Leonard Davis
refer to caption
Leonard Davis at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Feb 5 2008.
No. 75, 70, 68
Position:Guard / Tackle
Personal information
Born: (1978-09-05) September 5, 1978 (age 45)
Wortham, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:355 lb (161 kg)
Career information
High school:Wortham
College:Texas (1997–2000)
NFL draft:2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:171
Games started:155
Fumbles recovered:2
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Leonard Barnett Davis (born September 5, 1978) is an American former professional football player who was an offensive lineman for 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was a consensus All-American playing college football for the Texas Longhorns, where he was also a two-time Outland Trophy finalist and a Lombardi Trophy semifinalist. Davis was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the second overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He played for the Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys - where he was a three-time Pro-Bowler and a second team All-Pro - and the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he went to Super Bowl XLVII. He also spent part of a season with the Detroit Lions, but never took the field for them.

Early years

Leonard grew up in Wortham, Texas. He is the only child of L.A. and Sammie Lee Davis, but has 21 half-brothers and half-sisters (L.A. had 11 children from a previous marriage, while Sammie Lee had 10 children from a previous marriage).

Davis attended Wortham High School, where he led his Bulldogs basketball team to the state championship in 1997. In football, he was a Parade All-American and USA Today first-team All-American playing defense and offense for a school with fewer than 150 students. Davis also lettered in track.

College career

Davis received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin, arriving in John Mackovic's final season, with the intention of playing at defensive tackle and even started three games at that position. He was moved to the offensive line after Mack Brown was named the new head coach. He played left tackle in his last two years.

During his career, Davis blocked for three consecutive 1000-yard rushers in Hodges Mitchell, then Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, who set the college career rushing record. He was second team All-Big 12 in his junior season. Following his senior season in 2000, Davis was a first-team All-Big 12 selection, and a consensus first-team All-American.[1] He was also a finalist for the Outland Trophy on two occasions and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Trophy.

Davis was UT's fifth top-two pick in draft history and its first since Kenneth Sims went No. 1 in 1982. He was named to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2016.[2]

Professional career

Arizona Cardinals

Davis was selected second overall in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, and was named the starter at right guard as a rookie.[3] He came in 4th for the NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year at the end of the season. The next year injuries on the offensive line forced the team to move him to right tackle. He was moved back to guard in 2003.

In 2004, after Dennis Green was named the new head coach, he was moved to left tackle where he would remain for three seasons, even though he struggled at the position and was one of the highest penalized players in the league.

On February 17, 2007, the Cardinals told Davis that they would not name him a franchise or transition player, clearing him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Dallas Cowboys

On March 4, 2007, Davis signed with the Dallas Cowboys for a seven-year, $49.6 million contract with $18.75 million guaranteed, who were looking to replace the retired Marco Rivera.[4] At the time, the contract was criticized in the media, for the amount of salary cap space being assigned to a player who would play guard and who had an average performance in previous years. According to Forbes, Davis was the highest-paid NFL player and 19th overall athlete in the 12-month period ending in June 2007, earning $25.4 million.[5]

Davis was named the starter at right guard and would flourish in Dallas by going to the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons. He had an exceptional year in 2007, as he received Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors for the first time in his career. The Cowboys finished 13-3 and won the NFC East division, but suffered a disappointing first round playoff loss against the New York Giants (who would go on to win the Super Bowl).

In 2009, the Cowboys again won the division and also won their first playoff game in 13 seasons.

Davis was released on July 28, 2011, due to declining play and the team's lack of salary cap room.

Detroit Lions

On November 7, 2011, he signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.[6][7] After joining the team midway through the season, he was declared inactive for every game with the Lions.

San Francisco 49ers

On July 26, 2012, Davis signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent. He was a backup and was a part of the team that reached Super Bowl XLVII. In the game, he played 6 plays on special teams, but the 49ers fell to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 34–31.[8]

Personal life

Davis is the bassist in the heavy metal band Free Reign with former Cowboys' teammates Marc Colombo and Cory Procter with guitarist Justin Chapman.

His older half-brother Charlie Davis played defensive tackle in the NFL and the USFL.

Davis now coaches at Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona.[9]

See also


  1. ^ 2011 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 11 (2011). Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  2. ^ "Leonard Davis Hall of Honor". Retrieved May 22, 2023.
  3. ^ "2001 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  4. ^ Cowboys add Davis to offensive line
  5. ^ Forbes-In Pictures: The World's 25 Top-Earning Athletes
  6. ^ Phillips, Rob. "Former Lineman Davis Signs With Detroit". DallasCowboys.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  7. ^ NFL.com. "Report: Lions sign ex-Cowboys guard Davis following bye week". NFL.com. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  8. ^ "Super Bowl XLVII - San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens - February 3rd, 2013". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  9. ^ Romero, José M. (November 11, 2022). "Cardinals' 35th season in Arizona: Former OL Davis finds joy in offroading and coaching". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved October 16, 2023.