Cowboys offensive lineman, 1986-98
Nickname: The Kitchen
Career Stats: click here
Breakdown: Gigantic offensive lineman was often mocked for his Shamu-like physique, but Newton was a six-time Pro Bowler who spent four or five years as one of the NFL’s elite run blockers.
Pearlmanâ€™s take: I’ve been asked often, “So how big is Nate Newton these days?” Answer: Really, really BIG. We met at a Dallas Starbucks, and Newton struggled to slide into a relatively wide seat. That said, Newton is a true characterâ€”huge laugh, wonderful storyteller and a man who passionately defends all things ’90s Cowboys. Though he regrets some of his own off-field misdeeds, Newton says, “I wouldn’t change a thing. I really would not.”
From Boys Will Be Boys: Of all his difficulties, the one that brought Newton the most fameâ€”and griefâ€”was weight. Upon arriving at an offseason session, Newton tipped the scales at 368 poundsâ€”more than 40 pounds overweight. Not that it came as a surprise. Early in his career Tex Schramm loaded Newtonâ€™s contract with a tasty incentive: Report under 310 pounds and earn an extra $80,000. Newton failed. â€œI know, Iâ€™m a fool,â€ he says. â€œBut if someone offers you $80,000 to be unhappy, you shouldnâ€™t take it. So fuck $80,000. Iâ€™d rather eat.â€ (Says former Cowboys lineman John Gesek: â€œQuite frankly, the reason I think Nate went to six Pro Bowls was because his weight was such a joke it got him attention.â€) Once, during a game, Newton was blocking an opposing pass rusher when a Snickers bar popped out of his uniform. â€œI was like, â€œDid a damn candy bar just fly from Nateâ€™s body or am I imagining things?â€ says Larry Brown. Two or three nights per week during training camp Newton would make a rookie walk down the street and return with a 60-piece box of Popeyeâ€™s fried chicken, biscuits, french fries and a case of Budweiser. â€œWhoever was hungry would take some pieces,â€ recalls Stepnoski of the ritual. â€œThen Nate would eat the last 15â€“20 pieces himself.â€
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