Believe it or not, T.J. Watt was very close to playing pro football in the same state as his brother, J.J. The younger T.J. actually believed that the Dallas Cowboys were drafting him, per Ed Werner of ESPN.
Back in 2017, T.J. was awaiting his NFL fate on draft night. The previous year, T.J. was named First-team All-Big Ten with Wisconsin. He was also part of the All-American Second-team.
Draft Night Drama For Watt
Watt’s pre-draft ratings had him mostly as a late-first to early-second round pick. So, as the draft progression went into the twenties, Watt and his family were probably getting anxious and ready for his phone to buzz. The Dallas Cowboys, who he had visited with earlier, had the 28th selection.
As the Cowboys pick neared, Watt received a phone call. Werner reports that they all assumed it was Dallas on the line, so a “Family member put a Cowboys cap on Watt’s head.” But it was not the voice of Jerry Jones. Instead, Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin was calling. The Steelers went on to draft Watt with the 30th pick. The Cowboys, meanwhile, selected Tacko Charlton out of Michigan. Charlton has since been released by Dallas and currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
As he entered the NFL, T.J. Watt wasted no time becoming one of the league’s young stars. Watt’s college dominance translated well, and he immediately made an impact on the Steelers’ roster.
Watt has already gone on to reach the Pro Bowl twice with Pittsburgh. He is now one of the backbones of the undefeated Steelers’ defense. So, it is hard to believe that his family is upset about getting passed on by Dallas.
Watt has recorded 25 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 1 interception so far this season. The Steelers are looking to make it 8-0 this Sunday when they face the Cowboys.