American Football Database
Billy Joe DuPree
No. 89     
Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1950-03-07) March 7, 1950 (age 72)
Place of birth: Monroe, Louisiana
Career information
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Dallas Cowboys (19731983)
Career highlights and awards
* 2× Second-team All-Big Ten (1971, 1972)
Games played     159
Receptions     267
Receiving yards     3,565
Touchdowns     41
Stats at

Billy Joe DuPree (born March 7, 1950) is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Michigan State University.

Early years

DuPree was born and raised in Monroe, Louisiana.[1] He played high school football at Richardson High School in West Monroe, Louisiana, winning the school's division State Championship two of the 3 years he played while serving as a co-captain his senior year.

College career

DuPree played collegiately at Michigan State University.[1] He is recognized as the greatest tight end in Michigan State history,[2] even though he had few opportunities to prove his true worth in the Spartans run-oriented offense.

He led his team in receiving as a junior in 1971 (25 catches, 414 yards, three touchdowns) and as a senior was the team's co-captain in 1972 (23 catches for 406 yards). Nevertheless, that was enough to get him noticed for All-America honors.[2]

DuPree was the last tight end to lead Michigan State University in receiving.[2] He ended his collegiate career with 69 receptions.[3]

Professional career

DuPree was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round (20th overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he became an immediate starter, taking over for the retired Mike Ditka. He led the team in receiving yards (392) and was second in receiving touchdowns (5).

Known as a superb blocker and pass receiver, DuPree was one of the top tight ends of his era. He caught 267 passes for 3,565 yards and 42 touchdowns. He also rushed for 178 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

Dupree was selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls,(1976–1978), and assisted his team to a 27–10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII, as the top receiver of the game (four catches for 66 yards). He also played in Super Bowl X and scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XIII; in both games the Cowboys lost against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Even though tight ends during his era were expected to block more than feature their receiving skills, his 41 career touchdown receptions was the Cowboys team record until it was broken in 2012 by Jason Witten.

In the 1982 season, he helped block on Tony Dorsett's record 99-yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings. He announced his retirement on March 16, 1984.[4]

The durable DuPree never missed a game in his 11 seasons in the league and was part of the franchise's legacy of Pro Bowl tight ends that includes: Jim Doran, Dick Bielski, Lee Folkins, Mike Ditka, Doug Cosbie, Jay Novacek, and Jason Witten. He was also a Cowboys co-captain and recognized as the team’s NFL Man of the Year.

Personal life

More recently, he has become involved in many charities, including the Shriner's, as well as other inner city youth groups. He is an active participant in most NFL Alumni Children's Charity events.

He was elected into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame, the Blue–Gray Football Classic Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas State African-American Sports Hall of Fame. He is an active member of the Board of Trustees of Meals on Wheels of Collin County.

See also

  • Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame


External links