Along came the second round, which lasted as long as a 9-to-5 shift thanks to the Cowboys.
With the 17th overall pick, Brandt wanted to draft Renfro, the top player on his draft board. He was a silky-smooth, ultra-athletic defensive back. But he gashed his wrist before the draft, the result of putting his fist through a glass medicine cabinet. It was his visceral reaction to the JFK tragedy.
Brandt wanted to make sure Renfro was OK before they drafted him, so they dispatched a doctor to the Oregon campus. The doctor drove from Portland to Eugene -- 110 miles. Meanwhile, at the Chicago Sheraton, they waited almost six hours for the Dallas pick.
"At one point, [Vince] Lombardi walked over to our table and said, 'What's the matter, did your computer break down?' " said Brandt, a reference to the Cowboys' cutting-edge scouting methods, which sometimes were mocked by opponents.
As soon as they received clearance from the doctor, the Cowboys made one of their best picks ever. Brandt was so concerned about losing Renfro to the AFL that he flew to Oregon immediately after the draft to sign him. Renfro went on to 10 Pro Bowls, helping Dallas to two Super Bowl titles.
Completing perhaps the greatest daily double in draft history, the Redskins followed the Renfro pick by selecting Krause 18th overall. Like his contemporaries, he was a two-way player in college, so he was bemused when informed that he'd only play defense.
"Pro football was easy," said Krause, who still holds the NFL record with 81 career interceptions. "Heck, we played only half the game. I never got tired."
The 49ers opened the third round by picking Wilcox, a fierce linebacker who would become known as "The Intimidator." The Cowboys were stunned. Without a third-round pick, they targeted him for the fourth round. They were so confident he'd still be there that one of their scouts, Red Hickey, was dispatched to Wilcox's school -- Oregon -- for babysitting duty.
In the seventh round, the Cowboys went outside the box, using a "future" choice on Hayes, a sprint champion who would go on to win two gold medals at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Once regarded as the world's fastest human, he developed his football skills and became a game-changing weapon starting in 1965. Hayes, whose speed forced teams to use zone concepts on defense, died in 2002 and is the only deceased member of the Elite 11.
The Cowboys did it again in the 10th round, taking Staubach even though he had one year of eligibility remaining at the Naval Academy. Due to his military commitment, he didn't start his pro career until 1969 as a 27-year-old rookie. It was worth the wait, as Staubach became one of the transcendent players of his generation, leading Dallas to two Super Bowl titles.
The long shot of the group was Kelly, an eighth-round pick from Morgan State -- the only small-school player among the Class of '64 Hall of Famers. In Cleveland, he played behind the great Jim Brown for two years, earning his keep on special teams. When Brown retired unexpectedly after the 1965 season, the next man up was Kelly, who went on to make six straight Pro Bowls.