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Custom Boyd Dowler Jersey Large

 

Boyd Dowler was cut from a different cloth than most NFL receivers of his day if for no other reason than his size. But he was more than just big. He was a special athlete blessed with sure hands, a gift for running every route on the passing tree with precision and unusual speed for someone 6-foot-5 and 224 pounds.

As a senior at Colorado, Dowler qualified for the NCAA Track & Field Championships in the 120-yard high hurdles, ample evidence that even if there were plenty of shorter, faster receivers in the league during his era, he, too, possessed an extra gear to separate from cornerbacks on fly patterns and other deep routes.

Having doubled as a quarterback and receiver in college, Dowler also had a keen understanding of the passing game and used it to his advantage. Likewise, he was the son of a high school football coach and like most coaches’ sons grasped better than others the subtle nuances of the game.

“When Boyd said something to you about how he was going to do it or what he could do in a game, he was telling you exactly the way it was,” said former quarterback Zeke Bratkowski. “He wasn’t fishing, looking for statistics. He was looking to move the football.”

Consistency was Dowler’s trademark. He started on all five of Vince Lombardi’s NFL championship teams and either led the Packers in receptions or tied for first in seven of his 11 seasons. At the same time, he made his share of big plays, many of them succinctly described by Lombardi-era broadcaster Ray Scott’s signature call, “Starr. Dowler. Touchdown!”

Two of Dowler’s biggest plays were his two TDs in the first half of the Ice Bowl on receptions of 8 and 43 yards, which allowed the Packers to jump ahead of Dallas, 14-0. Two weeks later, in Super Bowl II, Dowler caught a 62-yard touchdown pass as the Packers took control, 13-0, en route to a 33-14 victory over Oakland.

Dowler also was the Packers’ punter on Lombardi’s first two championship teams in 1961 and ’62, averaging 44.1 and 43.1 yards per punt. In 1959, Dowler led the Packers in receiving as a rookie and was named NFL Rookie of the Year by United Press International, although he didn’t become a starter until the second half of the season.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s the most underrated receiver in the league,” Lombardi said of Dowler after the 1965 NFL Championship Game.

The Packers selected Dowler in the third round of the 1959 NFL Draft after he had led Colorado in passing three straight years and in receiving as a junior and senior, playing in a multi-set offense.

He played quarterback when Colorado lined up in a wing-T and blocking back in single-wing formations. That also was during the one-platoon era of college football. Thus, Dowler played in the secondary on defense and as a senior led the Buffaloes in interceptions with five. He also punted and averaged 43.3 yards.
Legendary NFL quarterback Sammy Baugh spent five days working with Dowler in spring practice before his senior season and wrote a scouting report on him for the Packers, dated Nov. 18, 1958, where he said, “This boy has all the tools to be a pro quarterback.” While Lombardi invited Dowler to his first quarterback camp in late June 1959, he told him he was going to be a receiver.

As a rookie, Dowler took over as a starter in the seventh game when Lombardi scrapped his three-back formation in favor of a three-receiver set. A week later in his second start, Dowler caught eight passes for 147 yards against the defending NFL champion Baltimore Colts and the job was his for the duration of the Lombardi era.

At first, Dowler was listed as a right halfback, although he lined up exclusively as a split receiver. Next, he was listed as an end, but played almost exclusively on the right side through 1964 opposite left end Max McGee. In a strong right formation, Dowler was considered the flanker; in a strong left formation, he was the split end. In 1965 when the Packers acquired Carroll Dale, they started flip-flopping their outside receivers, with Dowler playing split end on the weak side and Dale playing flanker on the strong side. That same year, following Ron Kramer’s departure, Dowler also started lining up at tight end in certain passing situations. In today’s game, Dowler would be called a wide receiver, but he wasn’t listed as such in the official lineups until his last season in Green Bay.

In 11 years, Dowler never missed a game with the Packers, although he missed considerable practice time in 1961 when he was called up for Army duty during the Berlin Crisis. Dowler reported to Fort Lewis, Wash., in early November and received weekend passes in order to play the remainder of the season.

In all, Dowler played in 150 games for the Packers, finishing with 448 receptions for 6,918 yards, a 15.4 average per catch. He also averaged 42.9 yards as a punter.

Dowler retired from the Packers and joined the Los Angeles Rams as an assistant coach under George Allen on March 4, 1970. After sitting out the 1970 season, Dowler went to Washington with Allen and served as a player-coach there in 1971. In exchange, the Packers received a fifth-round draft choice in a draft-day deal on Jan. 28, 1971.

Dowler spent 15 years as an assistant coach in the NFL with five different teams and then scouted for more than 10 years with Carolina and Atlanta.

Born Oct. 18, 1937, in Rock Springs, Wyo. Given name Boyd Hamilton Dowler.

Boyd Dowler

End: 1959-69
Height: 6-5; Weight: 224
College: Colorado, 1956-58

HONORS:

NFL All-Decade Team: 1960s
Pro Bowl Selection (game played since 1950): 1965, ’67
Packers 50th Anniversary Team: 1969
Packers All-Modern Era Team: 1976

 

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Custom Brett Favre Jersey Large

The Dallas Cowboys’ playoff hopes are on the respirator after falling to the Philadelphia Eagles on the road 17-9 on Sunday, and quarterback Dak Prescott has been getting excoriated ever since thanks to his uneven performance.

Even Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre added to the chorus of doubters, claiming that Prescott wasn’t right mentally during that game.

“You cannot be second-guessing yourself during a game.” https://t.co/VSfc6fZsK5
— The Spun (@TheSpun) December 23, 2019

“I wonder [second-guessing] is what Dak is going through,” Favre said. “If you are in that frame of mind during the game where you’re second-guessing and a little apprehensive, bad things are going to happen.”

Prescott completed just 25 of his 44 passes for a 56.8%, his second lowest completion percentage of the season, and failed to find the end zone. While he was playing with a shoulder injury, that doesn’t excuse the fact that he laid an egg when the Cowboys needed him to show why he’s the guy to lead the Cowboys for years to come.

Brett Favre says Dallas Cowboys abandoned running game, put too much pressure on Dak Prescott https://t.co/7idEFYVcbJ #DallasCowboys #CowboysNation pic.twitter.com/9o6eDGQRMn
— Ron Bohning (@RonBohning) December 23, 2019

Prescott throwing the ball so much when he was clearly banged up gives him an excuse as it pertains to his sub-standard play, but as the quarterback of the Cowboys after a big loss, Prescott was going to be in the line of fire, even after an awful performance from basically all 53 players on the roster.

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Custom A. J. Hawk Jersey Large

For many people, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday, if not one of their favorite days of the year.

A.J. Hawk, however, is not one of those people.

“Without tying to sound like a huge downer or a grump, I don’t really care about any of it,” the Super Bowl champion said on Taz & The Moose. “I enjoy being with my family and everybody and hanging out and the camaraderie and all that, but I’m not going crazy about certain meals. I like turkey. I put turkey in my eggs every morning, but Thanksgiving turkey, I think, is highly overrated.”

Hawk and his wife hosted a “Friends-giving” Monday night. It was fine.

“I ate a bunch of turkey and a little bit of stuffing,” Hawk said, mildly unimpressed. “I don’t go too crazy, though. It’s just another day . . . (to) hang out with my family.”

While Hawk might not love Thanksgiving food, there’s at least plenty of football to watch in between plates. The Cowboys (6-5) host the Bills (8-3) on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET. Dallas has lost five of eight since its 3-0 start, and if Jason Garrett is wise, he will find a way to win this game, especially after being criticized by Jerry Jones following the Cowboys’ loss in Foxboro.

Just how hot is Garrett’s seat right now?

“You would think it’s very hot when the owner comes out and says that,” Hawk said. “Jerry seems to have, up until this point, really been on board with Jason Garrett and saying all the right things to the media. But when your owner – the guy that is making every single decision in that building – when he comes out and he seems to be critical of something that is pretty out of the norm for him as far as supporting his head coach, I feel like yeah, you’ve got to be a little bit worried if you’re Jason Garrett. I can’t imagine him being back next year if they don’t get to the NFC Championship or Super Bowl.”

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Custom Rashan Gary Jersey Large

Rashan Gary could make a fast start in the new-look Green Bay Packers defense.
Many wondered whether the Green Bay Packers would still select an edge rusher in the first round after signing Za’Darius and Preston Smith in free agency. But they did just that, further strengthening the pass rush by selecting Rashan Gary in the opening round.

What role with Gary have in Mike Pettine’s defense in his rookie year?

2018 stats
Gary played nine games in his final year at Michigan, finishing with 3.5 sacks, 38 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. The biggest concern entering the NFL is his lack of sacks, and that’s something the Packers will be hoping improves at the next level.

Odds of making roster: 100 percent
With all of the offseason additions made this spring, there’s absolutely a chance the Packers defense can be the most improved in the NFL. But for that to happen, they’ll need Gary to produce right away.

What to expect in 2019?
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will likely move his pass rushers around, but will that mean Gary starts in Week 1? Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith will likely start at outside linebacker, but could Pettine have Gary line up inside or along the defensive line? The ability for each edge rusher to move around could help Pettine find the best matchups.

What kind of impact will Gary have this season? While it’s certainly understandable to be concerned about his lack of production in college, there’s a reason the Packers were willing to select him with the 12th overall pick in April.

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With the talent Green Bay has signed at edge rusher, Gary won’t face too many double teams right away, and that’ll allow him to make an impact on the game and provide pressure.

Gary can absolutely make an instant impact in the league. Not only do the Packers now have four players who all have the potential to hit double-digit sacks (Gary, Za’Darius and Preston Smith, and Kyler Fackrell) but they also have a defensive coordinator who was able to scheme pressure last season even when there was little production from the edge rushers (outside of Fackrell).

MORE: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history
Many believed selecting Gary so early was a risk, but he could have a great rookie season in this defense.