Keith Davis

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For other people named Keith Davis, see Keith Davis (disambiguation).
Keith Davis
Keith Davis in 2007 with Dallas Cowboys.jpg
Keith Davis in 2007.
No. 40, 29
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1978-12-30) December 30, 1978 (age 36)
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Italy (TX)
College: Sam Houston State
Undrafted: 2002
Career history
*Inactive and/or offseason member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Stats at
Stats at

Keith Lamont Davis (born December 30, 1978) is a former American football safety, who played for the Dallas Cowboys. On the field, he made most of his impact on special teams. He played college football at Sam Houston State.

Early years[edit]

Davis was a two-time All-State and All-District wide receiver and defensive back for UIL Class AA Italy High School. He was a starter on the varsity basketball team that won the 1997 Class AA State Championship. He also lettered in baseball.

College career[edit]

He received a scholarship from Sam Houston State where he finished his career ranked fourth on the school’s tackle list with 339 stops. As a junior, he was named Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and team MVP after posting 99 tackles and 2 interceptions. In his last year he led his team with 96 tackles, 7 pass defended, 3 forced fumbles, 1 sack and 1 fumble recovery. He earned Division I-AA All-American honors and All-Southland Conference honors as a senior.

In 2013, he was named to the Southland Conference 2000s All-Decade Team.[1] In 2014, he was inducted into the Sam Houston State Athletic Hall of Honor.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)[edit]

Davis was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent for the 2002 season. He made the Cowboys' practice squad initially, and subsequently the active roster, playing eight games as a backup safety and on special teams. He was credited with five tackles from scrimmage, two quarterback pressures, one pass breakup and eight tackles on special teams.

Before the start of the 2003 training camp, he was shot in the right hip and left elbow around 2:20 a.m. outside the Dallas Gentlemen's Club. Davis had driven to the club after closing time to pick up a friend. The friend was sitting at a table where an altercation broke out, and spilled outside to the parking lot, culminating with his shooting while defending her girlfriend. While he did nothing to provoke the incident, and was regarded as an unwitting victim, head coach Bill Parcells believed Davis should not have placed himself in a questionable situation and released him from the team.

Davis did not play football that season, but rejoined the club in 2004, after Parcells gave him a second chance, re-signing him to play in NFL Europe. Davis took advantage of the opportunity and was named All-league, while helping the Berlin Thunder to the World Bowl XII championship. During that season he became a dynamic cover player on special teams for the Cowboys, recording a team high 21 tackles and turning into a fan favorite.

He blossomed in 2005 after playing primarily on special teams his first two seasons in the league. He started 15 games at free safety and finished fourth on the team with 68 tackles. He also led the club in special teams tackles, with 16, and had a forced fumble. His strong play convinced the New Orleans Saints to sign him to a restricted free-agent offer sheet, but the Cowboys retained the three-year veteran by matching the offer.

In 2006 he was shot for the second time in just three years. This time he was randomly shot in the back of the head and in his right thigh, while driving to church at 5:30 in the morning on a Dallas freeway. He drove himself to the hospital and was later released.[3]

In 2008, the Cowboys did not want to lose Davis' leadership and skills as an unrestricted free agent, but he wanted a chance to start and that wasn't assured in Dallas, because of his weaknesses in pass coverage. He left as one of the top special teams players in franchise history.

Miami Dolphins[edit]

Davis signed with the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with team vice president Bill Parcells.[4] In a surprise move, the Dolphins released him a day before the final preseason game.[5]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)[edit]

Just days after being released by the Dolphins, Davis was re-signed by the Dallas Cowboys on August 31, 2008. It said a lot about how his teammates felt about him, when he was named captain despite being on the roster only a few days. He also led the team in special teams tackles with 20 and received the Ed Block Courage Award for playing with a torn pectoral muscle.

Oakland Raiders[edit]

The Oakland Raiders signed him as a free agent to add depth to the safety position,[6] but waived him before the 2009 season started.

Florida Tuskers/Virginia Destroyers (UFL)[edit]

After being out of football for one year, he signed as a free agent with the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League for the 2010 season. In 2011 he played for the Virginia Destroyers which was the team that replaced the Tuskers.