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Former Washington football great Dave Butz dies

Sportsnaut
Former Washington defensive lineman Dave Butz, a two-time Super Bowl winner who played 16 seasons in the NFL, has died. He was 72.
Credit: Washington Commanders

Former Washington defensive lineman Dave Butz, a two-time Super Bowl winner who played 16 seasons in the NFL, has died. He was 72.

The Commanders announced his passing Friday on their website. They did not provide a cause of death, however.

Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann took to Twitter to reflect on his former teammate.

“Lost a dear friend today. Dave Butz,” Theismann wrote. “Dave, Mark Mosley and I used to ride to games together. A true gentle giant. Rest In Peace my friend.”

Butz received All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl selection after registering 11.5 sacks in 16 games for Washington in 1983. He was named to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team and helped Washington capture two championships with victories over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

He recorded 64 sacks, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 216 career games (191 starts) with the then-St. Louis Cardinals and Washington franchise. The Cardinals selected Butz with the fifth overall pick of the 1973 NFL Draft, however he joined Washington after an issue in his contract led him to becoming a free agent.

Commissioner Pete Rozelle ruled that Washington had to send St. Louis a pair of first-round picks and a second-round selection to complete the deal.

“We’re heartbroken over the loss of Washington Legend Dave Butz, a 2x Super Bowl champion and member of our Ring of Fame and 90 Greatest list,” the Commanders wrote on Twitter. “Sending our deepest condolences to Dave’s family and friends.”

Butz famously is remembered for checking himself out of a hospital to play in Washington’s game against the New York Jets during the 1987 season. He made the game-saving sack on Ken O’Brien before returning to the hospital after the game.

Butz’s name resides in the Ring of Fame at FedExField.

–Field Level Media