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"I look at the first couple of plays as being of extra importance. In those first few plays, I try to remove any thought my opponent might have had that that was gonna be his day.”
(Michigan)...6'3'', 275...Daniel Lee Dierdorf ... No. 2 draft pick, 1971 ... Michigan All-American ... Possessed size, speed, quickness, discipline, intelligence, consistency ... Equally effective as passing, rushing blocker ... Right tackle who anchored line that led NFL three years, NFC five years in fewest sacks allowed ... All-Pro five years ... Played in six Pro Bowls ... Named best blocker three years by NFL Players Association ... Born June 29, 1949, in Canton, Ohio.
Dan Dierdorf excelled as an offensive lineman for 13 seasons from 1971 through 1983. He seemed destined for stardom from the moment he joined the St. Louis Cardinals as a second-round choice and the 43rd player selected in the 1971 draft.
Dierdorf, who had been a consensus All-America at Michigan in 1970, possessed size, speed, quickness, discipline, intelligence and consistency, all necessary attributes for an outstanding lineman. The 6-3, 275-pounder from Canton, Ohio, where he was born on June 29, 1949, played both guard and tackle his first two seasons before settling down as the permanent right tackle in his third season. Dierdorf, who was equally effective as a blocker on both running and passing plays, was the ring-leader of the line that permitted the fewest sacks in the NFC for five straight years in the mid-1970s. In 1975, the Cardinals set a then-record by allowing only eight sacks in 14 games.
He proved his durability by playing in every game until a broken jaw forced him out of two games in his seventh season in 1977. In 1979, he did miss 14 of 16 games because of a dislocated left knee. However, he bounced back strongly in 1980 with another all-pro caliber season. In 1982, Dierdorf unselfishly responded to a personnel emergency on the offensive line by agreeing to move to center. He not only made a smooth adjustment to the new position but he proved to be especially effective blocking against the bigger nose tackles of the new 3-4 defensive alignments he had to face.
Dierdorf was named All-Pro five seasons – from 1975 to 1978 and again in 1980. He was elected to six Pro Bowl games, missing only once from 1974 through 1980. The NFL Players Association picked him as the best overall blocker in the NFL three straight years from 1976 to 1978
Dierdorf never played in a conference or league championship game during his career.
All-NFL: 1975 (PFWA), 1976 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW), 1977 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW), 1978 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW), 1980 (NEA)
All-NFL Second Team: 1974 (AP, PFWA, NEA), 1975 (AP, NEA), 1980 (AP)
All-NFC: 1975 (AP, UPI, SN, PW), 1976 (AP, UPI, SN, PW), 1977 (UPI, SN, PW), 1978 (UP, SN, PW)
All-NFC Second Team: 1974 (UPI), 1975 (AP, NEA), 1980 (UPI)
(6) – 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981
· 1970s All-Decade Team
· 1976 NFLPA Offensive Lineman of the Year
· 1977 NFLPA Offensive Lineman of the Year
· 1978 NFLPA Offensive Lineman of the Year
Full Name: Daniel Lee Dierdorf
Birthdate: June 29, 1949
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio
High School: Glenwood (Canton, OH)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 27, 1996
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 27, 1996
Presenter: Jim Hanifan, Offensive line coach, Head Coach
Other Members of Class of 1996: Lou Creekmur, Joe Gibbs, Charlie Joiner, Mel Renfro
Pro Career: 13 seasons, 160 games
Drafted: 2nd round (43rd overall) in 1971 by St. Louis Cardinals
Uniform Number: #72 with St. Louis Cardinals