Dave Jennings, New York Giants great, dies at 61

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Dave Jennings, the most prolific punter in New York Giants history who was later a radio analyst for the team, died Wednesday in his Upper Saddle River, N.J., home. He was 61.

Jennings had suffered from Parkinson's disease since 1996.

He played for the Giants from 1974 to 1984. He holds the franchise records for punts (931, 405 more than runner-up Sean Landeta) and yards (38,792). Jennings was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1978, '79, '80 and '82. He punted a career-high 104 times in 1979, which was the Giants' until 1997. Jennings punted for more than 4,000 yards in a season three times (1979 to 1981) and had a career-best 44.8-yard average in 1980.

"Dave Jennings was one of the all-time great Giants," said John Mara, the Giants' president. "He was a valued member of the Giants family for more than 30 years as a player and a broadcaster, and we were thrilled to include him in our Ring of Honor. More importantly, he was an outstanding person who battled his illness with rare courage and dignity. We will miss him dearly."

Added Giants chairman Steve Tisch, "Dave is and always will be a Giants' Giant. He lived his life with class and dignity, and he was the ultimate professional as a player and commentator."

After leaving the Giants, Jennings punted for the Jets from 1985 1987. He worked as a radio commentator for Jets games from 1988 to 2001.

From 2002 to 2007, Jennings was in the Giants' radio booth with Bob Papa and the late Dick Lynch.

David Tuthill Jennings was born on June 8, 1952, in New York City. He did not play football at Garden City High School on Long Island. Jennings attended St. Lawrence University, where he earned two letters in basketball. After winning the punter's job as a walk-on, he was a three-time all-conference selection. Jennings also earned a bachelor's degree in economics.

Jennings is survived by his sister Susan Jennings and her husband Harley. The family has asked that donations be made in Dave's memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

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