American Football Database
American Football Database
Don Bishop
Date of birth: (1934-07-01)July 1, 1934
Place of birth: Rawlings, Virginia
Date of death: November 13, 1998(1998-11-13) (aged 64)
Career information
Position(s): Cornerback
College: LA City College
 As player:
Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Bears
Dallas Cowboys
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: (1962)
Playing stats at

Donald William Bishop (July 1, 1934 – November 13, 1998) was an American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears.

Early years

Bishop was born on July 1, 1934 in Rawlings, Virginia. After attending Jefferson High School (Los Angeles, California), he went on to play football at Los Angeles City College (J.C.)

Professional career

Pittsburgh Steelers

He was bypassed in the 1958 NFL Draft but made the Pittsburgh Steelers roster as an undrafted free agent. The Steelers tried Bishop out as a split end and as a halfback, but he caught only 3 passes in his rookie season. In his second year he was used mostly as a punt returner, but was released after playing in just 2 games and having a total of 4 punt returns.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears claimed him off waivers during the 1959 season, but released him after just playing in 1 game.

Dallas Cowboys

The expansion Dallas Cowboys signed him as a free agent before the 1960 season started. Bishop was switched to cornerback and during the Cowboys' 1960 inaugural year, he became the franchise first starting right cornerback, registering 3 interceptions in a 12-game season, tying him with Tom Franckhauser for the team lead.

In 1961, he began to stand out, finishing with 8 interceptions in a 14-game season, which trailed league leader Dick Lynch by only one. Only Everson Walls (twice) and Mel Renfro (once), have had more interceptions in a season for the Cowboys. He also established a team record that still stands today, with five consecutive games with an interception. That year Bishop didn't make the Pro Bowl, but was named to the 1961 Sporting News: First team All-NFL.

In 1962, he had 6 interceptions and also scored his lone career touchdown, returning an interception 84 yards in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. After missing the Pro Bowl the previous season, Bishop was one of the first Cowboys players ever to receive this honor. Other teammates that joined him in the Pro Bowl that season were: QB Eddie LeBaron; DT Bob Lilly; RB Don Perkins; and LB Jerry Tubbs.

In 1963, he recorded 5 interceptions, making him the Cowboys leader in interceptions during their first four years of existence.

A knee injury forced him to have surgery before the 1964 season and would limit him to playing two more years before retiring at the end of the 1965 season. Bishop played 8 seasons in the NFL, and retired as the Cowboys career interceptions leader. His 22 interceptions ranks eleventh on the current franchise career interceptions list.

The Cowboys have had several great cornerbacks since then, but Bishop's contributions to the franchise must be remembered. Although he played on some of the Cowboys worst teams, he became one of their original defensive stars.

External links