- Date of Birth:
- October 5, 1966
- 6' 5"
- Oklahoma City
Dennis Byrd (born Dennis DeWayne Byrd on October 5, 1966 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) was a former defensive end for the New York Jets, motivational speaker, and minister. Dennis played football for the University of Oklahoma, and was drafted by the New York Jets in 1989. He played defensive end and defensive tackle with the Jets until 1992, when he suffered a horrific injury that ended his career. Dennis slammed headfirst into his teammate during a play, and broke his neck; he was paralyzed. After months of work and recovery, he was able to walk again with the aid of a cane. For the rest of his short life, he traveled as a motivational speaker to share his incredible story. He came back to pump up the Jets several times. In 2010, he brought the Jets the tattered jersey he was wearing during his accident to inspire them to win. His number, 90, has been retired by the team. He coached high school football, and was a Pentecostal minister, as well. He also wrote a book, Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story, that was turned into a made-for-TV movie in the 90s.
Best Known For:
Dennis Byrd is best known as a former New York Jets defensive end.
Dennis was killed in a car crash near Claremont, Oklahoma on October 15, 2016. He was just 50. He leaves behind his wife, Angela Byrd, and their four children.