Dave Stalls

Dave Stalls
No. 65, 61
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1955-09-19) September 19, 1955
Place of birth: Madison, Wisconsin
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: Hamilton (OH) Taft
College: Northern Colorado
NFL Draft: 1977 / Round: 7 / Pick: 191
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 99
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

David Milton Stalls (born September 19, 1955) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Los Angeles Raiders. He played college football for the University of Northern Colorado and also played in the United States Football League for the Denver Gold.

Early years

Stalls attended Hamilton Taft High School and did not start playing football until 9th grade, because he used to focus on Ice hockey instead.

After not receiving much interest and writing letters to 40 prospective schools, he received a scholarship offer from Division II Northern Colorado University. He was a four-year starter at defensive tackle and received third-team Little All-American honors in 1975.[1]

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Stalls was drafted in the seventh round (191st overall) of the 1977 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. In 1978, he was used mainly as a pass-rush specialist. In 1979, he started the first 12 games at left defensive tackle (replacing the retired Jethro Pugh) ahead of former first-round draft choice Larry Bethea, until being replaced by Larry Cole, after the Cowboys traded for John Dutton. He finished with 51 tackles and 5 unofficial sacks.[2]

Ed "Too Tall" Jones unretired in 1980 and the Cowboys opened training camp with 8 quality defensive linemen, when they usually kept seven. The team decided to retain Bethea and Bruce Thornton instead, and traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 1981 seventh round pick (#173-Ron Fellows) and a 1982 fourth round pick (#101-Brian Carpenter).[3]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded for Stalls to replace an injured defensive end Wally Chambers.[4] In 1981, he was a backup end and defensive tackle used mostly on passing downs, until injuries to Bill Kollar and a Lee Roy Selmon's season ending knee injury, forced him to start 9 games at left defensive end.[5]

In the 1982 strike shortened season, he led the team in sacks (6.5) ahead of the future hall of famer Selmon. The next year he had a contract holdout during training camp and asked for the Buccaneers to trade him to the Denver Broncos, in order to pursue his veterinarian interests in the offseason.[6] Complicating matters was a tense relationship with head coach John McKay and the team's ownership, because of his NFL players' union activities.[7]

Stalls ended up renegotiating his contract after the Broncos didn't accept giving up a fourth-round draft choice as part of the trade. He eventually reported to the team and had to pay $40,000 in fines for missing time.[8] On October 18, he was waived after the Buccaneers were notified that he signed a future services contract with the Denver Gold of the United States Football League.[9]

Los Angeles Raiders (first stint)

On November 10, 1983, needing help on the defensive line, the Los Angeles Raiders signed Stalls to a short-term contract after the Denver Gold agreed to loan him.[10] Although he didn't have the size, he was used as a pass-rushing nose tackle where his quickness created mismatches in route to the Raiders winning Super Bowl XVIII.[11]

Denver Gold (USFL)

Stalls took two weeks off after the Super Bowl to physically recover from the grind of the NFL season and joined training camp in February. In 1984, he led the team in sacks with 12.5 (sixth in the league) but his production started to decline halfway through the season because of his body exhaustion. On May 18, he announced his retirement to concentrate in his next career.[12]

Los Angeles Raiders (second stint)

After sitting out the previous year attending veterinary school at Colorado State University, he was signed by the Los Angeles Raiders as a free agent on July 21, 1985.[13] The team used him again as a pass-rush specialist from the nose tackle position. He was released on October 3.[14]

Personal life

After football he experienced many careers such as marine biology at California State University, veterinary medical studies at Colorado State University, investment banking at Boettcher & Company and Stern Brothers, sales at MCI Telecommunications, youth advocacy with the Center for the New West, senior management with the City of Denver's Recreation Department, founder & executive director of The Spot (gang youth center), executive director of Aspen Youth Experience, President/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, and currently the founder & executive director of the Street Fraternity in Denver, Colorado.


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