Turning 27 years-old in June, Okoye was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans and was an immediate impact, registering 109 combined tackles, 11 sacks and one forced fumble. The Texans made him the 10th overall pick in the 2007 draft. He last played in nine games for the Chicago Bears in 2012. He registered nine tackles and one sack in the season.
|William Holtkamp via Wikimedia Commons|
The 6-foot-2, 292-pound tackle became the youngest player to start an NFL game since 1967. The bad news was he couldn't hack it in the NFL. The Houston Texans took him with the 10th overall in the 2007 draft, and nobody thought it was the wrong move,yet it was. After four years and 11 sacks, half of which came his rookie year, the Texans released him in 2011. He went to the Chicago Bears to be a backup for a couple more year, where he posted 39 combined tackles and five sacks.
When he was cut by the Bears during the 2012 season, it barely made a ripple. Okoye didn't play all of last year due to an undisclosed medical issue, and it looked like he might quietly fade into post-NFL life.
Okoye was out of football last season due to an undisclosed medical issue.Then entered the Dallas Cowboys, a team desperate to breathe life into their struggling defensive unit. Head coach Jason Garrett had these words regarding Okoye:
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) May 16, 2014
We like a lot of things about him. He’s a young player coming out of (Louisville) He has a lot of talent. Rod was around him in Chicago so we know him well. We think that’s a positive thing. He’s had some health issues the last year or so where’s lost some weight. We feel like he has a chance to be a contributor on the line. He’s had some health issues the last year or so where he’s lost a lot of weight. He’s gained his weight back and we’re still waiting on some medical things, but we feel like he has a chance to be a contributor on that defensive line.Garrett was asked if he felt like Okoye could participate in the Cowboys’ veteran mini-camp at Valley Ranch in mid-June. “Just waiting to see, got a physical yesterday and there are some other things we’re waiting on,” Garrett said. “We’re not going to rush him into anything, but it’s good to have him in here.”
The Cowboys undoubtedly need linemen. They're giving Okoye another shot to revive his career. Dallas agreed with Okoye on a two-year deal, according to numerous reports. The one-time standout first-rounder defensive tackle will finally get another chance, a once in a lifetime shot that so many athletes strive to achieve.
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