The Engineering of a Tight End – Billy Joe DuPree

Billy Joe DuPree is a former Dallas Cowboys Tight End. During his time with the Cowboys, he was an incredible pass receiver and blocker, quickly becoming the Cowboys Co-Captain and having never missed a game in his 11 years on the squad. He played with the Boys in Blue in their heyday under Tom Landry, when the squad qualified for 7 Super Bowls and won 3 with players like Tony Dorsett and Charlie Waters. His record speaks for itself in more ways than one, but this week on a Cowboy Life, we wanted to get inside the helmet to find out where he came from, how he got there, and ultimately, who Billy Joe DuPree really is. 

Brady Tinker talking with Dallas Cowboy Billy Joe DuPreeBilly Joe DuPree began his life in Monroe, Louisiana, with a loving mother and a father who he describes as a “rolling stone.” He learned a lot from his parents, and especially his mother’s brother Uncle Ernest, who taught him at a young age that he “couldn’t help anybody that couldn’t help themselves.” Back then Billy Joe didn’t know what that meant, but it wouldn’t be long before he figured it out. 

For Billy Joe, athletics was never the end, but the means to the end. In truth, he wanted to be a civil engineer, aspiring to build bridges like he the ones that sprawled across Louisiana’s many rivers and wouldn’t crumble like the structures in his Dad’s favorite World War II movies. He was a smart kid, but he was tough too, and wouldn’t be intimidated, especially by a tough kid on the football team and a clever coach who “conned” him onto the squad. But he found a calling there, and soon found himself heading to Michigan State to play ball for the Spartans.

And it’s there at Michigan that Billy Joe truly came into his own, marrying his high-school sweetheart and having their first son just a couple of years later. For his quiet mannerisms, he was still tough-as-nails, and his penchant for tough hits kept him firmly locked into a tight-end position and snagged him a co-captain position to boot. Between games and family he kept hitting the books, and soon he’d be on his way to a degree in Civil Engineering. But with his senior year would also come a call from Cowboys Scout Gil Brandt and a first-round NFL draft pick that, for better or worse, would make Billy Joe DuPree a Dallas Cowboy.

Bill Joe DuPree trading card

Show Notes & Links:

  1. Where can I find out more about Billy Joe? Here’s a quick rundown of Billy Joe’s career.
  2. Was he really one of the greatest Dallas Cowboys ever? Ask ESPN – they ranked him at #37 on their Top 50 list!
  3. Can I see some highlights from his career? You may have to do a little digging, but here’s Billy Joe snagging the Game-Winning Touchdown against the Cardinals in 1975!

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