Jesse Powell, linebacker for 1972 Dolphins, dies at 65

Jesse Powell, a linebacker who spent five seasons with the Dolphins and played in every game for the perfect 17-0 team of 1972, has died at the age of 65.

Powell grew up in the Texas Panhandle and was a star at West Texas State, was the Dolphins’ ninth-round pick in the 1969 NFL draft. His career was cut short by a knee injury in 1973.

Unlike some of his 1972 Dolphins teammates, Powell would later say he wanted to see another team go undefeated, and that he thought more recent teams had a tougher path to perfection than his Dolphins had, because the media hype surrounding any team that went unbeaten deep into the season was so great.

I hope somebody does it,” Powell told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in 2005. “I was part of a great team and a great organization, and the stars just haven’t lined up since.”

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5 responses to “Jesse Powell, linebacker for 1972 Dolphins, dies at 65

  1. The 1972 Dolphins (even though undefeated at the time) had to go on the road to hostile and freezing cold Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game due to home field rotations back then. No undefeated team today would have to go on the road in the playoffs.

    Also, the Dolphins had been playing with their backup QB since week 5 of the regular season. Bob Griese didn’t come back from injury until after halftime of the AFC Championship game.

  2. Freezing cold? If my memory serves me right it was uncharacteristically warm in Pittsburgh for that game. I also believe Bradshaw got hurt and missed a few series. Miami was a fine team but the NFL was in no way as competitive then as it is now. The longer schedule and playoffs make it much more difficult.

  3. You are correct about the weather. I was wrong. I’ve been watching a lot of historic games on NFL network and probably got it confused with an old Raiders/Steelers game. I’m getting old.

  4. All the talk from the dolphins fool owner about changing the their classic colors probably did him in…

    Ross is a clown figure. I feel bad for Dolphin fans, they deserve better ownership.

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