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Alex Karras DL
Iowa Years with the Lions: 1958-62, 64-70
Pro Bowls: 4 (1961-63, '66) Seasons: 12
Height: 6-2 Weight: 248
Alex Karras
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Lions

One of the fiercest members of the Lions’ famed "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line unit of the 1960s was Alex Karras, who played 12 seasons for the Lions beginning in 1959. Karras was drafted by the Lions in the first round (10th overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft out of Iowa.

On the gridiron, he was quite effective in mastering the technique of using his hands and arms to fight his way past blockers into enemy backfields. He also used his stocky build to bull rush offensive lines. Karras was a four-time (1961-63, 1966) Pro Bowl selection during his career, and he was named to All-Pro four times in 1960-61, 1962 and 1965.

The Hall of Fame committee also recognized Karras by placing him on the All-Decade Team of the 1960s. Karras ranks 13th on the team’s all-time games played list with 161 games played during the 12-game (until 1960) and 14-game eras.

He is also tied for eighth on the franchise’s all-time list for most seasons played. Along with LB Chris Spielman, Karras holds the team record for career fumble recoveries (17). Karras and his "Fearsome Foursome" linemates had perhaps their greatest feasting on Thanksgiving Day in 1962 against the Vince Lombardi’s previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers.

The Lions, through the havoc generated by the defensive line, sacked Hall of Fame QB Bart Starr a team-record 11 times to defeat the Packers 26-14. After his playing days, Karras moved onto Hollywood to star in movies and on TV, and he married actress Susan Clark. Karras is best known for his roles in movies "Blazing Saddles" and "Porky’s" and the hit television series "Webster."

Karras' Career Lions' Stats
YearTmGIntYdsAvgTDSafFR
1958 Det 12 0 0 0 0 0 2
1959 Det 12 0 0 0 0 0 1
1960 Det 12 0 0 0 0 0 0
1961 Det 14 0 0 0 0 0 2
1962 Det 14 1 28 28 0 1 1
1964 Det 14 2 7 3.5 0 0 1
1965 Det 14 0 0 0 0 0 0
1966 Det 14 0 0 0 0 0 4
1967 Det 14 0 0 0 0 0 2
1968 Det 14 0 0 0 0 0 0
1969 Det 14 1 22 22 0 0 2
1970 Det 13 0 0 0 0 0 2