Jerry Mays (defensive lineman)

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For other people of the same name, see Jerry Mays (disambiguation).
Jerry Mays
Born November 24, 1939
Dallas, Texas
Died July 17, 1994(1994-07-17) (aged 54)
Lake Lewisville, Texas
Position(s) Defensive end
College Southern Methodist
AFL Draft 1961 / Round 5
NFL Draft 1961 / Round 11 / Pick 1
(By the Minnesota Vikings)
Career highlights
Honors AFL All-Star 1962, 1964,
1965, 1966, 1967, 1968

AFL Champion 1962, 1967, 1969
World Champion 1969
AFL All-Time Team
NFL Pro Bowl 1970
AFL Dallas Texans
AFL Kansas City Chiefs
NFL Kansas City Chiefs

Gerald Avery Mays (November 24, 1939 – July 17, 1994) was a football player who starred collegiately for Southern Methodist University before becoming a standout at the professional level for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Early years[edit]

Mays put together an all-state career at Sunset High School before heading to SMU, where he served as co-captain and earned All-Southwest Conference honors at defensive tackle.

A fifth round draft selection of the American Football League's Dallas Texans in 1961, Mays turned down the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings, in order to play near his home in Dallas. He soon became a force at defensive tackle on the Texans' line, continuing his dominance defensive end when the team relocated in 1963 to become the Kansas City Chiefs.

Combining emotion and durability with a competitive nature, Mays was a six-time AFL All-Star, and was selected to the All-Star team at two different positions. He played in 126 straight games for the AFL Texans and Chiefs, and used his speed, agility and strong "second effort" to once recover and return a Jets' fumble 58 yards for a touchdown. His contribution to the Chiefs' strong defense helped them defeat the Vikings, 23-7, in Super Bowl IV. He was a captain in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV.

Mays was named to the All-time All-AFL Team in 1970 and announced his retirement after that season. He then returned to Dallas to work for a construction company owned by his father, Avery. He died of malignant melanoma cancer in 1994, two years after the death (from cancer) of his former teammate, Buck Buchanan. The other starting defensive end from the Super Bowl team, Aaron Brown, was killed in 1997 when struck by a car from behind, leaving Curley Culp as the lone survivor of the Chiefs' vaunted front four from the championship club.

See also[edit]