|No. 55, 60|
|Position:||Linebacker / Center|
|Date of birth:||December 16, 1936|
|Place of birth:||Thorsby, Alabama|
|Date of death:||September 1, 2017(aged 80)|
|Place of death:||Fort Walton Beach, Florida|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||230 lb (104 kg)|
|High school:||Choctawhatchee (FL)|
|NFL Draft:||1959 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12|
|AFL draft:||1960 / Round: 1
Pick: First Selections
(by the New York Titans)
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Walter Jackson Burkett (December 16, 1936 – September 1, 2017) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Baltimore Colts, New Orleans Saints, and the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Auburn University.
Burkett began playing sports at Andalusia High School, where he was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, and baseball). After his sophomore season he transferred to Choctawhatchee High School and became a two-year starter in football.
He was named a starter as a sophomore and was a part of a team that won the SEC and the National championship. That squad was led by its defense, which registered 6 shutouts in 10 games and allowed 28 total points in the season (no more than 7 points in any game). In his last year he was limited with a chronic shoulder injury, that caused it to be discolcated several times.
Burkett was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the first round (12th overall) of the 1959 NFL Draft with a future draft pick, which allowed the team to draft him before his college eligibility was over. He was also selected by the New York Titans in the 1960 AFL draft. As a rookie, he suffered from shoulder problems in preseason, so he was operated on and placed on the injured reserve list.
In 1968, after trading top linebacker backup Harold Hays, the Dallas Cowboys acquired Burkett and Dave Simmons for depth purposes. He appeared in 13 games as reserve. He played in only three games, after suffering a broken left fibula against the Green Bay Packers on October 28. The next season, he appeared in 11 games as a backup.
In 1970, he started 10 games at outside linebacker and was also the team´s long snapper. On November 8 against the Detroit Lions, he became a part of league history, when he snapped the ball that Tom Dempsey kicked on the final play of a 19–17 win, for a then NFL record 63-yard field goal.
He co-owned a restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans for five years (1968–73). He also worked as a sales manager for a pipe business and as the marketing vice president with the engineering firm Post, Buckley, Schuh and Jernigan, that designed bridges and roads. He was the county commissioner in Fort Walton Beach from 2000 to 2008. He died of leukemia on September 1, 2017, aged 80.
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