Dave Butz, 2-Time Super Bowl Champ & Washington Legend, Dead at 72

by Samantha Whidden
 (Photo by Arnie Sachs/CNP/Getty Images)

On Friday (November 4th), the Washington Commanders took to Twitter to announce that NFL defensive legend David Butz has passed away at the age of 72.  “We’re heartbroken over the loss of Washington Legend Dave Butz,” the Washington Commanders announced. “A 2x Super Bowl champion and member of our Ring of Fame and 90 Greatest list. Sending our deepest condolences to Dave’s family and friends.”

Along with the Commanders, former NFL star Joe Theismann also spoke out about Dave Butz’s passing. “Lost a dear friend today. Dave Butz. Dave Mark Mosley and I used to ride to games together. A true gentle giant. Rest In Peace my friend.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. then shared on Twitter his condolences for Dave Butz with a picture of their interaction years ago. “Was an honor to meet him. Rest in peace to a legend.”

During his time in the NFL, Dave Butz played for the St. Louis Cardinals before making his way to the Washington Commanders (formerly Redskins) in a 16-year career from 1973 to 1988. Butz appeared in 216 NFL games, 191 as a starter Along with winning Super Bowl XVII and XXIII, Dave Butz also participated in the Pro Bowl in 1983, was NFL 1980’s All-Decade Team, as well as First-team and Second-team All-Pro in 1983 and 1984. 

Prior to his NFL career, Butz played for Purdue University where he was a 1972 finalist for the Lombardi Award. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014. 

The cause of death has not been revealed at this time.

Longtime Washington Coach Joe Gibbs Talked About Dave Butz’s Dedication During the Defensive Player’s Retirement Statement

NBC Sports revealed that during his statement on Dave Butz’s retirement from the NFL, longtime Washington coach Joe Gibb spoke about Butz’s dedication to the sport. 

“When I think of Dave, I think of all the great plays he’s made for us over the years,” longtime Washington coach Joe Gibbs said upon Butz’s retirement. “I think of him coming out of the hospital two years ago to play against the New York Jets. He made one of the biggest plays in the game, and then he checked back into the hospital afterward.”

NBC Sports also reported that Dave Butz is remembered by millions of football fans as being the huge man with a scuffed helmet. His helmet was notably scratched and pockmarked due to his charges at opposing quarterbacks during games. Butz was 6-foot-7, 291-pound when he entered the NFL, making him the heaviest player in the league. Famed sportswriter Jim Murray also further spoke about Butz’s talent that never went unnoticed. “It’s either Butz or the Washington Monument, the two most prominent edifices in the nation’s capital.”