Leon Lett Inducted into Mobile Sports Hall of Fame

by | Jun 1, 2018 | Articles, The Team

Leon Lett won three Super Bowl rings during his 10 seasons (1991-2000) playing for the Dallas Cowboys, and now he’s entering his eighth season as a Cowboys’ assistant coach.  But his hometown of Mobile, Alabama recently bestowed an honor upon Lett that is a new, sparkly addition to his resume:  Mobile Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Class of 2018.

“It’s an honor to be selected to the Sports Hall of Fame in Mobile,” said Lett.  “I looked at the list of names and it’s just and honor to be associated with those people. I’m appreciative and humbled.”

Lett joins a list of past honorees that is a Who’s Who of all of American sports, including Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Vince Dooley, Willie McCovey, Ozzie Smith, Ken Stabler, Eddie Stanky, and Billy Williams.

Wow!  That’s some very impressive company.  Honestly, I had no idea all these great players have ties to Leon’s home town!  Lett’s induction class for 2018 included another baseball great:  pitcher Jake Peavy, the former Cy Young Award winner and back-to-back World Series Champion.

Lett was born in Mobile and attended high school in Fairhope on the shores of Mobile Bay.  At Fairhope H.S., he starred in football and basketball.  He attended Emporia State University and let his football team to the NAIA National Championship Game.

The Cowboys selected Lett in the 7thround of the 1991 NFL Draft.  He was nicknamed “Big Cat” because of agility, and he used his movement and size (6-6, 270) to his advantage throughout his career as a defensive tackle. He was elected to two Pro Bowls. He spent his final NFL season as a player with the Denver Broncos (2001).

Lett began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2009.  In May of 2009, he graduated from UNLV with his bachelor’s degree in university studies.

He moved a little closer to his Alabama home in 2010 when he got his first full-time job as an assistant coach (defensive tackles) at Louisiana-Monroe in 2010.

In 2011, Lett returned to the Cowboys as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program.  Lett worked under defensive line coach Brian Baker.  He was hired later in the summer as a full-time member of the coaching staff and has worked since then as the assistant defensive line coach.

Over the past eight seasons, he has helped develop Cowboys’ defensive linemen, including one of his prize pupils, DeMarcus Lawrence.  Last season, Lawrence surpassed his teacher, Lett, on the Cowboys’ All-Time Sack List.  Lawrence now has 23 ½ career sacks; Lett had 22 ½ with the Cowboys.That’s just fine with Lett.

“I want to see DeMarcus surpass me and I knew he has many, many more sacks to come,” Lett told 5 Points Blue in December.  “I want him to get to the top of that list.  I’m excited for him.”

I’m very thankful to be in the room with him,” Lawrence told 5PB of Lett.  “The understanding he has for the game, how he brings Charles Haley around to teach us extra moves, Leon provides a great atmosphere for us.  We appreciate him very much.”

And now if Lawrence or any of the other Cowboys’ players happen to pass through Mobile, they can stop by the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame to check out the new display honoring their coach, Leon Lett!