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Tony Zendejas
refer to caption
Zendejas playing for the Oilers in 1985
No. 11, 7, 10, 2
Position:Placekicker
Personal information
Born: (1960-05-15) May 15, 1960 (age 59)
Curimeo, Mexico
Height:5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight:165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school:Chino (CA)
College:Nevada
Supplemental draft:1984 / Round: 1
Career history
* Los Angeles Express (19831985)
Career highlights and awards
* 3× All-Big Sky (1981, 1982, 1983)
Career NFL statistics
Field goals / Attempts:186 / 252
Field goal %:73.8
Long field goal:54
PATs / Attempts:316 / 327
PAT %:96.6
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Tony Zendejas (born May 15, 1960) is a former Mexican American football placekicker. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League (USFL). After the USFL folded, he was selected in the first round of the 1984 NFL Supplemental draft by the Washington Redskins.

In his career, Zendejas also played for the Houston Oilers, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL).

Early yearsEdit

Zendejas was born in Curimeo, Michoacán, Mexico. His parents moved the family to Chino, California. As a 12-year-old, he led the youth soccer league with 100 goals scored in one season.

He attended Don Antonio Lugo High School where he practiced both soccer and football. As a junior, although he alternated at kicker with senior Tony Gonzales, he still managed to convert 7 field goals and 11 extra points in 12 games. His 53-yard field goal against Ganesha High School, was the second longest in CIF history.

As a senior, he set a single-season school record with 10 field goals. He also received All-CIF honors in soccer.

College careerEdit

In 1979, he enrolled at Santa Ana Junior College. At the time his main sport was soccer, until breaking his leg during a soccer tournament just before having a scheduled tryout with the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League.

In 1980, he transferred to Mt. San Antonio College. Although he couldn't play football while recovering from his injury, University of Nevada assistant coach John Smith recruited him based on what he did in high school.

In 1981, he transferred to Division I-AA University of Nevada, where he played under head coach Chris Ault. As a sophomore, he set school records for field goals made in a single-season (21) and longest field goal (55 yards).

As a junior, he set new conference and school records for field goals attempted (33) and field goals made (26).

As a senior, he converted 23 field goals and broke his school record for longest field goal (58 yards). He also made a 32-yard field goal in blizzard conditions to help win an overtime playoff game against the University of North Texas.

Zendejas played 3 seasons at Nevada, in 33 games he registered 70 field goals, 90 extra points and 300 points, while leading the nation in field goals made every year. Most of his kicking records were eventually broken by younger brother Marty Zendejas.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Initially, he played in the United States Football League for the Los Angeles Express. He joined the National Football League when he was chosen by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players.[2]

During his eleven seasons in the NFL, Zendejas made 186 field goals in 252 attempts; he also scored 316 extra points for 874 points. He held the record for consecutive field goals made from 50 or more yards with 11 such kicks[3] until 2013 when the record was eclipsed by Blair Walsh of the Minnesota Vikings and Robbie Gould of the Chicago Bears.[4]

In 1991, he became the first kicker in NFL history to convert all of his field goal attempts, going 17-of-17.[5] He fell one missed extra point short of having the first "perfect season" for a kicker, a mark Gary Anderson reached seven years later.[6]

Career statisticsEdit

NFL career statistics[7][5]
Season Team Games Overall FGs PATs Kickoffs Points
GP Blk Lng FG Att FGM Pct XP Att XPM Pct Blk KO Avg TB Ret Avg
1985 HOU 14 0 52 27 21 77.8 31 29 93.5 0 -- -- -- -- -- 92
1986 HOU 15 0 51 27 22 81.5 29 28 96.6 0 -- -- -- -- -- 94
1987 HOU 13 0 52 26 20 76.9 33 32 97.0 0 -- -- -- -- -- 92
1988 HOU 16 0 52 34 22 64.7 50 48 96.0 0 -- -- -- -- -- 114
1989 HOU 16 0 52 37 25 67.6 40 40 100t 0 -- -- -- -- -- 115
1990 HOU 7 0 45 12 7 58.3 21 20 95.2 0 -- -- -- -- -- 41
1991 LAR 16 0 50 17 17 100 26 25 86.2 0 58 -- -- -- -- 76
1992 LAR 16 1 49 20 15 75.0 38 38 100t 1 69 58.6 11 55 20.5 83
1993 LAR 16 2 54 23 16 69.6 25 23 92.0 0 57 60.1 10 47 20.9 71
1994 LAR 16 2 47 23 18 78.3 28 28 100t 0 67 58.7 1 63 23.0 82
1995 ATL 1 0 45 3 2 66.7 0 0 -- -- 4 64.5 0 4 24.0 6
SF 3 1 38 3 1 33.3 6 5 83.3 1 0 -- 0 0 -- 8
Career 149 6 54 252 186 78.3 327 316 96.6 2 255 45.7 35 169 21.6 874

Personal lifeEdit

Zendejas was accused of drugging and raping a woman in January 2008, but he was acquitted of all charges in 2009. He owns and operates Zendajas Mexican Restaurant in San Dimas, California.[8] He is the older brother of former Nevada and Arena league kicker Marty Zendejas, and the cousin of former NFL kickers Joaquin Zendejas, Luis Zendejas and Max Zendejas.

ReferencesEdit

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