Dave Butz, Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Defensive Lineman, Dead at 72

Dave Butz, a longtime NFL defensive lineman who spent the majority of his career with Washington, died on Friday, the Washington Commanders announced. He was 72 years old. According to the Associated Press, Butz's family informed the Commanders about his death on Friday. However, the cause of death has not been confirmed. 

Butz began his NFL career in 1973 when he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the draft. He spent two seasons with the Cardinals before joining Washington in 1975. In his 14 seasons in Washington, Butz was named to the All-Pro Team twice, selected to the Pro Bowl in 1983 and led the team to two Super Bowl wins. His best season was in 1983 when he recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks. Butz's performance that season led to him finishing in third place for Defensive Player of the Year voting. In his career, Butz played in 216 games and notched 35.5 sacks and two interceptions. 

"We're heartbroken over the loss of Washington Legend Dave Butz, a 2x Super Bowl champion and member of our Ring of Fame and 90 Greatest list," the Commanders said in a statement. "Sending our deepest condolences to Dave's family and friends." Butz retired from the NFL in 1989 and was the oldest starting player in the league at the time. along with him being a member of the team's Ring of Fame and ranked among the 90 best players in team history, Butz is a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. 

Butz played college football at Purdue University from 1970-1972 and was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014. During that time, Butz tallied 108 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and eight pass breakups. He was named Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Senior Bowl and played in the East-West Shrine Game. Butz was chosen to Purdue's All-Time team in 1987 and inducted into the school's athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.  


Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann paid tribute to Butz on social media. Lost a dear friend today. Dave Butz," Theismann wrote on Twitter. "Dave Mark Mosley and I used to ride to games together. A true gentle giant. Rest In Peace my friend."