Frank Cornish
No. 63, 68
Personal information
Born:(1967-09-24)September 24, 1967
Chicago, Illinois
Died:August 22, 2008(2008-08-22) (aged 40)
Southlake, Texas
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:287 lb (130 kg)
Career information
High school:Chicago (IL) Mt. Carmel
NFL Draft:1990 / Round: 6 / Pick: 143
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games Played:69
Games Started:21
Player stats at · PFR

Frank Edgar Cornish IV (September 24, 1967 – August 22, 2008) was an American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Philadelphia Eagles. He was selected in the sixth round of the 1990 NFL Draft. He played college football at UCLA.

Early years

Cornish attended Chicago's Mount Carmel High School where he played at a middle linebacker as a freshman. The next year, he was moved to the defensive tackle. As a junior, he began to play as a two-way tackle, and was named a starter on the offensive line.[1]

He accepted a football scholarship from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a redshirt freshman he became a starter at guard for the last four games of the 1986 season, after Jim Alexander fractured his hand.

As a sophomore, he was named the starting center.[2] He was a three-year starter (35 games) at center and was voted the team’s offensive MVP in 1989.

Professional career

San Diego Chargers

Cornish was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the sixth round (143rd overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft. He started all 16 games at center as a rookie. In 1991, he suffered a sprained ankle in minicamp, that allowed Courtney Hall to pass him on the depth chart and he was relegated to a backup role, seeing action mostly as the team's long snapper.[3]

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)

On April 2, 1992, the Dallas Cowboys signed him as a Plan B free agent, reuniting with his college quarterback Troy Aikman.[4] While starter Mark Stepnoski was involved in a contract holdout during training camp, he started throughout the preseason and for the first 2 regular season contests, becoming the first African-American center to make the team in franchise history. He also replaced an injured Stepnoski late in the third quarter of the third game against the Phoenix Cardinals. In Super Bowl XXVII, Cornish and his father became the first father-son combination to have appeared in a Super Bowl (his father played in Super Bowl VI).[5]

In 1993, Stepnoski suffered a knee injury in the 13th game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings that required surgery. Cornish replaced him in three games, until he was passed on the depth chart by John Gesek for the Playoffs and Super Bowl XXVIII.[6]

Minnesota Vikings

On July 11, 1994, he was signed to a one-year contract by the Minnesota Vikings to replace Adam Schreiber.[7] He was beaten by Jeff Christy and played sparingly as the long snapper in 7 games. He was released on November 10.[8]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)

On November 21, 1994, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to provide depth on the offensive line.[9] He wasn't re-signed after the season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

On August 5, 1995, he signed as a free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars for their inaugural season.[10] On September 18, after being allowed to carry 56 players during the first three games of the season, the team was forced to reduce its roster to 53 and released Cornish who only played on special teams.[11]

Philadelphia Eagles

On November 21, 1995, the Philadelphia Eagles signed him as a free agent.[12] He appeared in 2 games and wasn't re-signed after the season.

Personal life

Cornish died of heart disease in his sleep at his home on August 22, 2008. Cornish lived in Southlake, Texas (near Dallas) with his wife Robin, who is a registered nurse in the Dallas area, and their five children (three daughters and two sons).[13] His father Frank Cornish, Jr. played defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bears. Robin Cornish is one of the people featured in "Southlake", a podcast produced by NBC News.


  1. ^ "Ex-mt. Carmel Player Cornish Has Super Time With Cowboys". Chicago Tribune. January 26, 1993. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  2. ^ Dodds, Tracy (November 20, 1987). "BATTLE FOR THE ROSE BOWL : UCLA vs. USC : UCLA CENTER FRANK CORNISH : He Fills the Bill to the Letter". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Drooz, Alan (November 7, 1991). "Cornish Probably Back in Lineup After Injury to Hall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  4. ^ "Cowboys sign Cornish, but lose Hendrix". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  5. ^ "Dorsett's son to make history in Super Bowl". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  6. ^ "Gesek to start at center". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  8. ^ Roberts, Selena (November 11, 1994). "Backup center Cornish gets released". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  9. ^ Willis, George (November 22, 1994). "PRO FOOTBALL; Cowboys May Wish Upon a Quarterback". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  10. ^ "Jaguars sign Cornish and Thomas". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "Frustration growing for winless Jaguars". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  12. ^ "PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : NFC : 49ers Make Up After Near-Fight". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  13. ^ "Former Cowboys lineman Cornish dies". AP. 24 August 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2020.