John Roach (American football)

John Roach
No. 12, 33, 10
Position: Quarterback, Defensive back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1933-03-26) March 26, 1933
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 197 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school: Dallas (TX) Highland Park
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 3 / Pick: 31
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards: 2,765
Pass attempts: 413
Pass completions: 182
TDINT: 24–37
Rushing yards: 99
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

John Gipson Roach (born March 26, 1933) is a former American football player, a quarterback and defensive back in the National Football League for the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and Dallas Cowboys.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Roach graduated from Highland Park High School in University Park, which had earlier produced hall of famers Bobby Layne and Doak Walker.

Roach played college football at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and was selected in the third round (31st overall) in the 1956 NFL draft by the Chicago Cardinals. After his rookie season, he spent two years in the U.S. Air Force, and returned to the team in 1959, and started as a defensive back, then as a quarterback late in the season.[1] He was the starting quarterback in 1960, their first season in St. Louis, then was traded in the off season to Cleveland, and again to Green Bay in August.[2]

Roach was on the Packers' 1961 and 1962 NFL championship teams, backing up Bart Starr under head coach Vince Lombardi. When Starr injured his passing hand in October 1963 and was out for 4½ games, Roach was the starter.[1][3][4] The Packers were 4–1 with Starr sidelined and finished 11–2–1, but the 26–7 loss to the Chicago Bears in mid-November was critical;[5][6][7] it kept them a half game back in the Western Conference final standings and denied Green Bay a chance to win an unprecedented third consecutive NFL championship game.

Roach retired after the season and worked for an investment firm in Dallas. He was acquired by the Dallas Cowboys in 1964 after starting quarterback Don Meredith went down with a minor knee injury in late August and Roach made several starts during the season.[8][9][10]


  1. 1 2 "Roach waiting, ready". Milwaukee Journal. October 22, 1963. p. 15, part 2.
  2. Johnson, Chuck (August 8, 1961). "John Roach is obtained". Milwaukee Journal. p. 10, part 2.
  3. "John Roach promoted by Packers". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. October 22, 1963. p. 18.
  4. Hand, Jack (October 22, 1963). "Roach only sub for Starr". Ocala Star=Banner. Florida. Associated Press. p. 9.
  5. Strickler, George (November 18, 1963). "Showdown battle is all Bears, 26-7". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
  6. Lea, Bud (November 18, 1963). "Spirited Bears maul Packers, take lead". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
  7. Johnson, Chuck (November 18, 1963). "Bears rip Packers in showdown, 26-7". Milwaukee Journal. p. 9, part 2.
  8. "John Roach joins Cowboys". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. September 1, 1964. p. 25.
  9. "Cowboys' hopes rest on Roach". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. October 1, 1964. p. 12, part 2.
  10. "Roach". Milwaukee Journal. UPI. November 28, 1964. p. 2, final.

External links

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