You are an old Cowboy fan if you can remember this line: Lilly, Willie, Jethro and George.
Bob Lilly, Willie Townes, Jethro Pugh and George Andrie were the Front Four of the Doomsday Defense. They were the undersized, overmatched front line of the undersized, overmatched Flex Defense of the late, great Tom Landry. Landry believed you got beat in football if someone could run the ball on you. He built a defense built on smart players who could learn his defense. He gave tests on the defense each week, written tests.
Jethro Pugh always made 100. That was how Bob Lilly remembered it yesterday in reflecting on Jethro Pugh’s death at age 70. Mr. Pugh knew the Flex Defense about as well as its inventor, Mr. Landry.
The Doomsday Defense stopped the run, chased the pass and kept the Offense in the game. Mr. Landry was Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator and cleaned the offices, I think. He was so often a winner the Lombardi Trophy could have been named for him if he had just beaten Lombardi a time or two. Mr. Landry could not win the big one. Mr. Roger Staubach could win the big one and lots of others to get to the big one. Mr. Landry never won a championship without Mr. Staubach.
Jethro Pugh got him close. When I heard of his death yesterday, I stopped a moment to remember the sight of Number 75, getting up and down the field. He was always in position, ever a stalwart and the devil to block.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Pugh.