Jerry Norton

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Jerry Norton
refer to caption
Norton on a 1955 Bowman football card
No. 41, 25, 23
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1931-05-16) May 16, 1931 (age 85)
Place of birth: Gilmer, Texas
Career information
High school: Texarkana (TX) Texas
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1954 / Round: 7 / Pick: 81
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 131
Interceptions: 35
Touchdowns: 8
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Jerry Ray Norton (born May 16, 1931 in Gilmer, Texas) is a former professional American football safety and punter in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chicago Cardinals/St. Louis Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Green Bay Packers. He was selected to five Pro Bowls. He played college football at Southern Methodist University.

Early years[edit]

Norton attended Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas, where he played football and basketball. He was named All-state in both sports. In football he was a two-way player as a running back and defensive back. As a senior he was selected to participate in both sports All-star games, but only chose basketball, because it was the invitation that arrived first.

He accepted a scholarship from Southern Methodist University, where he led the team in rushing as a sophomore (438 yards) and junior (383 yards). He was also one of the nation's top punters. He played only on offense in 1952.

In 2007, he was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Norton was selected in the seventh round (81st overall) of the 1954 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he played safety and finished with 5 interceptions.

In 1955, he played as a running back, registering 36 carries for 144 yards (4.0 average). In 1958, he only played in 9 games after suffering a broken jaw in a loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[2] That season he started to have confrontations with the Eagles front office because of his salary demands,[3] so on September 4, 1959, he was traded to the Chicago Cardinals in exchange for offensive guard Bob Konovsky and defensive end Jerry Wilson.[4]

Chicago / St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

Norton was named the Cardinals starting Safety and punter. In 1960, he led the league with 10 interceptions. The next year he ranked fifth in the NFL with 7 interceptions. He is the only player in league history to twice intercept four passes in a game (1960 and 1961).[5] On November 26, 1961, he returned two interceptions for touchdowns and 109 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On December 14, 1961, he notified the team of his intentions to retire,[6] but the Dallas Cowboys eventually convinced him to play in his home state.

During the 1962 offseason, he was traded to the Cowboys in a three-team deal. The Baltimore Colts sent a third round draft pick (#33-Mike Fracchia) to the Cardinals and the Cowboys sent tight end/placekicker Dick Bielski to the Colts.[7]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

In 1962, he was named the starter at strong safety for the Dallas Cowboys. On September 10, 1963, he was traded to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for a sixth round draft choice (#83-Jim Evans).[8]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

Norton spent his last two years with the Green Bay Packers, where he was only used as a punter.


  1. ^ "Texas High School Football Hall of Fame Inductees". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Eagle Sidelined". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Norton Gets Eagle Ultimatum". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Trade Made". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ "This Date In Sports". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Steeler Fray Finale For Cards' Star". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Packers Cut Agajanian". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Green Bay Acquires Norton From Dallas". Retrieved December 7, 2015.