Derek Ross
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Derek Ross

For the indoor football running back, see Derrick Ross

Derek Ross
No. 20, 25, 21, 37
Personal information
Born: (1980-01-05) January 5, 1980 (age 40)
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Career information
High school:Northwestern
(Rock Hill, South Carolina)
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:2002 / Round: 3 / Pick: 75
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:33
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Derek Ross (born January 5, 1980) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings. He played college football at Ohio State University.

Early years

Ross attended Northwestern High School, where he was a two-way player. As a junior, he had a total of 25 touchdowns.

As a senior, his team finished second in the state with a 12-3 record. He was the South Carolina Offensive Player of the Year and an All-state selection at quarterback, registering 1,671 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 1,267 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. At cornerback he had 15 career interceptions. He was arrested four times during his high school career.

College career

Ross accepted a football scholarship from Ohio State University. As a freshman, he was converted into a cornerback and appeared in every game. He blocked 3 punts on special teams, including one against Shane Lechler in the 1999 Sugar Bowl, that was returned by Kevin Griffin for a touchdown.

In 1999, he did not play football after being ruled academically ineligible. As a sophomore, he was the team's third cornerback, registering 37 tackles (4 for loss), 2 interceptions and 7 passes defensed. He earned his first start in the 2001 Outback Bowl against the University of South Carolina.

As a junior, he was suspended for spring practice after pleading guilty for driving without a license and providing false information.[1] He started 10 games at cornerback, playing the season with a sprained AC joint and a broken bone in his shoulder. He led the Big Ten Conference with 7 interceptions (fifth in school history and third best in the nation), while also tallying 194 interception return yards (school record), 13 passes defensed, 41 tackles (3 for loss), one sack, one forced fumble and one touchdown.

He declared for the NFL draft before his senior season.[2] He finished his college career with 217 interception return yards (fourth in school history), 91 tackles, 9 interceptions, 20 passes defensed and 3 blocked punts.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Ross was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (75th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft, after dropping because of character concerns.[3] He earned his first start at left cornerback in the fourth game against the St. Louis Rams, replacing an injured Duane Hawthorne. He was considered a rising player after starting 9 games and leading all rookies with 5 interceptions, which was also the most by a Cowboys rookie since Everson Walls registered 11 interceptions in 1981. He missed the final 2 games with a hip contusion. He also had 12 passes defensed (led the team) and 67 tackles (ninth on the team).

In 2003, he started to have issues with new head coach Bill Parcells, losing his nickelback responsibilities. Parcells called him "a street player", because he relied heavily on his athletic abilities to cover wide receivers.[4] He missed the first six games with a right knee injury and was eventually waived on December 2, after fumbling twice while returning kickoffs in a Thanksgiving loss against the Miami Dolphins, then proceeding to miss a team session the next day and a mandatory charity-related hospital visit.[5]

Atlanta Falcons

On December 3, 2003, the Atlanta Falcons claimed him off waivers, but he only played in two regular season games. On August 17, 2004, he was released after missing more than a week of training camp with knee tendinitis.[6]

New Orleans Saints

On August 19, 2004, the New Orleans Saints claimed him off waivers, but revoked the claim just one day later, after he missed a scheduled flight to New Orleans.

Minnesota Vikings (first stint)

On August 24, 2004, the Minnesota Vikings signed him as a free agent. He was cut on September 4.

Arizona Cardinals

On September 6, 2004, he was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Cardinals, but did not pass the physical exam and was not signed.

Minnesota Vikings (second stint)

On October 13, 2004, he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings. He played in 9 regular season games, before being released on December 21.[7]

Personal life

In August 2005, Ross was arrested and charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy to traffic drugs.[8]


  1. ^ "Tressel Rules Ross Out Of Spring Practice". Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Derek Ross To Forego His Senior Year Of Football Eligibility". Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Falcons' poverty gets them Ross". Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "Parcells sends message to Cowboys by releasing punt returner Ross". Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "Ross fumbled two returns vs. Miami". Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Falcons' poverty gets them Ross". Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Two-year vet heads to fourth team". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Ross charged with trafficking marijuana". Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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