Dallas Cowboy Great & NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett Showing Signs of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy)


Former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett takes on his biggest challenge …

ESPN’s ‘Ouside the Lines’ is reporting that 1976 Heisman Trophy winner, NFL Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboy running back Tony Dorsett has been diagnosed with as having signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  CTE is a degenerative condition caused by head trauma and linked to depression and dementia. What a crying shame. Another football great from days gone by that has been a victim of concussions over his career.  the 59 year old Dorsett played 12 season in the NFL talked about the symptoms that compelled him to seek testing: memory loss, depression and thoughts of suicide. Dorsett discussed his struggles with memory loss and confusion like when he struggled to remember why he was on the plane from Texas to California to get testing. Dorsett also said he gets lost when he drives his two youngest daughters, ages 15 and 10, to their soccer and volleyball games. Sad, so very sad and there are hundreds of former players like this.

Get well Tony, get well all!


Tony Dorsett - click on pic to watch the OTL interview

Pro Football Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett and Joe DeLamielleure, and former NFL All-Pro Leonard Marshall have been diagnosed as having signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition many scientists say is caused by head trauma and linked to depression and dementia, doctors have told “Outside the Lines.”

The three former stars underwent brain scans and clinical evaluations during the past three months at UCLA, as did an unidentified ex-player whose test results are not yet available. Last year, UCLA tested five other former players and diagnosed all five as having signs of CTE, marking the first time doctors found signs of the crippling disease in living former players.

CTE is indicated by a buildup of tau, an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells in areas that control memory, emotions and other functions. Autopsies of more than 50 ex-NFL players, including Hall of Famer Mike Webster and perennial All-Pro Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, found such tau concentrations.

Researchers told “Outside the Lines” that they notified Dorsett by phone Monday that they had diagnosed him as having signs of the neurological disease. Dorsett, in an appearance Wednesday afternoon on ESPN’s “Dan LeBatard Is Highly Questionable” show, acknowledged he had been tested at UCLA and received results: “I’m not going to say too much more about it … I’m trying to be proactive rather than reactive.”

OTL also ininterviewed 62 year old Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure, who had a 13-year career as an offensive lineman for Buffalo and Cleveland and NFL All-Pro Leonard Marshall have also been diagnosed with CTE.

DeLamielleure, 62, said he never received a concussion diagnosis during his 13-year career as an offensive lineman for Buffalo and Cleveland, but that during games and practices he endured tens of thousands of blows to his head and believes he had at least 100 concussions.

On the day he received the news that he has signs of CTE, DeLamielleure told OTL, “I can guarantee you my CTE, my tau, came from hits, came from blows to the head.” He said he suffers from anxiety and chronic insomnia, and, like Dorsett, he recounted mood swings and suicidal thoughts.

“When I sit still for any length of time, I get depressed for no reason,” DeLamielleure said. “I have CTE. Let’s see what the heck we can do about it.”

Marshall, 52, told “Outside the Lines” that when he received his diagnosis Sunday it was “very emotional.”

Sorry, but I am a firm believer in two things when it comes to the NFL and concussions. One, every player in today’s game who makes a ridiculous amount of money owes part of their pay check to those that made the game great and built the NFL into what it is today and who have obviously suffered the consequences. Two, the NFL should be ashamed of itself because they had to of known about the dangers of concussions and head injuries to players. But their answer today, is to make the game soft, can’t hit the QB, can’t hit defenseless receivers, can’t touch the helmet, etc. That’s fine for the skilled players, but what about the offensive and defensive players in the trenches where ever play is like an organized rumble?

However, the answer is not to take away the hitting in the NFL. Sorry, but like it or not, it is a violent sport. I have played the game from Pee-wees, to high school, to college and trust me, its a pretty hard hitting and yes I have had my fair share of concussions over the years. So much so that in college I switched to rugby for less violence. That would be a joke. But my point being is that the more the NFL makes the equipment and helmets better, the more they make it possible for players to hit harder. And hit they will. How else do they expect to get on ESPN, Inside the NFL and the other football highlight shows? In many respects, because the NFL wanted for marketing purposes to see higher scores and video game offenses, rather than any semblance of defense … they have made the game faster.

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