Born in Newark, Ohio, he signed with the American Football League's Dallas Texans in 1961. He played 13 years with that franchise, which became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, helping set the standard for his position, and he concluded his career in 1974 with the NFL Washington Redskins,
Ranking among the best offensive tackles of his era, Tyrer used a crushing blocking style to maintain a consistent level of play that helped the Chiefs reach two of the first four Super Bowls.
He served as an anchor for the Texans' (who became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963) line, and was selected as The Sporting News'' AFL All-League tackle eight consective years, from 1962 through 1969. He was an AFL Western Division All-Star seven times, in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969 before also capturing a pair of All-AFC accolades in 1970-71. His efforts in the upstart league would result in his selection to the American Football League All-Time Team.
In Super Bowl IV, Tyrer used his uncanny ability to open a hole for Chiefs running backs, single-handedly taking on two of the Minnesota Vikings's vaunted defensive linemen to help the team to an upset 23-7 victory. Tyrer was named AFL Offensive Lineman of the Year that same year and play in 180 consecutive games for the franchise. He wore jersey number 77 while with the Chiefs.
Remaining in the Kansas City area following his retirement, Tyrer turned down an opportunity to serve as a scout for the Chiefs. He then spent the next three years as a salesman before tiring of the constant travel and investing in a tire business. However, a mild winter proved to be financially disastrous for Tyrer, who moved on to work for Amway.
This series of business misfortunes culminated on September 15, 1980 when Tyrer, the father of four, shot his wife and then committed suicide by turning the gun on himself. Because of the circumstances of the murder-suicide (which was not unlike the Chris Benoit double murder and suicide 27 years later with professional wrestler Chris Benoit), it is likely that Tyrer will never be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tyrer had once summarized his position by saying, "You have to have a certain personality to be an offensive lineman. You have to be orderly, disciplined. You have to take the shots like a hockey goalie. It's a passive violence. You build up anxiety. But when you finally get a clear shot at a guy you say, 'Take this for all of those'."