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Former Washington defensive lineman Dave Butz passes away at 72

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Former Washington defensive lineman Dave Butz, a Pro Bowler and First Team All-Pro selection who helped the franchise win two Super Bowls, has passed away. He was 72.

Butz was a dominant force during his 16-year career, 14 of those seasons were with Washington from 1975-88. He appeared in 203 games for the Burgundy & Gold with 180 starts. In addition recording 64 career sacks, he also grabbed two interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. Butz's 59 sacks with Washington are the fifth-most in franchise history.

Butz was born in Alabama but was raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, where he played high school football at Maine South High School. He was a two-time All-American and also set a state record in discus throwing, which helped him win a state championship.

Butz played college football at Purdue, where he had a highly-successful playing career. In 1972, he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, a honor given to a player "who best embodies the values and spirit of NFL's legendary coach Vince Lombardi" by the Rotary Club of Houston, Texas. Butz was a First Team All-Big Ten selection and was named to Purdue's All Time Football Team. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Butz was the No. 5 overall pick in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1973 NFL Draft but joined Washington two years later after a mistake in his contract led to him being a free agent. It was here that Butz won fans over because of his production and dedication to the team. He was a part of three Super Bowl appearances, including two victories over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

Throughout his career, he produced several notable moments that highlighted his love for the sport. During the 1987 season, Butz checked himself out of the hospital to play in Washington's Week 7 game against the New York Jets. He delivered a game-saving sack on Ken O'Brien and got a game ball for his efforts.

Butz retired from the NFL in 1989 and was the oldest starting player in the NFL at the time. He was selected to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and is one of the franchise's 90 Greatest Players. His name was also placed in the Ring of Fame at FedExField.

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