|No. 20, 25, 21, 37|
|Date of birth:||January 5, 1980|
|Place of birth:||Rock Hill, South Carolina|
|High school:||Rock Hill (SC) Northwestern|
|NFL Draft:||2002 / Round: 3 / Pick: 75|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Derek Ross (born January 5, 1980, in Rock Hill, South Carolina) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, and the Minnesota Vikings. Ross played college football at Ohio State University.
Ross attended Northwestern High School where he played quarterback. As a senior, he registered 1,671 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 1,267 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. He was arrested four times during his high school career.
As a junior, he was suspended for spring practice after pleading guilty for driving without a license and providing false information. He eventually started 10 games at cornerback, playing the season with a sprained AC joint and a broken bone in his shoulder. He led the Big Ten Conference with 7 interceptions (third best in the nation), while also tallying 39 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. He declared for the NFL draft before his senior season.
Ross was selected in the third round (75th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, after dropping because of character concerns. He was considered a rising player after starting 9 games and leading all rookies with five interceptions, which was also the most by a Cowboys rookie since Everson Walls registered 11 interceptions in 1981.
In 2003, he started to have issues with new head coach Bill Parcells, losing his nickelback responsibilities. Parcells called him "a street player", because he relied heavily on his athletic abilities to cover wide receivers. He missed the first six games with a right knee injury and was eventually waived on December 2, after fumbling twice while returning kickoffs in a Thanksgiving loss against the Miami Dolphins, then proceeding to miss a team session the next day and a mandatory charity-related hospital visit.
The Atlanta Falcons claimed him off waivers, but he only played in two regular season games until being released before the start of the 2004 season, after missing more than a week of training camp with knee tendinitis.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints claimed him off waivers, but revoked the claim just one day later, after he missed a scheduled flight to New Orleans.
Minnesota Vikings (first stint)
Minnesota Vikings (second stint)
In August 2005, Ross was arrested and charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy to traffic drugs.