|Date of birth:April 29, 1974|
|Place of birth: Gainesville, Texas|
|High school: Gainesville (TX)|
|College: Texas A&M-Commerce|
|Undrafted in 1997|
|Debuted in 1997 for the Dallas Cowboys|
|Last played in 2006 for the Atlanta Falcons|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
Kevin Bryant Mathis (born April 29, 1974) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League. He played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and the Atlanta Falcons.
He played college football at Texas A&M University-Commerce, becoming a three-year starter at cornerback, while finishing with 16 interceptions and threeDivision II All-American and All-LSC nominations.
In 2009, he was inducted into the A&M-Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame.
Mathis wasn't selected in the 1997 NFL Draft because of his size and was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. He would end up making the team after taking advantage of Deion Sanders being away while playing professional baseball and displaying his track speed (4.19 seconds in the 40-yard dash). As a rookie he played in all 16 games, returned punts and recorded 12 special teams tackles.
After being the backup at right cornerback, he was moved to the left side to backup Kevin Smith. At the end of the 1998 season he won the starting job from an injured Smith, but he would also miss time because of injuries (8 games in 1999) and returned to a backup role.
On April 26, 2000, he was traded to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for linebacker Chris Bordano, because of his injury history and the numbers at the cornerback position (signing of Ryan McNeil and 3 rookie cornerbacks draft selections).
New Orleans Saints
Mathis was named the starter at left cornerback for all 16 games in the 2000 season and finished with 87 tackles and 1 interception. He helped the New Orleans Saints reach the playoffs for the first time since 1992 and also win their first ever playoff game.
Mathis recovered and played 11 games in the nickel packages for the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, registering a career-high 3 interceptions. He started 12 games in 2004, finishing with 67 tackles and 2 interceptions (both returned for touchdowns).
After being able to rehab and return to play, on November 5, 2006, he suffered a career-ending neck injury, after tackling Eddie Drummond on the opening kickoff against the Detroit Lions. He was released injured on April 9, 2007.
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