LeBron James Considered Playing Football In 2011, Received Contract Offer From Cowboys

Back in 2011, LeBron James considered taking his talents to…the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. And no, we’re not saying he considered playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki on the Dallas Mavericks. Rather, the NBA star flirted with the idea of joining the NFL, and he had at least one potential suitor in the Dallas Cowboys. 

During an appearance on “Uninterrupted” yesterday, the future NBA Hall of Famer revealed that he considered switching to football during the 2011 NBA lockout (and the concurrent 2011 NFL lockout).

“I had no idea how long the lockout was going to be, and myself and my trainer … we really started to actually train to be a football player,” James said (via David Helman of DallasCowboys.com). “We started to clock our time in the 40, we started to add a little bit more to our bench presses and things of that nature.”

How serious did it get? Well, Maverick Carter, James’ friend and business partner, revealed that Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones sent the basketball great a contract (which James subsequently framed). Considering LeBron’s star power, you’ve got to assume that the contract offer was legitimate; even if the MVP’s talents didn’t translate from the court to the gridiron, he undoubtedly would have been atop the list of jersey sales.

Of course, it’s not even that outlandish to suggest that James could have succeeded in the NFL. At 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds, James has the ideal body for a modern tight end. Plus, while we know we shouldn’t put too much stock into high school stats, LeBron hauled in 27 touchdowns in just two seasons while playing for St. Vincent-St. Mary.

As we all know, LeBron ended up sticking with basketball, which proved to be the right decision. Since the summer of 2011, the veteran has won three NBA championships and a pair of MVP awards. Still, it’s fun to wonder whether James could have helped guide the Cowboys to their first championship since 1995.

For the latest on LeBron, the Lakers, and all things NBA, follow Hoops Rumors on Twitter. (And, while you’re there, say hello to PFR editor emeritus Luke Adams!)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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28 comments on “LeBron James Considered Playing Football In 2011, Received Contract Offer From Cowboys

  1. jonnyzuck

    he probably would have been a great football player if he chose that path but I think he’s okay with how the past 9 years have gone in basketball

  2. manos

    Be a terrible football player and make less money while doing more damage to your body or an elite basketball player, make more money and be healthier when you retire? Doesn’t seem like a tough choice to me.

    • myaccount

      Why do we assume he would’ve been terrible? Antonio Gates worked out quite well

        • qbert1996

          you do know he was the #1 ranked football player in the state of Ohio as a junior and played WR? Pretty obvious you have no clue what you’re talking about

      • Katsuro

        Probably because Gates went just a few years, in his early 20s, without football whereas LeBron has gone what, ~10yrs and in his late 20s/early 30s?

        Doesn’t he whine about fouls as well? I would love to see what would happen with him going over the middle and getting pancaked by a lineman

        • Patrick N.

          Because lineman totally drop back into coverage for that to happen… also, 10 years ago, LeBron would’ve only been 25

  3. crosseyedlemon

    I think there was actually an earlier precedent to something like this when the Cowboys lured Walt Garrison away from a promising career on the professional rodeo circuit.

    • Ak185

      Bullet Bob Hayes was a sprinter. He did well I’d say. But as I mentioned earlier, the Cowboys tried this a couple of years ago and it didn’t work. Rico Geathers didn’t even make the roster for a season. No telling who would have done well in what, just because of their success in another sport.

      For every Antonio Gates there’s a Brock Lesnar.

    • tward09

      yea hes just trying to add value to himself in some way. He would never last in the nfl. He would get destroyed and have to end his basketball career early. Not a lebron fan, or a biased person, but I’ll bet that never happened

  4. gmmayock

    James is a liar. He just wants his name is the news. He can’t even get touched without crying foul. How was he going to get tackled?

    • brewpackbuckbadg

      He wasn’t going to be tackled. He would play outside wide receiver and just run out of bounds or go down like most of the super talented prima donna WRs do now anyway. (I’d probably do the same even if I am not a primma donna.) Petty soon they will wear red jerseys in practice too.

    • tward09

      A great example is when he flopped in the finals after a clean play involving Draymond

  5. Polish Hammer

    The guy that is 6’8” and 250lbs. or so and needs to be carried off the court by 4 people when he feels a twinge would last getting smashed in the NFL? LOL!!!

  6. NFL Flop! No killer instinct, whines, backers would shred him. Quitter who would sit on the bench hiding behind a dark face mask, screw him.

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