Dale scores against his former team, the Los Angeles Rams.

Carroll Dale: One of the best deep threats in Green Bay Packers history

Carroll Dale in one of those 1960 promo shots.

Carroll Dale was one of the speed burning wide receivers who opened up the National Football League in the 1960s and changed the game forever – especially for the Green Bay Packers.

It was on this date in 1965 that he was traded to the Packers, a trade that would benefit the franchise for the next eight years. Though he did what so many other Green Bay Packers at the end of their careers have done, Dale finished his last season in Minnesota playing for the Vikings.

But prior to that, he played eight seasons and 111 games in Green Bay, catching 275 passes for 5,422 yards and an incredible 19.7 yards per reception. He also scored 35 touchdowns, the longest of which was 89 yards.

The Packers traded Dan Currie to the Los Angeles Rams for Dale – a pretty even trade at the time. Currie, who was the Packers’ first round selection in the 1958 NFL Draft, was a first team All-Pro between 1961-63, while Dale had been the Rams’ second leading receiver in the five years he was with the team. During that time, Dale played in 65 games, caught 149 passes for 2,663 yards (17.9 yard average), 17 touchdowns, with the longest being 80 yards.

“We lost our first-round draft choice [Larry Elkins of Baylor to Houston of the AFL],” Packers coach and general manager Vince Lombardi said. “And as a result we felt we needed a receiver with speed. Dale has that speed. He does 100 in less than 10 seconds.”

Carroll Dale in The NFL-AFL Championship Game later known as Super Bowl I.
Life Magazine photograph

Dale’s best season with the Packers came in 1968, 69 and 70. During those three seasons he caught 42, 45, and 49 passes. He also had over 800 yards in each of those seasons and averaged more than 19 yards per catch in two of the three.

During his 14 years in the NFL, he played in 189 games, had 438 receptions for 8,277 yards (18.9-yard average), and scored 52 touchdowns, the longest of which was 89 yards.

Dale was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, Packers Hall of Fame in 1979 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Indeed, one of the best trades Vince Lombardi pulled off.


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