|Born:||July 3 1944in Windsor, NC|
|NFL Draft||1965 / Round: 11 / Pick: 145|
|NFL Supplemental Draft||/ Pick:|
|College||Elizabeth City State|
Dallas Cowboys, 1965-1978
|Career highlights and awards|
College career[edit | edit source]
After going to high school at Southwestern (Windsor, NC), Pugh attended Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina at the age of 16, where he eventually became an All-CIAA defensive end in 1963 and 1964. He is one of 5 persons to have his jersey retired by Elizabeth City State University. The others are: Mike Gale, Anthony Hilliard, Marvin Trotman and Celeste Trahan.
In 1979, he was inducted into the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Hall of Fame.
In 1980 he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2010 he was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.
Professional career[edit | edit source]
Pugh was only 20 years old when he started his professional career as a backup defensive end for the Cowboys. At the end of the 1966 season, he was moved to left defensive tackle replacing Jim Colvin in the starting lineup.
He played with the Cowboys for his entire career, from 1965 through 1978. His 14 seasons represent the fourth-longest career in Cowboys history; only Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei played more years.
Although he was widely regarded as an excellent player, he was never voted to a Pro Bowl. Pugh's achievements as a professional athlete were largely overshadowed for most of his career by his defensive line teammates, who were Pro Bowl regulars. When Pugh started, he had to compete for attention with Hall of Famer Bob Lilly and George Andrie; when they retired, Pugh played in the same defensive line with Randy White, Harvey Martin and Ed "Too Tall" Jones.
Even though he was a physical player against the run, he utilized his athletism to become a great pass rusher for a defensive tackle.
Pugh was the player who was blocked by Jerry Kramer on the Green Bay Packers' final play of the Ice Bowl, the 1967 NFL championship game. Kramer's block on Pugh cleared the way for Bart Starr to score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 16 seconds remaining, lifting Vince Lombardi's team to a 21-17 victory in minus-15 degree weather at Lambeau Field. Kramer's block was replayed by CBS after the game, leading to Kramer titling his memoir of the 1967 season: Instant Replay.
While Quarterback sacks were not an official NFL statistic during Pugh's career, he is unofficially credited with a career total of 95.5. He led the Cowboys in sacks each season from 1968 to 1973 with a high mark of 15.5 in 1968 . He averaged 12½ sacks, during one amazing stretch of his Cowboys career (1968–1973), .
Post-Football life[edit | edit source]
Pugh owns a number of Western-themed gift shops at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas. He also hosts an annual Jethro Pugh Celebrity Golf Tournament in Dallas to raise funds for the United Negro College Fund.