Boyd Dowler, who switched from quarterback in college competition to a flanker in professional football, became one of the game’s truly great receivers and was a prominent member of the late Vince Lombardi’s dynasty at Green Bay.
Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Dowler starred in football, basketball and track while at Cheyenne High School, and then matriculated to the University of Colorado in 1955 to excel in football as a triple-threat quarterback in Coach Dallas Ward’s single-wing system. He also ran the hurdles for Coach Frank Potts’s teams in track and field. He became a starting sophomore quarterback and later led the Buffs to their first post-season bowl victory when Colorado defeated Clemson in the 1957 Orange Bowl, which he feels to be his greatest moment in sports.
Dowler led the Big Eight Conference in several categories during his three years. In his senior season, he was chosen All-Conference and played in the East-West Shrine Game with the victorious West, played in the Optimist Bowl, and appeared in the College All-Star game in Chicago.
He was drafted by the Green bay Packers in 1959 and became a regular as a rookie. Dowler was chosen Rookie of the Year in 1959, and later went on to become a favorite target of quarterback Bart Starr as the Packers dominated the professional game. During his pro career, he was selected for several All-Star teams, played in six NFL championship games and the Pro Bowl and appeared with victorious Green Bay in the first two Super Bowl games.
Dowler completed his eleventh year of competition in the National Football League in 1971 as a player-coach with the Washington Redskins. He had retired from active competition after his tenth season with the Packers in 1969 and became an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams, but when George Allen, Rams Head Coach, went to Washington in 1971, Dowler accompanied him and became a player-coach with the Redskins. In 1975, Dowler retired from sports and his connection with sports subsided drastically.
One of the game’s truly great receivers and was a prominent member of the late Vince Lombardi’s dynasty at Green Bay.