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79 days until kickoff: Dave Widell, the first Jaguars center

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With just 79 days until kickoff, let’s talk about the first center the Jacksonville Jaguars ever had — Dave Widell!

Dave Widell (1995-1997)

A veteran interior offensive lineman, Widell was part of the Jaguars’ inaugural free agency class, signing with the team in March of 1995. He was part of the Jaguars offensive line for their inaugural season and into their ascent throughout the late 90’s.

Widell was selected 94th overall in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He was the first rookie in Cowboys franchise history to start a season opener at either of the offensive tackle positions and went on to start nine games that year. He moved to center next season and only started two games before being traded to the Denver Broncos for a seventh round selection in 1991 (that turned out to be Pro Bowl defensive tackle Leon Lett) and an eighth round selection in 1992 (someone named Mike Pawlawski).

In Denver, Widell didn’t find a footing as the starting center until 1993. He started all but one game until signing with the Jaguars in 1995 where he played in all but one game in his three-year career with the team.