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Ronald Ford Howard (born March 3, 1951) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. He played college basketball at Seattle University.

Ron Howard
refer to caption
Ron Howard on a beam.
No. 87, 85
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1951-03-03) March 3, 1951 (age 68)
Oakland, California, USA
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:229 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Pasco (WA)
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played:65
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR


Early yearsEdit

Howard attended Pasco High School for three years. He practiced football, basketball and track for Pasco High School. As a senior, Howard averaged 23.7 points per game, while leading the basketball squad to a 25-1 record, with the 51-53 loss coming in the state championship game to Snohomish High School in overtime. He was a high school All-American in basketball and All-conference in football as a tight end (he also played defensive back).[1]

He accepted a basketball scholarship from Seattle University, where he was a two-year starter at forward. He finished his career averaging 9.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

In 2006, he was inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Professional careerEdit

Dallas CowboysEdit

Howard was a basketball player who had never played a down of college football,[2] that signed as an undrafted free agent in 1974 with the Dallas Cowboys, declining an offer to play professional basketball in France. He was converted into a tight end, as one of the innovative personnel decisions the Cowboys were renowned for.

In his two years with the team he earned the nickname "Dr. W.", for his hitting as the wedge buster in the special teams unit. In Super Bowl X, he played a quarter in place of injured starter Jean Fugett and also forced a fumble with a hit on Donnie Shell.

Seattle SeahawksEdit

The Seattle Seahawks selected him from the Cowboys roster in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft. He became the first starting tight end in franchise history, posting 37 receptions (second on the team) for 422 yards (third on the team).[3]

His 37 receptions in 1976, was a team record for tight ends that lasted 26 years until it was broken by Itula Mili in 2002.[4] He played three seasons for the Seahawks, before plantar fasciitis in both feet limited his production and was eventually waived on August 9, 1979. He finished with 72 receptions for 850 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Buffalo BillsEdit

In 1979, he signed with the Buffalo Bills, but only played in one game. He was released in 1980.

Personal lifeEdit

Howard spent 10 years as an ironworker in skyscraper construction. He once was a student teacher and gym class instructor at Asa Mercer Junior High School in Seattle. He currently works at Aki Kurose Middle School Academy, also in Seattle, as its assistant principal.[5]


  1. ^ Raley, Dan (January 15, 2008). "Where Are They Now? Ron Howard, former Pasco star and NFL tight end". Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  2. ^ Mihoces, Gary (April 20, 2005). "NFL seeks best players on the court or mat". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 28, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Seahawks sign end Howard". Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Farnsworth, Clare (June 7, 2004). "Seahawks Notebook: Mili running route toward new deal". Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  5. ^ "Didier, Howard, von Oelhoffen share Super Bowl memories". Retrieved January 6, 2018.

External linksEdit