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Player Profile: Dale Hellestrae

From the Cowboys*96 Media Guide
(July, 1996)

Dale Hellestrae
Guard/Center #70
6'5" * 286 * 7/11/62
SMU
T(Rai) for '90 * 12 Year

PRO:
Dale Hellestrae, playing a position that only gets noticed when something goes wrong has been a pillar of consistency as the Cowboy deep snapper over the last six years. Since his arrival, the Cowboys have not had a punt blocked or a snap fumble in 385 regular-season punts, and they have not had a fumbled snap in 213 field goal 385 regular-season punts, and they have not had a fumbled snap in 213 field goal attempts (regular and postseason). Hellestrae not only provides dependable snaps, but he also provides Dallas with a reliable back-up center and guard.

1995: Hellestrae led the Cowboys special teams to record performances in 1995. Kicker Chris Boniol established a Dallas team record by connecting on 96.4% (27-of-28) of his field goal attempts. Boniol accounted for 127 points, the most points every by a Cowboys kicker, and ranked fifth in theNFL (among all players) in scoring. He also connected on 25 consecutive field goal attempts, a Cowboys record and a streak that will continue into 1996. Punter John Jett placed 17-of-53 punts (32.1%) inside the 20 yard line, the third highest average in the NFC and eighth highest in the NFL. The only action Hellestrae saw with the offensive unit came in the fourth quarter vs. Philadelphia (11/6) when he replaced Ray Donaldson at center. Hellestra recorded a special teams tackle vs. San Francisco (11/12), vs. Washington (12/3) and at Philadelphia (12/10) before tallying one special tems tackle in Super Bowl XXX against Pittsburgh (1/28/96).

1994: Hellestrae once again led the special teams units to lotty NFL rankings. Punter John Jett ranked sixth in theNFC with a 41.9 average, while rookie kicker Chris Boniol finished the year ranked fourth in the NFC and seventh in the NFL (among all players) with 114 points. After spending most of the preseason as the starting center for the injured Mark Steponski, Hellestrae saw action with the offensive unit in one quarter of Dallas games. He saw fourth quarter action at center against Arizona (10/9) and took over at center in the third quarter against Philadelphia (10/16) when Stepnoski suffered a sprained left ankle. Hellestrae filled in at left guard and at right guard, in short yardage situations, after injuries hobbled Nate Newton and Derek Kennard against the N.Y. Giants (11/7). He also took over at left guard for Newton for a couple of plays against Washington (11/20). Hellestrae added five special team tackles to lead all non-defensive players.

1993: The Dallas special teams units were among the NFL's elite in a number of categories in 1993 as punter John Jett finished the season third in the NFC in net punting average (37.7), kicker Eddie Murray established a new Dallas single season record by hitting 28 field goals in only 14 games and Joe Avezzano was named 1993 Special Teams Coach of the Year by the NFL's special teams coaches. At the center of all these great performances was Hellestrae, the Cowboys deep snapper. Hellestrae, who ended the season with seven special teams tackles to lead all non-defensive players, added two more tackers in the postseason.

1992: With Hellestrae at center, the Cowboys special teams flourished. Kicker Lin Elliott had the most points (119) by an NFL rookie in seven years, and punter Mike Saxon extended his regular-season string of consecutive punts without a block to 204. Hellestrae saw his only duty with the offensive unit when he played right guard against Chicago (12/27).

1991: He saw considerable action at center against Atlanta (12/22) when Mark Stepnoski was injured in the first half, playing an important role in Dallas' 32-27 come-from behind victory.

1990: Hellestrae was acquired from the Los Angeles Raiders on Aug 20, 1990, for the Cowboys' seventh round draft choice in 1991. Hellestrae, who has played every position on the offensive line during his pro career, backed up at both guard and center, while also deep snapping.

1989: He signed as a Plan B free agent with the Raiders after four seasons with Buffalo but spent 1989 on injured reserve after breaking his leg in training camp.

1988: Hellestrae had his most productive year in 1988 when he started at right guard in the final two games of the season and in the Bills' two playoff games, including the AFC Championship Game against Cincinnati.

1987: Hellestrae missed the 1987 season after being placed on injured reserve due to a hip injury.

1986: He played in the first two games before a broken wrist forced him to miss the next eight games.

1985: Drafted in the fourth round by Buffalo, Hellestrae missed the final 12 games of his rookie year with a broken thumb.

GAMES/STARTS (regular season, playoffs), 1985 (4/0-Buff), 1986 (8/0-Buff), 1987 (R-Buff), 1988 (16/2, 2/2-Buff), 1989 (IR-Raid, 1990 (16/0), 1991 (16/0, 2/0), 1992 (16./0, 3/0), 1993 (16/0, 3/0), 1994 (16/0, 2/0), 1995 (16/0, 3/0). Total 0 124/2 (Dallas 96/0, 13/0).

COLLEGE: A four-year letterman and two-year starter for Southern Methodist University, Hellestrae earned All-Southwest Conference honors as a senior in 1984. The Mustangs tallied a 4-5-1 record during his stint there and participated in the Cotton, Sun and Aloha Bowls. While at SMU, he played his college home games in Texas Stadium.

PERSONAL: Dale Robert Hellestrae (HELL-u-stray) was an all-state pick at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, AZ. He spent one year at the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, TX, after high school. Dale earned his degree in business administration from SMU and now owns and operates a Cookie Bouquet franchise in Phoenix. He and his wife Brooke have two daughters, Hilary (2/17/92) and Kendyll (2/7/95),


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