|Date of birth:July 24, 1963|
|Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York|
|High school: Miami Sunset High School|
|College: East Texas State University|
|Undrafted in 1985|
|Debuted in 1986 for the Green Bay Packers|
|Last played in 1992 for the Dallas Cowboys|
|Roster status: Retired|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
Veingrad was born in Brooklyn and lived in New Jersey from ages 3 to 9, before moving to Miami. He attended Miami Sunset High School, and grew up in a Jewish household, but never embraced religion until a later point in his life. In high school he participated in football and track and field (discus, shot put).
He received a scholarship from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University–Commerce) to play college football and throw the discus. He was converted to an offensive lineman and by 1984 he was named Lone Star All-Conference, Lone Star Offensive Lineman of the Year and received Division II and National Strength & Conditioning All-American honors. He was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2006.
Veingrad was considered small for his position and wasn't selected in the 1985 NFL Draft. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was cut after 10 days. The Houston Oilers claimed him off waivers, but eventually released him before the start of the 1985 season.
In 1986 he signed with the Green Bay Packers as a free agent and became the opening day starter at right offensive tackle. He sat out all of the 1988 season with a career-threatening hip injury. His return and consistent play, kept heralded rookie Tony Mandarich on the bench in 1989. In 1991 after four seasons as a starter for the Packers, he signed in Plan B free agency with the Dallas Cowboys, where as a backup at tackle and guard, he helped Emmitt Smith win the NFL rushing title in 1991 and 1992. He also helped the Cowboys reach Super Bowl XXVII, although he was one of two players declared inactive for Super Bowl Sunday (the other was Robert Williams).
Retirement and Jewish roots
When Veingrad had begun his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, a local Jewish man who ran a shoe store had reached out to him and asked him to join his family for the Rosh Hashana services at K'nesses Israel, a synagogue near the site of the Packers’ original home field, City Stadium. Veingrad had not spent much time in shul. “But when I heard the Hebrew,” he said, “I felt a pull.”
Following the Super Bowl XXVII win, Veingrad retired from football and returned to Florida. He rediscovered his Jewish roots, and became an Torah-observant Jew. He now uses his Hebrew first name, Shlomo, wears a kippah and ritual fringes called tzitzit, and travels around the world giving inspirational talks about his spiritual transformation.
- National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
Alan "Shlomo" Veingrad was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 19, 2010. The ceremony was held at at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, New York. The organization chronicles and celebrates Jewish involvement in all sports, and includes Jewish sports legends such as Sandy Koufax, Red Auerbach, Kerri Strug, and Hank Greenberg.
- Freedman, Samuel G. (February 5, 2010). "A Rare Blend, Pro Football and Hasidic Judaism". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- "Grid to God's Squad", New York Post, January 20, 2008
- Texas A&M University–Commerce / East Texas State University – Athletic hall of Fame Members, CSTV. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- Heinen, Tom. "TAKES FIVE ALAN VEINGRAD Ex-lineman makes leap from Lambeau to life of faith", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 13, 2005. Accessed October 19, 2007. "Alan Veingrad, an offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers from 1986 to 1990, has turned from football to faith since retiring from the National Football League in 1993. These days, he talks to Jewish organizations around the country about his journey from being a secular Jew to an observant Orthodox Jew."
- Decotis, Mark. "Veingrad to Speak Locally"[dead link], Florida Today, September 25, 2009
- Glauber, Bill (Oct. 15, 2007). Have prayers and Packers, too" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Horn, Barry. "Ex-Cowboy Finds Faith After Football.", Dallas Morning News, September 23, 2007.
- Dallas Morning News interactive site about Alan (Shlomo) Veingrad http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spe/2007/shlomo/
- An Offensive Tackle Named Shlomo
- Alan Veingrad's website
- "Champion of Judaism", on Patheos
- Featured In Emunah Magazine