Dennis McKinnon
No. 85
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1961-08-22) August 22, 1961 (age 62)
Quitman, Georgia, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school:South Miami (Miami, Florida)
College:Florida State
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:3,012
Player stats at · PFR

Dennis Lewis McKinnon (born August 22, 1961) is an American former football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. He played college football for the Florida State Seminoles.

Early years

McKinnon attended South Miami High School. He accepted a football scholarship from Florida State University.

He registered 53 receptions for 888 yards and 8 touchdowns in his career as a part-time starter at wide receiver.

As a junior in 1981, he had his best season, recording 28 receptions (second on the team), 377 receiving yards (second on the team), 13.5-yard average (sixth on the team) and 4 receiving touchdowns (led the team).

As a senior, he collected 10 receptions (tenth on the team), 263 receiving yards (third on the team), 26.3-yard average (led the team) and one touchdown. In the 1982 Gator Bowl, he had 2 receptions for 36 yards, one receiving touchdown and one carry for 65 rushing yards.[1]

Professional career

Chicago Bears

McKinnon was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears in 1983. He was the last undrafted free agent to score more than one touchdown for the Bears until Dane Sanzenbacher in 2011.[2] He won Super Bowl XX as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears.[3]

In his eight seasons, McKinnon caught 194 passes for 3,012 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also returned 129 punts for 1,191 yards and three touchdowns, and scored a rushing touchdown. He caught 31 passes for 555 yards and seven touchdowns during the Bears' championship season in 1985.

McKinnon missed the entire 1986 season with a knee injury.[4]

After spending the 1986 season on injured reserve, McKinnon returned in 1987 and scored on a 94-yard punt return in the season opener against the New York Giants. In Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he scored again on a 65-yard punt return touchdown.

His best season was in 1988, when he caught 45 passes for 704 yards and three touchdowns, while also returning 40 punts for 405 yards and a franchise record two touchdowns (this record was later surpassed by Devin Hester in the 2006 season). He went on to catch four passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in Chicago's 20-12 postseason win in a game known as the Fog Bowl.

At the time of his retirement, McKinnon's 1,191 punt return yards were the second-highest total in Chicago franchise history. As of 2019, he held many playoff franchise records, including yards per reception and yards per game (17.3 and 43.1, min 20 receptions), receiving touchdowns (4 career; 2 in one season tied with Bernard Berrian),[5] and most postseason games with a touchdown reception (3, tied with Willie Gault).[6]

Dallas Cowboys

On March 3, 1990, the Dallas Cowboys signed McKinnon as a Plan B free agent.[7] He appeared in 9 games with 7 starts, making 14 receptions for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was released on November 14.[8]

Miami Dolphins

On November 15, 1990, he signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins.[9] He was released on November 19.[10]

Personal life

In August 2019, McKinnon released his autobiography, Chicago Bear #85 Silky D Bares All.[11]


  1. ^ "Gator Bowl Won By Florida State". The New York Times. December 31, 1982. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  2. ^ "Sanzenbacher in fight for roster spot". Archived from the original on August 9, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "Bears Trounce Patriots, 46-10, in Super Bowl". Los Angeles Times. January 27, 1986. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  4. ^ "Mckinnon Lost to Bears for '86". Chicago Tribune.
  5. ^ Bears postseason receiving statistics
  6. ^ Bears with postseason receiving touchdowns
  7. ^ "Cowboys Sign Slaton, Washington". Los Angeles Times. March 4, 1990. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  8. ^ "PRO FOOTBALL REPORT / WEEKDAY UPDATE : RAMS : Gaston Green Draws Praise". Los Angeles Times. November 15, 1990. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  9. ^ "ON THE SIDELINES : Dolphins Sign 2 Pass Receivers". Los Angeles Times. November 16, 1990. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  10. ^ "DOLPHINS ACTIVATE LIMBRICK VS. RAIDERS". Orlando Sentinel. November 20, 1990. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  11. ^ Cooper, Jasmine (September 23, 2019). "Dennis McKinnon talks about his new book and his friendship with the late Chet Coppock". WGN Radio. Retrieved September 26, 2021.