Douglas Durant Cosbie (born March 27, 1956) is a former professional American football player in the National Football League who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft. A 6'6", 236-lb. tight end from Santa Clara University, Cosbie played his entire NFL career for the Cowboys from 1979 to 1988. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection from 1983 to 1985.
Cosbie is a graduate of Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California. In 1973, he helped the Lancers reach the finals of the Central Coast Section playoffs, before losing the title game 32-30 to Saratoga High School. In 1974, he was part of the first Santa Clara Valley All-Star Football Game, playing with the North team.
After high school he moved on to De Anza College. He transferred to the College of the Holy Cross but lasted less than a year there, before transferring again to Santa Clara University, where he was a three-year starter at a tight end for head coach Pat Malley. In the 1978 Spring Game, he ran over the strong safety (Dan Keefe) twice, knocking him unconscious both times. Coach Malley insisted that Cosbie had actually let up just before impact. He finished his college career as Santa Clara's top receiving tight end with 120 receptions, 1,721 receiving yards, 14.3 yards per reception and 10 touchdowns. His records were eventually broken by Brent Jones. For his achievements, Cosbie was inducted into the Santa Clara University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Cosbie was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (76th overall) of the 1979 NFL Draft. That year, the Cowboys were placed in the third round just ahead of the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys' draft strategy through that time was to take the highest-ranked player on their draft board, regardless of position. When the Cowboys' turn came up in the third round, the highest rated player on their board was Joe Montana. However, feeling that the quarterback position was in excellent shape with Roger Staubach, Danny White and Glenn Carano, the Cowboys needing a tight end went off their strategy and drafted Cosbie. The San Francisco 49ers ended up selecting Montana.
By his third season in Dallas, he was sharing the starting tight end spot with Billy Joe DuPree and eventually replaced him in 1982.
Although he was an effective blocker, he became more of a receiving threat than any previous Cowboys tight end. He caught over 60 passes in a season twice during his career, and set team records for a tight end with catches and yards per season and career, which have since been broken by Jay Novacek and Jason Witten. In 1988, he lost his starting job due to surgery on his Achilles Tendon.
Cosbie caught 300 passes for 3,728 yards and 30 touchdowns and also had 22 catches for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns in 7 playoff games. He still ranks eleventh in franchise history in receptions and ninth in receiving yards. He made three straight Pro Bowls from 1983 to 1985. In 1985, he was named to the UPI All-Pro NFC team.
He is part of the Cowboys franchise's legacy of great tight ends that includes: Jim Doran, Lee Folkins, Pettis Norman, Mike Ditka, Billy Joe DuPree, Jay Novacek and Jason Witten.
In 1989, he was left unprotected by the Cowboys in Plan B free agency and was signed by the Denver Broncos. He decided to retire during training camp that season, after playing for 10 years in the NFL and also in three NFC Championship games.
- 1990, volunteer assistant coach at Santa Clara University.
- 1993–1994, assistant to head coach Bill Walsh at Stanford University
- 1995–1996, athletic director and head football coach of Division III Menlo College
- 1997–1998, offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach of Division I California University
- 2000, head football coach of the Spring Football League Los Angeles Dragons
- 2009–2010, head football coach of the Sacramento High School
- 2013–2015, head football coach of the Kamehameha Schools Warriors
- "Doug Cosbie and Monte Clark Resign". Cal Athletics. November 22, 1998. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
served as the Bears offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for the past two seasons
Cosbie worked in Hollywood from 2006 to 2010 for Shangri-La Entertainment. He is also co-owner of the La Jolla Group, along with fellow Santa Clara University athletes, Kurt Rambis and Rich Brown.