Dave Cutler - Kicker - 1969-84 - Simon Fraser
- By CFL-H -
Before Dave Ridgway and Lui Passaglia had made their mark – Dave Cutler set the standard as the greatest kicker in CFL history. Montreal’s Don Sweet was a definite rival but the longevity and success of Cutler was unmatched from 1969 to 1984.
Dave Cutler grew up in Biggar, Saskatchewan and attended Simon Fraser University where he is now a member of the schools Hall of Fame. Dave joined the Eskimos in 1969 out of college and was a major part of the team’s progression into a powerhouse in the mid to late 1970’s and into the 1980’s. Edmonton captured the Grey Cup in 1975 with a hard fought 9-8 victory over Montreal. In frigid conditions at Calgary’s McMahon stadium Cutler contributed to the victory with 2 field goals – 1 of the field goals was 52 yards a Grey Cup record at the time. It would be the first of 6 Grey Cup championships for the affable prairie native.
Dave was named an All-Canadian All-Star in 1977 for the first time in his career (he would repeat the feat in 1978). On July 27 of that year in a game versus Winnipeg Dave had an incredible four straight field goals in an 11 minute 3 second span. Edmonton went on to win the game 40-13, Cutler finished with 6 field goals, 1 single and 3 converts. Dave was a veritable scoring machine – he led the Western division in scoring 8 times over his career.
The “five in a row” Eskimos of 1978-82 occupy a large part of CFL and Eskimo history. Dave Cutler was integral in that dynasty with clutch field goals and outstanding consistency. Dave teamed with teenage punting phenom Hank Ilesic to form the most dominant kicking tandem in the league.
In the 1981 Grey Cup victory over Ottawa, Cutler kicked the game winning 27-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining to cap a remarkable 26-23 comeback victory over the surprising Rough Riders (pictured).
Dave retired after the 1984 season after 16 outstanding seasons. At the time of his retirement he held virtually every professional football kicking record surpassing the great George Blanda. His career totals reflect his greatness 464 field goals, 627 converts, 218 singles for 2,237 points – still an Eskimo team record. He still holds the record for third longest field goal in league history with a successful 59 yard attempt. Dave capture the Grey Cup with Edmonton 6 times, he was a Western All-Star 3 times (1977, 78, 80) and All-Canadian twice (1977, 78). Dave was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1998. Dave is also on the Edmonton Eskimo Wall of Honour.
While his career totals have since been surpassed by Ridgway and Passaglia - Dave Cutler set the standard for greatness as a place kicker in the Canadian Football League.