We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 45 and a historical player.
CB Manny Hendrix
Born: 20th October 1964 (58) - Phoenix, Arizona
College: Utah Utes
Draft: 1986, UDFA, Dallas Cowboys
Games Played: 89
Fumble Recoveries: 4
Manny Hendrix accepted a scholarship at Utah to play basketball. He was a productive basketball player helping Utah to reach the playoffs three times. During his senior year, he was named team MVP and second-team All-WAC. He never played a single down of football while at Utah, but people remarked on his electric speed that was unmatched on his team. In 1986, he would sign as an undrafted player for the Dallas Cowboys who felt they could coach him and use his speed on defense. In 2006, he was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame
The Cowboys brought in the young basketball player to try and see if they could unlock the potential Hendrix had as an athlete. During the offseason, the team decided to waive him only to very quickly bring him back. The coaches played him at cornerback and by the regular season he was given the nickel back role and finished the season with 13 tackles and one fumble recovery.
The next season, he made 22 tackles and one pass breakup. He also started his first NFL career game in the season finale against St. Louis.
In 1988, Hendrix was making a name for himself as he continued to play better. He finished the season with 31 tackles, one interception and six pass breakups.
In 1989, he proved his production wasn’t a fluke. He played as a regular starter for Dallas, starting in three games. He ended the year with 27 tackles, an incredible 17 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
In 1990, Hendrix had now earned the role as one of the team’s starting cornerbacks and overtaking Robert Williams on the roster. He finished the season with 65 tackles, one interception, six pass breakups and a forced fumble.
The next season saw the team making many changes as they evolved under Jimmy Johnson, ready to become the Super Bowl giants they would become in the 90’s. In the 1991 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected future Super Bowl MVP Larry Brown and from there Hendrix found he had been replaced. Hendrix was released from Dallas and signed with the San Francisco 49ers, and then the Buffalo Bills. But in 1992 he officially retired from football. After football Hendrix was employed by the University of Utah as the director of athletic relations and senior associate athletics director for development.