Howard Richards

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Howard Richards
No. 70
Position: Tackle / Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1959-08-07) August 7, 1959 (age 56)
Place of birth: St. Louis, Missouri
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 268 lb (122 kg)
Career information
High school: Southwest (St. Louis, MO)
College: Missouri
NFL draft: 1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 26
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 69
Stats at
Stats at

Howard Glenn Richards, Jr. (born August 7, 1959 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League. Richards was selected in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys out of the University of Missouri in the 1981 NFL Draft, 26th overall.

Early years[edit]

Richards attended Southwest High School (St. Louis, MO). He started 4 games as a true freshman at the University of Missouri, the beginning of 40 consecutive games starts at right tackle, under coaches Al Onofrio (1977) and Warren Powers (1978-80).

He was a standout offensive tackle, All-Big Eight as a junior and senior. In his last year in 1980, he was named offensive co-captain and received second team All-American honors. He played in the Senior Bowl and Hula Bowl.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Richards was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1981 NFL Draft. This was only the third time (John Niland and Robert Shaw) the Cowboys used a first round pick on an offensive lineman.

In his second season he was the starter at left guard, but split time the next year with former All-Pro Herb Scott.

In 1984 he had a chance to replace the retiring Pat Donovan at left tackle, but was replaced because of a torn groin muscle by Phil Pozderac.[1] He eventually started 4 games at left tackle, before missing the last 4 games of the season due to a torn quadriceps injury, that required season-ending surgery.

Richards had 3 solid seasons, before injuries caused him to miss time over the next 2 years. In 1985 he started the season on the physically unable to perform list and wasn't activated until October 24. He was the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award after the 1984 season. Richards was named the starter at left guard to start the 1986 season, but injuries stalled his progress again.

He was waived on June 18, 1987, along with many other well-known Cowboys' veteran players, after the franchise's first losing season in 22 years.[2] Although he was a part of two NFC East division championships and two consecutive NFC championship game appearances, his career was marred by injuries and struggles to regain his top form.

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

In 1987, after the players went on a strike on the third week of the season, those games were canceled (reducing the 16 game season to 15) and the NFL decided that the games would be played with replacement players. Richards was signed on October 7 to be a part of the Seattle Seahawks replacement team, the same week that many NFL veterans were tired of striking. He played in 2 games, before suffering a knee injury against the Detroit Lions and being placed on the injured reserve list on October 20.[3] He retired at the end of the season.

Personal life[edit]

He served for 13 years at the Central Intelligence Agency. Richards currently serves as the football color analyst for the University of Missouri Tigers on Learfield Sports' Tiger Radio Network. Additionally, he is the Senior Manager, External Relations at his alma mater, the University of Missouri, in Columbia, MO.[4]

He is the first cousin of Erik McMillan, formerly of the New York Jets, and the University of Missouri, and nephew of Ernie McMillan, formerly of the Saint Louis Cardinals.


External links[edit]