John Roach
No. 12, 33, 10     
Quarterback, Defensive back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1933-03-26) March 26, 1933 (age 87)
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Career information
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 3 / Pick: 31
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
*Chicago / St. Louis Cardinals ( 1956, 1959 1960)
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-SWC (1955)
Games played     64
Passing yards     2,765
Pass attempts     413
Pass completions     182
TDINT     24–37
Rushing yards     99
Stats at
Stats at

John Gipson Roach (born March 26, 1933) is a former American football quarterback and defensive back in the National Football League for the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Southern Methodist University.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Roach graduated from Highland Park High School in University Park, which had earlier produced hall of famers Bobby Layne and Doak Walker.

Roach accepted a football scholarship from Southern Methodist University. He played as a quarterback, defensive back and punter. He was a starter at quarterback as a senior.

Professional career[edit | edit source]

Chicago Cardinals[edit | edit source]

Roach was selected by the Chicago Cardinals in the third round (31st overall) in the 1956 NFL draft. As a rookie, he was used at punter. After the season, he spent two years in the U.S. Air Force.

In 1959, he returned to the team and played as a defensive back, before being named the starting quarterback late in the year.[1]

In 1960, he became the starting quarterback, after the team lost to injury two quarterbacks during their first season in St. Louis. On July 5, 1961, in a surprising move, he was sent to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Halfback Prentice Gautt and rookie End Taz Anderson.

Cleveland Browns[edit | edit source]

On August 8, 1961, he was traded to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for a third round draft choice (#42-John Furman).[2]

Green Bay Packers[edit | edit source]

Roach was the backup quarterback on the Packers' 1961 and 1962 NFL championship teams, backing up Bart Starr under head coach Vince Lombardi. In 1963, when Starr injured his passing hand in the sixth game against the St. Louis Cardinals, he was held out for 4½ games and Roach was named the starter during those contests.[1][3][4] The team was 4–1 with Starr sidelined and finished 11–2–1, but the 26–7 loss to the Chicago Bears in mid-November was critical;[5][6][7] keeping them a half game back in the Western Conference final standings and denied the Packers a chance to win an unprecedented third consecutive NFL championship game.

He announced his retirement on May 20, 1964. On August 31, he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a third draft choice (#33-Bob Timberlake).

Dallas Cowboys[edit | edit source]

In 1964, Roach retired to work for an investment firm in Dallas, until the Dallas Cowboys convinced him to play in his home state. He was acquired after starting quarterback Don Meredith went down with a knee injury in the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.[8][9] He started in 4 games, passing for 349 yards, one touchdown and 6 interceptions.[10]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Roach waiting, ready". Milwaukee Journal: p. 15, part 2. October 22, 1963.
  2. Johnson, Chuck (August 8, 1961). "John Roach is obtained". Milwaukee Journal: p. 10, part 2.
  3. "John Roach promoted by Packers". Reading Eagle. Associated Press (Pennsylvania): p. 18. October 22, 1963.
  4. Hand, Jack (October 22, 1963). "Roach only sub for Starr". Ocala Star=Banner. Associated Press (Florida): p. 9.
  5. Strickler, George (November 18, 1963). "Showdown battle is all Bears, 26-7". Chicago Tribune: p. 1, section 3.
  6. Lea, Bud (November 18, 1963). "Spirited Bears maul Packers, take lead". Milwaukee Sentinel: p. 2, part 2.
  7. Johnson, Chuck (November 18, 1963). "Bears rip Packers in showdown, 26-7". Milwaukee Journal: p. 9, part 2.
  8. "John Roach joins Cowboys". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press: p. 25. September 1, 1964.
  9. "Cowboys' hopes rest on Roach". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press: p. 12, part 2. October 1, 1964.
  10. "Roach". Milwaukee Journal. UPI: p. 2, final. November 28, 1964.

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:SMU Mustangs quarterback navbox Template:Chicago Cardinals 1956 draft navbox

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