Purdue Boilermakers To Honor Late Quarterback Len Dawson With Helmet Decal

The Purdue football program announced it will honor late quarterback Len Dawson by wearing a helmet decal with his name and number for Thursday’s game against Penn State (8 p.m. on FOX).

Dawson, who passed away on Aug. 24 at the age of 87, was the Boilermakers’ starting quarterback from 1954-56. He earned All-Big Ten honors each season and finished his career with 3,325 passing yards and 29 touchdowns, both of which were school records at the time. 

The fifth-overall pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1957 NFL Draft, Dawson spent his first five seasons in the league as a backup quarterback with the Steelers and Cleveland Browns. He then signed with the American Football League’s Dallas Texans in 1962 and immediately led the franchise to the AFL Championship. 

After the Texans moved to Kansas City, where they became the Chiefs, Dawson guided them to an appearance in the first AFL-NFL Championship Game and a victory in Super Bowl IV. He was notably named the MVP of the latter after throwing for 142 yards and one touchdown in a 23-7 upset win over the Minnesota Vikings. 

Dawson finished his 19-year professional career with 28,711 passing yards and 239 touchdowns. He was selected to play in six AFL All-Star games, as well as the 1972 Pro Bowl, and was inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. 

Dawson remained around the game once his playing career came to an end, as he served as an analyst for NBC and hosted HBO’s “Inside the NFL” for 25 years. He also spent more than 30 years as a radio analyst for the Chiefs, and was again inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012 as a broadcaster. 

In addition to inducting him into their Hall of Fame in 1979, the Chiefs named their broadcast booth at Arrowhead Stadium after Dawson. They are also wearing a helmet decal in his honor this season.

Purdue, meanwhile, inducted Dawson into its athletics Hall of Fame in 1996, as he is one of three Boilermaker quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl, joining Bob Griese and Drew Brees. Alabama is the only other school in the country that can claim that kind of success (Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Ken Stabler).

Photo courtesy of @BoilerFootball on Twitter.