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Dierdorf retires from the game

Posted by Darren Urban on November 20, 2013 – 9:41 am

The press release came out this morning, announcing that Dan Dierdorf was finally stepping away from the NFL. Dierdorf is best known to many as a TV color analyst for NFL games — he’s done it for 30 years — but he left his mark as a Hall of Fame offensive tackle for this franchise as an anchor to some great offensive lines for 13 years.

“I have been blessed to spend my entire life in the game I love,” Dierdorf said in the press release.

Drafted out of Michigan in 1971 — a second-round pick — Dierdorf ended up playing center too on the line, but was mostly on the right side as he made six Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro three times. He retired after the 1983 season and made it into the Hall of Fame in 1996. He was also inducted into the Cardinals’ Ring of Honor, with a ceremony (pictured below) during halftime of the infamous Monday night game against the Bears in 2006.

Dierdorf was part of a line that allowed a mere eight sacks in all of 1975, an amazingly low total. Dierdorf was also credited for allowing zero sacks personally in two different seasons: 1976 and 1977.

What always struck me about Dierdorf was his loyalty to the franchise, even after it moved to Arizona. Last year, Dierdorf was talking about the Cardinals after they started 2-0, since he had been part of the last Cards’ team to start 3-0 (back in 1974), and emphasized he was rooting for the Cards.

“I’ll be thrilled for them,” Dierdorf said last year. “I’ll be very happy. People in St. Louis might think I was a traitor but they’ll have to deal with that. I’m proud of the fact that I’m in the Ring of Honor out there. They’re my team.”

Dierdorf-ROH7Blog


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17 Responses to “Dierdorf retires from the game”

  1. By Kurt on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for the memories…

  2. By LadyBird04 on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Was at the game when he was inducted into the Ring of Honor. Sorry to see him leave broadcasting, but wish him a wonderful life beyond football.

  3. By William Barry on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Dan was a great player and color analyst. He played great during the 74-75 seasons, in St. Louis. That line with R. finnie, Dierdorf, Bob Young, Conrad Dobler, etc.

    I knew they only had 8 sacks the entire seaon, Darren is that a team or NFL record?????

    Remember, “Team is what it takes” to get to the playoffs this year!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. By Dynosoar on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    I watched him play as a kid, good times. I’ve always enjoyed listening to him announce, knowing he was with the Cardinals.

    How many of us can say we spent our entire life doing what we love? If we can’t, maybe we should evaluate and create a plan so we can. I’ve already got a few ideas after reading Dan’s statement regarding this. (And if you can say this, mighty awesome way to go for you. Well done.)

  5. By Dynosoar on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Last night’s newest “Football Life” highlighted the forward pass and the thought was expressed that someday a team will abandon the run game entirely and only have WR’s and TE’s. They said the coach would be roundly criticized, but it would be the dawning of a new era in football.

    I recall a certain Ryan Leif (sp) from WSU who had four or five wide outs on every play and was hugely successful, enough to become a top two draft pick that year for I believe San Diego. Never made it in the NFL, but with five wide outs at WSU he had huge success.

    Obviously for this to work, the QB would have to be very accurate and be able to progress through his reads immediately from the snap. Or be like Warner, Manning, Brady and a few others who can read a defense before the snap.

    I wonder, will the prediction come true?

  6. By Scott H on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Very happy for Dan, very proud of his legacy as a Cardinal. As an announcer, I could take him or leave him, but…there were far worse, that’s for sure. When I think of him another Cardinals players from the time he played, I usually wish I could go back to that period as the fan I am today and see more of that team. They were actually an NFC power during the early to mid 70’s. And I became a fan right AFTER that period, when I was 9 years old and they didn’t make the playoffs again until 1998. Great timing, right? Go figure…I would love to be able to see that team play some games!

  7. By nate on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    one of the few announcers who didn’t sit there ragging on the cardinals for 60 minutes

  8. By Eric G on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Wish the Cards could find a line like that again.

  9. By Dave Chaney on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Being one of those “old school” Cardinal fans, I still have many, many fond memories of the great team in the mid 70s. Dan Dierdorf anchored what was without a doubt, the best offensive line in Cardinal history. After his NFL career, Dan continued on to bigger and better things which have continued right up to this day when he announced his retirement from broadcasting. A great athlete, a class guy and a wonderful human being. Good luck in the future Dan!

  10. By joe67 on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    GOOD LUCK DAN. I was always a huge fan of yours, and actually the entire line in the mid 70’s. I thought they only gave up 7 sacks that year, and set or tied an NFL record that held up a long time. Plus, they did it with a very immobile qb. They were SO CLOSE in 75 and 76. If we had this defense then, would have probably gone down as one of the best teams ever. Seemed like they had to start almost every drive from inside their own 20 and still were at or near the top in scoring 3 or 4 years. Too bad you younger die hard Card fans missed it.

  11. By georgiebird on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    Thought Dan distanced himself from the Cardinals after his playing days. Dan made the HOF based in large part on one major factor. Dan totally dominated the Cowboys’ Ed “Too Tall” Jones in every game they played against each other (and there were many). Jones was the glamour DE on America’s team that presented the Cardinals and Dan with the needed exposure.
    Carl Eller and Jack Youngblood gave Dan a hard time in the playoffs.

  12. By johnwimmer on Nov 20, 2013 | Reply

    Maybe BA can catch some of that Coryell lightning that was so great from 1974-1977. I remember that as a kid in the 1970s here in the ‘Lou.

  13. By Cardinalmark on Nov 21, 2013 | Reply

    I guess Dan and I have something in common! We are both Traders! I have been a Die Hard Cardinal fan since 1967! I want to thank Dan for that autograph I received from him back in 1988, and all the great years he was with the Cardinals! I will miss him in the broadcast booth as well!

  14. By Edijkstra on Nov 21, 2013 | Reply

    I became a Cardinal fan in 1975, the year the O-line allowed only 8 sacks. I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to fully appreciate those teams, but I did think they were special. They were the Cardiac Cards, dominant when it counted. I still remember the names of most of the greats: Coryell (coach), Hart, Otis, Metcalf, Gray, Dierdorff, Banks, Smith, Bakken, Wehrli. The line was so great that it made Coryell’s offense and Hart’s quick and accurate passing, very dangerous.

    Only two of those players, Wehrli and Gray, were defenders, and that was the problem with the team – the defense.

    After a few years, Coryell abandoned the team, saying that no one on the defense was good enough to start for anyone else, and making it difficult to retain him as coach. I suppose he had his frustrations with Cardinal management and wanted to go back to San Diego where he did his college coaching, but I never forgave him his classless exit.

    Dierdorff was a very great player, of course, and one of my favorite announcers. I wish him the best.

  15. By ored on Nov 21, 2013 | Reply

    nice story of a player making good in a 2nd career,displaying good character, and hopefully retiring on their terms,wish you good health and all the best.

  1. 2 Trackback(s)

  2. Nov 20, 2013: Cardinals Blogs | Congrats on a great career Dan Dierdorf
  3. Jan 11, 2014: Cardinals Blogs | A goodbye to Dan Dierdorf

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