American Football Database
Jim Jeffcoat
File:Jim Jeffcoat at SJSU.jpg
Jeffcoat at Spartan Stadium in 2012.
No. 77     
Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-04-01) April 1, 1961 (age 61)
Place of birth: Long Branch, New Jersey
Career information
College: Arizona State
NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Debuted in 1983 for the Dallas Cowboys
Last played in 1997 for the Buffalo Bills
Made coaching debut in 1998 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
 As player:
 As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Sacks     102.5
Interceptions     2
Touchdowns     2
Stats at

James Wilson Jeffcoat, Jr. (born April 1, 1961) is a former American football defensive lineman and current coach. A native of Matawan, New Jersey, Jeffcoat played college football at Arizona State University. A first-round pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, Jeffcoat was the 23rd overall selection and played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1983 to 1994 and the Buffalo Bills from 1995 to 1997.

In 1998, Jeffcoat became defensive line coach for the Cowboys and would keep that position until 2004. From 2008 to 2010 he served as defensive line coach for the Houston Cougars football team.[1] From 2011 to 2012, Jeffcoat coached the San Jose State defensive line. Since 2013, Jeffcoat has been defensive line coach for University of Colorado football.

Early years

Jeffcoat grew up in Matawan, New Jersey[2] and played high school football at Matawan Regional High School in Aberdeen Township, New Jersey.[3] where he earned All-America football honors while also lettering in wrestling.

Jeffcoat was a three-year starter at Arizona State University from 1980-82.

In 1981 he earned honorable mention All--Pac-10 Conference accolades.

In 1982 he became the catalyst of the Sun Devils' No. 1 ranked Division 1-A defense (228.9 yards/game). He collected 95 tackles, four sacks, four pass deflections, and forced two fumbles during his senior season, where he earned All-Pac-10 Conference, Honorable Mention to the All-America Associated Press and Sporting News teams. He also played in the East–West Shrine Game and in the Senior Bowl.

He was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame on Oct. 22, 1994, and was arguably the best defensive linemen to wear a Sun Devil uniform, finishing with 20 career sacks.

Jeffcoat was also named to the Fiesta Bowl Hall of Fame. He dominated in Arizona State's Fiesta Bowl 1982 victory, earning defensive player of the game in a 32-21 win over University of Oklahoma.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

He was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

In 1984 he replaced Harvey Martin at the right defensive end position and became one of the league leaders by recording 11.5 sacks.

His most memorable game was against the Washington Redskins on November 10 1985, when he recorded 11 tackles and sacked Joe Theisman a club record 5 times tying a Bob Lilly’s 19-year-old team record.

Jeffcoat maintained a high level of play through the Cowboys lean years of the late 80s. His best season in Dallas came in 1989, when he finished with a career-high 100 tackles, a career-high 42 quarterback pressures, 11.5 sacks and a career-high three fumble recoveries.

During the 1992 season he became a pass rush specialist, when the Cowboys moved Tony Tolbert to the left defensive end position and acquired in a trade Charles Haley with the idea of making him the right defensive end. That season he led the team with 10.5 sacks and six tackles for loss, during the team's drive towards winning Super Bowl XXVII.

His repertoire of moves, allowed him to remain an accomplished situational rusher through 1994, playing only in passing situations.

Jeffcoat played for the Cowboys for 12 seasons, won two Super Bowls (XXVII and XXVIII), totaled 698 tackles, 94.5 sacks and 149 quarterback pressures. He registered five seasons with 70-or-more tackles and five seasons with 10-or-more sacks and left the Cowboys as its all time leading quarterback sacker (the NFL didn't start recognizing quarterback sacks as an official stat until 1982). He also scored 4 touchdowns on interception and fumble returns, with both the interceptions coming against Phil Simms of the New York Giants, after passes swatted down by Ed "Too Tall" Jones.

Buffalo Bills

After twelve seasons with the Cowboys, in which he won two Super Bowl rings (1992–93), he left via free agency to the Buffalo Bills before the start of the 1995 NFL season, playing his final three years with the Bills before retiring.

Jeffcoat finished his fifteen NFL seasons with 102.5 sacks, 745 tackles and 194 quarterback pressures and 2 interceptions for 91 return yards and two touchdowns, and eleven fumble recoveries for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He ranks among the NFL's top-25 career leaders in sacks and his 227 games, place him among the top 40 players in NFL history in games played.

He was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008 although he never went to the Pro Bowl.

Coaching career

After his retirement in 1997, he spent seven seasons (1998–2005) on the Cowboys' coaching staff. Jeffcoat spent his last five seasons in the organization as the defensive ends coach after two years as the club's assistant defensive line coach.

On January 28, 2008, Jeffcoat was hired to join Kevin Sumlin's staff at the University of Houston as defensive line coach.[4] Prior to arriving in Houston, Jeffcoat was in private business in the Dallas area for two years.

In January 2013, Jeffcoat joined the University of Colorado Buffaloes as defensive line coach under recently hired head coach Mike MacIntyre.


After retiring as a player, Jeffcoat served as the defensive ends coach for the Cowboys, until 2005. He and his wife, Tammy, live just outside the suburb of Plano, Texas with their four children: twins Jackson (20) and Jacqueline (20), Jaren (22), and Jasmine (13). Jacqueline is a top 2010 class basketball center recruit for the University of Oklahoma, while Jackson Jeffcoat has chosen the University of Texas for football after being an All-State defensive end at Plano West Senior High School and being considered one of top players in the Class of 2010 nationwide.[5] He currently owns an Allstate insurance agency.


  1. UH's Broadway takes show on the road by Steve Campbell. Houston Chronicle, 11 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  2. Gosselin, Rick. "New-found rivals", The Dallas Morning News, August 8, 1993. Accessed August 14, 2012. "But Jeffcoat, who grew up in Matawan, NJ, never bought into the America's Team mystique."
  3. Jim Jeffcoat, database Football. Accessed November 27, 2007.
  4. UH Football: Former Dallas Cowboy Star Joins Sumlin's Staff
  5. Sayles, Damon L. (2009-02-04). "Plano West's Jeffcoat one of top players in Class of 2010". Dallas Morning News.

External links