Jeff Rohrer
No. 50     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1958-12-25) December 25, 1958 (age 62)
Place of birth: Inglewood, California
Career information
College: Yale
NFL Draft: 1982 / Round: 2 / Pick: 53
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Dallas Cowboys ( 1982 1989)
Career highlights and awards
* All-Ivy League (1981)
  • All-New England (1981)
Games played     83
Sacks     7.5
Stats at
Stats at

Jeffrey Charles Rohrer (born December 25, 1958) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Yale University and was drafted in the second round of the 1982 NFL Draft.

Early life and collegiate career

Rohrer attended Mira Costa High School, where he played football. He was a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete. In 2014 Rohrer was inducted into Mira Costa's Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, in the same group of inductees as musician Jim Lindberg and scientist Lance J. Dixon.[1]

He attended Yale University. In 1978, he was a backup defensive end. He did not attend school in 1979.

In 1980, he was moved to inside linebacker and helped his team win the Ivy League championship. He registered 110 tackles (second on the team), 54 solo tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He suffered a fractured ankle and missed the last 3 games of the season.

In 1981 as a senior, he posted 136 tackles (school record), 71 solo tackles, 4 tackles for loss, one sack and one interception, while receiving All-Ivy League and All-New England honors.[2] The team shared the Ivy League championship, tying Dartmouth College with a 9-1 overall record, and was briefly ranked in the nation’s top 20, with three of its players selected in the 1982 NFL Draft.[3]

Professional career

Rohrer was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round (53rd overall) of the 1982 NFL Draft, which at the time was considered a reach by the media.[4] As a rookie, he played in 8 games on the special teams units. The next year in addition to special teams, he played on the short-yardage and goal line defenses.

In 1984, he was the backup at middle linebacker, until being moved to outside linebacker when Billy Cannon Jr. suffered a neck injury. The next year, he replaced Anthony Dickerson as the starting right outside linebacker, posting 54 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

In 1986, he registered 111 tackles (second on the team), 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles (led the team) and one fumble recovery. In 1987, he was replaced on passing downs, but still managed 74 tackles (third on the team), 4 sacks (led the linebackers) and 2 fumble recoveries. During training camp in 1988, he was hospitalized with a bulging disc in his lower back, which required season ending surgery.[5]

In 1989, with the arrival of head coach Jimmy Johnson, he was released before the season started, as part of a youth movement.[6] During his time with the Cowboys, he was considered a tough and outspoken player.[7]

Personal life

Rohrer publicly came out in 2018, when he announced his engagement to his partner of two years, Joshua Ross. On November 18, 2018, he and Ross were married.[8][9] His marriage made him the first NFL player, former or current, to enter into a same-sex marriage.[10] Rohrer was formerly married to Heather Rohrer, with whom he had two children.[11]


  1. Ellen Robinson, "Eight alums inducted into Costa Hall of Fame" The Beach Reporter (October 9, 2014).
  2. "Yale's First-Team All-Ivy League Selections". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  3. "NFL Teams Looking at Three Yale Bulldogs".,7842259. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  4. "Cowboys True to Tradition of Risky Draft Choices".,7504076. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  5. "Cowboys seeking more linebackers".,398924. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  6. "Cowboys Cut Rohrer, Six Others".,4642464. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  7. "Dallas expects hostile crowd".,686743. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  8. Mallozzi, Vincent M. (14 November 2018). "Former Cowboys Linebacker Jeff Rohrer Is to Marry Partner". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  9. "Jeff Rohrer — Retired Dallas Cowboys Linebacker — Comes Out as Gay, Reveals He's Getting Married". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  10. Dawson, Peter (November 14, 2018). "Report: Ex-Dallas Cowboy to be first known former, current player in same-sex marriage". Star-Telegram. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  11. Nelson, Jeff; Kimble, Lindsay (November 14, 2018). "Jeff Rohrer — Retired Dallas Cowboys Linebacker — Comes Out as Gay, Reveals He's Getting Married". People. Retrieved 15 November 2018.

External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.