Jim Steffen
No. 20, 41     
Defensive back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1936-05-01)May 1, 1936
Place of birth: Orange, California
Date of death: April 23, 2015(2015-04-23) (aged 78)
Place of death: Arnold, Maryland
Career information
College: UCLA
NFL Draft: 1959 / Round: 13 / Pick: 149
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Detroit Lions ( 1959 1961)
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Stats at

James William Steffen (May 1, 1936 – April 23, 2015) was an American football defensive back who played in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins. He played college football at the University of California, Los Angeles and was drafted in the thirteenth round of the 1959 NFL Draft. James Steffen attended Tustin High School and graduated in 1954.

Early yearsEdit

Steffen was an All-State selection in football, baseball and basketball at Tustin High School. From Occidental College he transferred to Orange Coast College, then to Santa Ana College, before finally moving on to UCLA in 1956. After sitting out for a year, he walked on to the football team and even though he was only 5' 10" and weighted less than 190 pounds, he was a tenacious tackler who played both defensive end and offensive end. In his senior year he was named team captain, second team all-west coast and honorable mention All-American. He also was a key player on the UCLA baseball team.

Professional careerEdit

Steffen was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the thirteenth round of the 1959 NFL Draft, where he was converted to safety and played for two and a half years, before being traded to the Washington Redskins in the middle of the 1961 season.

With the Redskins he was recognized as one of the best tacklers in the league, before being traded to the Dallas Cowboys at the end of the 1965 season, along with a draft choice, in exchange for Brig Owens, Jake Kupp, and Mitch Johnson.[1]

The Cowboys tried to convert him from safety to linebacker, but ended up releasing him before the 1966 season started.[2]


External linksEdit

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