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John Robert Fitzgerald (born April 16, 1948) is a former American football center in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 1980, including four Super Bowls. He played college football at Boston College and was drafted in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL Draft.

John Fitzgerald
No. 62
Personal information
Born: (1948-04-16) April 16, 1948 (age 71)
Southbridge, Massachusetts
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:Southbridge (MA)
College:Boston College
NFL Draft:1970 / Round: 4 / Pick: 101
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:137
Games started:108
Fumble recoveries:6
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR


Early yearsEdit

Fitzgerald played as a 300 lb fullback for Southbridge High School. He received a scholarship from Boston College and became a two-way tackle, playing both offense and defense during his three-year varsity career.

He was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.

Professional careerEdit

Fitzgerald was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL Draft. The team tried him first as a defensive lineman, before converting him to center during the 1972 training camp.

At the time, he was taller than the prototype center and took over the starting position from Dave Manders in 1973.[1] He never appeared in a Pro Bowl, but became a central part of a strong Offensive line in Dallas for most of the decade.[2]

Fitzgerald named the Offensive line as the "Four Irishmen and a Scott", referring to himself, Pat Donovan, Jim Cooper, Tom Rafferty and Herb Scott.

He took great pride in his ability to snap from the Shotgun formation, which was re-introduced to the NFL by Tom Landry.[3]

Fitzgerald helped the Cowboys to 2 Super Bowl Championships and playoff appearances every season except one. He played in 138 games over 10 NFL seasons. On August 31, 1981, he was placed on the injured reserve list.[4] On January 11, 1982, he announced his retirement due to injuries and was eventually replaced by Tom Rafferty.


  1. ^ "Lakeland Ledger - Google News Archive Search".
  2. ^ Archived December 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "The Victoria Advocate - Google News Archive Search".
  4. ^ "Gettysburg Times - Google News Archive Search".

External linksEdit