Mitch Hoopes

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Mitch Hoopes
No. 9, 10, 12, 17
Position: Punter
Personal information
Born: (1953-07-08) July 8, 1953 (age 65)
Bisbee, Arizona
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 207 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school: Benson (AZ)
College: Arizona
NFL Draft: 1975 / Round: 8 / Pick: 200
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 25
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Mitchell Kent Hoopes (born July 8, 1953) is a former American football punter in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, Houston Oilers, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at the University of Arizona.

Early years[edit]

Hoopes attended Benson High School, where he played as a halfback in Class B football. He received All-Conference, All-State and All-Star honors.

He moved on to Eastern Arizona Junior College. He transferred after his sophomore season to the University of Arizona to play defensive back and punter.

In 1973, he ended up concentrating on punting and was among college football's leaders with a 43.9 average, second in school history at the time.[1] The next year he averaged 41.8 yards, with a long of 59.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Hoopes was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the eighth round (200th overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft, also known as the Dirty Dozen draft. That season Burton Lawless and him were the only rookies to earn starting jobs.

Facing 4th and 13th in the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, he ran for a critical first down without informing head coach Tom Landry and helped the team achieve an 18–7 upset victory.[2] He averaged 39.4 yards per punt and also completed one out of 3 passing attempts for 21 yards.

Playing in Super Bowl X with less than 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarters, the Cowboys led 10-7 when Steelers backup running back Reggie Harrison broke through the middle of the offensive line and blocked a Hoopes' punt out of the end zone for a safety, cutting the lead to 10-9. The Steelers went on to win 21-17.

The next year with the arrival of Danny White who could play quarterback and punt, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers in exchange for an eight-round draft choice (#208-Al Cleveland) in the 1977 NFL draft.[3]

San Diego Chargers[edit]

In 1976, Hoopes was released in mid season after averaging 38.8 yards per punt.

Houston Oilers[edit]

The Houston Oilers signed him in 1976, but released him after one game, for averaging only 31 yards a punt.[4]

Saint Louis Cardinals[edit]

In 1977, Hoopes signed with the Saint Louis Cardinals but was waived on September 9.[5]

Detroit Lions[edit]

In 1977, he was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions, but was released after one game.[6]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

In 1978, he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles and became part of a revolving door at punter with Rick Engles, where he was signed three times during the season.[7]


  1. ^ "Rookies' Gamble Keys Ram Upset". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  2. ^ "Many Doubted Cowboys". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  3. ^ "Stram On The Carpet". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  4. ^ "Blount Uses Horse Cure". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "Lions sign Mitch Hoopes". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Plunkett, Jury Waived". Retrieved April 30, 2017.