Dan Ross (American football)

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Dan Ross
No. 89
Tight End
Personal information
Date of birth: (1957-02-09)February 9, 1957
Place of birth: Malden, Massachusetts
Date of death: May 16, 2006(2006-05-16) (aged 49)
Place of death: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Career information
College: Northeastern
NFL Draft: 1979 / Round: 2 / Pick: 30
Debuted in 1979
Last played in 1986
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 290
Receiving Yards 3,419
Touchdowns 19
Stats at NFL.com
College Football Hall of Fame

Daniel R. Ross (February 9, 1957 – May 16, 2006) was a professional American football tight end who played for the Cincinnati Bengals (1979-1985), the Seattle Seahawks (1985), and the Green Bay Packers (1986). He also played for the New Orleans/Portland Breakers of the USFL in 1984-1985.

Early life[edit]

Dan Ross attended Everett High School in Everett, Massachusetts where, as a tight end, he starred on the football team.

College career[edit]

Ross played football at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts from 1975 to 1978. He was named first-team selection on the College Football All-America Team in his senior year of 1978 while serving as team captain. He also earned the Bulger Lowe Award as the outstanding player in New England and the Harry Agganis Award as New England’s outstanding senior.[1]

Ross left Northeastern as the Huskies' all-time leader in receptions (153), receiving touchdowns (13) and receiving yards (2,343). He also set the single-season records for those categories as well, with 68 receptions for 988 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season. After his senior year, Northeastern retired jersey No. 84 in his honor.[2]

NFL career[edit]

After graduating college in 1979, he was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 30th pick in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft. Ross' best season was in 1981, when he totaled 71 receptions for 910 yards and five touchdowns, helping lead the Bengals to Super Bowl XVI. His 71 receptions were a single-season franchise record, and would remain so until Carl Pickens had 99 in 1995.

Ross had an outstanding performance in the Super Bowl, with a record 11 receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns. His receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns were all the most by a tight end in Super Bowl history. However, the Bengals lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 26-21, preventing Ross from being the likely winner of the Super Bowl MVP award.

In addition to his impressive Super Bowl performance, Ross was the Bengals' leading receiver in both playoff wins that year, with six receptions for 71 yards in their 28-21 win over the Buffalo Bills and five receptions for 69 yards in their AFC title win over the San Diego Chargers, a game known as the Freezer Bowl and the coldest game ever played in the NFL.

Ross went on to make his first and only Pro Bowl selection in 1982 on the strength of 47 receptions for 508 yards and three touchdowns in the nine-game season shortened by a players strike.

In 1984, Ross briefly left the NFL to play for the New Orleans Breakers and later the Portland Breakers in the newly formed United States Football League.

He returned to play for the Bengals in 1985, band finished the season with the Seattle Seahawks.

Ross joined the Green Bay Packers for the following season, and then retired in 1987.

In his eight NFL seasons, Ross recorded 290 receptions for 3,419 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Ross later said that as a veteran of a small college not known for its football program, he was grateful for a chance to play in the big leagues. "Just getting drafted was a thrill. You don't expect it from the school I went to. At the time, you don't expect to play in the National Football League, and especially somebody taking you with the 30th overall pick. It's like 'oh geez they must see something I don't'."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ross later became president and co-owner of WPWB, an independent TV station in Riviera Beach, Florida. He was owner and president of Power House Supply, while also coaching Pop Warner Football and participating in charity golf tournaments.[4]

In 2004, he was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame. Northeastern University also recognized the achievement with a halftime ceremony honoring Ross at the October 9, 2004 home game against Villanova University. He was the first Northeastern University player enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.[5]

Dan Ross died at age 49 on May 16, 2006, after collapsing at his home in Atkinson, New Hampshire, shortly after returning from jogging. He died at Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, Massachusetts.[6]

He was survived by his wife, Joan, and two children, Jillian, then 23, and Dan Jr., then 22.[7]

Trivia[edit]

Ross's record 11 receptions in a Super Bowl was eventually shared by three other players:

It was finally broken in Super Bowl XLVIII by Demaryius Thomas, who caught 13 passes.

Ross' record of receiving yards in a Super Bowl (104) by a tight end has been tied once, by Vernon Davis in Super Bowl XLVII.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.footballfoundation.org/News/NewsDetail/tabid/567/Article/52165/tight-ends-ross-young-to-receive-on-campus-salutes.aspx
  2. ^ http://gonu.com/news/2013/9/4/wsoc_0904132300.aspx
  3. ^ Ludwig, Chick. Cincinnati Bengals, The Legends. Willmington, OH: Orange Frazer P, 2004. ISBN 1-882203-38-0 page 141
  4. ^ http://www.footballfoundation.org/News/NewsDetail/tabid/567/Article/52165/tight-ends-ross-young-to-receive-on-campus-salutes.aspx
  5. ^ http://www.footballfoundation.org/News/NewsDetail/tabid/567/Article/52165/tight-ends-ross-young-to-receive-on-campus-salutes.aspx
  6. ^ Associated Press, "Super Bowl record-setter Ross dies at 49"
  7. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2006-05-17-ross-obit_x.htm

External links[edit]