Tody Smith
No. 85, 70
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:(1948-12-24)December 24, 1948
Frankfurt, Germany
Died:July 18, 1999(1999-07-18) (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Beaumont (TX) Charlton-Pollard
NFL draft:1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:69
Player stats at · PFR

Lawrence Edward Smith (December 24, 1948 – July 18, 1999) was an American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills. He played college football at the University of Southern California.

Early years

Smith was a prep All-American at Charlton-Pollard High School, where he played for his father W.R. Smith. He acquired his nickname in a junior high school Spanish class, from "El Toro" (bull), because he was the largest boy in his class.

College career

Smith accepted a football scholarship from Michigan State University, following in the footsteps of his older brother Bubba. He transferred to the University of Southern California after his sophomore season,[1] where he became a standout defensive tackle.[2]

Smith teamed in the defensive line with Al Cowlings, Jimmy Gunn, Willard "Bubba" Scott, and Charlie Weaver to form in 1969 "The Wild Bunch," which was key for USC to compile a 10-0-1 record and a No. 3 ranking after a victory over the Michigan Wolverines in the 1970 Rose Bowl.

The Wild Bunch was a hit movie in 1969 and it was Cowlings who dubbed the defensive line 'The Wild Bunch' for their reckless abandon and hard-nosed style of play. Playing in an era of powerful running games, they allowed just 2.3 yards per carry and a league-low 95.6 rushing yards a game.

Smith was one of the five USC African American starters (along with Sam Cunningham, Jimmy Jones, Clarence Davis and Charlie Weaver), that played against an all-white University of Alabama football team, winning 42–21 in Birmingham on September 12, 1970. This game was historically significant, because it was a factor in convincing the University of Alabama and its fan base to accelerate the integration of its football team.[3]

He played two seasons (1969–70) for the Trojans. In 1969, he was honorable-mention All-PAC-8 and in 1970 he was a second-team All-American, even though he played only four games as a senior, after spraining an ankle in the second game.

There is a statue of him and the other four "Wild Bunch" defensive linemen at USC's Heritage Hall.[4] He also appeared in the famed gunslinger photo of the five of them.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Smith was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round (25th overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft, after dropping because of an ankle injury he suffered in college. This injury limited him to only 7 games during his rookie year. He spent the first seven games of the season on the team's taxi squad, but when he joined the regular roster, he showed the Cowboys he had a future in the NFL and even contributed in the Cowboys win in Super Bowl VI.

Although he had surgery during the off-season on an injured knee, head coach Tom Landry seemed convinced Smith had the capability to start in 1972. He had a disappointing second year where he only played 10 games.

On May 9, 1973, he was traded along with wide receiver Billy Parks to the Houston Oilers, in exchange for their first and third round draft picks in the 1974 NFL Draft.[5] For the first time in their history, the Dallas Cowboys would have the first overall draft choice which they used to select defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones, who would play a key role on the Cowboys Super Bowl teams in the 1970s. With the third round pick they acquired, the Cowboys selected quarterback Danny White, who became the starting quarterback during the 1980s after the retirement of Roger Staubach.

Houston Oilers

Smith was a starter for the Houston Oilers for the next 3 seasons, before being waived injured with an ankle sprain in 1976.

Buffalo Bills

On November 23, 1976, he was claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills.[6] He played in only 2 games and retired at the end of the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On July 11, 1977, he was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was released before the season started on September 1.[7]

Personal life

Smith's brother was actor and former NFL Pro Bowler Bubba Smith. Like his brother, Tody appeared in a few films, including The Hollywood Knights and eventually became his agent. Smith was married to Chae Castillo, a professional model/actress. They had a daughter (Rheo Smith) and a son (Dakota-Navarro Castillo-Smith).

He died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles on July 18, 1999.[8]


  1. ^ "Li'l Brother Makes Name For Himself". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  2. ^ "Make way for the Wild Bunch". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  3. ^ "Turning the 'Tide". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  4. ^ "Give the "Wild Bunch" love". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  5. ^ "Houston Obtains Parks, Smith From Cowboys". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  6. ^ "Tody Smith With Buffalo". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  7. ^ "Tampa Bay Releases Tody Smith". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  8. ^ "Former Trojan Tody Smith Dies". Retrieved February 19, 2018.