Jethro Pugh, an unsung member of the Doomsday Defense that helped the
The team said Pugh died of natural causes Wednesday, four days before the Cowboys were to play their first
FOR THE RECORD
Jan. 8, 8:47 a.m.: A caption on this story previously identified Jethro Pugh as No. 66; he was No. 75 for the Dallas Cowboys.
Pugh and Hall of Famer Bob Lilly were fellow defensive linemen who endured sub-zero temperatures in a 21-17 Dallas loss that sent the
"He was a terribly unsung person among that bunch of great players we had," said Gil Brandt, who was the personnel director when the Cowboys drafted Pugh in the 11th round in 1965.
Pugh was the first Dallas player to lead the team in sacks five straight seasons (1968 to 1972).
Born July 3, 1944, in Windsor, N.C., Pugh played football at historically black
Pugh played on Dallas teams that beat Miami and Denver in Super Bowls after the 1971 and 1977 seasons. He was on teams that lost to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
The final season for Pugh was 1978, when he played in 13 regular-season games but missed the playoffs, including a loss to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.
"He would have been a top 10-type player in the draft today," Brandt said. "He was big, long arms, very athletic, very fast. Just a great competitor. Smart. He was well beyond his years."
Pugh never made the
After football, Pugh had a successful career as a businessman with a company that runs airport concessions.
Dixon writes for the Associated Press.