Doug Cosbie

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Doug Cosbie
No. 84
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1956-03-27) March 27, 1956 (age 62)
Palo Alto, California
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:236 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Saint Francis
(Mountain View, California)
College:Santa Clara
NFL Draft:1979 / Round: 3 / Pick: 76
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:144
Receiving yards:3,728
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Douglas Durant Cosbie (born March 27, 1956) is a former professional American football player in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Santa Clara University.

Early years[edit]

Cosbie attended Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California, where he played football, basketball, baseball and ran in the two-mile relay in track.

In 1973, he helped the Lancers reach the finals of the Central Coast Section playoffs, before losing the title game 32-30 to Saratoga High School. In 1974, he was part of the first Santa Clara Valley All-Star Football Game, playing with the North team.

College career[edit]

After high school, he moved on to De Anza College. He later transferred to the College of the Holy Cross, playing 11 games as a backup, while tallying 1 reception for 6 yards.[1] He transferred to Santa Clara University after the 1974 season, to play under head coach Pat Malley.

In 1975, he collected 26 receptions and 5 touchdowns. In 1976, he was named the starter at tight end, registering 34 receptions for 444 yards and one touchdown. In 1977, he posted 31 receptions for 517 yards and one touchdown.

In 1978, he ran over strong safety Dan Keefe twice, knocking him unconscious both times during the spring game. In the regular season, he recorded 29 receptions for 427 yards and 3 touchdowns. He finished his Santa Clara career with 120 receptions for 1,721 yards, 14.3 yards per reception and 10 touchdowns.[2] His records were eventually broken by Brent Jones.[3] For his achievements, Cosbie was inducted into the Santa Clara University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Cosbie was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (76th overall) of the 1979 NFL Draft.[4] The team's draft strategy through that time was to take the highest-ranked player on their draft board, regardless of position. When the Cowboys' turn came up in the third round, the highest rated player on their board was quarterback Joe Montana. However, feeling that the quarterback position was in excellent shape with Roger Staubach, Danny White and Glenn Carano, the Cowboys needing a went off their philosophy and drafted Cosbie.[5] The San Francisco 49ers ended up selecting Montana.

In his first 2 seasons, he was a backup behind Billy Joe DuPree and Jay Saldi, playing mainly on special teams and as a blocking tight end on short-yardage and goal-line situations.

In 1981, he almost won the starting tight end spot, but was still able to share it with Dupree and tied for the team lead with 5 touchdown receptions. In 1982, he was named the starter during the 9 game strike shortened season, finishing second on the team with 30 receptions (led the NFC tight ends) for 441 yards, a 14.7-yard average and 4 touchdown receptions (led the team).

In 1983, he emerged as one of the league's top tight ends, making 46 receptions (franchise record for tight ends) for 588 yards (third on the team) and 6 touchdowns. He also earned his first invitation to the Pro Bowl.

In 1984, he broke his own team record for receptions by a tight end with 60 catches, which led the team and was second among NFC tight ends. He was second on the team with 789 yards and 4 touchdowns.

In 1985, he set a team record for receptions by a tight end for the third straight year with 64 catches. He also established a franchise record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end (793) and had 6 touchdowns (second on the team). He was named to the UPI All-Pro NFC team.[6]

In 1986, his production fell more than 50 percent to 28 receptions for 312 yards and one touchdown, mainly because of the extensive use of running back Herschel Walker as a receiver out of the back field, that produced 837 yards.

In 1987, he had 36 receptions for 421 yards and 3 touchdowns, becoming the franchise's All-time leading receiver among tight ends and his 288 catches ranked him fifth on the All-time Cowboys receiving list.

In 1988, he lost his starting job in the fifth game due to being limited by offseason surgery on his Achilles tendon, posting 4 starts, 12 receptions and 112 yards. In 1989, with the arrival of new head coach Jimmy Johnson, he was left unprotected in Plan B free agency.

Although he was a strong blocker, he became more of a receiving threat than any previous Cowboys tight end. He caught over 60 passes in a season twice during his career, and set team records for a tight end with catches and yards per season and career, which have since been broken by Jay Novacek and Jason Witten. He is part of the Cowboys franchise's legacy of great tight ends that includes: Jim Doran, Lee Folkins, Pettis Norman, Mike Ditka, Billy Joe DuPree, Jay Novacek and Jason Witten.

Cosbie caught 300 passes for 3,728 yards and 30 touchdowns and also had 22 catches for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns in 7 playoff games. He still ranks eleventh in franchise history in receptions and ninth in receiving yards. He made three straight Pro Bowls from 1983 to 1985.

Denver Broncos[edit]

On March 30, 1989, he was signed by the Denver Broncos in Plan B free agency.[7] He decided to retire during training camp that season, after playing for 10 years in the NFL and also in three NFC Championship games.[8]

Coaching career[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Cosbie worked in Hollywood from 2006 to 2010 for Shangri-La Entertainment. He is also co-owner of the La Jolla Group, along with fellow Santa Clara University athletes, Kurt Rambis and Rich Brown.


  1. ^ "College Stats". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  2. ^ "Cowboys TE Flyer Speaker". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  3. ^ "Notable Santa Clara Athletes". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  4. ^ "Cowboys sign draftee". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Thirty years later, memories of 'The Catch' still linger". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  6. ^ "Patriots, Bears boast All-Pro lineups". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "Cosbie Signs With Broncos". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "TE Cosbie retires after 10 seasons". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  9. ^ "Doug Cosbie and Monte Clark Resign". Cal Athletics. November 22, 1998. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014. served as the Bears offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for the past two seasons

External links[edit]