Mark Stepnoski


Mark Stepnoski
Mark Stepnoski
Date of birth: January 20, 1967 (1967-01-20) (age 44)
Place of birth: Erie, Pennsylvania
Career information
Position(s): Center
College: Pittsburgh
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 3 / Pick: 57
Organizations
 As player:
1989–1994
1995–1998
1999–2001
Dallas Cowboys
Houston/Tennessee Oilers
Dallas Cowboys
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
Awards: Pennsylvania
All-Century Team[1]
Honors: NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
Playing stats at NFL.com

Mark Matthew Stepnoski (born January 20, 1967) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. He attended Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pennsylvania, and went on to star at the University of Pittsburgh. Stepnoski's professional career in the NFL was spent with the Dallas Cowboys (1989–1994, 1999–2000), and the Houston Oilers (1995–1998). Stepnoski won two Super Bowls while with the Cowboys and was a five time Pro Bowler, attending the game from 1992 through 1996.

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Early years

Stepnoski, was a highly recruited all state offensive tackle from Erie Cathedral Preparatory School. He graduated from the school in 1985.

He signed with Pittsburgh University where he became a four year starter at offensive guard, helping clear de way for Craig Heyward and Curvin Richards to become two of the leading rushers in the nation.

Stepnoski was an All-American in 1988, 1989 and one of the three finalists for the Outland Trophy.

His play earned him a spot on his home state's All Century Second Team, compiled by the Pennsylvania Football News.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Stepnoski, was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 3rd round of the 1989 NFL Draft. He dropped in the draft, because the scouts thought that he was undersized for the NFL.

The Cowboys switched him to center, although he never played that position before. During his rookie year he was tutored by Tom Rafferty, who was playing his last season in the NFL. He became a starter for the last four games of the season.

Stepnoski used his athletic ability, leverage and balance, to outmaneuver bigger defensive players and become one of the leagues best centers of his era.

From 1992 to 1994, together with Erik Williams, Mark Tuinei, Nate Newton and Larry Allen, he was part of some of the best offensive lines to play in NFL history.

By 1992, he was a Pro Bowl center and a Super Bowl champion. The following season, he suffered an injury before Dallas won a back-to-back Super Bowl. In the early 90s he helped paved the way for Emmitt Smith to become the NFL's All Time Leading Rusher.

Stepnoski was one of the teams first big-named players to leave the Cowboys following the 1994 season via unrestricted free agency.

Houston Oilers

Mark signed with the Houston Oilers in 1995, who later became the Tennessee Titans in 1998. During his 4 seasons with the Oilers and Titans, he continued his streak of success making the Pro Bowl twice.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys signed Stepnoski as a free agent in 1999, finishing his career with 3 more solid years with the Cowboys and retiring after the 2001 season.

Stepnoski played 13 years in the NFL, including five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and a spot on the NFL's all-decade second team.

Personal life

In November 2007, Stepnoski expressed support for the 9/11 Truth Movement.[2]

Stepnoski is also a marijuana legalization advocate and is an active member of NORML.[3] His position on this subject, made his high school alma mater, Cathedral Preparatory School, rescinded his nomination to the school's athletic hall of fame.

References

External links