Shawn Andrews was born on Christmas Day in 1982 to his mother Linda Andrews. He was raised, along with his two brothers Stacy and Derrick, in the city of Camden, Arkansas. He attended Camden Fairview High School, where he was successful as an offensive lineman for the football team. Andrews earned numerous accolades including Parade, USA Today and Prep Football Report first-team All-American honors. He also participated for the high school track team in shot put and discus.
Andrews received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he played for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team from 2001 to 2003. He started as a freshman. Andrews was a two-time first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection, received the SEC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the conference's best blocker two times, and was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American in 2002 and a unanimous first-team All-American in 2003. He also won the Jim Parker Trophy as the nation's best offensive lineman in 2003, and was also a finalist for the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy. In his thirty-five games played, he only gave up two sacks. Andrews decided to forgo his senior season at Arkansas and enter the NFL Draft, saying that he did not want to see his mother struggle with financial problems anymore.
Andrews returned to the starting lineup for the 2005 season, and started all 16 games for an injury-plagued Eagles team that finished with a 6-10 record. Andrews played well enough to be named an alternate for the NFCPro Bowl team. Shawn came into the 2006 season as one of the Eagles' top offensive linemen and it showed as the Eagles awarded him a seven-year contract extension that would have kept him with the team through 2015.
At the end of the 2006 season, Andrews was selected as a starter to the Pro Bowl. During a divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, Andrews went down late in the second quarter with a neck injury and was rushed to a nearby hospital. The injury was later revealed to be a contusion and would not impact his status for 2007 season.
Andrews was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl in 2007.
Andrews mysteriously departed the Eagles at the end of June 2008. Later he failed to report to training camp at Lehigh University, without notice and without being excused. He cited unexplained "personal issues" in various text messages with reporters. In a newspaper article released on August 4, 2008, Andrews revealed he was suffering from depression and was seeking professional help. He eventually missed 17 days of camp, and returned on August 10. Andrews started in the first two games of the season, but he left in the second game with a back injury. The Eagles did not put him on injured reserve, but the injury caused him to miss the rest of the 2008 season.
Andrews had surgery in the 2009 offseason, but he re-injured his back at the start of training camp, which caused him to miss the entire preseason and the first week of the 2009 season before he was placed on the injured reserve list on September 15, 2009. On March 17, 2010, Andrews was released by the Eagles.
Andrews signed a six-year contract worth up to $32.6 million with the New York Giants on August 20, 2010, though only $1.5 million for the first season. He made his first career start at left tackle during the team's November 7 game against the Seahawks at Qwest Field. Throughout the year, Andrews struggled with lingering back issues, for which he had to take multiple injections for pain.
On January 1, 2011 he admitted he was likely going to retire due to the back pain. On July 28, 2011, he was released by the Giants. Andrews subsequently retired from football, moved back to Arkansas, and has expressed hopes of becoming a stand-up comic.