Jay Novacek
No. 84     
Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-10-24) October 24, 1962 (age 57)
Place of birth: Martin, South Dakota
Career information
College: Wyoming
NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 6 / Pick: 158
Debuted in 1985 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1996 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Receptions     422
Receiving yards     4,630
Touchdowns     30
Stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Jay McKinley Novacek (born October 24, 1962) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League who played for the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1985–1989) and the Dallas Cowboys (1990–1995). Novacek was a five-time Pro Bowler, who was selected to play each year from 1991 through 1995. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Early lifeEdit

Novacek played high school football in Gothenburg, Nebraska, where he was an all-state quarterback. In 1980 he set the state record in the pole vault with 15-1. He won the state championship in the hurdles. He was also an all-state basketball player.

In 1996 he was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.

College careerEdit

He started his college career playing at split end and eventually moved to tight end.

In 1984 he was selected to the Kodak All-American football team and to the Western Athletic Conference first team, after setting a NCAA record for receiving yards per receptions (22.6) by a tight end. He finished with 83 career receptions for 1,536 yards and ten touchdowns, while playing in head coach Al Kincaid's wishbone offense.

Novacek also competed in track and field for the University of Wyoming. He won the Western Athletic Conference decathlon championship, earning All-American honors. He also set UW records for decathlon points (7,615), and in the pole vault jump (16'4").[1]

He is arguably the greatest athlete in the history of the University of Wyoming.

In 1993 he was inducted into the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2008 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Professional careerEdit

Arizona CardinalsEdit

Novacek was drafted in the sixth round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Saint Louis Cardinals, where he played for five seasons. During his time with the team he saw little action, his best season came in 1988 when he caught 38 passes for 569 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Dallas CowboysEdit

After spending five seasons with the Cardinals, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a Plan B free agent, arguably the best signing in the history of this program.[2]

He was a key contributor for the Cowboys offense in the early 1990s, especially on third downs. Starting in 1991, he played in five straight Pro Bowls, while helping the Cowboys make the playoffs each year and winning the Super Bowl three times in four seasons.

Novacek's last game was Super Bowl XXX in January, 1996. He officially retired from the NFL on July 15, 1997 after a lingering back injury cut short his career. In his 11 seasons, Novacek recorded 422 receptions for 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Post-NFL CareerEdit

Novacek currently serves as spokesperson for the Alltel Wireless "Yards 4 Youth Football" program in West Texas. For every yard gained by 11 high school football teams in the region, Alltel will donate $1 to each school’s corresponding youth football organization. Each week, an additional $500 will be donated to youth football programs across West Texas on behalf of the "Yards 4 Youth Football Player of the Week" and "Team of the Week."

Jay is in his second year as spokesperson for the National Dairy Council's NFL Nationwide School Program Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign through Agent, PPI Marketing, Dallas TX.

Novacek also co-stars in commercials for friend Bob Lovell of Home Marketing Services in Dallas, Texas.

Novacek was commemorated for his 2008 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, at half-time of the Wyoming Cowboys game, on 9/13/08.

Novacek conducts a youth football camp at the University of North Texas, in Denton, Texas, every summer.

Jay appeared as a coach on the Spike TV reality series 4th and Long, as an instructor, in 2009.

On February 1, 2010, Novacek's wife, LeAnne, was found dead in her mother's home in Burleson, Texas, in an apparent suicide. Police say she evidently died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[3] He remarried to Amy (née) Bradley of Burleson.


External linksEdit

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