|Date of birth:December 15, 1971|
|Place of birth: San Francisco, California|
|NFL Draft: 1995 / Round: 4 / Pick: 110|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|* Dallas Cowboys ( 1995– 1999)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|* Honorable-mention Academic All-Pac-10 (1992)|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Eric Thomas Bjornson (born December 15, 1971) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at University of Washington.
As a senior, he helped his team earn a 10–1 record and the East Shore Athletic League championship. He received scholar-athlete awards from the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame and the Oakland Tribune. He finished his career with 583 completions for 4,074 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Bjornson accepted a football scholarship to the University of Washington. As a redshirt freshman in 1991, he was the third-string quarterback behind Billy Joe Hobert and Mark Brunell, on the national championship team. He was converted into a wide receiver as a sophomore, making 14 receptions for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a junior, he returned to quarterback, as the backup to Damon Huard, getting a chance to start the final 3 games of the 1993 season, registering a 2–1 record.
As a senior, he was moved back to wide receiver, leading the team with 49 receptions (at the time fifth highest total in school history), for 770 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was sixth in the PAC-10 in receptions and tied for second in touchdown receptions, while earning second-team All-Pac-10, Academic All-Pac-10 and second-team Academic All-American honors. He finished his college career with 64 receptions for 958 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Bjornson was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 1995 NFL draft, with the plan of converting him into a tight end. As a rookie, he contributed on special teams (6 tackles) and as a backup, while being part of the Super Bowl XXX championship team.
He became a starter in 1996, after Pro Bowler Jay Novacek suffered a back injury, that eventually forced him to retire. He would go on to start 10 games and had career-highs with 48 receptions (second on the team) and 3 touchdowns, despite playing through two sprained ankles that limited his playing time over the final four games of the regular season and the playoffs.
In 1997, although the Cowboys had drafted tight end David LaFleur in the first round, Bjornson still was an integral part of the offense, finishing second on the team and third among NFC tight ends with 47 receptions. He also was third on the team with a career-high 442 receiving yards, even though he suffered a fractured left fibula in Week 14, that placed him on the injured reserve list.
In 1998, he was re-signed by the Cowboys to a two-year contract. That year, he played in all 16 games mainly as a backup (four starts) to LaFleur and although he was used some times as the slot receiver in four-wide receiver sets, his production decreased when he wasn't the starter.
Bjornson had 127 receptions for 1,232 yards (9.7 avg.) and six touchdowns during his five seasons with the Cowboys.
New England PatriotsEdit
On February 29, 2000, he signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots, but was released on November 15. He appeared in 8 games (6 starts), collecting 20 receptions for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- ↑ "This Personnel Switch Well Received : Huskies: Bjornson goes from passing to catching, giving Huard a target who can sense trouble". http://articles.latimes.com/1994-10-02/sports/sp-45751_1_wide-receiver. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- ↑ "Rookie shining at tight end". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=19950804&id=9C9SAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CTYNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1595,4828879. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- ↑ "Cowboys sign tight end Mitchell, who ends retirement". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19961122&id=QNYjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=suoDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1265,5257943. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- ↑ "Transactions". https://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/16/sports/transactions-232980.html. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- ↑ "Transactions". https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/29/sports/transactions-922358.html. Retrieved May 4, 2018.