1976 Philadelphia Eagles season

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1976 Philadelphia Eagles season
Head coachDick Vermeil
General managerJim Murray
OwnerLeonard Tose
Home fieldVeterans Stadium
Division place4th NFC East
Playoff finishdid not qualify
Pro BowlersLB Bill Bergey

The 1976 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise’s 44th in the National Football League. It was the first year with the team for head coach Dick Vermeil, who would bring the Eagles to their first playoff berth in eighteen seasons in 1978 and then their first Super Bowl just two seasons later. As for this season, the Eagles matched their 4–10 record from last season and failed to reach the playoffs for the sixteenth consecutive season. This was also the tenth straight season for Philadelphia in which they did not end the season with an above .500 record.


After coaching #12 UCLA (8–2–1) to a win over #1 Ohio State (11–0) in the 1976 Rose Bowl by the score of 23–10 Dick Vermeil was offered the Head coaching job of the Philadelphia Eagles. Because of bad trades by past Eagles coaches, Vermeil did not have a 1st round draft pick until 1978, but Vermeil did big things with the talent he had inherited from previous coaches.

NFL Draft[edit]

The 1976 NFL Draft was an annual player selection meeting held on April 8–9, 1976. It lasted 17 rounds, with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks making the first two selections. The expansion teams were also given a pair of extra picks at the end of each of rounds 2-5.

The Philadelphia Eagles would pick 9th in the 17 rounds. They still had to overcome the traded away draft picks of the Mike McCormack era.

The draft began with first overall pick of Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, Defensive End from Oklahoma, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Eagles had to wait until the fourth round and make a selection with the 111th pick.

Player selections[edit]

The table[1] shows the Eagles selections and what picks they had that were traded away and the team that ended up with that pick. It is possible the Eagles’ pick ended up with this team via another team that the Eagles made a trade with.

= Pro Bowler[note 1] = Hall of Famer
1 9 Pick Traded to Cincinnati Bengals
2 18 Pick Traded to Cincinnati Bengals
3 69 Pick Traded to Cincinnati Bengals
4a 101 Pick Traded to San Francisco 49ers
4b 111 Mike Smith DE Florida
4c Pick Acquired from New England Patriots
Pick Traded to Cleveland Browns
5 135 Greg Johnson DT Florida State
6 165 Kirk Johnson T Howard Payne
7 191 Carl Hairston DE Maryland-Eastern Shore
8 216 Richard LaFargue C Arkansas
9a 247 Mike Hogan
Pick Acquired from Chicago Bears
RB Tennessee-Chattanooga
9b 248 Richard Osborne TE Texas A&M
10 273 Herb Lusk RB Long Beach State
11 300 Mike Gilbert DT San Diego State
12 228 Pick Traded to New York Jets
13a 353 Terry Tautolo
Pick Acquired from New York Jets
13b 358 Steve Ebbecke DB Villanova
14 385 Melvin Shy DB Tennessee State
15 412 Brett White Punter UCLA
16 439 Steve Campassi RB Kentucky
17 470 Anthony Terry DB California-Davis


1976 Philadelphia Eagles roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad {{{practice_squad}}}

Rookies in italics

Regular season[edit]

Vincent Papale[edit]

Vincent Papale, at 6-feet 2-inches (1.88 m) and 195 pounds (88.5 kg), was a long shot to make the Eagles roster. At age 30, Papale became the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL to play without the benefit of college football experience (other than kickers). He went on to play wide receiver and special teams for the Eagles.

Papale earned the nickname “Rocky” (after the 1976 Sylvester Stallone movie and character) while playing with Philadelphia. He is the subject of the Disney movie Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg.


A game against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 10 was originally scheduled to be played at Veterans Stadium, however was relocated to St. Louis due to a Philadelphia Phillies game being played at Veterans Stadium on the same day. Consequently, the game on November 7 that was originally scheduled to be played in St. Louis was moved to Philadelphia.

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 12, 1976 at Dallas Cowboys L 27–7
2 September 19, 1976 New York Giants W 20–7
3 September 27, 1976 Washington Redskins L 20–17
4 October 3, 1976 at Atlanta Falcons W 14–13
5 October 10, 1976 at St. Louis Cardinals L 33–14
6 October 17, 1976 at Green Bay Packers L 28–13
7 October 24, 1976 Minnesota Vikings L 31–12
8 October 31, 1976 at New York Giants W 10–0
9 November 7, 1976 St. Louis Cardinals L 17–14
10 November 14, 1976 at Cleveland Browns L 24–3
11 November 21, 1976 Oakland Raiders L 26–7
12 November 28, 1976 at Washington Redskins L 24–0
13 December 5, 1976 Dallas Cowboys L 26–7
14 December 12, 1976 Seattle Seahawks W 27–10

Game summaries[edit]

Week 2[edit]

1 234Total
Giants 0 007 7
Eagles 0 1037 20



NFC East
Dallas Cowboys(2) 11 3 0 .786 6–2 9–3 296 194 L1
Washington Redskins(4) 10 4 0 .714 6–2 9–3 291 217 W4
St. Louis Cardinals 10 4 0 .714 5–3 9–3 309 267 W2
Philadelphia Eagles 4 10 0 .286 2–6 4–8 165 286 W1
New York Giants 3 11 0 .214 1–7 3–9 170 250 L1

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved 2008-05-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com

External links[edit]