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David Woodley, 44; Former Dolphin Quarterback Was in 1983 Super Bowl

May 07, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

David Woodley, who started at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins in the 1983 Super Bowl, has died. He was 44.

Woodley died Sunday in Shreveport, La., according to a local funeral parlor.

His brother, Joe, told the Shreveport Times that the cause of death had not yet been determined. Woodley had a liver transplant in the early 1990s.

The fifth child born to Hazel and John Woodley, a Shreveport lawyer, he was a standout player in high school before going on to Louisiana State University. He led the Tigers to a 34-10 victory over Wake Forest in the 1979 Tangerine Bowl.

Woodley was the 13th quarterback and 214th player selected in the National Football League draft in 1980.

He played four seasons with Miami, including the Dolphins' 27-17 Super Bowl loss to the Washington Redskins in a game played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. He later played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Super Bowl loss was particularly frustrating for Woodley.

He threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Cefalo in the first quarter, but completed just three of his other 13 passes for 21 yards. He did not complete a pass in the second half, as the Redskin defense dominated the game.

Woodley still finished his career third in Dolphins' history, with 5,928 career passing yards and 508 pass completions, behind Dan Marino and Bob Griese. He holds the Miami rookie record, with 176 pass completions.

"His legacy was that he came in relatively unknown, an eighth-round draft choice, made our football team and ended up helping us win a lot of games in the National Football League," former Dolphin Coach Don Shula said in a statement.

After retiring from football, Woodley returned to the Shreveport area and pursued an information technology degree at LSU-Shreveport.

He also worked in the school's physical education department and was a radio commentator for local high school football games.

Among Woodley's survivors are six brothers and a sister.

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