Buddy Dial
Date of birth: (1937-01-17)January 17, 1937
Place of birth: Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
Date of death: February 29, 2008(2008-02-29) (aged 71)
Place of death: Houston, Texas, United States
Career information
Position(s): Wide receiver
College: Rice
NFL Draft: 1959 / Round: 2 / Pick: 22
(By the New York Giants)
 As player:
Pittsburgh Steelers
Dallas Cowboys
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 2
Playing stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Gilbert Leroy "Buddy" Dial (January 17, 1937 – February 29, 2008) was an American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys.

Early yearsEdit

Dial was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, but grew up in Magnolia, Texas. He played high school football at Magnolia High School.

At 6–1 and 185 pounds, he played as a two-way end at Rice University. In 1956 he had 21 receptions, averaged 17 yards on each, made five touchdowns, and was selected sophomore lineman of the year in the Southwest Conference.

In 1957 he had 21 receptions (24 yards avg.) and was named All-SWC. He helped Rice to the conference championship in the Cotton Bowl, and was named to the All-Bowl All-Star team.

In 1958 he caught 19 passes (14 yards avg.). He was the team’s co-captain and Most Valuable Player. Dial also received consensus All-American and the Columbus Touchdown Club Lineman of the Year honors.

For his career at Rice he had 13 touchdowns, tying the school record set by another Hall of Fame end, James "Froggie" Williams (1946–1949).

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Professional careerEdit

New York GiantsEdit

Dial was drafted in the second round of the 1959 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but was cut by the team before the season started.[1]

Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he became a star, after being teamed with quarterback Bobby Layne. He held the team record for touchdown receptions in a season (12) and was an All-Pro three times.

One of Dial's most famous moments was when he scored a touchdown against the Cowboys in 1962 and as he ran into the endzone, a loud explosive charge was set off right in front of him, heavily startling him, a moment that has been remembered as one of the NFL's greatest follies.

In 1964 the Pittsburgh Steelers traded him to the Dallas Cowboys, in exchange for the rights of their first round draft choice Scott Appleton. However, Appleton ended up siging with the Houston Oilers of the AFL, who had also drafted him in the first round.[2] The shenanigans both teams used in the attempt to sign Appleton was one of Myron Cope's favorite stories and the transaction became known as the "Buddy Dial for Nothing" trade.[3]

Dallas CowboysEdit

His three year career with the Dallas Cowboys was a disappointment, where injuries and addictions to prescription drugs, limited his playing time.

Dial finished his career with 261 receptions for 5,436 yards (20.8 yards per rec. avg.), and 44 touchdowns, and 14 yards on four rushes (3.5 yards per rush avg.). He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1961 and 1963.

Personal lifeEdit

Injuries during his NFL career led to significant health problems brought on by the abuse of painkilling drugs, before receiving treatment in the late 1980s. He died on February 29, 2008 at the age of 71, because of complications with cancer and pneumonia.


External linksEdit

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