Leroy Cook

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Leroy Cook
No. 98
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1952-11-09) November 9, 1952 (age 66)
Abbeville, Alabama
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Abbeville (AL)
College:Alabama
NFL Draft:1976 / Round: 10 / Pick: 290
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • All-American (1974, 1975)
  • All-SEC (1974, 1975)
  • Alabama Team of the Century
  • Team Captain (1975)
  • Alabama Crimson Tide record for forced fumbles in a career (10)
  • Alabama Crimson Tide record for sacks in a career (15)
  • Alabama Crimson Tide record for tackles for a loss in a career (27)
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com

Leroy Cook (born November 9, 1952 in Abbeville, Alabama) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Alabama and was a two-time All-America selection.

Early years[edit]

Cook attended Abbeville High School, where he played football and basketball. He accepted a football scholarship from the University of Alabama. He worked his way into the defensive line rotation as a sophomore, despite injuring his foot in an offseason motorcycle accident.

He earned consensus All-American honors in 1975 and was a First-team All-American 1974. As a freshman, in 1972, Cook made 16 tackles (three for a loss) and caused two fumbles. In 1973, he made 18 tackles and again was credited with two caused fumbles. In 1974, his first as an All-America he made 81 tackles (10 for a loss) with six of those being sacks. He was credited with two more forced fumbles and blocked three kicks

In 1975, he made 85 tackles, (14 for losses) with 9 of those sacks and caused a career-high 4 fumbles. He was named SEC Player of the Year by the Atlanta Touchdown Club. He also served as team defensive captain that season. He was National Defensive Player of the Week following the University of Tennessee game in 1975, a 30-7 Tide win. He was Defensive MVP of the 1975 Orange Bowl.[1]

Cook was selected to the Tide's Team of the Decade of the 1970s. and he was also chosen to Sports Illustrated's All-Time University of Alabama team.[2] Cook ended his career with 200 tackles with 27 for losses and 15 sacks. He forced 10 fumbles in 4-years which still ranks high in Alabama record books. He also blocked three kicks.

A right knee wrecked during a freak incident in his final Iron Bowl led to the untimely end of his football career and whispers of "what might have been" regarding one of the greatest players in Alabama football history.

Professional career[edit]

Cook was widely thought of as being a first to third round talent, but on November 29, 1975, after a 28-0 win against the University of Auburn when Bob Baumhower slapped Cook's left shoulder pad from behind in a celebratory manner, Cook's right knee snapped and suffered a torn ligament. He sat out of most practices in the weeks leading to the Sugar Bowl against Penn State. He started the game but had to leave after his knee gave out in the first series and probably caused further damage to the original injury.

With his future sports career in doubt, Cook ended up being selected in the tenth round (290th overall pick) of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who gambled he could recover.

Because he played in college as a stand-up defensive end, he was drafted to play as an outside linebacker. He was placed on injured reserve to rehab his injury during 1976 season.[3] Cook attempted to make the team in 1977, however, he was cut in July 22 and never signed another professional contract.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Cook eventually returned to Alabama, and worked at O'Neal Steel in Birmingham.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alabama Player Bios". University of Alabama Media Guide. 2006.
  2. ^ Lawrence, Andrew (August 30, 2006). "The All-time Alabama Team". Sports Illustrated.
  3. ^ "Pokes Harbor Super Hopes". The Commerce Journal. July 22, 1976.
  4. ^ "Transactions". Silver City Daily Press. July 23, 1977. p. 8.

External links[edit]