Tony Casillas Speaker Profile
Tony Casillas Biography
Tony Casillas was born October 26, 1963 in Tulsa, Oklahomaand is a former defensive lineman in the National Football League from 1986through 1997. While at the University of Oklahoma he helped win the 1985 NCAANational Championship. He also won the Lombardi Award in 1985 and was the 1985UPI Lineman of the Year. In 2004 he was inducted into the College Football Hallof Fame. Casillas later returned to the Cowboys in 96.
Casillas was selected second overall in the 1986 NFL Draftby the Atlanta Falcons. The team was switching to a 3-4 base defense, so theyneeded him to be their nose tackle, he responded by becoming a starter as arookie and making 111 tackles and a sack. He also made the league's all-rookieteam.
In the strike-shortened 1987 season, he played just ninecontests and had 72 tackles.
During the 1988 preseason, he left camp for three weeks toget guidance from a psychologist, suffering he said, from the stress of playingin professional football. He returned to the team with a new attitude and intime to start the regular season, where he made 111 tackles and became a ProBowl alternate.
He exploded in 1989 with 152 tackles, which still is a teamrecord by a defensive lineman and was named second-team All-Pro, becoming oneof the best players at his position.
In 1990 he held out in a contract dispute from head coach JerryGlanville's first Falcons training camp, causing him to loose his starting jobto rookie Tory Epps. The problems escalated from there on, he eventually misseda 44-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams after failing to catch the team flight.The Falcons suspended him for two weeks without pay. Between injuries anddiscipline incidents, he only played in nine games as a reserve.
At the start of the 1991 season he announced he wasretiring, so the Falcons traded him to the Dallas Cowboys for a second and eighthdraft choice in the 1992 NFL Draft .
During his five year span in Atlanta, Casillas had 478tackles, the most ever by any Falcons defensive lineman and fourth best overallin franchise history.
The Dallas Cowboys welcomed Casillas to training camp withthe news that he would play defensive left tackle in a 4-3 scheme where No. 1draft pick Russell Maryland also plays. He eventually won the starting spot andbecame part of the best defense and the best defensive-line rotation in theNFL.
His career was revived in Dallas, where he made a big impactin the defensive line and was part in the team's back to back victories inSuper Bowl XXVII and XXVIII
During his three years with the Cowboys, he became aspecialist at stopping the run and was never used much as a pass-rusher.
Casillas left the team via free agency to join the Kansas CityChiefs for the 1994 season/
He immediately started having problems with the Chiefs inmini-camp, practicing only sporadically, saying that he had a problem with highblood pressure.
On the eve of training camp, he told coach MartySchottenheimer he was concerned about his health. Eventually, the Chiefsreleased him, forcing him to return his signing bonus. Their general manager,Carl Peterson, asked the league to investigate whether the Cowboys hadtampered, after the Cowboys hired Barry Switzer (Casillas's former coach atOklahoma ).
As part of Casillas's release from the Chiefs, he agreedthat he would not sign in 1994 with any of the other American Conference Westdivision rivals or with the Cowboys.
In 1994, he signed with the New York Jets after a bizarrespring and summer in which he practiced only sporadically in minicamp with theChiefs and was eventually released.
In the two years he spent in New York, he dealt withinjuries that caused him to only start 16 games.
He rejoined the Cowboys as a reserve for the 1996 season. Itwas the only season in his career he failed to record a sack. He retired afterstarting in 14 games in 1997, matching his career high total of three sacks.
Casillas played in the NFL for 12 seasons and collected 23sacks, 2 Pro Bowl invites and 2 Super Bowl Rings.
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