Former teammates Bob Lilly, Rayfield Wright, Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones and Roger Staubach were among those in attendance Thursday at the funeral service for longtime Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jethro Pugh, who died Jan. 7 at the age of 70.
Pugh graduated from college at Elizabeth City State (N.C.) at 20 years old and stepped onto a team that would produce several Hall of Famers.
Cowboys personnel director Gil Brant, who drafted Pugh in the 11th round of the 1965 draft, called him an “terribly unsung” among a bunch of great players.
“He was a pup when we got him,” Brant recalled. “He had never been on a weight program. But the guy was a tremendous athlete. He had speed. He had long arms. He could do anything.”
Pugh played 14 seasons on the famed “Doomsday Defense” that helped the Cowboys reach their first four Super Bowls, including wins after the 1971 and 1977 seasons. He had 951/2 career sacks and was second-team All-Pro in 1968. When he retired, after the 1978 season, he had played in a then NFL record 23 playoff games.
After football, Pugh became a successful businessman with several airport gift shops.