Jim Cooper (American football)

For other people named Jim Cooper, see Jim Cooper (disambiguation).
Jim Cooper
No. 61
Position: Offensive Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1955-09-28) September 28, 1955
Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 262 lb (119 kg)
Career information
High school: Philadelphia (PA) Dougherty
College: Temple
NFL Draft: 1977 / Round: 6 / Pick: 164
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 133
Game started: 99
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

James Albert Cooper (born September 28, 1955 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. He played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1977 through 1986. He played college football at Temple University.

Early years

Cooper played high school football at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, not far from the Temple campus. He was a three-sport athlete, earning varsity letters in football, baseball, and track and field. He was the Catholic League champ in the shot put. His teammates elected him captain in all three sports during his senior year.

He received a football scholarship from Temple University where he started for three years as an offensive tackle.

He was inducted into the Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Cooper was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. The NFL proved difficult at first, getting released at the end of his rookie training camp.[1] But after being signed back during the preseason, he took advantage of this second opportunity, by learning 3 positions (Tackle, Guard, Center) and becoming the most versatile Offensive lineman in the team.

Cooper served as a utility lineman early in his career, playing every position on the Offensive line as a backup, before replacing Rayfield Wright in 1979 at right tackle.

During his time with the Cowboys, center John Fitzgerald nicknamed the Cowboys offensive line as the "Four Irishmen and a Scott", when it was formed by him, Fitzgerald, Pat Donovan, Tom Rafferty and Herb Scott.

In 1984, he missed half of the season, after being injured on a bizarre accident, when he slipped while rising from a table at a night club, while watching Monday Night Football. He dislocated his right ankle and in the process broke a bone and ligaments.[2] He was replaced by Phil Pozderac the rest of the season.

Cooper retired in 1986, after being injured most of that year.[3] He played in 134 games for the Cowboys from 1977 through 1986, including 2 Super Bowls.

Personal life

After retirement, he focused on managing his family owned company Industrial Container Services.


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