Howard Richards (American football)

Howard Richards
No. 70
Position: Tackle / Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1959-08-07) August 7, 1959
Place of birth: St. Louis, Missouri
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 268 lb (122 kg)
Career information
High school: Southwest (St. Louis, MO)
College: Missouri
NFL Draft: 1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 26
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 69
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Howard Glenn Richards, Jr. (born August 7, 1959 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League, who played for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football for the University of Missouri.

Early years

Richards attended Southwest High School, before moving on to the University of Missouri. He started 4 games as a true freshman, which was the beginning of a 40 consecutive games starts streak at right tackle, under head coaches Al Onofrio (1977) and Warren Powers (1978-80).

He was a standout offensive tackle, named All-Big Eight as a junior and senior. In his last year in 1980, he was named offensive co-captain and received second team All-American honors. He played in the Senior Bowl and the Hula Bowl.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

In the 1981 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys where targeting cornerback Bobby Butler with their first round selection,[1] but settled on Richards (26th overall) after Butler was taken by the Atlanta Falcons. This was only the third time in franchise history that the Cowboys used a first round pick on an offensive lineman, with John Niland and Robert Shaw being chosen before.

In his second season he was the starter at left guard, but split time the next year with All-Pro Herb Scott.

In 1984, he had a chance to replace the retiring Pat Donovan at left tackle, but was replaced by Phil Pozderac after suffering a torn groin muscle.[2] He eventually started 4 games at left tackle, before missing the last 4 games of the season due to a torn quadriceps injury, that required season-ending surgery. He was the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award at the end of the season.

Richards had 3 solid years, before injuries caused him to miss time over the next 2 seasons. He began 1985 on the physically unable to perform list and wasn't activated until October 24. Richards was named the starter at left guard to start the 1986 season, but injuries stalled his progress again.

He was waived on June 18, 1987, along with many other well-known Cowboys' veteran players, after the franchise's first losing season in 22 years.[3] Although he was a part of two NFC East division championships and two consecutive NFC championship game appearances, his career was marred by injuries and struggles to regain his top form.

Seattle Seahawks

In 1987, after the players went on a strike on the third week of the season, those games were canceled (reducing the 16 game season to 15) and the NFL decided that the games would be played with replacement players. Richards was signed on October 7 to be a part of the Seattle Seahawks replacement team, the same week that many NFL veterans were tired of striking. He played in 2 games, before suffering a knee injury against the Detroit Lions and being placed on the injured reserve list on October 20.[4] He retired at the end of the season.

Personal life

Richards served for 13 years at the Central Intelligence Agency. Richards currently works as the football color analyst for the University of Missouri on Learfield Sports' Tiger Radio Network. Additionally, he is the Senior Manager of External Relations at the University.[5]

He is the first cousin of Erik McMillan, formerly of the New York Jets and nephew of Ernie McMillan, formerly of the Saint Louis Cardinals.

In 2012, Richards was honored by the University of Missouri's College of Arts & Science as a distinguished alumni. In October 2015, Richards was again honored by receiving the University of Missouri's prestigious Faculty - Alumni Award which recognizes the achievements of faculty and alumni. Faculty are considered for distinction in their field, academic responsibilities, and their relationship with students. Alumni are considered for their accomplishments in professional life and service to their community and alma mater.


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