David Howard (linebacker)

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David Howard
No. 99, 51
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-12-08) December 8, 1961 (age 55)
Place of birth: Enterprise, Alabama
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 232 lb (105 kg)
Career information
High school: Long Beach Polytechnic (CA)
College: Oregon State
Long Beach State
Supplemental draft: 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players / Round: 3
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 120
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

David Howard (born December 8, 1961 in Enterprise, Alabama) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. He also played for the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League. He played college football at Oregon State University and Long Beach State University.

Early years[edit]

Howard attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School. He accepted a scholarship from Oregon State University and was a starter as a freshman at linebacker, but decided to transfer to Long Beach State at the end of the season.[1]

He was named the starter at middle linebacker as a sophomore. As a senior, he registered 89 tackles (51 solo), 6 tackles for loss and 2 fumble recoveries. He finished his career with 242 tackles, 17 sacks, 6 interceptions and 16 passes defensed.[2]

In 1998, he was inducted into the Long Beach State Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

Los Angeles Express (USFL)[edit]

Howard was selected in the 1984 USFL Territorial Draft by the Los Angeles Express.[3] He was a starter the two years he played for the team.

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

He was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players. In 1985, he replaced an injured Scott Studwell and received 4 starts after the twelfth game of the season.[4] The next year, he was named the starter at right outside linebacker and registered 88 tackles (55 solo) despite missing three games with a hyper-extended right elbow.[5]

In 1987, he played in 10 games (7 starts) after missing four games with a sprained ankle and recorded 33 tackles (24 solo), 2 passes defensed and an interception.[6] The next year, he started in all the games, finishing with 46 tackles (31 solo), 3 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

On October 12, 1989, he was sent to the Dallas Cowboys as part of the Herschel Walker trade.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

In 1989, his playing time was limited because there were conditional draft picks attached to the Vikings traded players and the Dallas Cowboys wanted the selections instead of keeping Howard and the others. Head coach Jimmy Johnson eventually had second thoughts on the February 1 deadline and traded three future draft choices (third-round and tenth-round in 1990 and a third-round in 1991) to the Vikings for the right to retain the original full package of draft choices, plus Howard, Issiac Holt and Jesse Solomon. He shared the strongside linebacker position with Jack Del Rio in the final eight games, playing in the second and fourth quarters, finishing the season with 18 tackles (9 solo) in 11 games.

In 1990, he appeared in 16 games as a backup and made 11 tackles (3 solo). On April 19, 1991, after not having any starts during his time with the Cowboys, he was traded to the New England Patriots along with linebacker Eugene Lockhart, cornerback Ron Francis, a 1991 first round pick (#11 Pat Harlow), and a 1991 second round pick (#41 Jerome Henderson), in exchange for the first overall draft pick of the 1991 NFL Draft (Russell Maryland).[7]

New England Patriots[edit]

In 1991, he played in all 16 games (5 starts) at right outside linebacker, registering 60 tackles (40 solo), 3 passes defensed and one sack.[8]

The next year, he played in 16 games (10 starts), finishing with 78 tackles (59 solo), 3 forced fumbles (tied team lead), 2 special teams tackles and one interception. He was released on July 24, 1993, after having a difference of opinion about his sprained toe with new head coach Bill Parcells.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Howard owns a restaurant named David Howard's Seafood Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  1. ^ "Beavers' Levasa the center of Orengon State's resolve". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Howard relives memories of LBSU football". California State University Long Beach. 1998-10-06. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Four ex-Jayhawks plan to join Express". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Vikings QB Kramer hurting; Wilson to start against Eagles". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Vikings lose two". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  6. ^ "NFL injuries". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Pats receive Lockhart". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Patriots Have Howard Wondering". Articles.courant.com. 1992-10-25. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  9. ^ "Parcells kicks Howard out". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 

External links[edit]