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.”
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