Jesse Penn

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Jesse Penn
No. 59
Personal information
Born: (1962-09-06) September 6, 1962 (age 57)
Martinsville, Virginia
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Martinsville (VA)
College:Virginia Tech
NFL Draft:1985 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played:42
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Jesse Andrew Penn II (born September 6, 1962) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 1985 NFL Draft. He played college football at Virginia Tech.

Early years[edit]

Penn attended Martinsville High School, where he practiced football and track. He accepted a football scholarship from Virginia Tech.

As a junior, he was named a starter at standup defensive end, becoming one of the leaders on defense, while playing on the same defensive line as future hall of famer Bruce Smith. He posted 70 tackles (fourth on the team), 39 solo tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions, 9 passes defensed.

As a senior, he registered 65 tackles (fifth on the team), 35 solo tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 5 interceptions (second on the team), 8 passes defensed (second on the team) and 2 fumble recoveries. He also participated in the Blue–Gray Football Classic.[1] His 8 career interceptions were a school record for defensive linemen.

Professional career[edit]

Penn was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round (44th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft, to play as an outside linebacker. He also was selected fifth overall in the 1985 USFL Draft. As a rookie, he was a backup behind Jeff Rohrer.[2] In the preseason against the Green Bay Packers, he returned an interception for a 77-yard touchdown.[3] He started against the Cincinnati Bengals in place of an injured Rohrer, making 5 tackles and returned a blocked punt 49 yards for a touchdown.

In 1987, he started in place of an injured Rohrer against the Detroit Lions, tallying 6 tackles, one forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries. He finished the season with 2.5 sacks.

In the 1988 offseason he was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition, that forced him to retire.[4]


  1. ^ "Outland Trophy winner to play in Blue-Gray". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "Cowboys Draft Big Defenders". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "Late Raiders' heroics fall short to 49ers". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "Dallas linebacker has back ailment". Retrieved January 13, 2018.