|Date of birth:||August 23, 1969|
|Place of birth:||Florence, South Carolina|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||181 lb (82 kg)|
|High school:||Wilson High School|
|NFL draft:||1992 / Round: 3 / Pick: 58|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Clayton Holmes (born August 23, 1969 in Florence, South Carolina) is a former professional American football player who was drafted in the third round of the 1992 NFL draft and played cornerback for four seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. He won 3 Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys in 1992, 1993 and 1995.
Because of grades he enrolled at North Greenville Junior College where he was the starting quarterback. After 2 years, he transferred to Carson-Newman College where he was converted to cornerback. As a senior in 1991, he became one of the NAIA top football players, receiving the South Atlantic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year award, Little All-American honors and also played in the Blue–Gray Football Classic.
Holmes was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1992 NFL draft. As a rookie he was used mostly as a special teams player, finishing second on the team with 15 tackles and also registering a fumble recovery in Super Bowl XXVII.
In 1995, he started 6 games at cornerback in place of an injured Kevin Smith, while free agent Deion Sanders reached a contract agreement with the Dallas Cowboys. That same year in November, the NFL suspended him for four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. A week later, the suspension was increased to one year.
Holmes signed with the Miami Dolphins on February 26, 1997, reuniting him with former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson. Looking to play for the first time since November 1995, he failed another drug test that resulted in a 4 game suspension and his eventual release on October 13, 1997.
In 1999, he played for the Topeka Knights of the Indoor Football League.
Holmes filed suit against the NFL for involuntarily enrolling him in a drug treatment program, after he tested positive for marijuana, but his claim was dismissed. His post-football life became a turbulent mix of personal problems and financial difficulties.
- Holmes v. NFL, 939 F. Supp. 517 (N.D.Tex. 1996)
- ESPN: Jeff Pearlman: From a Benz to a bike