James W. Mooty (born June 15, 1937) is a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He was selected 1st team All-American by the Associated Press in 1959 while playing college football for the University of Arkansas.
Mooty attended El Dorado High School where he was a four-sport athlete. He was named to the football All-state team three years in a row and was a prep All-American as a senior.
He accepted a scholarship from the University of Arkansas, where he was an All-American running back for head coach Frank Broyles and a teammate of Lance Alworth, Wayne Harris and Barry Switzer.
As a junior he left school and went back home after the sixth loss of the season. Switzer, Mooty's roommate went along with Broyles to ask him to return. The team also voted to take Mooty back after losing two games.
In 1959, he nearly quit football again because of head injuries, but came back to have his best season registering 519 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns (led the league). He helped his team win the Southwest Conference Co-Championship with a 9-2 record, which included the clinching touchdown run against Texas A&M University. He was the Most Valuable Player in the 1960 Gator Bowl after scoring the winning touchdown, with a 19-yard run against Georgia Tech University, still considered to be a storied play in school history.
Mooty finished his college career after rushing for 1,152 yards on 211 carries for an average of 5.4 yards, 9 touchdowns and 13 receptions for 156 yards. He returned kickoffs, highlighted by a 100-yard return against Hardin–Simmons University in 1958. He also practiced college baseball.
He was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor. In 1981, he was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was inducted into the Union County Sports Hall of Fame. He was also named to the University of Arkansas All-Century Team and All-Decade Team of the 1950s.
Mooty was signed by the Dallas Cowboys after going undrafted in the 1960 NFL Draft, because he was considered small to play running back in the National Football League. He was a part of the franchise's inaugural season and was a backup safety in 7 games, after suffering a torn quadriceps in his left leg during training camp. On June 9, 1961, he announced his retirement.
Mooty is involved in the Hospital Clinics business.