|Born:||March 27, 1955|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school:||Oberlin (OH)|
|NFL Draft:||1977 / Round: 5 / Pick: 121|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Clifford Lewis Stoudt (born March 27, 1955) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Phoenix Cardinals, Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys. He also was a member of the Birmingham Stallions of the United States Football League. He was drafted in the fifth round (121st overall) by the Steelers. He played college football at Youngstown State University.
Stoudt accepted a football scholarship from Youngstown State University, where he became a four-year starter. As a sophomore, he led the team to an 8-1 regular season record and the school's first appearance at the NCAA Division II playoffs, where they lost against the University of Delaware.
As a junior, he posted 1,022 passing yards and 406 rushing yards. As a senior, he started all 10 games, passing for 1,259 yards and 5 touchdowns, while also rushing for 307 yards and 7 touchdowns.
He finished his college career with 303 completions out of 637 attempts for 4,387 yards (second in school history), 5,459 total yards (second in school history) and 16 touchdowns.
In 1987, he was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Stoudt was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round (121st overall) of the 1977 NFL Draft. Stoudt was the third-string quarterback to Terry Bradshaw from 1977 to 1979. At the time he set an NFL record, after spending the first 56 games of his career as an active roster member without appearing in an official game.
In 1983, he took over as the starter at quarterback during Bradshaw's injury-plagued final season in 1983. He led the Steelers to a 9–2 start, but the team melted down late in the season. Steeler fans, accustomed to Bradshaw's late game heroics, turned viciously on Stoudt. The Steelers won the AFC Central with a 10–6 record and stumbled into the playoffs, but were quickly dispatched by the Los Angeles Raiders.
In 1984, Stoudt left the NFL and signed with the Birmingham Stallions of the United States Football League. During the third game of the season which was the home opener for the Pittsburgh Maulers on March 11 at Three Rivers Stadium, Stoudt was heckled and pelted with snowballs by the fans. It would turn out to be the only sellout in the one season history of the Maulers.
Stoudt started every game, registering 3,121 passing yards, 26 passing touchdown, 400 rushing yards, 9 rushing touchdowns and 7 interceptions, while leading the team to a division championship and ranking No. 2 overall in quarterback rating (behind Jim Kelly).
In 1985, he had 3,358 passing yards, 34 passing touchdowns, 437 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns and 19 interceptions, repeating as division champion and the No. 2 overall quarterback rating. He led the Stallions to a two-year record of 27-9 (no other team won more games), while passing for 6,479 yards, 60 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.
In 1986, the league ceased operations after losing most of its claims in an antitrust suit against the National Football League, with its top talent absorbed by the NFL in a dispersal draft conducted in the aftermath.
St. Louis Cardinals / Phoenix Cardinals
Because the Pittsburgh Steelers still owned the rights to Stoudt, on September 1, 1986, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for a conditional draft choice (fifth round #121-Darin Jordan). He served as Neil Lomax's backup and was also the team holder on kicks. He had two starts each in 1986 and 1988. In 1989, Stoudt asked for his release after the team acquired free agent Gary Hogeboom. He was cut in March 1989.
On April 14, 1989, he was signed as a free agent by the Miami Dolphins. Although he performed well during most of training camp, he was released on September 3, after he had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the Dolphins' 20-10 preseason loss against the Philadelphia Eagles and Scott Secules was promoted as the backup to Dan Marino. On September 7, he was re-signed when Marino suffered a right bruised elbow on his throwing arm. He appeared in 3 games and didn't attempt a pass. He was cut on August 28, 1990.
On December 24, 1990, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys, to be an emergency back-up quarterback to Babe Laufenberg for the season's final game against the Atlanta Falcons, after Troy Aikman suffered a right shoulder injury in Week 15.
In 1991, he went into training camp with Aikman, Laufenberg, and fourth-round draft choice Bill Musgrave at quarterback. On August 25, the Cowboys traded for Steve Beuerlein to improve the backup position and released Stoudt the next day, opting to keep just 2 quarterbacks.
He lives in Greenville, South Carolina. His son, Cole, is a former quarterback at Clemson and currently the quarterbacks coach at Morehead State. Another son, Zack, played quarterback at Ole Miss.
- "Cliff Stoudt YSU Athletics Hall of Fame". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- Pearlman, Jeff (2018). "Gerbils And Snowballs". Football for a Buck:The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL. HMH Books. p. 167-168. ISBN 9780544453685. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
- "Cole Stoudt hired to coach QB's at JSU". TigerNet. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- "Zack Stoudt Bio". Ole Miss Sports. Retrieved February 19, 2018.