Lee Roy Caffey

Lee Roy Caffey (June 3, 1941 – January 18, 1994) was an American football outside linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.[1] He played college football at Texas A&M University.

Lee Roy Caffey
No. 34, 60, 50
Personal information
Born:June 3, 1941
Thorndale, Texas
Died:January 18, 1994 (aged 52)
Houston, Texas
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Thorndale (TX)
College:Texas A&M
NFL Draft:1963 / Round: 7 / Pick: 88
AFL draft:1963 / Round: 4 / Pick: 25
(Houston Oilers)
Career history
Career highlights and awards

4 World Championship/Super Bowl Rings

Career NFL statistics
Games played:129
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Born and raised in Texas, Caffey started his football career in Thorndale at the age of ten when he played on a pee wee league that played a team from Oklahoma in the 'Milk Bowl Championship' and shook hands with American legend, Pro Football Hall of Fame member and Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe.

At Thorndale High School, Caffey won the state title in the high jump and was all-state in basketball as a senior in 1959. He broke his collarbone in football his senior year and was out most of the season and was recruited to play college football at Texas A&M based on his basketball skills.

College career

Caffey played college football at Texas A&M University where he played both sides of the ball and led the Aggies in rushing as a fullback in his junior season of 1961. Defensively, the Aggies had 11 games where they allowed just 7 points or less and in 3 years gave up an average of 12 points.

Following his senior season in 1962, Caffey played in the 1963 Challenge Bowl and on the College All-Star team,[2] which beat the two-time defending champion Green Bay Packers 20−17 in early August,[3][4][5] prompting head coach and general manager Vince Lombardi to trade for him the next season.[6][7]

Caffey was a three-year letterman and a member of the Texas A&M Hall of Fame, and a member of the Texas A&M All-Decade Team of the 1960s. He was the first Texas A&M Aggie to play in a Super Bowl and is considered one of Texas A&M's top 10 best players in the NFL.

Professional career

Philadelphia Eagles

Caffey was selected in the seventh round (88th overall) of the 1963 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was also an AFL fourth round draft choice (25th overall) of the Houston Oilers. He started as a rookie in 1963,[6] was named to the NFL All Rookie team and returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants.[8]

Green Bay Packers

On May 5, 1964, Caffey was acquired by the Green Bay Packers in the famous 'Jim Ringo' trade.[6][7][9] He started in 11 games his first year with Green Bay, during his six years with the team he would start in 80 of a possible 84 regular season games, and would become an All-Pro Player.[7] At 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) with 10.0 speed in the 100 yards (91 m), he was one of the fastest linebackers in the league, and was versatile enough to play both the outside or middle position.[10] Caffey intercepted nine passes, returning two for touchdowns, most notably one for 52 yards against Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts in the 1966 season opener at Milwaukee.[11][12]

He played on the unprecedented three consecutive championship teams at Green Bay, which include the 1965 NFL championship, Super Bowl I (led the team with 7 tackles), and Super Bowl II. Caffey played in the legendary Ice Bowl in 1967 and is credited with making 3 tackles for a loss, forcing a fumble, and accounted for the Packers' only sack by dumping Don Meredith for a 9-yard loss; then spilling running backs Dan Reeves and Craig Baynham for 4- and 3-yard losses. Caffey was named AP and UPI All-Pro in 1966. Caffey made his only Pro Bowl appearance following the 1965 season.[13]

Chicago Bears

In January 1970, after Lombardi's departure from the team, Caffey, Elijah Pitts, and Bob Hyland were traded to the Chicago Bears for the second overall pick in the 1970 NFL draft (#2-Mike McCoy).[14][15]. Caffey would start all 14 games for the Bears in the 1970 season.

Dallas Cowboys

On September 21, 1971, Caffey was acquired by the Dallas Cowboys in a trade in exchange for a seventh round draft choice (#182-Jim Osborne).[16]. He was a reserve linebacker and insurance policy, for the franchise's first championship team (Super Bowl VI) under Tom Landry, where Caffey received his third career Super Bowl ring and fourth NFL championship ring.

San Diego Chargers

On September 14, 1972, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers. He had 9 starts before announcing his retirement.[17]


Caffey is considered one of the most underrated linebackers in the NFL. He is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and was selected to the 75th Anniversary All Time Packer Team, the Texas High School All Super Bowl Team, and was nominated for ESPN's All Time Super Bowl Team. In 2006, the Green Bay Packers' linebacking corps of Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, and Lee Roy Caffey was named one of the NFL's Top 10 Greatest Linebacking Trios in the history of the NFL.

Personal life

In early 1994 at age 52, Caffey lost a lengthy battle[18] with colon cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston.[1][19][20] He is buried in Milam County at Salty Cemetery, southeast of Thorndale. He was survived by his wife of 33 years, Dana, two daughters, and a son.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Cancer claims Caffey". Milwaukee Sentinel. AP and staff reports. January 19, 1994. p. 1B.
  2. ^ "College team named for Packer game". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. June 2, 1963. p. 29.
  3. ^ Lea, Bud (August 3, 1963). "All-Stars upset Packers". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
  4. ^ Johnson, Chuck (August 3, 1963). "Vandy's slingshot is in fine fettle; All-Stars lambaste Packers, 20-17". Milwaukee Journal. p. 11.
  5. ^ Barry, Howard (August 3, 1963). "'We killed dragon,' All-Stars chant". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  6. ^ a b c Lea, Bud (May 6, 1964). "Gros, Ringo traded to Eagles". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
  7. ^ a b c "Ringo, Gros sent to Eagles, Packers get a line backer". Milwaukee Journal. May 6, 1964. p. 24, part 2.
  8. ^ "Giants win, 42-14". Chicago Tribune. UPI. November 11, 1963. p. 2, section 3.
  9. ^ "Packers pull trade, create new problem". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. May 6, 1964. p. 58.
  10. ^ Lea, Bud (September 13, 1966). "Packers' Caffey can run like a back". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  11. ^ "Caffey turns his back on backfield". Sarasota Journal. Florida. Associated Press. September 14, 1966. p. 18.
  12. ^ "Ex-Aggie winner of AP grid honor". Victoria Advocate. Texas. September 14, 1966. p. 13.
  13. ^ "1965 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  14. ^ Lea, Bud (January 22, 1970). "Packers get Bears' no. 1 pick". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  15. ^ Pierson, Don (January 22, 1970). "Bears deal 2 - Mayes, No. 1 draft pick". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, part 3.
  16. ^ "Caffey, Thomas join Cowboys". Milwaukee Sentinel. Wire services. September 22, 1971. p. 2, part 2.
  17. ^ "Chargers claim ex-Packer Caffey". Milwaukee Sentinel. September 15, 1972. p. 1, part 2.
  18. ^ Lea, Bud (June 22, 1991). "Caffey is here to return favor". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1B.
  19. ^ "Cancer claims Lee Roy Caffey". Ludington Daily News. Michigan. Associated Press. January 19, 1994. p. 9.
  20. ^ "Ex-Cowboy Caffey dies". Victoria Advocate. Texas. Associated Press. January 20, 1994. p. 4B.

External links

1963 Green Bay Packers season

The 1963 Green Bay Packers season was their 45th season overall and their 43rd season in the National Football League. The two-time defending NFL champions posted an 11–2–1 record under fifth-year head coach Vince Lombardi for a second-place finish in the Western Conference, a half game back.

Both losses were inflicted by the Chicago Bears (11–1–2), the NFL champions in 1963, as the indefinite suspension of halfback Paul Hornung was too much for Green Bay to overcome. The Packers had won the previous five regular season games with rival Chicago, but scored just ten points total in the two games in 1963, and needed only a tie in one of them to advance to the championship game. (The tie at Detroit on Thanksgiving did not impact the Packers' title chances; ties were omitted from the winning percentage calculation until 1972.) Chicago's only loss was at last place San Francisco in October and they tied Pittsburgh and Minnesota in consecutive weeks after their second defeat of the Packers.

Quarterback Bart Starr suffered a hairline fracture in his passing hand at St. Louis on October 20. Up 23–0 in the third quarter, Starr couldn't find an open receiver on third down and took off on a run that gained 15 yards, tackled with a late hit out of bounds by Cardinal cornerback Jimmy "Iron Claw" Hill, who was ejected. Second-string quarterback John Roach filled in for the rest of the game, a 30–7 win in 85 °F (30 °C) heat, and the next four starts. Zeke Bratkowski was acquired in late October, waived by the Rams, and saw some action, too. Starr returned a month later, in week eleven on November 24 against San Francisco in Milwaukee, a week after the second loss to Chicago.Following their regular season finale, a 21–17 win at San Francisco on Saturday, Green Bay needed Detroit to defeat the Bears at Wrigley Field on Sunday. The game's progress was updated to the Packers during their flight home; Chicago's 24–14 win ended Green Bay's bid for an unprecedented third consecutive championship game win, which came four years later in 1967.

In the third place Playoff Bowl in Miami three weeks later on January 5, the Packers overwhelmed the Cleveland Browns, 40–23. Green Bay led 28–10 at halftime and extended it to 38–10 in the fourth quarter.This was the eleventh and final season for hall of fame center Jim Ringo as a Packer. In May 1964, he and reserve fullback Earl Gros were traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for linebacker Lee Roy Caffey and a first round draft choice. Ringo played four years with the Eagles and then went into coaching; the draft pick was used to select halfback Donny Anderson as a "future" pick in the 1965 NFL Draft.

Hall of fame halfback Hornung did not play this season, suspended in April by commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on NFL games and associating with undesirable persons.

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.

Bob Forte

Robert Dominic "Bob" Forte (July 15, 1922 – March 12, 1996) was an American football halfback/defensive back/linebacker in the National Football League. He played for the Green Bay Packers (1946–1950, 1952–1953).

Bob Monnett

Robert C. Monnett (February 27, 1910 – August 2, 1978) was a professional American football player who played halfback for six seasons for the Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1973.


The surname Caffey may refer to:

Charlotte Caffey (born 1953), American musician

Francis Gordon Caffey (1868–1951), American federal judge

Jason Caffey (born 1973), American basketball player

Lee Roy Caffey (1941–1994), American football player

Charley Brock

Charles Jacob "Charley" Brock (March 15, 1916 – May 25, 1987) was an American football center and linebacker.

Earl Gros

Earl Roy Gros (August 29, 1940 – July 15, 2013) was an American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons . Born and raised in Louisiana, he played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge.

Gros was selected in the first round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and in the second round of the AFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. Gros opted for the NFL, where he backed up fellow LSU Tiger Jim Taylor at fullback and the Packers repeated as NFL champions in his rookie season in 1962. He played two seasons in Green Bay, then was traded with hall of fame center Jim Ringo to the Philadelphia Eagles for linebacker Lee Roy Caffey (and a first round draft choice) in May 1964. The draft choice was used to select halfback Donny Anderson as a "future pick" in the 1965 NFL Draft.

Gros played three seasons with the Eagles (1964–1966), three with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1967–1969), and one game in 1970 with the New Orleans Saints.

He finished his career with 821 rushes for 3,157 yards (3.8 yards per carry) and 28 touchdowns; he also had 142 receptions for 1,255 yards (8.8 yards per reception) and ten touchdowns.

Gros died at age 72 in Louisiana.

Elijah Pitts

Elijah Eugene Pitts (February 3, 1938 – July 10, 1998) was an American football player, a halfback in the National Football League for eleven seasons, ten with the Green Bay Packers. Late in his career, he briefly played for the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints. Pitts was an assistant coach in the league for over two decades, most notably as the assistant head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

Gerry Ellis

Gerry Ellis (born November 12, 1957

in Columbia, Missouri) is a former professional American football player who played running back for seven seasons for the Green Bay Packers.

Hank Bruder

Henry George "Hank" Bruder Jr. (November 22, 1907 – June 29, 1970) was an American football player in the National Football League. He played nine years with the Green Bay Packers from 1931 to 1939 and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1972. Bruder attended Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.He was part of the offensive line that blocked for Pro Football Hall of Fame back Johnny "Blood" McNally.

Hank Gremminger

Charles Henry "Hank" Gremminger (September 1, 1933 – November 2, 2001) was an American football player, a defensive back in the National Football League for eleven seasons. He played ten seasons for the Green Bay Packers (1956–1965) and one for the Los Angeles Rams in 1966.

Jesse Whittenton

Urshell James "Jesse" Whittenton (May 9, 1934 – May 21, 2012) was an American football player who played nine seasons in the NFL, mainly for the Green Bay Packers.

Whittenton also played on the Senior PGA Tour in the late 1980s. His best finish was T-21 at the 1989 Showdown Classic.

Jim Ringo

James Stephen Ringo (November 21, 1931 – November 19, 2007) was a professional American football player, a Hall of Fame center and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He was a ten-time Pro Bowler during his fifteen-year playing career.

John Martinkovic

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Johnnie Gray

Johnnie Lee Gray (born December 18, 1953) is an American retired professional football player. Gray was a safety in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers.

Mike Douglass (American football)

Michael Reese Douglass (born March 15, 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former American football player. He played outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers (1978–1985) and the San Diego Chargers (1986) in the National Football League. He ranks third in the lists of tackles made by a Packers player.

Nate Barragar

Nathan Robert Barragar (June 3, 1907 – August 10, 1985) was an American collegiate and professional football player.

Pete Tinsley

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Whitey Woodin

Howard Lee "Whitey" Woodin (January 29, 1894 – February 7, 1974) was an American football player. He played with the Racine Legion and the Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1973. After retiring from football, Woodin remained in Green Bay and worked for many years at Falls Power and Paper Company.

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