $10 to $12 million per year in compensation from the firm.