Born on March 5, 1966 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Michael Irvin is a former Dallas Cowboys player and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 15th in 17 siblings, he was a football star at the St. Thomas Aquinas High School and received heavy recruitment from the University of Miami. During his collegiate career, he set school records for career receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions, eventually becoming part of Miami’s 1987 National Championship team. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, the last first-round draft pick under the leadership of long-time general manager Tex Schramm. In 1987, he became the first rookie receiver in Cowboys’ history to start a game in 20 years. While he finished his rookie season with a 20.4 yards per catch average, the highest in the season, his team won only three games.
The following year, Irvin was injured, which limited his participation to only six games. Subsequently, the Cowboys finished with a 1-15 record, the worst in franchise history. Thanks toa group of strong players, however, the team soon improved, with a strong 11-5 record in 1991. Irvin finished with 93 receptions, an NFL-best 1,523 yards, and 8 touchdowns. He was also selected for the All-Pro team for the first time. From 1991 to 1998, the Cowboys made four straight appearances in the NFC Championship Game and three Super Bowl titles. In Super Bowl XXVII, Irvin had his greatest performance, catching seven passes for 114 yards alongside two touchdowns, which occurred in a span of record-breaking 18 seconds.
Sadly, Michael Irvin suffered a career-ending injury in Philadelphia after he was tackled brutally by Eagles defensive back Tim Hauck, landing head first into the turf. He sustained a non-life-threatening cervical spinal cord injury and a narrow spinal column. In August of 2007, he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, where he delivered a tearful acceptance speech. In 2009, he was cast as one of the celebrities on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars.