Mike Sherrard: Time in Dallas marred by what-ifs
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Mike Sherrard never had the career with the Cowboys that fans and the organization had hoped.
An injured leg, broken twice -- once while running on the beach -- kept that from happening. It created plenty of what-ifs for Sherrard in Dallas. He could have caught passes from Troy Aikman and lined up opposite Michael Irvin.
But Sherrard persevered through multiple injuries and doubts about his future to play 11 years in the NFL with four teams. He went on to become the New York Giants' top receiver.
Sherrard returned to his native California after retiring and is an analyst on Fox Sports Net for his alma mater UCLA.
How disappointed were you that a career in Dallas didn't work out?
It was just an unfortunate circumstance. It was tough when I broke my leg the second time. It was better for me to go somewhere and sit on the bench and get healthy. I didn't really like the trainers or the doctors [in Dallas] too much. I just needed a change.
Do you look back and think your NFL career was cursed from the start by injuries?
I had bad luck, without a doubt. I had some weird injuries. I think it's just part of the game. I stuck it out for 11 years. Did I reach my potential? Probably not.
What went through your mind after breaking your leg the second time while running on the beach?
I thought I was going down the road to recovery and playing the next season. My whole career was in doubt. That was the toughest point in my football career. I was wondering what was going to happen. I had some big hurdles coming back from that.
Did you ever feel you got back to where you were before you were injured in Dallas?
When it [the leg] finally healed, it never gave me any problems. After the next year with the [49ers], I felt 100 percent. The positive of going to the 49ers was that I had time to heal. They didn't pressure me. The negative was they had Jerry Rice and John Taylor. They had so many talented people, I didn't get a chance to show what I could do.
What memory do you have of Tom Landry that sticks out?
How he just knew everybody's assignment. One day at practice, he took over the film and knew exactly what everybody on the film was supposed to do. Then he switched to the defense and knew what everyone was doing step for step. It was kind of mind-blowing. I just thought he was a head coach that delegated.
IN THE KNOW
Cowboys 1986; 49ers 1990-92; Giants 1993-95; Broncos 1996.
Cowboys' No. 18 overall pick (1st WR taken) in 1986 draft out of UCLA. ... Had 41 catches for 744 yards and a team-high five TDs as a rookie in Dallas. Averaged a career-best 18.1 yards per catch that season. ... Career year with Giants in 1994 with 53 catches for 825 yards and 6 TDs.
Recently started Venus Event Travel, which organizes alumni fantasy trips with former college greats.
Sat out 1987-89 with a broken leg. ... Suffered broken ankle with 49ers and broken hip with Giants. ... Coaches his 7-year-old daughter Chloe's soccer team. ... Has three children.