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Dave Butz

Dave Butz
Defensive Tackle
Lafayette, Alabama
June 23, 1950
295 lbs
NFL Career
16 seasons, 216 games
Washington Redskins


Career Highlights And Awards

• Two-time Super Bowl Champion (XVII, XXII)
• Three Super Bowl Appearances (1983, 1984, 1988)
• Pro Bowl selection (1983)
• First team All Pro 1983
• Second Team All pro 1984
• NFL All Decade Team 1980s
• Voted one of the 70 Greatest Redskins
• Voted to the Washington Ring of Fame
• Inducted into the Purdue Hall of Fame (2004)
• Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2014)
• Named to the Purdue All Time Football Team

Kicking Butz

Dave Butz was a defensive tackle in the National Football League for 16 seasons.

He was born on June 23, 1950, in Lafayette, Alabama. Butz’s father was a sharecropper, and the family didn’t have much money during Butz’s childhood.

Despite the financial hardships, Butz was a standout athlete at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. He was a two-time All American, and played both basketball and football. He was also the Illinois State Discus Champion and set a state record.

He was recruited to play football at Purdue University, where he became a dominant force on the defensive line. Butz was a 1972 finalist for the Lombardi Award as the best college football lineman of the year. He was a first-team All Big Ten member. Dave also played in the East West Shrine game and was the defensive most valuable player at the Senior Bowl.

Butz was inducted into the Purdue Hall of Fame and was named to the Purdue All Time Football Team. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Going Pro

Butz was selected fifth overall in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.

He played for the Cardinals for two seasons. In 1975, the league granted him free agency because of a mistake in his rookie contract.

Redskins coach George Allen quickly picked him up but the league made Washington give the Cardinals their 1977 and 1978 first round draft picks and their second round pick in 1978 as compensation.

He was well worth it.

It was in Washington where Butz truly made a name for himself as one of the best defensive linemen in the league.

Butz spent 14 seasons with the Redskins, playing in 216 games and starting in 188 of them. He was an integral piece of the teams that won Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XXII. as well as the one that lost Super Bowl XVIII. He was an All Pro in both 1983 and 1984.

At 6’8″ and over 300 pounds, Butz was an absolute force on the field. Known for his strength and his ability to disrupt opposing offenses, he was also a tireless worker, had a tremendous work ethic and was dedicated to staying in top physical condition. That’s one of the main reasons he was able to miss just four games in his entire career.

Well, that and he was a tough SOB.


In October of 1987, Butz was in hospital due to an illness that had caused him to drop almost 30 pounds. In the stuff of legends, he checked himself out of the hospital on the day of a game so that he could play against the New York Jets. not only did he play, but won a game ball. He sacked Ken O’Brien to end a Jets drive late in the game.

After the game, he went back to the hospital and was there until Wednesday.

In 1988 Butz surpassed center Len Hauss as the Redskins leader in games played. It was his 197th game and he would go on to play in 203 for Washington (216 overall).

He would retire before the 1989 season. Butz was 38 at the time and was the oldest starting player in the NFL.


In his 216 games, he registered 64 sacks. His 59 sacks for Washington still place him at fifth in franchise history. His best sack total was in 1983 when he put up a sensational eleven.

In 2011, Butz was inducted into the Washington Redskins Ring of Fame, joining an elite group of players who have made significant contributions to the franchise.

He was larger than life… literally and figuratively.

In 1988 after winning his second Super Bowl, he famously quipped:

“We came, we saw, we kicked their butts.”


Other than Football

He and his wife Candyce had three children together.

Butz was also active in his community, participating in numerous charity events and working with organizations that support children’s health and education.

After retiring from the NFL in 1988, Butz moved to Belleville, Illinois.

He died in Swansea, Illinois on November 4, 2022 at the age of 72.

May he rest in peace.

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