Jethro Pugh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jethro Pugh
No. 75
Defensive tackle, Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1944-07-03) July 3, 1944 (age 70)
Place of birth: Windsor, North Carolina
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school: Windsor (NC) Bertie
College: Elizabeth City State
NFL Draft: 1965 / Round: 11 / Pick: 145
Debuted in 1965 for the Dallas Cowboys
Last played in 1978 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
*Inactive and/or offseason member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games 183
Fumbles recovered 14
Safeties 2
Interceptions 1
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Jethro Pugh, Jr. (born July 3, 1944 in Windsor, North Carolina) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys.

Early years[edit]

After going to Bertie High School, Pugh attended Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina at the age of 16, where he played offense and defense and became a two-time All-CIAA defensive end in 1963 and 1964.[1] He is one of 5 persons to have his jersey retired by Elizabeth City State University. The others are: Mike Gale, Anthony Hilliard, Marvin Trotman and Celeste Trahan.

In 1979, he was inducted into the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Hall of Fame. In 1980, he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1965 NFL Draft and was also offered a contract to play with the Oakland Raiders of the AFL.

Pugh was only 20 years old when he started his professional career as a backup defensive end for the Cowboys. At the end of the 1966 season, he was moved to left defensive tackle replacing Jim Colvin in the starting lineup.[2]

He played with the Cowboys for his entire career, from 1965 through 1978. His 14 seasons represent the fourth-longest career in Cowboys history; only Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei played more years.

Although he was widely regarded as an excellent player, he was never voted to a Pro Bowl. Pugh's achievements as a professional athlete were largely overshadowed for most of his career by his defensive line teammates, who were Pro Bowl regulars. When Pugh started, he had to compete for attention with future Hall of Famer Bob Lilly and George Andrie; when they retired, Pugh played in the same defensive line with Randy White, Harvey Martin and Ed "Too Tall" Jones.

Even though he was a physical player against the run, he utilized his athletism to become a great pass rusher for a defensive tackle.

Pugh was the player who was blocked by Jerry Kramer on the Green Bay Packers' final play of the Ice Bowl, the 1967 NFL championship game. Kramer's block on Pugh cleared the way for Bart Starr to score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 16 seconds remaining, lifting Vince Lombardi's team to a 21-17 victory in minus-15 degree weather at Lambeau Field.[3]

While Quarterback sacks were not an official NFL statistic during Pugh's career, he is unofficially credited with a career total of 95.5. He led the Cowboys in sacks each season from 1968 to 1972 with a high mark of 15.5 in 1968.[4] He averaged 12½ sacks, during one amazing stretch of his Cowboys career (19681972).

Pugh led the team in sacks for five consecutive seasons (19681972), a record that stood until 2010 when DeMarcus Ware reached six. He ranks sixth on the Cowboys all-time sacks list.

He reired on January 29, 1979 season,[5] after helping the Cowboys win 5 NFC Championships, 2 Super Bowls, and qualify for the NFL post-season for 12 out of 13 seasons, playing in a then NFL record 23 playoff games.

Personal life[edit]

Pugh owns a number of Western-themed gift shops at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas.[6] He also hosts an annual Jethro Pugh Celebrity Golf Tournament in Dallas to raise funds for the United Negro College Fund.


External links[edit]