Honors & Awards
- 18-Year NFL Career (1961-78, Cardinals, Oilers, Bills, Redskins)
- Longest NFL Playing Career in Nebraska Football History
- NFL Career Record for Interceptions by a Defensive Lineman (12)
- All-Time, All-AFL Second-Team
- Two-Time AFL Pro Bowl Selection (1965, 1967)
- Five-Time All-AFL (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969)
- Fourth-Round NFL Draft Pick (St. Louis Cardinals, 1961)
- Fourth-Round AFL Draft Pick (Denver Broncos, 1961)
- Nebraska Team Captain (1960)
A three-year letterman for Nebraska, Roland "Ron" McDole was a dominant right tackle for the Huskers before going on to the longest NFL playing career in Husker football history. McDole spent his 18-year NFL career with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Houston Oilers, the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins after being chosen as a fourth-round pick of the Cardinals in the 1961 NFL Draft.
McDole, a 6-3, 232-pound tackle from Toledo, Ohio, started every game for NU as a junior before teaming with fellow NFL legend Pat Fischer to lead the Huskers as co-captains for the Huskers in 1960. Despite playing alongside 17-year NFL pros Fischer (1961-77) and Mick Tinglehoff (1962-78) at Nebraska, McDole never played on a winning team for the Huskers under Coach Bill Jennings.
He earned his first letter as a sophomore end for the Huskers, when he hauled in Nebraska's lone touchdown pass in a 7-6 win over Iowa State in 1958. He moved to tackle the following year and became a starter on the line. Although he recorded no official statistics as a junior or senior for the Huskers, McDole rarely left the field. During his final two seasons in Lincoln, he spent 1,074 out of a possible 1,200 minutes on the field - more than any other player during that span.
McDole played in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., following his senior season at Nebraska in 1960, and he also earned a spot in the Blue-Gray game in Montgomery, Ala., and the Coaches All-America Game in Lubbock, Texas.
McDole played on plenty of winning teams in the NFL. In 1961, McDole joined Fischer on the St. Louis Cardinals team, before moving to the AFL's Houston Oilers in 1962. McDole then went to Buffalo where he spent the next eight seasons as an anchor on a dominant Bills defensive line. In 1963, McDole helped the Bills to the AFL's Eastern Division title, before winning the division three more times in 1964, 1965 and 1966. As Buffalo's defensive team captain, McDole carried the Bills to AFL championships in 1964 and 1965 by earning AFL All-Star honors. He also helped the Bills hold their opponents without a rushing touchdown for an astonishing 17 straight games.
After spending eight seasons with the Bills from 1963 to 1970, McDole joined his former Husker co-captain Fischer on the left side of Washington Redskins defense. Under the guidance of Coach George Allen, McDole (left end) and Fischer (left cornerback) guided the Redskins to an appearance in Super Bowl VII following the 1972 season. They fell to the Dolphins, 14-7.
By the end of his career, McDole had played in 240 games with 107 career starts. He set the NFL record for interceptions by a defensive lineman with 12. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown, and he also grabbed 14 fumble recoveries in his career, returning one of those for a score as well.
He added three safeties in his career, including two for the Bills in 1964, and his final one coming in 1976 for the Redskins.
McDole was named to the Bills' Silver Anniversary team in 1985, and was also named to the Washington Redskins' all-time team.
A fullback and end at DeVilbiss High School in Toledo, Ohio, Roland Owen "Ron" McDole was born Sept. 9, 1939 in Chester, Ohio.