Best draft-day steals by the Dallas Cowboys of all-time: 10. Jethro Pugh
1965 NFL Draft: Round 11, Pick No. 145
To say that Jethro Pugh was young when he made his NFL debut with the Cowboys would be an understatement, as he was only 20 years old his first season in the league. At age-16, Pugh enrolled at Elizabeth City State College, playing both sides of the ball and earning All-CIAA honors in both 1963 and 1964.
From there, the Cowboys came calling in the 11th round of the 1965 NFL Draft, picking Pugh with the No. 145 overall pick. The Oakland Raiders had also tried to get his services for the AFL, but he chose to go to the Cowboys. Fans of the team have to happy that he made that decision, as he was a Cowboys lifer.
Pugh played his entire 14-year career for America’s Team, helping the team to the playoffs in 12 of those season. While he was never named to a Pro Bowl, he is widely considered one of the better defensive tackles in team history. During his career, he established himself as one of the better tackles in football at getting after the quarterback.
While not an official stat back then, Pugh is credited with 95.5 sacks during his NFL career. He led the team in the category every season from 1968 to 1972.
During his time with the Cowboys, Pugh not only helped the team to the playoffs 12 times, but they also advanced to five NFC Championship Games. The winner of two Super Bowl rings, Pugh was well worth the team’s 11th-round pick back in 1965, as he became a legend within the organization.