John Fitzgerald (center)
|Date of birth:||April 16, 1948|
|Place of birth:||Southbridge, Massachusetts|
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||255 lb (116 kg)|
|High school:||Southbridge (MA)|
|NFL draft:||1970 / Round: 4 / Pick: 101|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
John Robert Fitzgerald (born April 16, 1948) is a former American football center in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 1980, including four Super Bowls. He played college football at Boston College and was drafted in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL Draft.
Fitzgerald played as a 300 lb fullback for Southbridge High School. He received a scholarship from Boston College and became a two-way tackle, playing both offense and defense during his three-year varsity career.
He was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.
Fitzgerald was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL Draft. The team tried him first as a defensive lineman, before converting him to center during the 1972 training camp.
At the time, he was taller than the prototype center and took over the starting position from Dave Manders in 1973. He never appeared in a Pro Bowl, but became a central part of a strong Offensive line in Dallas for most of the decade.
Fitzgerald helped the Cowboys to 2 Super Bowl Championships and playoff appearances every season except one. He played in 138 games over 10 NFL seasons. On August 31, 1981, he was placed on the injured reserve list. On January 11, 1982, he announced his retirement due to injuries and was eventually replaced by Tom Rafferty.