LeBron James Says He Could Have Made the Dallas Cowboys or Seattle Seahawks If He Had NFL Tryouts

Jason Duaine Hahn
·2 min read

Ronald Martinez/Getty Ronald Martinez/Getty

LeBron James, the Dallas Cowboy? It could have happened, at least according to the NBA player.

In an interview with The Athletic published on Monday, the 36-year-old admitted he still thinks of the NFL career that he might have had if he'd taken up Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on his offer of a try-out a decade ago.

"I would have made the team," James told the outlet. "I would have tried out, but I would have made the team. One thing about it, I don't mind working for something, so if I would have had to try out for the Cowboys or the Seahawks, or if I'd have stayed home and went back home to Cleveland, I'd have tried [out], but I would have made the team."

"I just know what I'm capable of doing on the football field," he added. "Especially at that age."

Jones' proposal to the then-Miami Heat star came as the NBA went into a lockout before the start of the 2011-2012 season.

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty LeBron James playing for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Atlanta Hawks

As he's discussed before, James said the uncertainty around the length of the lockout presented an opportunity to switch up his offseason training. Instead of his normal workouts, he and a trainer began running football drills and adding more weight to other strength-building exercises.

While football and basketball are vastly different sports, for James, the jump between the two wouldn't have been that surprising — he previously played wide receiver for St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Ohio.

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James made first-team all-state as a sophomore, according to NFL.com. A year later, he amassed 57 receptions for 1,160 yards and 16 touchdowns.

His team went 10-4 that year, and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer even tried — unsuccessfully — to recruit the future four-time NBA champion.

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But the talented then-high schooler ultimately pulled the plug on playing football during his senior year.

While James' training during the 2011 lockout gave him extra time to bulk up before the season, he'd ultimately leave his football hopes behind when the stoppage came to an end in December 2011. James and the Miami Heat went on to win the NBA championship later that season.