1944 - 2015
Jethro Pugh, an original member of the Dallas Cowboys' famed Doomsday Defense who played on two Super Bowl title teams, died Wednesday (January 7, 2015). He was 70 years old.
Mr. Pugh was also on the Cowboys team that played in the famed Ice Bowl, the 1967 NFL Championship Game against Green Bay. The Cowboys will play a playoff game at Green Bay on Sunday (Jan. 11) for the first time since the Ice Bowl, and owner Jerry Jones said Mr. Pugh's spirit will be with the team.
"This is a sad day for Cowboys fans and our thoughts and prayers go out to Jethro's family," Jones said in a statement. "He was loved and appreciated by his teammates and Cowboys fans for decades, and his spirit will be felt when our team travels to Green Bay this weekend."
Mr. Pugh, a native of Windsor, NC, was picked in the 11th round of the 1965 NFL Draft out of tiny Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC. He went on to play 14 years with the Cowboys, the fourth longest tenure in franchise history. He played defensive tackle from 1965-1978 and is sixth on the club's all-time sack chart, finishing his Cowboys career with 95 1/2. He led the club in sacks for five consecutive seasons (1968-72).
He played in four Super Bowls, winning the 1972 and 1978 games, before retiring in 1978.
Gil Brandt, who was in charge of recruiting Mr. Pugh out of Elizabeth City, said he was great in his own right and would be a first-round draft pick today. He was just 20 years old when he came into the league. He was a tremendous athlete who had speed, long arms, and could do anything.
He went to college when he was just 16. He was young but he had values and was concerned about his future. He did not waste his money, but saved as part of his contract and had enough money to start a souvenir shop once he retired. Mr. Pugh became a successful businessman and entrepreneur, with five gift shops at Dallas/Forth Worth Airport and later partnered with The Paradise Shops which are in 64 airports across the US and Canada.
He leaves a son Jethro "Trey" Pugh, III (daughter-in-law, Tracey), and daughter, Jethrolyn Pugh; five grandchildren, Keana Pratt, Jacob Pugh, Jessica Pugh, Madison Morris and McKenzie Morris; a loving brother, Michael Pugh, and a host of uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and other dear relatives and friends.
He had the respect of everbody, Brandt said. He was a tremendous person who will be missed.
Jethro requested that donations in his memory in lieu of flowers be sent to his home church, Indian Woods Missionary Baptist Church, 2330 Indian Woods Road, Windsor, North Carolina 27983 in support of THE JETHRO PUGH SCHOLARSHIP FUND.
Below is a list of those who honored his request:
Primer Class, Greenhill School, Dallas, TX
Jack Evans, Celina, TX
MBC Concessions, LLC, Atlanta GA
Martha Heimberg & Family, Dallas, TX
DFW Airport Interfaith Chaplaincy, DFW Airport, TX
Mary Lou & George Andrie, Drummond Island, MI
Michael E. Davidson, Columbia, SC
Gene & Jerry Jones, Irving, TX
Rosie & Charlie Waters, Dallas, TX
Tina & Scott Roberts, Placida, FL
Pam & Dan Reeves, DER Enterprises, USA, Inc., Atlanta GA
Tony Liscio, Dallas, TX
Biddie & Lee Roy Jordan, Dallas TX
Phala W. Finley, Dallas, TX
Murchison Capital Partners, L.P., Dallas, TX
Marianne & Roger Staubach, Dallas, TX
Chuck Howley, Dallas, TX
Bill & Charlene Yde, Woodstock, GA
Ann Lloyd, Belton, TX
Boy Scouts of America (Ponce Duran & The Southern Region)
Richard & Amy Lillie
Northern Florida Recruiting and Consulting Services, Inc.
Blaine & Annabelle Nye, Menlo Park, CA
We, the members of IWMBC, thank you so much for your support.
AND, for your continuing support, we thank you Mr. Jethro Pugh, III (Trey)
Defensive Tackle- No. 75
Height 6ft 6in. Weight 260lbs.
Dallas Cowboys (1965-1978)
Two All-CIAA (1963-1964)
Second-team All-Pro selection (1968)
Two Super Bowl Champion (1972/1978)
Games - 183
Fumbles Recovered - 14
Safeties - 2
Interceptions - 1
Quartberback Sacks - 95.5
CIAA Hall of Fame
North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame
ECSU Sports Hall of Fame
Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame
National Black College Alumni Hall
Although Jethro was not an educator, he was always one who encouraged others to aspire to higher education. He not only talked about it, but he provided a way for others to acheive that goal.
For well over 20 years, he has helped the youth of Indian Woods Missionary Baptist Church finance their education through a generous endowment we lovingly call "The Jethro Pugh Scholarship Fund". For any member of the church who attends a four-year university to receive a degree, the financial assistance is there.
We are still being blessed by his generosity and will forever remember the man who always came "HOME", saw a need, and filled it.