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Original Issue

Q+A Tony Dorsett

The Hall of Famer is a spokesman for the NFL's Tackling Men's Health campaign

SI: You turned 50 this year. How big a milestone was that?

Dorsett: When I was a kid, I remember going up to people and asking how old they were. They'd say 50, and I'd be like, Man, I wish I could live to be 50. Now 50 doesn't seem that old.

SI: You and your wife, Janet Marie, have three daughters: Jazmyn, 12, Madison, 6, and Mia, 1. What can a young man expect when he rings the Dorsett doorbell and finds you waiting?

Dorsett: I don't know, but they better be well-respected young men. I ain't letting my daughters run off with any knuckleheads.

SI: Does any running back today remind you of yourself?

Dorsett: Clinton Portis and LaDainian Tomlinson--shifty guys who make great cuts and have great vision. Both are home run hitters. They can take it 99 yards.

SI: You took it 99 yards against the Vikings on Monday Night Football in 1983. Just how gassed were you after that?

Dorsett: I was extremely tired. I'll never forget coming to the sideline, and [Cowboys vice president] Gil Brandt came over to me and said, "I think that's an NFL record." I'm like, Man, I'm not worried about no NFL record. I'm trying to get to the bench, sit down and get me some nice oxygen.

SI: Can you make sense of Ricky Williams leaving football at 27?

Dorsett: Absolutely not. I don't understand the timing of Ricky's decision, and I think it's going to be one he'll regret for many years to come. I can respect the fact that a guy wants to retire from football. God didn't put us on earth to take the abuse we take as football players. So I can understand if you want to do something less stressful on your body. But you have to consider your teammates. You work all summer with them, you create continuity and chemistry, and then a week before camp you take off on them. The timing of it was awful, and I think it's going to be something that will haunt Ricky for a very long time. --Richard Deitsch

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