|No. 56, 53|
|Date of birth:||November 25, 1944|
|Place of birth:||Boone, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Date of death:||September 5, 1994 49)(aged|
|Place of death:||Durham, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school:||Boone (NC) Appalachian|
|NFL Draft:||1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
A standout linebacker at Duke, he was drafted in 1967 by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the NFL Draft, was the first year of the common draft between the AFL and NFL. He was then acquired by the Dolphins prior to the 1971 season, after Miami defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger requested head coach Don Shula to do so. Matheson came to Miami one year after the Dolphins acquired Paul Warfield from Cleveland.
He was a member of the 1972 undefeated team for the Dolphins.
Matheson was often used by the Dolphins as a fourth linebacker in passing situations. This defensive alignment was often referred to as the "53" defense, named for Matheson's #53 jersey number. This is also referred to as a "34 defense" based on there being 3 linemen and 4 linebackers.
After leaving the Dolphins in 1979, Matheson returned to Duke as an assistant coach. He also coached two seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
- "New York Times obituary". The New York Times. September 7, 1994. Retrieved 2007-11-09.