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Jay Saldi

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No. 87, 81
Position: Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1954-10-08) October 8, 1954 (age 61)
Place of birth: White Plains, New York
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Career information
High school: White Plains (NY)
College: South Carolina
Undrafted: 1976
Career history
*Inactive and/or offseason member only
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics
Games played - started: 112 - 26
Touchdowns: 7
Stats at
Stats at

John Jay Saldi, IV (born October 8, 1954) is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League. Saldi played for nine seasons from 1976-1984 for the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears. He played college football at the University of South Carolina.

Early years

Saldi attended White Plains Senior High School where he was an All-American tight end and linebacker. He accepted a scholarship from the University of South Carolina where he played as an undersized (205 pounds) defensive tackle as a true freshman, before suffering a leg injury. The following year he was moved to tight end and eventually became a starter as a junior.[1] He was injured playing against Louisiana State University and missed the last 5 games of his senior season.[2]

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

After not being selected in the 1976 NFL Draft, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys.

Saldi played behind Pro Bowler Billy Joe Dupree for most of his time with the team, but was a standout special teams player and a captain of the unit.

He was a member of Cowboys' Super Bowl XII championship team in 1977, although he was de-activated for the game with a bruised leg muscle. The next year he suffered a broken arm in the fourth game and the Cowboys signed future hall of famer Jackie Smith as his replacement.

Saldi caught Roger Staubach last career touchdown pass on December 30, 1979.

He sustained a knee and ankle injury during the 1982 training camp, that caused him to miss most of the season.[3]

Just as Dupree was finishing his career, Doug Cosbie passed Saldi on the depth chart, so he forced the team to trade him to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a sixth round draft choice,[4][5] that eventually was used to draft Eugene Lockhart.

Chicago Bears

Saldi started 6 games in 1983 and 7 in 1984, for the Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

On August 5, 1985, he signed with the Denver Broncos.[6] He was waived on August 26.[7]

Personal life

His son John Saldi tried out for the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 and 2007.[8]