Jim Ray Smith

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Jim Ray Smith
No. 84, 64
Position: Guard / Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1932-02-27) February 27, 1932 (age 85)
Place of birth: West Columbia, Texas
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 241 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school: West Columbia (TX)
College: Baylor
NFL Draft: 1954 / Round: 6 / Pick: 64
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 93
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

James Ray Smith (born February 27, 1932) is a former American football offensive guard who played nine seasons in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns and the American football. He played college football for Baylor University.

Early years[edit]

Smith attended West Columbia High School where he practiced four sports. He accepted a scholarship from Baylor University, where he was a two-way tackle and a three-year starter.

In 1968, he was inducted into the Baylor University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 1987, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Smith was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round (64th overall) of the 1954 NFL Draft with a future draft pick, which allowed the team to draft him before his college eligibility was over.

Because of military service in the U.S. Army (23 months), his rookie season began in November 1956, when he was tried at defensive end.[1] Although he was one of the fastest players on the team, the next year he was moved to the offense and became one of Paul Brown's messenger offensive guards, splitting time with Herschel Forester. In 1958, he became a full-time starter and one of the best guards in the NFL, while blocking for future hall of famers running backs Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell.[2]

Although he retired after the 1961 season to devote himself full-time to his real state business, the team was able to convince him to return. He retired again after the 1962 season, but the Dallas Cowboys convinced him to play in his home state and traded offensive tackle Monte Clark in exchange for his rights.[3][4]

In 2005, he was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

In 1963, he started seven games at left guard until suffering a knee injury during a kickoff return. The next year, he only played in four games (one start) after suffering a second knee injury. Although at times he played at the level of his previous years, his two seasons with the Cowboys were marred by two serious knee injuries, two broken hands and two concussions. He retired after the 1964 season.

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Smith to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2008 [5]

Personal life[edit]

Smith was a member of the Board of Directors for the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association.

References[edit]

External links[edit]