Merton Hanks
No. 36, 45     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1968-03-12) March 12, 1968 (age 52)
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Career information
College: Iowa
NFL Draft: 1991 / Round: 5 / Pick: 122
Debuted in 1991 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1999 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Tackles     445[1]
INT     33
INT yards     410
Touchdowns     3
Stats at

Merton Edward Hanks (born March 12, 1968) is a former college and professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 1990s.[2] He is currently the NFL Vice President of Operations.

College career Edit

Hanks attended Lake Highlands High School, where he was a district track and field champion. He went on to the University of Iowa, earning all-Big Ten honors at cornerback. However, at the NFL scouting combine, his 40-yard dashes were extremely slow, and he was not drafted until the fifth round by the San Francisco 49ers.

Professional career Edit

Despite his low selection, Hanks was selected for 4 Pro Bowl and 3 All-Pro teams. He was well known for his interceptions and returns, as well as his unique "pigeon dance" celebrations which were later emulated by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.[3][4] He was a member of the 1994 San Francisco team that won Super Bowl XXIX. Hanks finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks, retiring in 1999.

Executive career Edit

Hanks was previously the assistant director of operations for the National Football League, and he currently is the NFL Vice President of Operations in charge of player conduct.[5] He regularly goes on speaking tours.[6]


  1. "Merton Hanks Pro Football Reference".
  2. "Merton Hanks". National Football League. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  3. Gwen Knapp (December 21, 1997). "Dances with Hanks". Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  4. Phil Taylor (December 1, 1997). "Basketball Jones". Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  5. Smith, Michael David (October 19, 2013). "Merton Hanks: I fined Ndamukong Suh to get his attention". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  6. "Where are they now? Merton Hanks". Hawkeye Sports. October 9, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2010.

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