Ray Childress
No. 79, 72
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1962-10-20) October 20, 1962 (age 59)
Memphis, Tennessee
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:272 lb (123 kg)
Career information
High school:J. J. Pearce
(Richardson, Texas)
College:Texas A&M
NFL Draft:1985 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:163
Forced fumbles:19
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Raymond Clay Childress, Jr. (born October 20, 1962) is a former American football defensive tackle in the NFL for the Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Texas A&M University.

Early years

Childress attended J. J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas, where he was an All-state defensive tackle. He accepted a football scholarship from Texas A&M University. He became a star as a freshman at defensive tackle.

As a junior, he posted 117 tackles, 15 quarterback sacks (school record) and was named First-team All-American.

As a senior, he anchored an Aggie defense that ranked No. 5 nationally in pass defense (127.5 yards per game). He recorded 124 tackles and 10 sacks. His 25 career sacks was then a school record for a non-linebacker and his 360 tackles then ranked fourth on A&M's career list. He was a consensus All-American selection.

Childress ranks fifth all-time at the university in both career tackles and career sacks.[1] In 1990, he was inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.[2] In 2010, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Houston Oilers

Childress was considered one of the top prospects in the 1985 NFL draft and was in serious consideration for the first-overall selection; the Buffalo Bills, who held the pick, ultimately chose another defensive end, eventual Hall of Famer Bruce Smith.[3] Childress slipped to third overall, where he was selected by the Houston Oilers.

He shares the NFL record for fumble recoveries in a single game, having recovered three from the Washington Redskins on October 30, 1988.[4]

After five seasons as the Oilers' defensive end, Childress moved to defensive tackle in 1990 when defensive coordinator Jim Eddy switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 scheme, necessitating an extra lineman. Childress was already a Pro Bowl end and had even filled in at nose guard on occasion. After the move, he would end up as a Pro Bowl selection in Hawaii four more times as a defensive tackle. As a testament to his excellence, four of the eight lowest single-season rushing totals allowed in Oilers history came between 1990 and 1993, with Childress at tackle.

Childress was as effective against the pass as he was against the run. He finished his Oiler career ranked second all-time in quarterback sacks and sixth all-time in tackles, joining Elvin Bethea as the only defensive linemen among the Oilers' top 10 in both categories. Childress led or shared the team sack lead from 1986–1989 and finished with the most single-season sacks for a defensive tackle (13) in 1992. For his 11-year career, Childress registered 13 multi-sack games.

He was known by his fans as not only as a star, but also as a blue-collar iron man. Until a separated shoulder ended his 1995 season (an injury that would thereafter be the determining factor in his decision to retire), he missed only 3 non-strike games due to injury, playing 154 games along the defensive line from 1985–1994. On February 15, 1996, he was released in a salary-cap move.[5]

Childress may be best remembered for coming up with huge plays at crucial moments of games. He had an incredible seven fumble recoveries in 1988, two shy of the NFL single-season record. Three of those came in the Oilers' memorable 41-17 whipping of the Redskins, broadcast on ESPN October 30, 1988. Childress was the foundation of a remarkable defensive unit that saw Houston make seven consecutive playoff appearances. During the prime of his career, he was considered by many to be the best defensive tackle in football.

Dallas Cowboys

On December 4, 1996, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, to replace a suspended Leon Lett.[6] He was a reserve player for 3 games behind Tony Casillas and Chad Hennings. He wasn't re-signed after the season.


Along with his wife, Kara, Childress established the Childress Foundation in Houston, Texas in 1992. The foundation provides programs to enhance student success, promote productive citizenship through community service, and develop effective life skills. Since its inception, the Childress Foundation has provided over $1.7 million in college scholarships and has benefited more than 1,300 students.

Personal life

Following his 12-year career in the NFL, Childress served as chairman and CEO for ten years of the Ray Childress Auto Group and a limited partner in the NFL franchise, Houston Texans.[7] RCAG operated the Lawrence Marshall auto dealerships in Houston, Texas and the small town of Hempstead, Texas, approximately 50 miles (80 km) from Houston. Lawrence Marshall dealerships closed on February 4, 2009.[8] The corporation closing can apparently be traced back to the national credit crunch when General Motors and Chrysler Corporation filed for bankruptcy. He also founded the Childress Directional Drilling, LLC.


  1. ^ Aggie Athletics (2006). "Texas A&M Athletics Football History". Texas A&M University.
  2. ^ "Childress Inducted Into Texas Sports Hall of Fame". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Proper adjustments vaulted Smith into superstar status". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  4. ^ NFL (2005). "Record & Fact Book". NFL.com.
  5. ^ "Dallas Signs Woodson for $18 Million". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Cowboys Sign Childress To Replace Lett". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Yahoo! Finance (2006). "Ray Childress Auto Group, L.P. Company Profile". Yahoo!.
  8. ^ "Lawrence Marshall dealership shuts down". Retrieved February 19, 2018.