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Jay McKinley Novacek (born October 24, 1962 in Martin, South Dakotamarker) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League who played for the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1985-1989) and the Dallas Cowboys (1990-1995). Novacek was a five time Pro Bowler, who was selected to play each year from 1991 through 1995. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Famemarker in 2008.

Early life

Novacek played high school football in Gothenburg, Nebraska, where he played quarterback and wore number 15, then played college football at the University of Wyomingmarker. He was selected to the Kodak All-American football team in 1984 after setting a NCAA record for receiving yards per receptions by a tight end. He had 83 career receptions for 1,536 yards and ten touchdowns. Novacek also competed in track and field for the University of Wyoming. He won the Western Athletic Conference decathlon championship, earning All-American honors. He also set UW records for decathlon points, 7,615, and in the pole vault, 16'4".

Professional career

Novacek was drafted in the sixth round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. After spending five seasons with the Cardinals, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a Plan B free agent. Novacek was a key contributor for Dallas in the early 1990s, assisting them to three Super Bowl wins in four seasons. In those games, he recorded a combined total of 17 receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Novacek, who hadn't played a game since Super Bowl XXX in 1996, officially retired from the NFL on July 15, 1997 due to a lingering back injury. In his 11 seasons, Novacek recorded 422 receptions for 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Post-NFL Career

Novacek currently serves as spokesperson for the Alltel Wireless "Yards 4 Youth Football" program in West Texas. For every yard gained by 11 high school football teams in the region, Alltel will donate $1 to each school’s corresponding youth football organization. Each week, an additional $500 will be donated to youth football programs across West Texas on behalf of the "Yards 4 Youth Football Player of the Week" and "Team of the Week."

Novacek also co-stars in commercials for friend Bob Lovell of Home Marketing Services in Dallas, Texas.

Novacek currently owns his own private hunting ranch called Jay Novacek's Upper 84 Ranch in Brady, Nebraskamarker.

Novacek was commemorated for his 2008 induction into the College Football Hall of Famemarker at half-time of the Wyoming Cowboys game on 9/13/08.

Novacek conducts a youth football camp at the University of North Texasmarker in Dentonmarker,Texasmarker every summer.

Jay appeared as a coach on the Spike TV reality series 4th and Long as an instructor in 2009.

External links


  1. University of Wyoming: Notable Alumni
  2. Haley and Novacek Retire - New York Times

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