|Date of birth:February 7, 1979|
|Place of birth: Landstuhl, West Germany|
|College: Mississippi State|
|NFL Draft: 2001 / Round: 3 / Pick: 93|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|* Dallas Cowboys ( 2001)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|* All-Jayhawk Conference (1998)|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Willie Ervin Blade II (born February 7, 1979 in Landstuhl, Germany) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars. He played college football at Mississippi State University.
He went on to play at Northwest College but transferred the next year to Butler Community College, where he earned All-Jayhawk Conference honors, after registering 42 tackles (12 for loss) and 6 sacks, helping his team win the National Junior College Championship.
As a junior, he transferred to Mississippi State University where he was a reserve defensive tackle, recording 28 tackles (4 for loss), 6 quarterback pressures, and one sack. In his senior season, he was named a starter (9 out of 11 games) and posted 51 tackles, 9 tackles for loss (third on the team), 13 quarterback pressures (second on the team) and team-highs with 4 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. He received second-team All-SEC honors and was also a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy.
Dallas Cowboys (first stint)
Blade was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (93rd overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft, after dropping because he was seen as a talented, but underachieving player. The team had finished last in the NFL in run defense the previous year and took a chance on him.
After missing the first three practices of training camp in a contract dispute, he dislocated his right wrist and sustained ligament damage during his second full practice. The injury forced the team to place him on the injured reserve list. The next season, he came into training camp out of shape and was still hampered by his right wrist injury, so the team decided to release him on September 1, 2002.
Dallas Cowboys (second stint)
2003 was Bill Parcells' first season as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, the team was looking to improve its defensive line depth and signed him on January 7. Parcells liked his potential, and went as far as involving Blade's parents, being present in every one of his weight checks and personally monitoring his workouts, while trying to change his attitude.
Blade recovered from a preseason MCL sprained and would go on to play a key role in the NFL first ranked defensive unit, starting 14 games at left defensive tackle opposite La'Roi Glover, while registering 18 tackles (3 for loss), one sack and 8 quarterback pressures. The Cowboys expected him to keep improving, but the next season he relapsed into his old habits, reporting to training camp overweight and was released on July 26, 2004.
New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys (third stint)
Tampa Bay Storm (AFL)
- "Transactions". https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/29/sports/transactions-922358.html. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Parcells Driving Dallas To Fast Start". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1980&dat=20031023&id=A54iAAAAIBAJ&sjid=M68FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1376,3260840&hl=en. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Transactions". https://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/31/sports/transactions-488801.html?_r=0. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Transactions". https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950CE1D81E3CF932A25752C1A9629C8B63. Retrieved February 19, 2017.