Dave Jennings, former Giants' punter and broadcaster, dies at 61

Dave Jennings punts during a game in 1978 - Manny Rubio [USA TODAY Sports]

Former New York Giants punter Dave Jennings passed away Wednesday at the age of 61.

Dave Jennings, who punted for the New York Giants from 1974-84, was later a radio analyst for the team and is a member of the organization's Ring of Honor, died today in his New Jersey home.

Jennings, who turned 61 June 8, had suffered from Parkinson's disease, a chronic degenerative neurological disorder, since 1996.

"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."

Jennings played for the Giants from 1974-84. He holds the franchise records for punts (931, or 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 record until Brad Maynard had 111 punts in 1997. Jennings punted for more than 4,000 yards in a season three times (1979-81) and had a career-best 44.8-yard average in 1980.

"Dave was a guy that everyone not only liked, but loved. Anyone who knew Dave would say he was a great guy. He was a terrific person with a bubbly personality," former Giants linebacker Harry Carson said. "The Giants were not very good when Dave and I were teammates in the 1970s. Dave was one of the few bright lights on those teams as a punter."

Giants Chairman Steve Tisch said “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.”

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