Demetress Bell
No. 74     Dallas Cowboys
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-05-03) May 3, 1984 (age 35)
Place of birth: Summerfield, Louisiana
High School: Summerfield (LA)
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 311 lb (141 kg)
Career information
College: Northwestern State (LA)
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 7 / Pick: 219
Debuted in 2009 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2012
Games played     40
Games started     35
Stats at

Demetress Carte Bell (born May 3, 1984) is an American football offensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. After playing college football for Northwestern State, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played for the Bills for four seasons. He is the son of former basketball star Karl Malone.

Early lifeEdit

Bell, who spelled his first name "Demetrius" until 2012, when he learned his name was actually spelled "Demetress",[1] was born in 1984 to Gloria Bell, then aged 13, of Summerfield, Louisiana. According to Gloria Bell, Demetress' father is Karl Malone, a former star player in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and a fellow native of Summerfield.[2] Malone and Demetress Bell have reportedly spoken on only one occasion.[3]

As a young teenager, Bell played more softball than he did Malone's sport of basketball.[4] He did not play organized football at all during that time.[5] Eventually, during high school, he took up basketball and played well enough to receive a scholarship to Northwestern State University, where he played in 88 games over the course of the 2003-04, 2004–05 and 2006-07 seasons.[3] Bell was one of only four NCAA athletes to play both basketball and football in Division I in 2007.[6] After the 2006-07 season, he decided to give up basketball to concentrate on his development in football.[7]

College careerEdit

Bell's high school had not fielded a football team, so prior to his attending Northwestern State, he had never played organized football. In the fall of 2005, he red-shirted the basketball season and began playing for the school's football team. He was initially placed in the position of defensive end. The following year, injuries struck the team's offensive line, and he was moved to the left tackle position. He earned second-team All-Louisiana honors that season.[5]

Bell made a bigger name for himself in his senior season of 2007, having focused solely on football. Remaining on the offensive line, he was named an All-Louisiana and an All-Southland Conference first-teamer. He also became an Associated Press All-American.[5]

Bell graduated from Northwestern State in 2008.

Professional careerEdit

Buffalo Bills (2008-2011)Edit

Bell was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft.[3] The Bills were encouraged by his raw skills, but saw him as a longer-term project, given his inexperience in having played organized football for only three seasons at that point.[8][9] However, the team chose to place him on their active roster, rather than assigning him to their practice squad, where he could potentially have been signed away by another team.[10][11] Consistent with their view of him as a work in progress, Bell was not activated for play in any of the Bills' regular season games in 2008.[12]

In 2009, citing the quality of Bell's performance in the Bills' off-season and pre-season training camps that year, then-Bills head coach Dick Jauron installed Bell as the team's starting left tackle for the 2009 regular season.[13] After earning mixed reviews over the first half of the campaign, including an extremely high number of penalties against him, Bell's year came to a disappointing conclusion when he suffered what would prove to be a season-ending knee injury in a Week 10 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Philadelphia Eagles (2012)Edit

On April 4, 2012, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Bell to a contract that could be worth up to $34.5 million over five years. On February 6, 2013, Bell was released from his contract.[14]

Dallas cowboys (2013-present)Edit

On July 21, 2013, Bell was signed by the Dallas Cowboys.[15]

Relationship with Karl MaloneEdit

Karl Malone has never offered public confirmation that he is the father of Demetress Bell. However, laboratory blood tests prepared for the Bell family's 1986 paternity lawsuit against Malone reportedly pointed to an over 99 percent probability that Bell's father was either Malone or a brother of Malone. Malone initially refused to respond to the lawsuit, but eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with the Bell family over the issue. The Bells received a single lump sum payment of a confidential amount, with no on-going child support for Demetress. In speaking later about the settlement, Malone's attorney asserted that it had not included an official court determination of paternity, and noted that Malone "had a lot of brothers".[2]

Although Malone was 20 years old at the time that the 13-year old Gloria Bell was impregnated, she said that her family chose not to pursue criminal charges against Malone over the relationship. According to Bell, with Malone being a neighbor — Summerfield's population is only a few hundred — her family did not wish to see him jailed, especially since he would then be unable to provide any support for Demetress at all.[2]

In 2008, The Buffalo News published a story about Demetress Bell that included the claim that he didn't know who his father was until after he graduated from high school.[3] However, in a 1998 article in The Salt Lake Tribune, when Bell was 14 years old, his mother spoke of his shying away from anything to do with Malone because his feelings were hurt by Malone's refusal to acknowledge him.[4]

According to Bell, he has spoken to Malone on one occasion, when Bell was 18 years old. Bell reported that Malone told him that he would have to make his way on his own, as it was too late for the two men to have a father-son relationship.[3]

In 1989, Malone was also sued over the paternity of twins Daryl and Cheryl Ford, also of Summerfield, Louisiana. Similarly to the case with Bell, the Ford twins' case was ultimately settled out of court and without Malone offering confirmation that he was the twins' father.[2] In 1998, after knowledge of the two paternity suits became public, Malone did acknowledge his paternity of the Ford twins,[16] and he has since maintained an active relationship with them. Despite the on-going estrangement between Bell and Malone, Bell has reported that he is very close to the Ford twins, who acknowledge him as their brother.[17]


  1. McPherson, Chris (April 4, 2012). "Eagles Fortify Tackle Spot With Bell". Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Fantin, Linda. (1998, July 19). "Spirit vs. Letter of Law in Malone Paternity Suits", The Salt Lake Tribune
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Wilson, Allen. (2008, April 29). "Dad Karl Malone a footnote in Demetrius Bell’s life", The Buffalo News
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fantin, Linda. (1998, July 19). "Three Children Who Grew Up in the Shadow of Karl Malone", The Salt Lake Tribune
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ireland, Doug. (2009, September 8). "Demons' Demetrius Bell will start for Buffalo", (Official website of the Northwestern State University Athletics Department)
  6. Crowe, Jerry. (2008, May 2). "Robinson's new plaque will have his place in history", Los Angeles Times
  7. "(2008, April 27). Northwestern State's Demetrius Bell Taken In Seventh Round Of NFL Draft By Buffalo Bills", (Official website of the Southland Conference)
  8. Associated Press. (2008, August 28). "Bills rookie OT Bell has chance to start vs. Lions"
  9. Wilson, Allen. (2009, September 8). "Bell shining on Bills' O-line", The Buffalo News
  10. Gaughan, Mark. (2008, August 31). "Bills keep Corto - Spragan, James, Wright released", The Buffalo News
  11. Associated Press. (2008, August 30). "Veteran CB James among notable cuts by Bills"
  12. Wilson, Allen. (2009, January 14). "McKelvin’s wait with Bills was worth it", The Buffalo News
  13. Gaughan, Mark. (2009, September 10). "Bell won’t get ahead of himself", The Buffalo News
  16. Siegel, Lee. (1998, November 8). "Kay Malone Brings Message of Love To Families Panel", The Salt Lake Tribune
  17. Hill, Jemele. (2008, May 12). "Karl Malone falls short, as a father", Page 2

External linksEdit

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