Hewritt Dixon was so much more than just a running back for the Oakland Raiders. He was a scoring machine in the early days of the Silver and Black.
The former Rattlers back played his collegiate football at Florida A&M before the Denver Broncos selected him in the 1963 AFL Draft. He joined the Raiders in 1966, but before doing so, Dixon played a lot at tight end for the Broncos. The two years prior before 1966, he totaled 939 receiving yards and hauled in three touchdowns via the air. It should also be noted that his average yardage per catch was 15.4 and 14.2 in those two seasons, respectively. Another interesting tidbit about him is he had a grand total of zero rushing attempts for the Broncos.
Enter The Silver & Black
Upon joining the Silver and Black, Dixon kept on the rushing success another Raiders running back started, Clem Daniels. Officially listed as a fullback for most of his Raiders tenure according to Pro Football Reference, Dixon only had 68 carriers in his first year. However, he made the most of those opportunities and averaged 4.1 yards per attempt in that ’66 season. Capitalizing on short-yardage opportunities to score, he had five touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl berth.
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The following seasons, 1967 and 1968, Dixon continued to build on the success of his first Raiders season. Earning back-to-back Pro Bowl berths and being an All-Pro in ’68, his stats were quite impressive in that stretch. He totaled 1,424 rushing yards but also contributed in the passing game, amassing 923 receiving yards. Perhaps, the original “Swiss Army Knife” for the Raiders, Dixon was a key contributor in his tenure. After a subpar year in 1969, Dixon bounced back in 1970.
Final Days, Raiders
After only starting ten games out of 11 in 1969, Dixon returned to form and started 14 games for the Raiders the following season, his last with the team. Despite being 30 years old, the running back totaled 861 rushing yards, 207 receiving yards, and reached the endzone twice, once by air and another through the ground. It was only fitting that Dixon went out on top individually, earning a Pro Bowl nod in his final year. While Dixon is not mentioned with the greats such as Marcus Allen or Bo Jackson, he certainly carved out his own special place in Raiders lore.
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*Top Photo: Fansided