In today’s edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor a receiving star who was a major weapon in the Lions’ offenses of the 1960s.
35. Gail Cogdill
Wide Receiver. 1960-68 Detroit; 1968 Baltimore Colts; 1969-70 Atlanta Falcons
While the Lions had a revolving door at quarterback during the 1960’s, their receiving corps was one of the NFL’s best. Detroit sent receivers to the Pro Bowl ten-times during the decade, with Gail Cogdill claiming three of those as his own. The 6-foot-3, 200 pounder was a sixth-round selection for the Lions out of Washington State in 1960. He earned his first Pro Bowl nod as a rookie with 43 receptions, for 642 yards (14.9 avg.) and 1 touchdown. He would lead the Lions in receptions in 1961 and ’62, and catch a career best ten touchdowns in 1963. He would grab a total of 23 scoring-passes between 1961 and 1963.
Gail possessed skilled hands and great speed, often drawing the opponents best defensive back on game day. His best performance may have come against the Green Bay Packers in the famous “Thanksgiving Day Massacre” game of 1962. Facing future Hall of Fame cornerback Herb Adderley, Cogdill caught touchdown passes of 33, and 27 yards, respectively, during the first sixteen minutes of action. His touchdowns vaulted the Lions to a 14-0 lead, pacing them to their eventual 26-14 triumph.
Cogdill still stands in eighth place on the Lions’ career receptions list (325), as well as among the leaders in career yardage (5,221), and touchdown catches (28).