Dave Butz
No. 62, 65
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1950-06-23) June 23, 1950 (age 71)
Lafayette, Alabama
Height:6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Weight:295 lb (134 kg)
Career information
High school:Park Ridge (IL) Maine South
NFL Draft:1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:216
Player stats at NFL.com

David Butz (born June 23, 1950) is an American former professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Redskins in a 16-year career from 1973 to 1988. He played college football for the Purdue Boilermakers.

Early years

Butz was born in Alabama in 1950. He played high school football at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois, where he was two-time high school All-American.[1] He also played basketball and was the Illinois High School discus champion, setting a state record.[1]

College football

Butz played college football at Purdue University, where he was a 1972 finalist for the Lombardi Award.[1] He was a first-team All-Big Ten member and played in both the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, where he was named the Defensive MVP.[2]

Butz was later named to Purdue's All Time Football team[1] and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.[3]

Professional football

Butz was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, where he would play for two seasons. Redskins coach George Allen gave the Cardinals two first-round draft picks and a second-rounder for the right to Butz.[4] In 1975 Butz was granted free agency due to a mistake in his contract that he signed as a rookie in 1973. George Allen quickly signed him, but the NFL ruled that the Redskins had to pay the Cardinals 2 first-round picks (1977 & 1978) and a second-round pick (1979).

Butz then played for the Washington Redskins for 14 years, where he had three Super Bowl appearances. He ranks third in franchise history in sacks (59.5).[4] He was a one-time Pro Bowler in 1983 in a season in which he got eleven sacks, a career-best. He only missed four games in his entire 16-year career.[1] Butz was among the largest players in the NFL when he played standing 6'8" and routinely weighing around 300 pounds.

At the victory parade following the Redskins win in Super Bowl XXII, Butz famously shouted to the crowd, "We came, we saw, we kicked their butz."[5]

In October 1987, Butz famously checked himself out of the hospital to play in the Redskins' game against the Jets. Despite having dropped from 313 to 287 pounds due to the illness and feeling dizzy in the second half, Butz made a game-saving sack of Ken O'Brien to stop a Jets' drive late in the game and was awarded the game ball. After the game, he checked himself back into the hospital where he remained until the following Wednesday.[6][7]

Butz announced his retirement from the NFL at age 38 in May 1989. He appeared in 216 NFL games, 191 as a starter, from 1973 to 1988.[8] He tallied 64 sacks in his career.[9] When he retired, he was the oldest starting player in the NFL.[10]

Butz was selected to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins.

Family and later years

In the early 2000s, Butz served as a board member for the National Rifle Association.[11][12]

Butz lives in Fairfax, Virginia.[1]

He is the nephew of Earl Butz, a former United States Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford; his uncle held the Cabinet post during Butz's first season in Washington.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Eight Former Boilermakers To Be Inducted Into Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame". Purdue's Official Athletic site. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  2. ^ "College Football Hall of Fame". www.footballfoundation.org.
  3. ^ National Football Foundation (2014-05-22). "NFF Proudly Announces Impressive 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class". FootballFoundation.org. Archived from the original on 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  4. ^ a b Richman, Michael (2008). The Redskins Encyclopedia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp. 277. ISBN 978-1-59213-542-4.
  5. ^ "'King for a Day' Set for a Premiere". Los Angeles Times. 1988-02-05. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  6. ^ "Skins' savior: Butz quits hospital, makes crucial plays in waning moments". The Baltimore Sun. October 26, 1987 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Butz lighter after sickness, but who'd notice?". Democrat and Chronicle. November 1, 1987. p. 8E – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Redskins' Dave Butz finally hangs it up". The Baltimore Sun. May 19, 1989. p. B8 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Dave Butz". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  10. ^ "No More Ifs for Butz". New York Times. 1989-05-19. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  11. ^ "Second Amendment has ally in ex-Redskin". The State. April 6, 2003 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Ex-Redskin supports youth in the outdoors". The Morning Call. August 10, 2010 – via Newspapers.com.