Cornelius O'Landa Bennett (born August 25, 1965) is a former American football linebacker who played for the Buffalo Bills from 1987 to 1995, Atlanta Falcons from 1996 to 1998, and the Indianapolis Colts from 1999 to 2000. Bennett was a five-time Pro Bowler, being elected in 1988, and 1990–1993, and won the AFC Defensive Player of the Year award twice (1988 and 1991).
|No. 55, 97|
|Born:||August 25, 1965|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school:||Birmingham (AL) Ensley|
|NFL Draft:||1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Bennett was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He played halfback and several other positions while attending Ensley High School in Birmingham. Bennett was an excellent basketball and baseball player during his high school career. Bennett was an all-state performer for the football team his senior year, amassing over 1,000 yards on 101 rushes. Bennett was nicknamed "Biscuit" by friends because he always had room for one more.
Bennett played for the University of Alabama from 1983–1986. Bennett was a first selection on the College Football All-America Team three times (1984–1986). He is one of only two Alabama players to be named to three All-America teams, the other being fellow linebacker Woodrow Lowe. As a senior, he won the Lombardi Award, SEC Player of the Year honors, and finished 7th in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy. In his four seasons at the University of Alabama, Bennett recorded 287 tackles, 21½ sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries. His most famous play was in 1986 when he leveled Notre Dame quarterback Steve Beuerlein, immortalized in a painting by artist Daniel Moore titled simply, ‘The Sack.’ In 2005, Bennett was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
After his college career, Bennett was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the second pick of the 1987 NFL Draft. The 1987 draft class was deemed the "Year of Linebacker", but Bennett was considered to stand "head-and-shoulders above the rest." Bennett was Alabama's highest draft selection since quarterback Joe Namath went 12th overall in 1965, and as of 2015, remains the highest selected Crimson Tide defender ever.
Bennett and the Colts were unable to come to an agreement on a contract. Bennett was then dealt to the Buffalo Bills from the Colts in a three-way trade that also included Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson and Bills running back Greg Bell. This trade occurred in the fall of the 1987 season, just before the trade deadline, and has been called "the trade of the decade" by The New York Times.
In the NFL, Bennett's talent at the left outside linebacker position helped the teams he played for to five Super Bowl appearances (four with Buffalo and one with Atlanta), but they lost them all (an NFL record he shares with offensive lineman Glenn Parker ). In his 14 NFL seasons, he recorded 71½ sacks, 7 interceptions, 112 return yards, 31 forced fumbles, 27 fumble recoveries, 78 fumble return yards, and three touchdowns (one interception, one fumble return, and one blocked field goal return).
At the time of his retirement, Bennett's 27 defensive fumble recoveries were the third most in NFL history.
Bennett was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
On May 1997, Bennett committed "vicious acts" during a sexual assault of a woman at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Buffalo. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 days in jail for sexual misconduct. He was also placed on three years' probation, fined $500, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, ordered to pay back $617 in medical bills for the woman, and ordered to undergo anger-management and substance-abuse counseling.
In May 2010, Bennett announced he will donate his brain for a study of long-term brain injuries resulting from football-related injuries.
The 1984 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season. Florida won the conference, though it was later vacated.1985 All-SEC football team
The 1985 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1985 NCAA Division I-A football season.1985 Aloha Bowl
The 1985 Aloha Bowl, part of the 1985 bowl game season, took place on December 28, 1985, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The competing teams were the Alabama Crimson Tide, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the USC Trojans of the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10). Alabama was victorious in by a final score of 24–3. Alabama running back Gene Jelks and linebacker Cornelius Bennett were named the game's co-MVPs.1986 All-SEC football team
The 1986 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season.1987 Buffalo Bills season
The 1987 Buffalo Bills season was the 28th season for the club and its 18th in the National Football League (NFL).
On October 31, 1987, the Los Angeles Rams traded Eric Dickerson to the Indianapolis Colts in a three team trade involving the Bills. The Rams sent Dickerson to the Colts for six draft choices and two players. Buffalo obtained the rights to Cornelius Bennett from Indianapolis. Buffalo sent running back Greg Bell and three draft choices to the Rams, while Indianapolis added Owen Gill and three of their own draft picks to complete the deal with the Rams. Adding Bennett to the team helped to form the nucleus for a strong young defensive unit that would become the core of Buffalo's later Super Bowl teams.1987 Indianapolis Colts season
The 1987 Indianapolis Colts season was the 35th season for the team in the National Football League (NFL) and fourth in Indianapolis. The team finished the strike-shortened season with a record of 9 wins and 6 losses, and won the AFC East division.
This season marked the first winning season, division championship, and the first trip to the playoffs for the Colts in Indianapolis. It was the franchise's first playoff appearance in ten seasons.1988 All-Pro Team
The 1988 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly and The Sporting News in 1988. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1988 the Associated Press did not choose a kick returner.1988 Buffalo Bills season
The 1988 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 29th overall season as a football team and the 19th in the [[National Football League. The Bills ended a streak of four consecutive losing seasons by winning the AFC East; they finished the NFL's 1988 season with a record of 12 wins and 4 losses; it was the club's first winning season since 1981, its first 12-win season since the 1964 AFL championship season, and only the fifth double-digit win season in team history. The Bills were 8–0 at home for the first time in their franchise history. On the road, the Bills were 4–4. From an attendance standpoint, the franchise set a record for attendance with 631,818 fans.The Bills started the season 11–1 before losing three of their final four games, costing them the top seed in the AFC, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
It was Buffalo's first trip to the postseason since 1981. The Bills were the #2 seed in the AFC (behind #1 Cincinnati), giving the Bills their first home playoff game since the 1966 AFL Championship, and their first ever playoff game at Rich Stadium. The 1988 season would be the first of five AFC Championship game appearances over six seasons, and their only loss in the conference championship game.
The 1988 season was the first for running back Thurman Thomas, nose tackle Jeff Wright, and linebacker Carlton Bailey. Thomas would rush for 881 yards, despite only carrying the ball 207 times (42.7% of total team carries by a running back) while sharing carries with Robb Riddick, Jamie Mueller and Ronnie Harmon.
The Bills had a dominant defense in 1988: they gave up the fewest points (237) and the fewest total yards (4,578) in the AFC in 1988. The defensive unit was given the nickname "Blizzard Defense," alluding to Buffalo's harsh winters.
Four Bills players made the All-Pro team in 1988: defensive end Bruce Smith, linebackers Shane Conlan and Cornelius Bennett, and kicker Scott Norwood.
Head coach Marv Levy was named NFL Coach of the Year by The Sporting News and UPI.1991 All-Pro Team
The 1991 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1991. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League.1991 Pro Bowl
The 1991 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 41st annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1990 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 3, 1991, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,345. The final score was AFC 23, NFC 21.Art Shell of the Los Angeles Raiders led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert. The referee was Gordon McCarter.Quarterback Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning AFC team received $10,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $5,000.1992 All-Pro Team
The 1992 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1992. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the four teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1992 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008.1992 Buffalo Bills season
The 1992 Buffalo Bills season was the 33rd season for the team in the National Football League. The Buffalo Bills finished the National Football League's 1992 season with a record of 11 wins and 5 losses, and finished second in the AFC East division. The Bills qualified for their third straight Super Bowl appearance, but lost to the Dallas Cowboys 17–52.1992 Pro Bowl
The 1992 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 42nd annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1991 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 2, 1992, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,209. The final score was NFC 21, AFC 15.Dan Reeves of the Denver Broncos led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Detroit Lions head coach Wayne Fontes. The referee was Gerald Austin.Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys was the game's MVP. Players on the winning NFC team received $10,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $5,000.Aaron Cox
Aaron Cox (born March 13, 1965) is a former American football wide receiver. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts.List of Alabama Crimson Tide football All-Americans
The Alabama Crimson Tide college football team competes as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and represents the University of Alabama in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). All-America selections are individual player recognitions made after each season when numerous publications release lists of their ideal team. The NCAA recognizes five All-America lists: the Associated Press (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News (TSN), and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WC). In order for an honoree to earn a "consensus" selection, he must be selected as first team in three of the five lists recognized by the NCAA, and "unanimous" selections must be selected as first team in all five lists.Since the establishment of the team in 1892, Alabama has had 131 players honored a total of 153 times as First Team All-America for their performance on the field of play. Included in these selections are 74 consensus selections, 34 of which were unanimous selections. In 2009, Alabama set both a school and national record for AP All-Americans with six first team selections. The most recent All-Americans from Alabama came after the 2018 season, when Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, Jonah Williams, Ross Pierschbacher, Quinnen Williams, and Deionte Thompson were each named first-team All-America by various selectors.List of Alabama Crimson Tide players in the College Football Hall of Fame
The Alabama Crimson Tide college football team competes as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and represents the University of Alabama in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The College Football Hall of Fame was established in 1951 to honor the careers of selected student-athletes who have competed in college football as either a player or coach. Since its inaugural class that year, Alabama has had 23 persons elected to the Hall of Fame as either a player or coach of the Crimson Tide.The first Alabama inductees into the Hall of Fame were Don Hutson and Frank Thomas as part of the inaugural class in 1951. The most recent inductee was Derrick Thomas as part of the 2014 class.List of Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl selections
This is a list of Buffalo Bills players who were elected to the Pro Bowl.
The year indicates when the game was played, not the season that it followed.National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award
Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.UPI AFL-AFC Player of the Year
From 1960 to 1969, the United Press International (UPI) gave the annual AFL Player of the Year award in the American Football League, whose teams in 1970 became the American Football Conference (AFC) of the new National Football League (NFL).
From 1970 — following the AFL-NFL merger — until 1996, UPI then gave two annual player of the year awards. One was given in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the new NFL. The other award was given in the American Football Conference (AFC) of the new NFL.
1986 College Football All-America Team consensus selections
Lombardi Award winners