American Football Database
American Football Database
Tony Hill
No. 80     
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1956-06-23) June 23, 1956 (age 65)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
High School: Long Beach (CA) Poly
Career information
College: Stanford
NFL Draft: 1977 / Round: 3 / Pick: 62
Debuted in 1977 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1986 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
• Super Bowl Champion (XII)
Receptions     479
Receiving yards     7,988
Touchdowns     51
Stats at

Leroy Anthony Hill, Jr. (born June 23, 1956 in San Diego, California) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played ten seasons in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1977 to 1986. Before his NFL career, he played collegiately at Stanford University.

Early years

Hill was a high school quarterback at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, where he followed in the footsteps of an earlier-day record passer, Gene Washington. Hill broke most of Washington's high school passing records, and then followed him to Stanford University, where he became a wide receiver, and then broke most of Washington's receiving records.

Hill ranks eleventh on Stanford's all-time list with 2,225 receiving yards. He also had 140 receptions.

Graduated from Stanford University with a 3.3 GPA in Political Science at the age of 20.[1]

He was inducted into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1977 NFL Draft.[2] He started his career as a punt retuner and backup wide receiver, winning a championship ring with the Cowboys when they defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10 in Super Bowl XII.

The following season, his performance during the 1978 preseason was so outstanding, that he became a starting wide receiver, over the experienced players Golden Richards and Butch Johnson.[2] At the end of the season he made the Pro Bowl, after catching 46 passes for 823 yards and 6 touchdowns, while helping the team to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. In Dallas' 35-31 Super Bowl XIII loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, he caught 2 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Known for his quick speed and big play ability, Coach Tom Landry called him “Our Home Run Hitter. I’ve never seen a guy who could adjust to a ball in mid-air like Tony. He is a very explosive player; the type who can turn a short play into a big play in a hurry, because he has excellent running ability and speed.”[1][2]

In 1979, he and Drew Pearson—along with Tony Dorsett—helped the Cowboys become the first team in NFL history to have two 1,000-yards wide receivers and a 1,000-yard running back, when he recorded 60 receptions, 1,062 yards and 10 touchdowns. Pearson and Hill also became the first wide receiver tandem in Cowboys history, to record 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the same year.[2]

Hill became the number one receiver when Pearson retired after the 1983 season.[2] His best season statistically came in 1985, where he caught 74 passes for 1100 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.[2] He eventually became one of the top wide receiver in the NFL from 1978 to 1985, and was dubbed the "Thrill" and "Dial 80", because of his explosiveness and ability to make big plays. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, during his ten year career with the Cowboys, Hill led the team in both receptions and yardage for nine straight years.[1] He never played in a Super Bowl again, but played in 10 more postseason games. One of the better performances in his career was in a 1982 divisional playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he caught 7 passes for 142 yards in the Cowboys' 38-0 win.

He was waived by the Cowboys in 1987 at the start of training camp.[3]。 His 8,072 total yards (rushing and receiving), ranks him fourth in the Cowboys All-Time list in that category, behind Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.[1]

He also ranks second in receiving yards,[1] third in receiving touchdowns and fourth in catches in Dallas Cowboys history.

San Francisco 49ers

After his release, the San Francisco 49ers outbidded the Los Angeles Rams for his services, but he never played another game, after the 49ers released him before the season started.

Hill finished his 10 NFL seasons with 479 receptions for 7,988 yards and 51 touchdowns in 142 games. He also had 26 100-yard receiving games, rushed for 84 yards, returned 27 punts for 268 yards, and gained 96 yards on 4 kickoff returns. For his career, he averaged 16.1 yards per touch and 16.7 yards per reception.

Television appearances

In 2000, Hill appeared as a contestant on the short-lived game show Greed. He did not win any money after he got sacked on his $500,000 question as the team's captain. The question was: Which four and their affiliates have the highest global market share? The 7 choices were General Motors, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Toyota, and BMW. Honda, BMW and Hyundai were the incorrect answers.

On June 23, 2011 (his birthday), Tony appeared on Good Morning Texas to promote the Market Street Allen USA Celebration, a Fourth of July celebration held annually the last weekend of June in Allen. In honor of headline entertainer, Lou Gramm, Tony showcased his singing voice by performing a small portion of one of Foreigner's hit songs, "Hot Blooded."


Hill was the color commentator for ArenaBowl V on Prime Network and was the color commentator for America One's Canadian Football League broadcasts during the Canadian Media Guild strike. He also serves as a color commentator on the Compass Media Networks for NFL and college football.


Hill is the CEO of Legends Sports Promotions, Inc., a company that raises funds for charitable organizations through celebrity basketball, softball, and football games as well as golf tournaments. Legends Sports Promotions also manages athletes for motivational and promotional events. Tony is also currently employed by the City of Allen Texas Parks & Recreation Department as a Recreation Services Manager.

Tony and his wife Millie, have four children: Cassidy, Kelli, Leslie and Anthony. Cassidy attended Texas State University. Kelli played basketball at Southwestern University. Leslie played Soccer at Iowa St and was named offensive player of the year her senior year. Anthony received a basketball scholarship to Colgate University but then transferred to Houston Baptist University after his sophomore year. He was eligible to play basketball in the fall of 2011.


External links