American Football Database
John Fitzgerald
Date of birth: (1948-04-16) April 16, 1948 (age 74)
Place of birth: Southbridge, MA
Career information
Position(s): Center
College: Boston College
NFL Draft: 1970 / Round: 4 / Pick: 101
 As player:
1971-1980 Dallas Cowboys
Playing stats at

John Robert Fitzgerald (born April 16, 1948 in Southbridge, Massachusetts) is a retired American football center in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 1980, including four Super Bowls. He played college football at Boston College and was drafted in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL Draft.

Early years

Played as a 300 lb fullback for Southbridge High School.

Fitzgerald signed with Boston College and became a two-way tackle, playing both offense and defense during his three-year varsity career.

He was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.

Professional career

After graduation, he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1970 NFL Draft.

Fitzgerald was switched from Offensive tackle to center before the 1972 season.

In 1973 he took over as the starting center after Dave Manders retirement.

He never appeared in a Pro Bowl, but became a central part of a strong Offensive line in Dallas for most of the decade.

Fitzgerald named the Offensive line as the "Four Irishmen and a Scott", referring to himself, Pat Donovan, Jim Cooper, Tom Rafferty and Herb Scott.

He took great pride in his ability to snap from the Shotgun formation, which was re introduced to the NFL by Tom Landry.

Fitzgerald helped the Cowboys to 2 Super Bowl Championships and playoff appearances every season except 1. He played in 138 games over 10 NFL seasons.

He had to retire after the 1980 season season due to injuries.