1981 NFL Pro Bowl
1234 Total
AFC 0700 7
NFC 36012 21
DateFebruary 1, 1981
StadiumAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
MVPEddie Murray (Detroit Lions)
RefereeGordon McCarter
TV in the United States
AnnouncersFrank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Fran Tarkenton & Lynn Swann

The 1981 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 31st annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1980 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 1, 1981, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was NFC 21, AFC 7.[1]

Sam Rutigliano of the Cleveland Browns led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett.[1] The referee was Gordon McCarter.[1]

Rookie placekicker Eddie Murray of the Detroit Lions was named the game's Most Valuable Player.[2]

Players on the winning NFC team received $5,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $2,500.[3] The game was the first in NFL history played in February.[citation needed]

AFC roster


Position Starter(s) Reserve(s)
Quarterback 17 Brian Sipe, Cleveland 14 Dan Fouts, San Diego
Running back 34 Earl Campbell, Houston 20 Joe Cribbs, Buffalo
33 Kenny King, Oakland
Fullback 43 Mike Pruitt, Cleveland 32 Franco Harris, Pittsburgh
Wide receiver 83 John Jefferson, San Diego
18 Charlie Joiner, San Diego
80 Jerry Butler, Buffalo
86 Stanley Morgan, New England
Tight end 89 Kellen Winslow, San Diego 87 Dave Casper, Houston
Offensive tackle 73 Doug Dieken, Cleveland
79 Marvin Powell, N.Y. Jets
78 Art Shell, Oakland
Offensive guard 73 John Hannah, New England
64 Joe DeLamielleure, Cleveland
63 Doug Wilkerson, San Diego
Center 52 Mike Webster, Pittsburgh 54 Tom DeLeone, Cleveland


Position Starter(s) Reserve(s)
Defensive end 71 Fred Dean, San Diego
67 Art Still, Kansas City
85 Julius Adams, New England
Defensive tackle 79 Gary Johnson, San Diego
74 Louie Kelcher, San Diego
76 Fred Smerlas, Buffalo
Outside linebacker 52 Robert Brazile, Houston
83 Ted Hendricks, Oakland
59 Jack Ham, Pittsburgh
Inside linebacker 58 Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh 57 Steve Nelson, New England
Cornerback 37 Lester Hayes, Oakland
40 Mike Haynes, New England
27 Greg Stemrick, Houston
Free safety 26 Gary Barbaro, Kansas City 48 Tim Fox, New England
Strong safety 31 Donnie Shell, Pittsburgh

Special teams

Position Starter(s) Reserve(s)
Punter   8 Ray Guy, Oakland
Placekicker   1 John Smith, New England
Kick returner 86 J.T. Smith, Kansas City

NFC roster


Position Starter(s) Reserve(s)
Quarterback 10 Steve Bartkowski, Atlanta 7 Ron Jaworski, Philadelphia
Running back 34 Walter Payton, Chicago 32 Ottis Anderson, St. Louis
20 Billy Sims, Detroit
Fullback 31 William Andrews, Atlanta
Wide receiver 17 Harold Carmichael, Philadelphia
80 James Lofton, Green Bay
84 Alfred Jenkins, Atlanta
28 Ahmad Rashad, Minnesota
83 Pat Tilley, St. Louis
Tight end 88 Jimmie Giles, Tampa Bay 80 Junior Miller, Atlanta
Offensive tackle 72 Dan Dierdorf, St. Louis
78 Mike Kenn, Atlanta
67 Pat Donovan, Dallas
Offensive guard 72 Kent Hill, L.A. Rams
68 Herbert Scott, Dallas
60 Dennis Harrah, L.A. Rams
Center 61 Rich Saul, Los Angeles 57 Jeff Van Note, Atlanta


Position Starter(s) Reserve(s)
Defensive end 60 Al Baker, Detroit
63 Lee Roy Selmon, Tampa Bay
99 Dan Hampton, Chicago
Defensive tackle 65 Charlie Johnson, Philadelphia
54 Randy White, Dallas
90 Larry Brooks, L.A. Rams
Outside linebacker 59 Matt Blair, Minnesota
10 Brad Van Pelt, N.Y. Giants
56 Dave Lewis, Tampa Bay
Inside linebacker 53 Bob Breunig, Dallas 64 Jack Reynolds, L.A. Rams
Cornerback 49 Rod Perry, L.A. Rams
27 Pat Thomas, L.A. Rams
24 Lemar Parrish, Washington
Free safety 21 Nolan Cromwell, Los Angeles
Strong safety 45 Gary Fencik, Chicago

Special teams

Position Starter(s) Reserve(s)
Punter 13 Dave Jennings, N.Y. Giants
Placekicker   3 Eddie Murray, Detroit
Kick returner 21 Mike Nelms, Washington


  1. ^ a b c "1981 Pro Bowl game book" (PDF). NFL Game Statistics & Information. National Football League. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  2. ^ "NFC Clobbers AFC in Pro Bowl". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. AP. February 2, 1981. p. 20. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  3. ^ "NFL Pro Bowl history". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2012.