College Football Hall of Fame tight end and Dallas Cowboys great Jay Novacek will serve as the guest speaker at the 2018 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl’s Kickoff Luncheon. The annual luncheon will take place at the Omni Fort Worth at noon on Friday, Dec. 21.
Novacek was a five-time Pro Bowl selection (1991-95) in six years with the Cowboys, and played on three of the franchise’s Super Bowl championship teams (1992, 1993 and 1995). He finished his Dallas career with 339 catches for 3,576 yards and 22 touchdowns, which included 62 receptions for 645 yards and six scores in 13 postseason games.
Additionally, he was named first-team All-Pro in 1992 and was a second-team honoree in 1991. Prior to his time with the Cowboys, he played five seasons with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1985-89). In his 11 seasons in the National Football League, he played in 158 games and hauled in 422 passes for 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Novacek played collegiately at Wyoming and was a sixth round pick (158th overall) by the Cardinals in the 1985 NFL Draft. As a senior at Wyoming, he earned honorable mention All-America honors after posting 33 receptions for 745 yards and four touchdowns. The first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection averaged 22.6 yards per catch in 1984 to set an NCAA single-season record for tight ends.
The native of Martin, S.D., finished his college career with 83 catches for 1,536 yards and 10 scores. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Novacek also earned All-America honors in track and field for Wyoming after placing fourth in the decathlon at the 1984 NCAA Championships. The WAC decathlon champion’s career-best total of 7,762 points in the event still ranks first in school history. Novacek also finished fifth in the decathlon at the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials. In 1993, he became an inaugural member of the University of Wyoming’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
As a prep, he was an all-state and state championship quarterback at Gothenburg (Neb.) High School, and also earned all-state accolades in basketball and won Nebraska state titles in the pole vault and hurdles. His jersey is the only one retired in school history, and he was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN. The 16th edition will be played Saturday, Dec. 22, at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT (3:30 p.m. ET).