Robert Shaw (American football)

For other people with the name Robert or Bob Shaw, see Robert Shaw (disambiguation).
Robert Shaw
No. 52
Position: Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1956-10-15) October 15, 1956
Place of birth: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school: Joseph Wheeler (GA)
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× All-SEC (1977, 1978)
Career NFL statistics
Games: 33
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Robert Leslie Shaw (born October 15, 1956 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama) is a retired American football center in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1979 to 1981. He played college football at the University of Tennessee. Shaw suffered a knee injury and had to stop playing football.

Early years

Shaw attended Joseph Wheeler High School and played varsity football for three years, receiving All-American and All-state honors in his senior season of 1975.

He went on to play college football at Tennessee University where he was a three-year starter at center, and earned All-SEC honors in 1977 and 1978. Future Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe Avezzano, was his offensive coordinator.

As a senior he was named team captain and received the team's Mickey O’Brien award. He also played in the East–West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.

Professional career

Shaw was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft. This was only the second time the Cowboys used a first round pick on an offensive lineman. The first time was in the 1966 NFL Draft when the team selected John Niland.

He began his career backing up John Fitzgerald at center. In 1980 after Fitzgerald injured his knee, he became the starting center for the last five regular season games, including three in the playoffs where he excelled.

Two games into his third season in 1981, he sprained his right knee against the Saint Louis Cardinals. He returned after sitting out three weeks, only to have the same knee torned in the sixth game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers.[1] He tried to come back for 20 months, but he was never able to pass the team's physical and retired.[2]

Shaw was expected to anchor the Cowboys offensive line for several years, but his knee injury ended his promising career.[3] He played in just 33 games over a 3-year career with the Cowboys. After Shaw's injury, Tom Rafferty was moved from guard and was named the starting center.

Personal life

After his football career was over, he went back to college and earned a degree in architectural design and management. He became a vice president, working directly under Bob Breunig in the SBC development company.


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