Derek Kennard

Derek Kennard
No. 70, 60
Position: Guard / Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-09-09) September 9, 1962
Place of birth: Stockton, California
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 333 lb (151 kg)
Career information
High school: Stockton (CA) Edison
College: Nevada
NFL Draft: 1984 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Derek Craig Kennard (born September 9, 1962) is a former American football guard and center who played 11 seasons in the National Football League for the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, and the Dallas Cowboys. Previously he played two seasons in the United States Football League for the Los Angeles Express.

Early years

Kennard attended Edison High School where his No. 73 jersey was retired in 1996. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was a second-team All-Big Sky as a sophomore and All-Big Sky as a junior and senior. He was named to the second-team All-American team in 1983 as an offensive tackle.[1][2]

In 1996 he was inducted into Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame and he also is part of the Big Sky Conference Silver Anniversary team.[3]

Professional career

Los Angeles Express (USFL)

Kennard was drafted in the third round of the 1984 USFL Collegiate Draft by the Los Angeles Express. He was converted to guard and played in 20 games during 2 seasons.

Saint Louis Cardinals

He joined the Saint Louis Cardinals after the USFL folded in August 1986, which was the team that owned his rights after drafting him in the second round (45th overall) of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players.

In 1988 he was an alternate selection to the Pro Bowl. In 1989 he was suspended 2 games, after crashing his car while driving under the influence.

Kennard played in 73 games and had a streak of 40 consecutive starts.

New Orleans Saints

In 1991 he was traded along with a fifth round draft choice to the New Orleans Saints, in exchange for holdout cornerback Robert Massey. He opened the season as the starter at right guard, but suffered a torn pectoral muscle in a weight room accident, and was lost for the year after the third game.[4]

Kennard played 3 seasons and had 32 consecutive starts at guard and center.

Dallas Cowboys

In 1994 he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an unrestricted free agent, primarily to be the starting right guard, replacing Kevin Gogan who signed with the Los Angeles Raiders.[5]

In 1995 after injuring his hip in training camp, he told the team that he was retiring because of health reasons, but Jerry Jones eventually convinced him to return.[6] When Larry Allen moved from left tackle back to right guard, he became a backup offensive lineman. After Ray Donaldson suffered a broken right ankle and was placed on injured reserve, he started the last 4 games at center and all of the playoffs. In Super Bowl XXX he started at center and played with a severe separated shoulder.

Although he was not a part of the team at the start of the 1996 season, the team signed him to help in one game. He retired at the end of the year.

Personal life

His son Derek Kennard Jr. played defensive tackle for the University of Nevada and Devon Kennard played linebacker for USC and is currently a LB for the New York Giants.

Since being retired from the NFL, he has been promoting sleep apnea awareness and teamed up with a company called Pro Player Health Alliance.


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