Eugene Lockhart

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Eugene Lockhart
No. 56
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-03-08) March 8, 1961 (age 53)
Place of birth: Crockett, Texas
Career information
College: Houston
NFL Draft: 1984 / Round: 6 / Pick: 152
Debuted in 1984
Last played in 1992
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Sacks 16
Interceptions 6
Touchdowns 1
Stats at NFL.com

Eugene Lockhart, Jr. (born March 8, 1961 in Crockett, Texas) is a former American football linebacker who played for nine seasons in the National Football League from 1984 to 1992. He played college football at the University of Houston and was drafted in the sixth round of the 1984 NFL Draft.

Early days[edit]

He attended Crockett High School and later became a two-year starting linebacker for the University of Houston from 1982 to 1983.

In 1983, he was named tri-captain of the Cougars football team. He also led the team with 134 tackles, was named second team All Southwest Conference by UPI and was voted team's most valuable player. He graduated with a degree in Marketing.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Lockhart was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 6th round of the 1984 NFL Draft. He became the first rookie in Cowboys history to start at middle linebacker, when Bob Breunig went down with a back injury during the first half of the season.[1] After Breuning retired at the end of the year, he became just the fourth player in Cowboys history to have held that position on a regular basis. After leading the team with 86 tackles (49 solo), he was named to the 1984 NFL All-Rookie team.[2]

In Dallas, his punishing hits earned him the nickname "Mean Gene, the hitting machine". Lockhart led the team in tackles in four of his seven years with the Cowboys and contributed with more than 100 tackles in every season except 1987, when he suffered a fractured right fibula and missed the last 3 games.

In 1989, he led the NFL and set a club record with 222 tackles. He also led the team in interceptions (2) and set club records with 154 solo tackles, 16 double-digit tackle games and 16 solo tackles in a game against the Phoenix Cardinals (10-29-1989). He did not make the Pro Bowl that year, but he was named to the 1989 All-Pro first team and was a bright spot on an otherwise dismal 1-15 team.

He played for the Cowboys during a low point in the franchise history, and a lot of times he was one of the few legitimate players on sub par teams, which eventually ended up costing him a chance to earn Pro Bowl honors and other accolades. In his career he was named to two All-Pro teams (1989 and 1990).

New England Patriots[edit]

Head coach Jimmy Johnson system favored more agile linebackers, so Lockhart was traded to the New England Patriots on 04-19-1991. In exchange for the first overall draft pick of the 1991 NFL Draft (Russell Maryland), he was traded to the Patriots along with cornerback Ron Francis, linebacker David Howard, a 1991 first round pick (#11 Pat Harlow), and a 1991 second round pick (#41 Jerome Henderson).

While cleaning out his locker, he was quoted saying: "It's a cold business—a cold, cold business, And it's even colder in New England".[3]

Lockhart played in the NFL for 9 seasons (7 with the Cowboys, 2 with the Patriots), started 117 games, recorded over 1,000 tackles,[4] 16 sacks, and 6 interceptions (1 returned for a TD).

Post-NFL[edit]

In 2009, Lockhart and eight others were indicted on Federal charges of organizing a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme in the Dallas, Texas area. [5] In late 2012, Lockhart was convicted and sentenced to 54 months in prison for the fraud.[6]

References[edit]

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