|Date of birth:||February 7, 1979|
|Place of birth:||Landstuhl, Germany|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||315 lb (143 kg)|
|High school:||Warner Robins (GA)|
|NFL draft:||2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 93|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Willie Blade (born February 7, 1979 in Landstuhl, Germany) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League. He played for the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Texans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars during his career. He played college football at Mississippi State University.
Blade attended Warner Robins High School where he was named to the Peach State Top 40 by the Augusta Chronicle. He went on to play at Northwest Community College but transferred the next year to Butler Community College, where he earned All-Jayhawk Conference honors, after registering 42 tackles (12 for loss) and 6 sacks, while helping his team to the National Junior College Championship.
As a junior he transferred to Mississippi State University where as a reserve defensive tackle, he recorded 28 tackles (4 for loss), 6 quarterback pressures, and one sack. In his senior season, he recorded 51 tackles (9 for loss), 13 quarterback pressures (second on the team) and team-highs with 4 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. He received second-team All-SEC honors and was also a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy.
Dallas Cowboys (first stint)
Blade dropped in the 2001 NFL Draft because he was seen as a talented, but underachieving player. The Dallas Cowboys who had finished last in the NFL in run defense the previous year, took a chance and selected him in the third round.
After missing the first three practices of training camp in a contract dispute, he dislocated his right wrist and sustained ligament damage during his second full practice. The injury forced the team to placed him on the injured reserve list. The next season he came into training camp out of shape and was still hampered by his right wrist injury, so the team decided to release him before the start of the season.
Dallas Cowboys (second stint)
In Bill Parcells first season as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, the team was looking to improve its defensive line depth, and signed him in the 2003 off-season. Parcells liked his potential, and went as far as involving Blade's parents, being present in every one of his weight checks and personally monitoring his workouts, while trying to change his attitude.
Blade would go on to play a key role in the NFL first ranked defensive unit, starting 14 games at left defensive tackle, while registering 18 tackles (3 for loss), 1 sack and 8 quarterback pressures. The Cowboys expected him to keep improving, but the next season he relapsed into his old habits, reporting to training camp overweight and was released on July 26, 2004.
New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys (third stint)
Tampa Bay Storm (AFL)