In case you haven't heard by now, the Dallas Cowboys are back among the NFC's elite. The Cowboys are now 5-1, including a huge win over the Seahawks in Seattle last week.
One of the standouts in Dallas' defensive effort was Justin Durant. The Hampton University alum finished with nine tackles and broke up a pass in Dallas' 30-23 upset of the Super Bowl Champs. It was one of those days that reminded you just why Durant was a highly-sought prospect heading into the 2007 NFL Draft.
The Florence, SC naitive began his career in the footsteps of his older brothers, Keyshawn and Darian. Both brothers were high school stars that would go on to play college ball, Keyshawn at South Carolina State and Darian at UNC. Justin had a solid career at Wilson High, helping the team win a state championship.
Like his brother Darian, Justin would leave the state to play his college ball. Like his brother Keyshawn, he would go on to play for an HBCU as he headed north to Hampton. During his time there, Durant was a dominant fixture, helping Hampton win three-straight MEAC titles (2004-2006) and becoming the first player to win conference defensive player of the year honors in three-straight seasons. He had his best season as a junior in 2005, with 124 total tackles (including 15 behind the line of scrimmage) and five sacks.
Despite his "small school status," scouts knew all about Durant heading into the 2007 NFL Draft. Running a 4.51 time in the 40 at the NFL Combine helped boost his status, as he would be selected in the second round (48th overall) by Jacksonville.
Durant had a succesful stint in Jacksonville, where he spent his first four NFL seasons. He then moved on to Detroit, where he had a career season in 2012 with 103 stops and four passes defended.
Eventually, Durant would find himself back in blue-and-white by signing with the Cowboys before the 2013 season. He earned a starting spot at strongside linebacker, but injuries kept him off the field for much of the season.
So far, Year Two in Dallas has been a good one for Durant. He currently has 31 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble through four starts in 2014.
Already a proven winner, if Dallas is going to keep up its winning ways, Durant will definitely be one of the team's leaders on defense.
Another great member of the #HBCUBrotherhood