Chuck Howley

Charles Louis Howley (born June 28, 1936) is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons, primarily with the Dallas Cowboys. Howley was a member of the Chicago Bears in his first two seasons and spent the remainder of his career with the Cowboys. He was named the MVP of Super Bowl V, and as of 2019 is the only player on a losing team to receive the award. He was also the first non-quarterback to receive the award.

Chuck Howley
refer to caption
Signed photo of Howley with the Cowboys
No. 54
Personal information
Born:June 28, 1936 (age 82)
Wheeling, West Virginia
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:228 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Warwood High School
(Wheeling, West Virginia)
College:West Virginia
NFL Draft:1958 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interception yards:399
Fumbles recovered:18
Games played:180
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia, Howley attended Warwood High School and graduated in 1954. He lettered in football, High school basketball, and baseball. In football, he was first team all-state and all-OVAC as a senior. As a teenager he competed in gymnastics.

He played college football at West Virginia University in Morgantown, where he was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection and the conference player of the year in 1957.[1] At WVU Howley joined the Mu Mu chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Howley played guard and center during his three years at varsity, in which the Mountaineers compiled a 21–8–1 record, including a 21–7 victory over Penn State, West Virginia's last until 1984. He played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, which helped him get noticed by the Chicago Bears.[2] He also was in the College All-Star Game in August 1958, a 35–19 win over the defending champion Detroit Lions.[3]

He is the only athlete in school history to letter in five sports: football, track, wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming. He won the Southern Conference one-meter diving championship.

Howley was inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the West Virginia University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni.[4]

Professional career

Chicago Bears (1958-1959)

Howley was selected seventh overall in the 1958 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, playing for two seasons before retiring after what appeared to be a career-ending knee injury he sustained in August 1959, at training camp in Rensselaer, Indiana.[5] He played just three games late in that season and was inactive in 1960.[6]

When he decided to make a comeback in 1961 following a West Virginia alumni game, the Bears traded his rights to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for second (#20-Steve Barnett) and ninth (#118-Monte Day) round draft choices in the 1963 NFL draft.[6][7]

Dallas Cowboys (1960-1973)

Tom Landry, the head coach of the second-year Cowboys, made the gamble to acquire him, looking to perfect his 'Doomsday Defense'. The transaction paid off and Howley remained a phenomenal athlete, even after the knee injury. Perhaps his most noteworthy physical attribute was his speed. Landry once said that Howley might have made it in the NFL as a running back if he hadn't been too valuable to move from linebacker.

Although he started in 1961 and 1962 as a strongside linebacker, in 1963 he embraced the switch to weakside linebacker, when it was decided that Dave Edwards had more upper-body strength. The move paid off as, at the conclusion of that season, Howley was named to The Sporting News All-East NFL team for the first time. Howley holds the record for the second most interceptions by a linebacker in a season with six, which he accomplished in 1968.[8]

Howley played with the Cowboys for 165 games over thirteen seasons, in two NFL championship games and two Super Bowls. The Cowboys finished in the top seven in the NFL in scoring defense and yards allowed in 10 of Howley’s 13 seasons with the team.[9] He was also named most valuable player of Super Bowl V, intercepting two passes and forcing a fumble in the Cowboys' 16-13 loss to the Colts, making him the first defensive player and non-quarterback to receive the honor. To date, he is also the only player from the losing team to win the award.

The following season, Dallas made it back to Super Bowl VI, and again Howley had a great performance, recording a fumble recovery and a 41-yard interception in the Cowboys 24-3 win over the Miami Dolphins. His performance was under MVP-consideration, but quarterback Roger Staubach won the honor.[10]

During his career, Howley's athletic ability made him one of the greatest coverage linebackers of all time, intercepting 25 passes, returning them for 399 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with more than 100 yards in interception returns for both the 1968 and 1971 seasons. He also recovered 18 fumbles, returning them for 191 yards and one touchdown. He is second in Cowboys' history with his 17 fumbles recovered. His 97-yard return of a fumble during a game against the Atlanta Falcons on October 2, 1966 is still the second longest in Cowboys history. He also had a large number of tackles and quarterback sacks, but these statistics were not compiled until after Howley's career ended so his unofficial sack total is 26.5 according to the Dallas Cowboys with a career-high of 5½ sacks in 1965. Howley was named first-team All-Pro five times in his career, was a six-time Pro Bowler and was named to the All-Eastern Conference team in 1963.[11]

Howley suffered a left knee injury from a crackback block by Charley Taylor in the win over rival Redskins late in the 1972 regular season.[12] He missed the playoffs and retired in June.[13][14] In 1973, he made a brief return to the team and appeared in one game, before retiring for good.[15] His thirteen seasons for the Cowboys ties him for the second longest tenure in franchise history. In 1977, Howley was inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium, the fourth player to receive that honor. He also was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.[16] In 2007, he was among the 17 finalists to be seniors candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Personal life

Following retirement, Howley ran a uniform rental business in Dallas and is now involved in a foundation dedicated to breeding quarterhorses at Happy Hollow—located in Wills Point, Texas. His broodmare herd consistes of more than 50 mares. He lives in Dallas. Howley is one of two living Super Bowl MVPs who did not attend the pregame ceremony at Super Bowl 50, the other was Bart Starr.


  1. ^ "West Virginia's Howley All-Southern '11' captain". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. November 30, 1957. p. 4, part 2.
  2. ^ "Midwest Dominates North Team". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  3. ^ Johnson, Chuck (August 16, 1958). "Grid All-Stars slay inept Detroit Lions". Milwaukee Journal. p. 12.
  4. ^ "Ohio Valley Athletic Conference hall Of Fame". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  5. ^ "Bears lose linebacker". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. August 12, 1959. p. 3, part 2.
  6. ^ a b "Cowboys sign Howley, ex-Bear". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. June 14, 1961. p. 2, part 2.
  7. ^ Mayer, Larry (April 25, 2013). "These Bears draft picks gained fame in other areas". Chicago Bears. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "Mind-blowing stats for Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season". National Football League. October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Dallas Dumps Dolphins". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  11. ^ "Chuck Howley Retires From Pro Football". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "Illegal blocking claim irks Dallas' Alworth". Victoria Advocate. Texas. December 13, 1972. p. 2B.
  13. ^ "Dallas playoff-bound without Howley". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. December 11, 1972. p. 4C.
  14. ^ "Injured Howley mum concerning retirement". Victoria Advocate. Texas. Associated Press. December 12, 1972. p. 1B.
  15. ^ "Dallas' Howley ends retirement". Wilmington Morning Star. North Carolina. UPI. September 19, 1973. p. 3C.
  16. ^ Texas Sports Hall of Fame website

External links

1961 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1961 Dallas Cowboys season was their second in the National Football League. The team finished with 4 wins, 9 losses, and 1 tie, placing them 6th in the Eastern Conference.

1963 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press National Football League's All-Pro Team in 1963.

Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1966 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and New York Daily News selected All-Pro players following the 1966 NFL season.

1967 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1967. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.

1968 All-Pro Team

This is a list of players named as All-Pros based on their performance in the 1968 AFL and NFL season. These lists provide a perspective into how players were judged against their peers by critics of their time. Players representing both the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) are included.

1970 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1970. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the NEA, and PFWA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that are included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the consensus All-Pro team for 1970.

1970 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1970 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's 11th in the National Football League.

The Cowboys scored 299 points and allowed 221 points. For the fifth consecutive season, the Cowboys finished first in their division. In 1970, the club made its debut on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 38–0. The Cowboys made it to their first Super Bowl and lost to the Baltimore Colts.

1971 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1971. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the NEA, and PFWA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that are included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1971.

Dave Edwards (linebacker)

David Monroe Edwards (December 14, 1939 – December 6, 2016) was an American football linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He played college football at Auburn University.

Don Healy

Michael Donald Healy (born August 28, 1936 in Rome, New York) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys. He also was a member of the Buffalo Bills in the American Football League. He played college football at the University of Maryland.

Doomsday Defense

The Doomsday Defense was the defense of the Dallas Cowboys American football team during the dynasty years of the late 1960s - 1970s. This defense was the backbone of the Cowboys' dynasty, which won two Super Bowls (VI, XII) and played in three more (V, X and XIII).

The Doomsday Defense is often recognized as having two different "generations," but different listings of players and time periods exist. The original "Doomsday Defense" can generally be identified as the Cowboys' defenses from 1966 to 1974. "Doomsday II" had its heyday from approximately 1975 to 1982. Many Cowboy fans recognize the defense from 1992 to 1996 as "Doomsday III", though to a lesser extent. This defense was in part, responsible for the Cowboys being the first team to ever win three Super Bowls in a four-year span.

The first defensive player to be named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Super Bowl was linebacker Chuck Howley (V). Later linemen Harvey Martin and Randy White became the first (and only) teammates (co-MVPs) to win the award (XII).

Harold Hays

Leo Harold Hays (born September 24, 1939) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at Southern Mississippi University.


The surname Howley may refer to:

Chuck Howley, former American football player

Daniel Philip "Dapper Dan" Howley (1885-1944), American baseball player

Frank L. Howley (1903-1993), American general and former commandant, U.S. sector of Berlin

James Patrick Howley (1847-1918), Canadian naturalist

Joe Howley, Sinn Féin captain

Kerry Howley, American magazine editor

Kevin Howley, English football referee

Michael Francis Howley (1843-1914), Roman Catholic priest and Archbishop of St. John's, Newfoundland

Orlando Martinez Howley (1944-1975), Dominican Republic journalist

Paul Howley, founder and owner of That's Entertainment comics and collectible

Rob Howley, Welsh rugby player

William Howley (1766-1848), Archbishop of CanterburySee also Richard Howly, American planter and lawyer

List of West Virginia Mountaineers in the NFL Draft

The West Virginia Mountaineers football team, representing West Virginia University (WVU), has had 179 players selected in the National Football League (NFL) since the league began holding drafts in 1936. This includes nine players selected in the first round. The Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions have drafted the most Mountaineers overall, 16 and 15, respectively. The Baltimore Ravens are the only current franchise to not have drafted a player from WVU. Fifteen Mountaineer draft choices have been selected to a Pro Bowl and eleven have won a league championship.

Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL Draft. The draft rules were last updated in 2009. The team with the worst record from the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule. Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).

Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award

The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, or Super Bowl MVP, is presented annually to the most valuable player of the Super Bowl, the National Football League's (NFL) championship game. The winner is chosen by a panel of 16 football writers and broadcasters and, since Super Bowl XXXV in 2001, fans voting electronically. The media panel's ballots count for 80 percent of the vote tally, while the viewers' ballots make up the other 20 percent. The game's viewing audience can vote on the Internet or by using cellular phones; Media voters are asked to vote with about five minutes remaining in the game, but are allowed to change their mind when the game ends. They can nominate one player from each team, with instructions to count their vote for the player on the winning team. Voters cannot select an entire unit.The Super Bowl MVP has been awarded annually since the game's inception in 1967. Through 1989, the award was presented by SPORT magazine. Bart Starr was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. Since 1990, the award has been presented by the NFL. At Super Bowl XXV, the league first awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy, named after former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, to the Super Bowl MVP. Ottis Anderson was the first to win the trophy. The most recent Super Bowl MVP, from Super Bowl LIII held on February 3, 2019, is New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who had 10 receptions for 141 yards.Tom Brady is the only player to have won four Super Bowl MVP awards; Joe Montana has won three and three others—Starr, Terry Bradshaw, and Eli Manning—have won the award twice. Starr and Bradshaw are the only ones to have won it in back-to-back years. The MVP has come from the winning team every year except 1971, when Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley won the award despite the Cowboys' loss in Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts. Harvey Martin and Randy White were named co-MVPs of Super Bowl XII, the only time co-MVPs have been chosen. Including the Super Bowl XII co-MVPs, seven Cowboys players have won Super Bowl MVP awards, the most of any NFL team. Quarterbacks have earned the honor 29 times in 53 games.

Super Bowl V

Super Bowl V, the fifth edition of the Super Bowl and first modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game, was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Colts and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the NFL champion for the 1970 season. The Colts defeated the Cowboys by the score of 16–13 on a field goal as time expired. The game was played on January 17, 1971, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the first Super Bowl game played on artificial turf, on first-generation Poly-Turf.

This was the first Super Bowl played after the completion of the AFL–NFL merger. Beginning with this game and continuing to the present day, the Super Bowl has served as the NFL's league championship game, with the winner of the AFC Championship Game and the winner of the NFC Championship Game facing off in the culmination of the NFL playoffs. As per the merger agreement, all 26 AFL and NFL teams were divided into two conferences with 13 teams in each. Along with the Colts, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to join the ten AFL teams to form the AFC; the remaining 13 NFL teams formed the NFC. This explains why the Colts represented the NFL in Super Bowl III, but the AFC for Super Bowl V. Baltimore advanced to Super Bowl V after posting an 11–2–1 regular season record. Meanwhile, the Cowboys were making their first Super Bowl appearance after posting a 10–4 regular season record.

The game is sometimes called the "Blunder Bowl", "Blooper Bowl" or "Stupor Bowl" because it was filled with poor play, a missed PAT, penalties, turnovers, and officiating miscues. The two teams combined for a Super Bowl record 11 turnovers, with five in the fourth quarter. The Colts' seven turnovers remain the most committed by a Super Bowl champion. Dallas also set a Super Bowl record with 10 penalties, costing them 133 yards. It was finally settled when Colts rookie kicker Jim O'Brien made a 32-yard field goal with five seconds left in regulation time. In order to win the game, Baltimore had to overcome a 13–6 deficit after three quarters, and losing their starting quarterback Johnny Unitas in the second quarter. It is the only Super Bowl in which the Most Valuable Player Award was given to a member of the losing team: Cowboys' linebacker Chuck Howley, the first non-quarterback to win the award, after making two interceptions (sacks and tackles were not yet recorded).

Super Bowl VI

Super Bowl VI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1971 season. The Cowboys defeated the Dolphins by the score of 24–3, to win their first Super Bowl. The game was played on January 16, 1972, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, the second time the Super Bowl was played in that city. Despite the southerly location, it was unseasonably cold at the time, with the kickoff air temperature of 39 °F (4 °C) making this the coldest Super Bowl ever played.Dallas, in its second Super Bowl appearance, entered the game with a reputation of not being able to win big playoff games such as Super Bowl V and the 1966 and 1967 NFL Championship Games prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger. They posted an 11–3 record during the 1971 regular season before defeating the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs. The Dolphins were making their first Super Bowl appearance after building a 10–3–1 regular season record, including eight consecutive wins, and posting postseason victories over the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Colts.

The Cowboys dominated Super Bowl VI, setting Super Bowl records for the most rushing yards (252), the most first downs (23), and the fewest points allowed (3). For the next 47 years, they would be the only team ever to prevent their opponent from scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl, a feat matched by the 2018 New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. The game was close in the first half, with the Cowboys only leading 10–3 at halftime. But Dallas opened the third quarter with a 71-yard, 8-play touchdown drive, and then Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley's 41-yard interception return in the fourth quarter set up another score. Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, who completed 12 out of 18 passes for 119 yards, threw 2 touchdown passes, and rushed 5 times for 18 yards, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.

This was the last Super Bowl to be blacked out in the TV market in which the game was played. Under the NFL's unconditional blackout rules at the time, the Super Bowl could not be broadcast locally even if the local team did not advance to the Super Bowl, and it was a sellout. The following year, the league changed their rules to allow games to be broadcast in the local market if sold out 72 hours in advance. It was the last Super Bowl played with the hashmarks (also called the inbound lines) set at 40 feet apart (20 yards from the sidelines, and the last NFL game overall); the next season, they were brought in to 18​1⁄2 feet, the width of the goalposts, where they remain.

Super Bowl VII

Super Bowl VII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1972 season. The Dolphins defeated the Redskins by the score of 14–7, and became the first and still the only team in NFL history to complete a perfect undefeated season. They also remain the only Super Bowl team to be shut out in the second half and still win. The game was played on January 14, 1973, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, the second time the Super Bowl was played in that city. At kickoff the temperature was 84 °F (29 °C), making the game the warmest Super Bowl.This was the Dolphins' second Super Bowl appearance after losing Super Bowl VI. They posted an undefeated 14–0 regular season record before defeating the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. The Redskins were making their first Super Bowl appearance after posting an 11–3 regular season record and playoff victories over the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Despite being undefeated, the Dolphins were actually one point underdogs, largely based on the weakness of their regular season schedule.Super Bowl VII was largely dominated by the Dolphins, and is the second lowest-scoring Super Bowl to date with a total of only 21 points (3 touchdown and 3 extra points), behind the 13–3 score in Super Bowl LIII. The only drama was during the final minutes of the game, in what was later known as "Garo's Gaffe". Miami attempted to cap off their 17–0 perfect season with a 17–0 perfect score shutout with a 42-yard field goal by Garo Yepremian, but instead the game and the season was jeopardized when his kick was blocked. Instead of falling on the loose ball, the Dolphins kicker picked it up, attempted a forward pass, but batted it in the air, and Redskins' cornerback Mike Bass (who was Garo's former teammate on the Detroit Lions years earlier) caught it and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. This remains the longest period in a Super Bowl for one team to be shut out, as Washington was held scoreless until 2:07 remained in the fourth quarter. Because of Garo's Gaffe, what was a Miami-dominated game became close, and the Dolphins ended up having to stop Washington's final drive for the tying touchdown as time expired.

Dolphins safety Jake Scott was named Most Valuable Player. He recorded two interceptions for 63 return yards, including a 55-yard return from the end zone during the 4th quarter. Scott became the second defensive player in Super Bowl history (after linebacker Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V) to earn a Super Bowl MVP award.

West Virginia Mountaineers football

The West Virginia Mountaineers football team represents West Virginia University (also referred to as "WVU" or "West Virginia") in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of college football. West Virginia plays its home games on Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers compete in the Big 12 Conference.

With a 752–495–45 record as of the conclusion of the 2018 season, WVU ranks 14th in victories among NCAA FBS programs, and has the most victories among those programs that never claimed nor won a national championship. West Virginia was originally classified as a College Division school in the 1937 season, and joined the University Division, forerunner of Division I, in 1939. It has been a member of Division I FBS since 1978 (known as Division I-A until 2006). The Mountaineers have registered 82 winning seasons in their history, including one unbeaten season (10–0–1) in 1922 and nine seasons with at least ten wins (1922, 1969, 1988, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2016). The Mountaineers have won or shared a total of 15 conference championships, including eight Southern Conference titles and seven Big East Conference titles.

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