Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Thomas Franklin McDonald(born July 26, 1934, in Roy, New Mexico)was an All-America choice at the University of Oklahoma, he won the Maxwell Award in 1956 as college football’s player of the year. During his three years of varsity play at Oklahoma, the Sooners never lost a game. He was the Philadelphia Eagles third round draft pick in 1957 as a wide receiver.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection (1959-1963 and 1966), McDonald played seven seasons with the Eagles (1957-1963), one with the Dallas Cowboys (1964), two with the Los Angeles Rams (1965-1966), and one each with the Atlanta Falcons (1967) and the Cleveland Browns (1968).
McDonald was extremely durable and missed only three games in his first 11 seasons. He had elusive speed and used his running skills brilliantly after making his catches, finishing his career with an average of 17 yards per catch and 84 touchdowns. In the years 1958-62, he had 56 touchdown receptions in 63 games, including a 35-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Norm Van Brocklin in the 1960 NFL Championship Game in which the Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers 17-13.
His career ratio of touchdowns-to-receptions is an impressive 1 in 5.9. He also caught at least one pass in 93 consecutive games. Used primarily as a kickoff and punt-return specialist during his rookie season, McDonald ranked sixth all-time in receptions (495), fourth in yards receiving (8,410) and second in touchdown catches (84) when he retired following the 1968 season.
In 1961, not only did he lead the NFL in reception yardage (1,144) and in touchdowns (13), but in a game against the New York Giants he caught seven passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns, which is still an Eagles’ single-game best.
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