Daniel Meyer Darragh (born November 28, 1946) is a former American football
player. He played college football
at William & Mary
. A quarterback
, he played professionally in the American Football League
for the Buffalo Bills
, and for the NFL Bills in 1970. He shared the starting job with Ed Rutkowski
, Kay Stephenson
and Tom Flores
in 1968 while long-time starter and former AFL MVP Jack Kemp
was out with an injury. He is now a practicing attorney in Pittsburgh.
Dan Darragh played college football for William & Mary. Ironically, his head coach was Marv Levy
, the man who'd lead the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowls. In 1965, Darragh plated in 10 games for William & Mary, passing for 8 touchdown passes, 896 yards and 7 interceptions, and two rushing touchdowns. The Tribe finished with a 6-4 record overall, 5-1 in the Southern Conference. The next season, the Tribe's record slip to 5-4-1 overall, 4-1-1 in conference. The Tribe became more a pass first offense, with Darragh throwing the ball for 1,346 yards, first time he'd eclipsed the 1,000 yard passing mark in his career. In Darragh's senior season, William & Mary continued to struggle, but on November, 11th, 1967, they played West Virginia to a 16-16 tie, handing the Mountaineers the only blemish on their conference record.
In 1968, the Bills selected Darragh in the 13th round of the NFL draft. The Bills starter the previous season, Jack Kemp
was slated to miss the entire 1968 season. The Bills had hold overs Tom Flores
, Ed Rutkowski
and the nearly acquired Kay Stephenson
at quarterback. Darraugh won the won out of training camp. The season started with a 16-7 home loss against the Boston Patriots
. The Bills then dropped their next two games to Oakland Raiders
and Cincinnati Bengals before a 37-35 home win over the New York Jets
. The highlight of the game was Bills defensive back Tom Janik
picking off a Joe Namath
pass and returning it 100 yards for a touchdown. As for Darragh, he only completed eight passes and threw and interception, but he had his first win in the pros as a starting quarterback. It would be the only win for the Bills that season, as they finished 1-12-1. for the season.
Jack Kemp returned for the 1969 season, and Darragh was exiled to the role of back-up. Under new head coach John Rauch
, the Bills improved to 4-10. Darragh played in three games, starting in two of them as the season drew to a close. The Bills lost both of Darragh's starts that season, first to the Kansas City Chiefs
and then to the Jets. In the 1970 draft, the Bills selected Dennis Shaw
out of San Diego State as their quarterback of the future. Jack Kemp had since decided to retire from pro football. Darragh also had more competition for the quarterback position, James Harris, who was one of the first African-American quarterbacks to play in the modern era. While Shaw was assigned to hold a clipboard for the first for weeks as Darragh started. The Bills lost both games, both where home games, to the Denver Broncos
and Los Angeles Rams
respectively. His last appearance in an NFL game would occur on October 11, 1970, appearing in a relief role in the Bills 23-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers
. Darragh was released by the Bills at the end of training camp in 1971, ending his NFL career. Darragh finished with a 1-10 record as a starting quarterback.
In 1992, William & Mary inducted Darragh into the school's Hall of Fame.
* List of American Football League players
Category:American football quarterbacks
Category:Buffalo Bills players
Category:William & Mary Tribe football players
Category:Sportspeople from Pittsburgh
Category:Players of American football from Pennsylvania
Category:American Football League players