Kevin Mathis

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Kevin Mathis
No. 23
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-04-29) April 29, 1974 (age 42)
Place of birth: Gainesville, Texas
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school: Gainesville (TX)
College: Texas A&M-Commerce
Undrafted: 1997
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 348
Interceptions: 11
Forced fumbles: 9
Passes Defended: 22
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Kevin Bryant Mathis (born April 29, 1974) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and the Atlanta Falcons. He played college football at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Early years[edit]

Mathis was born in Gainesville, Texas, and attended Gainesville High School. He was a letterman in football, basketball, and track. In football, he was a two-time All-District selection.

He played college football at Texas A&M University-Commerce, becoming a three-year starter at cornerback, while finishing with 16 interceptions and three NCAA Division II All-American and All-LSC nominations.

In 2009, he was inducted into the Texas A&M-Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Mathis wasn't selected in the 1997 NFL Draft because of his size and small college background. He was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. He would end up making the team after taking advantage of Deion Sanders being away while playing professional baseball and displaying his track speed (4.19 seconds in the 40-yard dash).[2] As a rookie, he played in all 16 games, returned punts and recorded 12 special teams tackles.

After being the backup at right cornerback, he was moved to the left side to backup Kevin Smith. At the end of the 1998 season he won the starting job from an injured Smith, but he would also miss time because of injuries (8 games in 1999) and returned to a backup role.

On April 26, 2000, he was traded to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for linebacker Chris Bordano, because of his injury history and the numbers at the cornerback position (signing of Ryan McNeil and 3 rookie cornerbacks draft selections).[3]

New Orleans Saints[edit]

Mathis was named the starter at left cornerback for all 16 games in the 2000 season and finished with 87 tackles and 1 interception. He helped the New Orleans Saints reach the playoffs for the first time since 1992 and also win their first ever playoff game.

As a starter in the 2001 season, he injured his cervical spine while tackling the Washington Redskins' Ki-Jana Carter.[4] On July 24, 2002, he was waived injured.[5]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Mathis recovered and played 11 games in the nickel packages for the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, registering a career-high 3 interceptions. He started 12 games in 2004, finishing with 67 tackles and 2 interceptions (both returned for touchdowns).

On September 13, 2005, he was lost for the season with a career-threatening left knee injury, after tearing 3 ligaments during a practice drill.[6]

The next year he returned to play but suffered a career-ending neck injury, while tackling Eddie Drummond on the opening kickoff against the Detroit Lions on November 5, 2006.[7] He was released injured on April 9, 2007.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 2012, he became a football assistant coach at Prime Prep Academy.


  1. ^ "A&M-Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame bio". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Free agent Mathis making Cowboy coaches take notice". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ "N.F.L.: ROUNDUP; Chargers Move Quickly To Fire Riley as Coach". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ "FOOTBALL: ROUNDUP; Jets Sign 5th-Round Pick". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Mathis to miss season after multiple tears". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Falcons DB Mathis out for season with neck injury". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Falcons release veteran DB Mathis". Retrieved February 19, 2017.