Former Steelers P Craig Colquitt Nearly Found Himself On Other Side Of Super Bowl XIII Matchup Against Cowboys
Similar to the Manning family of the quarterback position, or the Watt family along the defensive front, the Colquitts hold the legacy of being a family of successful NFL punters. It all started with former Pittsburgh Steelers P Craig Colquitt as he was selected in the third round of the 1978 draft. But that wasn’t where he wanted to go, or thought he would go throughout the pre-draft process. In a recent interview on Nashville’s 102.5 The Game’s Chase and Big Joe Show, he revealed that he wanted to land with the Dallas Cowboys.
Colquitt ended up winning two Super Bowls with the Steelers during the 1978 and ’79 seasons, so I would say it worked out pretty well for him. But he told the story of how he nearly ended up a Cowboy which would have seen him playing on the losing side of the 1978 Super Bowl between the Steelers and Cowboys.
“I always wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy,” Colquitt said. “In fact, Gil Brandt sent me a letter every week my senior year, ‘You’re gonna be a Cowboy.’ Two weeks before the draft, Chuck Noll and three coaches flew into Knoxville and tried me out. Horrible tryout. I had a great tryout with Dick [Haley]…but flopped with Noll. The day of the draft, they called and took me in the third, and I was disappointed ’cause Dallas said they were gonna take me in the fifth round.”
He ended up spending seven seasons with the Steelers from 1978-84 before finishing out his career with one single game in 1987 with the Indianapolis Colts. He punted 431 times in his career and averaged 41.3 yards with a net average of 34.8 after returns. His 40.0 average in the 1978 Super Bowl-winning season was tied for the 10th-best mark in the league.
With how good the Steelers’ defense was in the ’70s, every extra yard of field position that Colquitt gained the team was significant. The Steelers allowed just 195 points to opposing teams that year, or 12.2 per game as one of the best regular-season defenses in league history. The Steelers, and Colquitt, went on to win the third Super Bowl in franchise history in their 35-31 championship win.
“They’d already won two Super Bowls, so I thought I’m going to Pittsburgh, so I’m gonna make the best that I’m not gonna be a Cowboy,” Colquitt said. “When I got there, everybody was so professional, just so down to earth kind of guys. It was an easy transition for a country boy going into big-city Pittsburgh.”
He also touched on the story of how he came to get the opportunity to punt in college in the first place. which involved responding to an advertisement in the local newspaper to send his high school resume to the University of Tennessee. So four NFL punters, and four Super Bowl rings among the family all started because of Craig Colquitt responding to an ad in the local paper and getting drafted by a team he didn’t initially want to go to.