Washington football legend Dave Butz dies

Former Washington defensive tackle Dave Butz has passed away at age 72, the team announced Friday.

Butz signed with the Burgundy and Gold as a free agent in 1975 after two seasons with St. Louis. As one of the league’s biggest players at the time at 6-foot-8 and nearly 300 pounds, he started 180 games over 14 years in D.C. and was a mainstay on Washington’s first two Super Bowl-winning teams.

The former first round pick out of Purdue spent two seasons with the Cardinals before finding a home in D.C., and a position switch from end to tackle gave his career a boost. He made 17 starts at that position in his first two years with Washington and became a full-time starter in 1978. He was voted First Team All-Pro in 1983, when he recorded 11.5 sacks. He was second-team All-Pro the next season.

Butz recorded 64 sacks in 216 regular-season games with St. Louis and Washington. He missed only two games in his final 11 seasons in Washington.

Butz retired after the 1988 season, is a member of Washington’s Ring of Fame and was chosen as one of the organization’s 90 greatest players earlier this year when the team commemorated its 90th anniversary.

Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann remembered over Twitter how he, kicker Mark Moseley and Butz would ride to games together. He called Butz “a true gentle giant.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame made him a second-team all-1980s selection for his play during the decade. Butz was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

It was not immediately known where Butz died or the cause of his death.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

Dave Preston

Dave has been in the D.C. area for 10 years and in addition to working at WTOP since 2002 has also been on the air at Westwood One/CBS Radio as well as Red Zebra Broadcasting (Redskins Network).

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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