Golden Richards, Ex-Cowboys Receiver, dies at 73

Golden Richards

Golden Richards, a former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys recognized for his wavy golden hair and who unexpectedly scored a touchdown pass in the 1978 Super Bowl, passed away on Friday at his Murray, Oklahoma, home from congestive heart failure. His age was 73 years.

Lance Richards, Richards’ nephew, posted on Facebook to confirm the death.

Lance Richards wrote early on Friday morning, expressing his memory of his Uncle Golden’s gentle passing and how he will always remember going hunting and discussing Dallas Cowboys football.

He continued by saying that Lance Richards was overjoyed that Golden Richards was no longer in pain and that Golden was a good and lovely guy.

Richards’ Health And Condition

Following his playing career, Golden Richards struggled with health issues. According to the Deseret News, Richards battled drug addiction and health issues after retiring, but he lived sober last ten years.

Richards battled health and substance usage concerns for years before suffering from congestive heart failure, according to Deseret News. In 2011, he received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

Doug Richards, Golden Richards’ brother, revealed to the publication that his brother had endured four surgeries following a Christmas Day 2022 fall that fractured his hip.

Golden Richards, according to Doug Richards, had moved on and found a better place. He continued by saying that Golden battled valiantly until the very end when it was his turn.

Richards leaves behind two children and a grandchild who is two years old. He had three marriages and divorces.

Some RemarkableAchievements Of Golden Richards

Having played for seven seasons in the NFL with Dallas, Chicago, and Denver, the former standout player from BYU is most remembered for over five years as a deep play threat with the Cowboys.

He ended his career in Dallas with an average of 18.3 yards per reception, having averaged over 21 yards per reception on two occasions.

That was particularly clear when Denver was the opponent in the 1978 Super Bowl. Richards went behind the defense to catch a 29-yard touchdown throw from fullback Robert Newhouse with the Cowboys leading 20-10 in the fourth quarter. This play all but guaranteed the Cowboys their second championship.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, he excelled at Granite High School and later at neighboring BYU, where he played punt return and receiver. As a junior, he set a national record with four touchdown returns.

In his final year of college, Mr. Richards caught 23 receptions for 414 yards and five touchdowns while playing at Hawaii. The Cowboys were drawn to that and selected him in the second round of the 1973 draft.

The next season, Golden Richards lost his starting position and was traded to the Chicago Bears. In 1978, he would record his greatest number of receptions (27) of his career; however, during the next two years, injuries would plague him, eventually forcing him to retire in 1980.

According to Doug, a 175-pound wide receiver who suffered multiple concussions over seven or eight years of football play took a toll.

In 1995, Richards told Texas Monthly that although everyone thought he would always remember the Super Bowl, it wasn’t the case.

Golden Richards, Ex-Cowboys Receiver, dies at 73
Golden Richards, A Wide Receiver For The Dallas Cowboys, Scores A Touchdown Pass On January 15, 1978, During NFL Super Bowl 12 In New Orleans


He went on to say that every time it was third-and-6, he would catch an 8-yard pass to continue the drive. Richards claimed that the most memorable parts of those plays were the companionship in the huddle.

In his final years, Mr. Richards shared a home with his adult sons, Jordan and Goldie Jr.

Before retiring from football in 1980 due to an injury, Mr. Richards concluded his NFL career with 122 catches for 2,136 yards and 17 touchdowns.

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