David LaFleur
No. 89
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1974-01-29) January 29, 1974 (age 48)
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Height:6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Weight:272 lb (123 kg)
Career information
High school:Westlake (LA)
College:LSU
NFL Draft:1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 22
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:60
Receptions:85
Receiving yards:729
Touchdowns:12
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

David Alan LaFleur (born January 29, 1974) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Louisiana State University.

Early years

LaFleur attended Westlake High School, where he played tight end and defensive end. He also practiced basketball and track.

As a junior, he had 31 receptions for 657 yards and 8 touchdowns. In his last year, he posted 31 receptions for 652 yards and 5 touchdowns, while being named the Louisiana High School player of the year, All-American, and being part of the USA Today All-USA high school football team. He finished his high school career with 81 receptions for 1,758 yards and 18 touchdowns.

College career

LaFleur accepted a football scholarship from Louisiana State University. As a redshirt freshman, he played in every game with his first start coming against the University of Florida, while making 8 receptions for 59 yards.

His blocking was so impressive,[1] that as a sophomore after having only 21 receptions (fourth on the team) for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns, he was still voted All-SEC. He also was the first Tiger tight end since 1984 to score twice in a game, as he recorded 3 receptions for 59 yards with touchdown receptions of 35 and 12 yards against the University of Southern Mississippi.

As a junior, he registered 12 receptions for 120 yards, after missing 3 games with a knee injury. As a senior, he had 30 catches for 439 yards and 3 touchdowns, becoming the first school tight end to lead the team in receiving since 1980. At the end of the season, he was named All-American, All-SEC, LSU offensive MVP and played in the Senior Bowl. He finished his career with 71 receptions for 881 yards and 5 touchdowns, while starting 28 out of his final 30 games and being active in a total of 41 contests.

Professional career

After the team's offense suffered because of the health of Jay Novacek and the lack of production at tight end,[2] the Dallas Cowboys were determined to solve the situation in the 1997 NFL Draft, even going as far as soliciting quarterback's Troy Aikman input in private workouts of the two top ranked players at the position (Tony Gonzalez and LaFleur), that were reported by the Sports Illustrated magazine.[3] It was eventually published in the media that both the Cowboys and Aikman, had him rated ahead of Gonzalez, because they considered him to possess a rare combination of skills.[4]

The Cowboys traded up with the Philadelphia Eagles moving from the 25th to the 22nd position, in exchange for third (#70-Brian Alford) and fifth round (#155-Luther Broughton) draft choices, to select LaFleur in the first round (22nd overall).[5] As a rookie, he complemented veteran Eric Bjornson, mostly blocking for the team (recording five pancake blocks in one game), because his receiving production was disappointing, making 18 receptions for 122 yards, 6.8 yards average and 2 touchdowns.

In 1998, he was named the starter, posting 20 receptions (fifth on the team) for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns (tied for third on the team). Against the New Orleans Saints, he suffered a sprained PCL in his right knee, which forced him to miss the last 3 games. He returned in the playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals, but did not record a reception in the 7-20 loss.

In 1999, during the offseason he suffered a broken right fibula in minicamp and underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy to repair a herniated disc. He still was able to have the best season of his short career, registering 35 receptions for 322 yards, while leading the NFC tight ends and his team with 7 touchdowns, becoming just the second tight end in franchise history to reach this number.[6]

In 2000, besides a groin and ankle injury that affected him during the season, LaFleur had back problems that dated back to his college years and it started to affect his play. He was passed on the depth chart by veteran Jackie Harris, while registering only 12 receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown in 15 games (10 starts).[7]

On August 21, 2001, he was waived injured when he failed a physical exam with a herniated disk in his back. He finished his career with 85 receptions for 729 yards and 12 touchdowns in 60 games (44 starts).[8]

NFL statistics

Year Team Games Receptions Yards Yards per Reception Longest Reception Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
1997 DAL 16 18 122 6.8 17 2 5 1 0
1998 DAL 13 20 176 8.8 24 2 11 1 0
1999 DAL 16 35 322 9.2 25 7 17 0 0
2000 DAL 15 12 109 9.1 19 1 7 0 0
Career 60 85 729 8.6 25 12 40 2 0

[9]

References

  1. ^ "LaFleur Takes Pride In Blocking". Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  2. ^ "Lafleur Gets Opportunity To Show Off Other Talents". Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  3. ^ "Best Foot Forward By Re-Signing Solid Citizen Daryl Johnston, The Cowboys Took a Step Toward Restoring Class To Their Organization". Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  4. ^ "Cowboys trade up, draft LaFleur in first round". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. April 20, 1997.
  5. ^ "Eagles have done well in most trades with division rivals". Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  6. ^ "Cowboys Alumni Series: Catching Up With David LaFleur". Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  7. ^ "Cowboys release TE LaFleur". Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  8. ^ "Around the League". Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  9. ^ "David LaFleur Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved May 16, 2022.