Tony Casillas

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Tony Casillas
Tony Casillas.jpg
Casillas with a fan prior to a Cowboys home game in 2011.
Date of birth:(1963-10-26) October 26, 1963 (age 50)
Place of birth:Tulsa, Oklahoma
Career information
Position(s):Defensive tackle
College:Oklahoma
NFL Draft:1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Organizations
As player:
1986-1990
1991-1993
1994-1995
1996-1997
Atlanta Falcons
Dallas Cowboys
New York Jets
Dallas Cowboys
Career stats
Playing stats at NFL.com
 
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Tony Casillas
Tony Casillas.jpg
Casillas with a fan prior to a Cowboys home game in 2011.
Date of birth:(1963-10-26) October 26, 1963 (age 50)
Place of birth:Tulsa, Oklahoma
Career information
Position(s):Defensive tackle
College:Oklahoma
NFL Draft:1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Organizations
As player:
1986-1990
1991-1993
1994-1995
1996-1997
Atlanta Falcons
Dallas Cowboys
New York Jets
Dallas Cowboys
Career stats
Playing stats at NFL.com

Tony Steven Casillas (born October 26, 1963) is a retired American football defensive lineman in the National Football League from 1986 through 1997. While at the University of Oklahoma he helped win the 1985 NCAA National Championship. He also won the Lombardi Award in 1985 and was the 1985 UPI Lineman of the Year. Casillas was also part of the Dallas Cowboys back to back victories in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII. In 2004 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Early years[edit]

Casillas was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on October 16, 1963. He attended Tulsa East Central High School where he was an All-State player.

College career[edit]

In 1984 Casillas was named consensus first team All-American and first team All-Conference.

In 1985 he became only the second Sooner ever to win the Lombardi Award, which is given to the nation’s top lineman. He was named the UPI Lineman of the Year, the Big Eight Conference defensive player of the year, a consensus first team All-American and first team All-Conference. He ended his college career with 18 sacks and 213 career tackles in addition to graduating with Academic All-American honors in 1985, and a degree in public relations.

In 2004 Casillas became the second Hispanic (his father is Mexican and his mother comes from Irish and Native American descent) to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The National Football Foundation named Casillas the College Defensive Player of the Decade for the 1980s. In 2008 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Casillas was selected second overall in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. The team was switching to a 3-4 base defense, so they needed him to be their nose tackle, he responded by becoming a starter as a rookie and making 111 tackles and a sack. He also made the league's all-rookie team.

In the strike-shortened 1987 season, he played just nine contests and had 72 tackles.

During the 1988 preseason, he left camp for three weeks to get guidance from a psychologist, suffering he said, from the stress of playing in professional football. He returned to the team with a new attitude and in time to start the regular season, where he made 111 tackles and became a Pro Bowl alternate.

He exploded in 1989 with 152 tackles, which still is a team record by a defensive lineman and was named second-team All-Pro, becoming one of the best players at his position.

In 1990 he held out in a contract dispute from head coach Jerry Glanville's first Falcons training camp, causing him to lose his starting job to rookie Tory Epps. The problems escalated from there on, he eventually missed a 44-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams after failing to catch the team flight. The Falcons suspended him for two weeks without pay. Between injuries and discipline incidents, he only played in nine games as a reserve.

At the start of the 1991 season he announced he was retiring, so the Falcons traded him to the Dallas Cowboys for second, and eighth round draft choices in the 1992 NFL Draft.

During his five-year span in Atlanta, Casillas had 478 tackles, the most ever by any Falcons defensive lineman and fourth best overall in franchise history.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

The Dallas Cowboys welcomed Casillas to training camp with the news that he would play defensive left tackle in a 4-3 scheme where No. 1 draft pick Russell Maryland also plays. He eventually won the starting spot and became part of the best defense and the best defensive-line rotation in the NFL. and was part in the team's back to back victories in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII

His career was revived in Dallas, where he made a big impact in the defensive line During his three years with the Cowboys, he became a specialist at stopping the run and was never used much as a pass-rusher.

Casillas left the team via free agency to join the Kansas City Chiefs for the 1994 season.

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

He immediately started having problems with the Chiefs in mini-camp, practicing only sporadically, saying that he had a problem with high blood pressure.

On the eve of training camp, he told coach Marty Schottenheimer he was concerned about his health. Eventually, the Chiefs released him, forcing him to return his signing bonus. Their general manager, Carl Peterson, asked the league to investigate whether the Cowboys had tampered, after the Cowboys hired Barry Switzer (Casillas's former coach at Oklahoma ).

As part of Casillas's release from the Chiefs, he agreed that he would not sign in 1994 with any of the other American Conference West division rivals or with the Cowboys.

New York Jets[edit]

In 1994, he signed with the New York Jets after a bizarre spring and summer in which he practiced only sporadically in minicamp with the Chiefs and was eventually released.

In the two years he spent in New York, he dealt with injuries that caused him to only start 16 games.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

He rejoined the Cowboys as a reserve for the 1996 season. It was the only season in his career he failed to record a sack. He retired after starting in 14 games in 1997, matching his career high total of three sacks.

Casillas played in the NFL for 12 seasons and collected 23 sacks, 2 Pro Bowl invites and 2 Super Bowl Rings.

Post NFL career[edit]

Casillas is currently the host of Casillas and Company a sports talk show on Oklahoma City radio station 107.7 The Franchise KRXO.[1]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bracht, Mel (August 24, 2013). The Oklahoman "Media notebook: Tyler Media announces lineup for 107.7 The Franchise". Oklahoma City, OK. Retrieved January 17, 2014.