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Why Roger Staubach Stayed Out of the NFL Players’ Concussion Lawsuit

By Jason Heid |

You’ve likely heard the news that today the National Football League reached a $765 million settlement with the 4,500 former players who had sued because of debilitating after-effects of years of having their heads pummeled on the game field. The agreement worked out to $170,000 for each of the plaintiffs.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach retired earlier than the team might have liked due to concussions, but he wasn’t party to the suit. USA Today asked him why:

“I don’t think the NFL initially tried to hide the fact that you might have dementia one day because you’ve had a concussion,” Staubach told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. The players that are in the middle of the lawsuit, they feel differently. I just have stayed out of it because I don’t think anyone intentionally tried to deceive me.” …

Staubach’s history could have made him a star plaintiff had he decided to join in on the suit. He suffered as many as 20 concussions in his playing career, including six in which he said he was “knocked out.”

Two of his concussions came in 1979, after which a doctor at Cornell told him that while his brain tests were coming back clear that the moment, his next concussion could have life-altering consequences.

Staubach turned down the Cowboys’ offer for two more seasons to protect his long-term health.

“If I hadn’t been 38, I wouldn’t have retired,” Staubach said.

Staubach had prepared himself for a post-NFL career, so he was better equipped to call it quits than some of his colleagues might have been in the same situation.

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