Entertainment Sports Former Arizona Cardinals Guard Conrad Dobler, Dubbed Football's 'Dirtiest Player,' Dead at 72 "I'll do anything I can get away with to protect my quarterback," the NFL star famously said in 1977 By Wendy Geller Published on February 13, 2023 10:50 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Conrad Dobler, a standout player and former guard for the Arizona Cardinals in the 1970s, has died. He was 72. The Arizona Cardinals announced the news on Monday, when he died; no cause of death was given. One of the top offensive linemen during his heyday, Dobler was regarded as the league's "dirtiest player" at the time. ESPN granted him the No. 1 designation in this category, noting that he "punched Mean Joe Greene, he kicked Merlin Olsen in the head, he bit, he gouged, and once, he spit on a downed and injured opponent, the Eagles' Bill Bradley." Focus on Sport/Gett Dobler embraced this label, telling Sports Illustrated in a 1977 article, "I'll do anything I can get away with to protect my quarterback." Patrick Mahomes' Daughter Sterling Celebrates Dad as MVP Ahead of Super Bowl 2023 — See the Photo! He even managed to parlay this persona into TV commercials post-retirement from the field, which humorously played off his reputation for being a troublemaker. Travis Kelce Gets Emotional After Beating Big Brother Jason in Super Bowl: 'It's a Weird Feeling' "Our hearts go out to the family, friends and former teammates of Conrad Dobler," Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a statement. "He was the kind of tough, physical and fierce player that you love to line up with as a teammate and hate to line up against as an opponent." "On the field, Conrad was a big reason for the success of the Cardiac Cards of the 1970s. Away from it, he brought authentic joy and caring to everyone who had the privilege of being his friend and that is what I will remember most." getty Dobler contributed significantly to the Cardinals' teams that won at least 10 games from 1974 to 1976 under Hall of Fame coach Don Coryell. He was a Pro Bowler from 1975 to 1977. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Dobler, a fifth-round pick in 1972, spent his first six seasons with the Cardinals, and also put in time with the New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills before retiring in 1981.