Former Dallas Cowboy Don Smerek Dead At 66



Don Smerek, a former defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, has reportedly died at the age of 66. He had reportedly been battling cancer for some time now. At 6-foot-7, 255 pounder, Smerek was a tremendous force of nature on the field.

He played for the Cowboys for 7 season, from 1980 to 1987. Playing in 69 games for Dallas, he registered 14.5 sacks in his career. Cowboys legend Randy White said the following about Smerek,

“He was a great teammate, a great person. He was just solid as a football player and I can always count on him. He would come in on third downs and rush the passer and the thing about Don as a football player, he was 100 percent”

Cowboys Legend Randy White

Though Smerek played for Dallas during their Super Bowl drought, he was still obviously beloved by fans, and most importantly, his teammates who clearly had tremendous respect for the man.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports on Smerek’s death,

Don Smerek, a standout football player at Basic High who went on to a productive career with the Dallas Cowboys, died March 16 from cancer. He was 66.

Smerek was born in Waterford, Michigan, before his family moved to Henderson when he was young. He was an all-state lineman at Basic and played at UNR in the late 1970s for coach Chris Ault, earning All-Big Sky honors as a senior.

Smerek signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1980 and spent his entire career with the team. The 6-foot-7-inch defensive lineman was known as a pass-rushing specialist with a larger-than-life personality.

After Smerek missed his rookie season because of fractured ribs suffered in training camp, he went on injured reserve with a knee injury early in the 1981 season. Four weeks later, Smerek was shot in the chest in the parking lot of a Dallas restaurant. The shooting was related to a traffic-related argument, according to an Associated Press story.


Rest in peace, legend!

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  1. Pingback: NFL Star Vontae David Dead At 35 - Slingshot News

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