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1976 Players at a Glance

Al Cowlings

Al Cowlings was there!

Well, he would have been there if he hadn't injured his foot playing for the Rams vs. the Seahawks! How bizarre is that?!

Source: The Washington Post

12 September 1976

But the clearest weakness in the Seahawks' defense was their line play. Seattle had been counting on former Los Angeles Rams star Al Cowlings to bolster their line but the seven-year veteran showed up at the Seahawks' training camp this week and flunked his physical because of a foot injury Cowlings said he suffered when the Rams played the Seahawks here in August.

Cowlings ineligible

The Daily Chronicle
September 11, 1976

SEATTLE (UPI) - Al Cowlings, veteran defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks. has failed his physical and won't be eligible for what was a probable starting position Sunday against the St Louis Cardinals.

Until Friday, Coach Jack Patera had indicated the 6-5. 245-pound Cowlings, a newcomer received via waivers this week, would open at right end.

Cowlings is suffering from a foot injury which occured when he played with the Rams against the Seahawks in an exhibition game.

Filling the gap will be Richard Harris, another new Seahawk picked up on waivers from the Chicago Bears.

In addition, the Seahawks cut rookie cornerback Ernie Jones and defensive tackle Larry Woods to round out their roster to the 49-player limit.

The "Wild Bunch"

The "Wild Bunch," a group of active defensive linemen, gave the Trojans a personality in 1969.

Inspired by a Hollywood western movie which featured killing as the theme, the group was composed of ends Jimmy Gunn and Charles Weaver, tackles Al Cowlings (6-5, 249) and Tody Smith (6-5, 240) and middle guard Bubba Scott (237). Tony Terry (6-3, 250) and Gary McArthur (6-5, 235) were reserves in the group that wrecked offenses.

The players themselves enjoyed the limelight. "It increases our association with ourselves," said Scott. "It gives us pride," said McArthur.

Whenever teams threatened to score against USC, "Wild Bunch" would ring out from the Trojan cheering section. Very large for that era, with quickness, the "Wild Bunch" was called potentially the best defensive line ever at USC by head coach John McKay.

"The objective of defense is to seek out the ballcarrier and separate him from the ball," said Marv Goux, McKay's assistant. "Warner Brothers should consider our group for its next western."

Gunn and Cowlings were All-Americans in 1969. Weaver was honored in 1970. The 1969 team had a 10-0-1 record, climaxing the season with a 10-3 victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

OJ seeks West Coast trade

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Sunday, June 13,1976

NEW YORK (AP) – Superstar running back O.J. Simpson said Saturday night he will only play professional football one more year, and he wants to end his career on the West Coast.

"This is my last year to play football." Simpson told The Associated Press by telephone from Las Vegas. Nev.. where he was attending an awards dinner. Simpson has two more years remaining on his present contract.

"It has nothing to do with money or a new contract. It has to do with a number of things, mainly wanting to stay near my family and not be separated for another football season."

Last season Simpson's wife, Marguerite, and their two children stayed in Los Angeles during the season. "There were rumors going around Buffalo this past season that my wife and I were going to be divorced, and when we were apart we did have problems," Simpson said.

Simpson, who will be 29 next month, denied 'published reports that his decision was influenced by the Bills' failure to re-sign wide receiver Ahmad Rashad who played out his option and signed with the expansion Seattle Seahawks.

"That's speculation on other people's part." Simpson said. "Al Cowlings was and is one of my closest friends. If I was going to react to a player being traded. I would have done it then," referring to 1973 when the Bills sent Cowlings, a defensive end. to the Houston Oilers.

"I am a player," he said. "What they (management) do upstairs doesn't affect what I do on the field."

Player Movement Is Common For Organizing Seattle Seahawks

UPI Sports Writer
The Coshocton Tribune
Wednesday, Sept.8, 1976

The printers in Seattle must be making a mint on playbooks for the National Football League Seahawks. The first year Seattle franchise, which makes its NFL debut Sunday, has had better than a 20 per cent turnover on its roster the past two days, taking advantage of the wealth of talent with which the 26 established teams are cluttering up the waiver list in getting down to their 43-man rosters.

The Seahawks have made 27 separate player movements since Monday: waiving 14 players, putting two more on injured lists, trading veteran wide receiver Ahmad Rashad (the former Bobby Moore) and adding 10 newcomers from waiver claims and three trades.

The Seahawks didn't slight their defense any, adding defensive end Al Cowlings from Los Angeles, linebacker Greg Collins from San Francisco and defensive back Ted Bachman from Cleveland.

Collecting Al Cowlings?

1973 Topps # 16 Al Cowlings
1974 Topps #501 Al Cowlings