The Arizona Cardinals announced that former guard Conrad Dobler died at the age of 72 on Monday.
Dobler was infamously regarded as the league’s dirtiest player in the game during his time, a title he did not shy away from, as he told Sports Illustrated in a 1977 article, “I’ll do anything I can get away with to protect my quarterback.”
A fifth-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1972 NFL Draft, the Wyoming product played the game how he wanted, which led to Dobler earning three Pro Bowl selections in his 10 NFL seasons, which included time with the Cardinals, New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and former teammates of Conrad Dobler,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in the team’s statement “He was the kind of tough, physical and fierce player that you love to line up with as a teammate and hate to line up against as an opponent. On the field, Conrad was a big reason for the success of the Cardiac Cards of the 1970s. Away from it, he brought authentic joy and caring to everyone who had the privilege of being his friend and that is what I will remember most.”
Over the course of Dobler’s career, he spent his first six seasons with the Cardinals. Dobler and Hall of Fame offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf helped lead one the league’s top offensive lines. The duo allowed only eight sacks in 1975 and a league-low 40 sacks between 1975 and 1977. The Cardinals guard played for Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Coryell, who was just selected into the exclusive group this past week. Dobler and Coryell won NFC East division titles in 1974 and 1975.
Dobler played two years for the Saints from 1978-79 and another two for the Bills before retiring after the 1981 season.
In his 10-year career, Dobler started in 125 games out of 129 that he played in.