American Football Wiki
Jethro Pugh
Personal Information
Defensive tackle
Born July 3 1944 (1944-07-03) (age 77) in Windsor, NC
Career information
Year(s) 19651978
NFL Draft 1965 / Round: 11 / Pick: 145
College Elizabeth City State
Professional teams
Dallas Cowboys, 1965-1978
Career stats
Career highlights and awards

  • All-CIAA defensive end in 1963 and 1964, Elizabeth City State (NC)
  • Jersey #75 retired by Elizabeth City State (NC)
  • 1979 - Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Hall of Fame inductee
  • 1980 - North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame inductee
  • 2010 - Inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame
  • Member, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity

Jethro Pugh, Jr. (born July 3, 1944 in Windsor, North Carolina) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys.

College career

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.

He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[1]

Professional career

He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1965 NFL Draft and was also offered a contract to play with the Oakland Raiders of the AFL.

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.[2] He led the Cowboys in sacks each season from 1968 to 1973[3] with a high mark of 15.5 in 1968 [4]. He averaged 12½ sacks, during one amazing stretch of his Cowboys career (19681973), .

Pugh led the team in sacks for five consecutive seasons (19681972), a record that stood until 2010 when DeMarcus Ware reached six. He ranks fifth on the Cowboys all-time sacks list.

He helped the Cowboys win 4 NFC Championships, 2 Super Bowls, and qualify for the NFL post-season for 13th straight seasons (played a total of 23 playoff games).

Post-Football life

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.[5]


External links