PRO: A key signing in the opening hours of free agency in 2005, Anthony Henry spent the first eight games of last season displaying the playmaking ability that made the Cowboys front office so eager to bring him aboard. Ranked among the leaders in tackles, interceptions and passes defensed through eight games, Henry was a difference maker on the Cowboys defense. A serious groin injury at the end of October triggered physical problems - including an abdominal strain - that forced Henry to play sporadically for the remainder of the year. Henry and fellow corner Terence Newman form one of the most talented and productive starting cornerback duos in the NFL. With the free agency addition of veteran Aaron Glenn - who provided a solid replacement for Henry after his struggles with injuries began - the Cowboys will again enter the upcoming season with three proven veterans who can perform at a Pro Bowl level. Henry brings size, toughness and a physical style of play to the Dallas secondary which is rapidly emerging as one of the best young defensive backfields in the NFL. Henry signed with Dallas on March 3, 2005 after four very productive seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a three-year starter for the Browns after being drafted in the fourth round (97th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Henry ranked first in the AFC and tied for first in the NFL with a club record-tying 10 interceptions. In the last 21 years (1985-2005) the NFL has had players record at least 10 interceptions in a single season just seven times. Those players are Ronnie Lott (10 for S.F. in 1986), Scott Case (10 for Atlanta in 1988), Mark Carrier (10 for Chicago in 1990), Henry (10 for Cleveland in 2001), Ronde Barber (10 for T.B. in 2001), Ty Law (10 for the Jets in 2005) and Deltha O'Neal (10 for Cincinnati in 2005). Henry became the first player in Browns history to have three interceptions in two different games in the same season. His 97-yard interception return for a touchdown against Jacksonville on Dec. 16, 2001 tied a franchise record. He followed that stellar rookie season with three years in the starting lineup for a Browns defense that finished in the top 10 in the NFL in pass defense in both 2003 and 2004.
2005: Henry's initial contributions to the Cowboys defense made a very visible and positive impact on the team's overall production through the first half of the season. Before a right groin injury felled him in the closing moments of a Week Eight win over Arizona, Henry was making a solid case for Pro Bowl recognition as the starting right corner on a 5-3 Cowboys team. At the time of his injury, he was tied for the team lead in tackles with 42, 39 of which were solo. He was also the team leader in interceptions with three, while topping the Dallas charts in pass break-ups with 11. The right groin injury eventually led to a lower abdominal strain and the combination of the two conditions kept Henry on the bench or fighting to return to the action for the second half of the season. In his debut performance as a Dallas Cowboy, Henry surfaced as a playmaker and a difference maker. In the Cowboys season opening win at San Diego (9/11), Henry turned in single-game career-highs for tackles (13) and passes defensed (five), while also producing a second quarter interception that led directly to a Dallas touchdown drive. One of his deflected passes came on a first-and-goal situation with the Chargers looking to score the game-winning touchdown in the final minute of play. The interception was the 18th of Henry's career. In the Monday night loss to Washington (9/19), he was second on the team with six tackles and also broke up a pass. In the Cowboys key win over division rival Philadelphia (10/9), Henry recorded three tackles to lead a Dallas secondary that gave up just 110 net passing yards. During the following week's 16-13 overtime win over the Giants (10/16), Henry was a one-man wrecking machine and earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors, leading the team with six tackles and two passes defensed. Henry's third quarter interception of Eli Manning ended a Giants scoring threat at the Dallas one-yard line. On the next drive, he forced a Plaxico Burress fumble that was recovered by Jason Ferguson. Henry helped limit the Giants to a one-of-11 day on third down conversions and their lowest scoring output of the season. In the following week's last-minute loss at Seattle (10/23), he tied for third on the team with five tackles while also breaking up two passes. He helped limit the NFL's top ranked offense entering the game to 289 total yards, 118 below their season average to date, and one touchdown. In the win over Arizona (10/30), he tied for second on the team with seven tackles and also picked off his third pass of the season - returning it 58 yards for a touchdown. That touchdown marked the first defensive score by the Cowboys since Oct. 19, 2003. It was also his second career interception return for a score. Henry's effort helped limit the Cardinals to 142 net passing yards on the day and a 10.1 yard-per-catch average. Unfortunately, Henry's performance was overshadowed by the right groin injury he suffered on the final series of the game. The injury held him out of the Monday night win at Philadelphia (11/14). He worked his way back onto the field against Detroit (11/20) and had four tackles while operating primarily in a limited role in the nickel package. Glenn picked up the starting call at right corner against the Lions as Detroit was held to 169 passing yards. The continued complications of the groin and abdominal ailments kept Henry off the field for the next two games against Denver (11/24) and at the N.Y. Giants (12/4). He returned to the starting lineup for the come-from-behind win over Kansas City (12/11) and had four tackles while breaking up one pass. In the loss at Washington (12/18), he started but was limited due to the groin strain, so he rotated with Glenn and Jacques Reeves. While in the game, Henry helped limit the Redskins wide receivers to two catches for the day. The effects of the ongoing injury situation kept Henry from playing at Carolina (12/24). In the season ending loss to St. Louis (1/1/06), he didn't start but saw action in the nickel after Reeves suffered an ankle injury. He helped limit the Rams to 147 net passing yards, including just five catches for 48 yards total by Tory Holt and Isaac Bruce. After recording 42 tackles through the first eight games of the year, Henry finished the season ranked seventh on the Dallas defense in tackles with 50. He tied for second on the team with three interceptions and was second on the club in passed defensed with 12.
2004: Henry started 14-of-15 games for the Browns and led the team with four interceptions and 11 passes defensed. His career-high 85 tackles ranked fourth on the team, and twice during the season he matched his career-high with eight tackles in a game (at Baltimore 11/7 and at Cincinnati 11/28). His overall play helped the Browns pass defense allow just 181.3 passing yards-per-game, ranking fourth in the AFC and fifth in the NFL. He recorded his first interception of the season in the opener against Baltimore (9/12), adding four tackles as well. He did not start the game because the Browns opened with four linebackers. Early in the fourth quarter, he intercepted a pass from Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller intended for Kevin Johnson at the Cleveland seven-yard line to thwart a potential Baltimore scoring opportunity. The following week at Dallas (9/19), he started at left cornerback, recording seven tackles and his second interception of the young season. He picked off a Vinny Testaverde pass intended for Terry Glenn and returned the theft 51 yards to the Dallas 22-yard line. Late in the game he recovered an onside kick to give the Browns one last chance in a 19-12 loss. After missing the N.Y. Giants (9/26) game with vertigo, Henry returned to action and tied for second on the club with seven tackles against Washington (10/3). He was part of a defensive unit that limited the Redskins to 265 net yards of offense and held Clinton Portis to 58 yards on 20 carries (2.9 avg.). Henry tied for third on the team with seven tackles at Pittsburgh (10/10). He recorded his third interception of the year with a third quarter pick of Carson Palmer at the Browns nine-yard line against Cincinnati (10/17). For the game, the Bengals were limited to 189 net yards of offense, including just 58 rushing yards. He matched a career-high with eight tackles at Baltimore (11/7) as the Browns defense limited Jamal Lewis to 81 rushing yards on 22 carries (3.7 avg.) and the Ravens to 240 yards of total offense. After a seven-tackle showing against Pittsburgh (11/14), Henry was part of a defensive effort that limited the N.Y. Jets (11/21) to 235 net yards of offense, including only 78 net yards passing. He matched his career-high for tackles with eight at Cincinnati (11/28), while also adding his fourth interception of the season on a first quarter pass from Carson Palmer intended for Chad Johnson at the Cincinnati 39-yard line. He returned the interception 32 yards to the Bengals seven-yard line, and on the next play, Kelly Holcomb connected with Steve Heiden on a seven-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead. His five-tackle showing at Miami (12/26) was part of a defensive effort that limited the Dolphins to 280 net yards of offense. In the season finale, the Browns defense allowed just 102 net passing yards at Houston (1/2/05).
2003: Henry emerged in his third season as the starting left corner and appeared in 14 games, including 13 starts, with 56 tackles, one interception for 19 yards and a team-high 12 passes defensed. Teamed with right corner Daylon McCutcheon, the duo consistently contained many of the NFL's top wide receivers, and the Browns passing defense allowed only 177.9 passing yards-per-game to rank fifth in the AFC and seventh in the NFL in pass defense. In the season opener against Indianapolis (9/7), Henry was part of a defensive effort that limited the Colts to 271 yards of total offense, including only 67 net yards rushing. The following week, he recorded seven tackles at Baltimore (9/14). He then established a career-high with eight tackles at San Francisco (9/21), along with his only interception of the season, in the Browns 13-12 road victory. At Pittsburgh (10/5), Henry and McCutcheon teamed up to limit the Steelers receiving duo of Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress to a combined three receptions for 74 yards and was part of a defensive effort that forced three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble), recorded three sacks and limited the Steelers to 208 net yards of offense, including 60 net yards rushing. His six tackles and stellar play against Oakland (10/12) helped limit Jerry Rice and Tim Brown to a combined four catches for 33 yards. As a unit, the Browns allowed Oakland just 164 passing yards on the day. The following week against San Diego (10/19), he was directly responsible for helping hold Tim Dwight and David Boston to a combined three receptions for 27 yards. Henry logged five tackles at New England (10/26) and at Kansas City (11/9). Against Arizona (11/16), Henry and the Browns defense allowed just 187 total yards of offense - including only 41 rushing yards - and forced four turnovers in a 44-6 win. Against Pittsburgh (11/23), the Browns secondary allowed just 59 passing yards. Against St. Louis (12/8) and their high-powered passing attack, Henry recorded five tackles and helped hold the Rams receiving duo of Tory Holt (4-31) and Isaac Bruce (3-31) to a combined seven receptions for 62 yards. Henry was limited to playing corner in nickel defensive package due to a nagging knee injury at Denver (12/14), and then he was inactive the final two weeks of the season because of continued pain in the knee.
2002: In his second season in Cleveland, Henry appeared in all 16 regular season games, seeing work in the nickel and dime defensive packages as well as filling in for injured teammates. He started 10 games on the year, six at right corner filling in for the injured McCutcheon, two at left corner for the injured Corey Fuller and two when the Browns defense opened in the nickel defensive package. He finished the season with 69 tackles and led the club with 12 passes defensed. He also had two interceptions and two forced fumbles. As a standout special teams performer, Henry recorded 11 special teams tackles and blocked a field goal during the season. He recorded six tackles, forced a fumble and led the club with three special teams tackles at Pittsburgh (9/29). The following week he earned his first start of the season, replacing the injured Fuller (hamstring) against Baltimore (10/6) and recorded six tackles. Still in the starting lineup a week later at Tampa Bay (10/13), Henry tied for the team lead with a season-high seven tackles and also made a key play on special teams as he partially deflected a 45-yard field goal attempt by Martin Gramatica that was also deflected by Alvin McKinley. He replaced McCutcheon at right cornerback against Houston (10/20) and recorded six tackles while leading the team with four special teams stops. He was second on the club when he matched his season-high of seven tackles at the N.Y. Jets (10/27) while also forcing a fumble. Still replacing McCutcheon at right cornerback, Henry logged six tackles against Pittsburgh (11/3). Henry recorded two interceptions at New Orleans (11/24). He then finished the season in-and-out of the starting lineup for McCutcheon, recording five tackles against Carolina (12/1) and six tackles at Baltimore (12/22). In the AFC Wild Card Game at Pittsburgh (1/5/03), he saw action as a reserve in the nickel package and recorded three tackles while leading the club with three passes defensed.
2001: Henry had a breakout year as a fourth-round draft choice, ranking first in the AFC and tied for first in the NFL with 10 interceptions. In doing so, he became the first NFL rookie to lead the league in interceptions since 1995 (safety Orlando Thomas, Minnesota, nine). Henry saw action in 16 regular-season games with two starts and totaled 44 tackles, 10 interceptions for 177 yards and ranked second on the club with 10 passes defensed. He became the first player in club history to have three interceptions in two different games in the same season (vs. Detroit on Sept. 23 and at Baltimore on Nov. 18), and his 10 interceptions on the season tied a club record (10, Thom Darden, 1978) and set a club rookie mark (eight, Bobby Franklin, 1960). He also added 10 tackles as a key contributor on special teams. Henry saw action at corner in the nickel package in his NFL debut against Seattle (9/9). In the Browns 24-14 win over Detroit (9/23) in just his second NFL game, Henry tied the club's rookie record with three interceptions (Bobby Franklin, 12/11/60 vs. Chicago), returning the three thefts for 58 yards. He recorded five tackles and broke up a pass at Cincinnati (10/14). Against Baltimore (10/21), Henry recorded a season-high seven tackles and added his fourth interception of the season, intercepting Elvis Grbac and returning it 22 yards in a 24-14 win. He matched his season-high with seven tackles at Chicago (11/4). With three interceptions and two tackles at Baltimore (11/18), Henry garnered AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. It was the second time in 2001 he had recorded three picks in the same game, the first time that had been accomplished in the NFL in the same season since Cincinnati's David Fulcher in 1989 and the first NFL rookie to accomplish the feat since Bobby Ply of the 1962 Dallas Texans. In the Browns 18-0 shutout of Cincinnati (11/25), Henry logged two tackles. When the Browns opened in their nickel defensive package at New England (12/9), Henry earned his first NFL start and responded with six tackles. The following week he earned a start at right cornerback against Jacksonville (12/16) and matched his season-high with seven tackles, while also adding two interceptions. Late in the third quarter, he recorded a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown on a pass from Mark Brunell, tying a franchise record for the longest interception return in club history (Najee Mustafaa, vs. Miami, Oct. 10, 1993). In the regular season finale at Pittsburgh (1/6/02), Henry added his 10th interception of the year.
COLLEGE: A four-year starter for South Florida, Henry spent his first three years at free safety before moving to cornerback his senior year. His position coach at USF was former Eagles safety Andre Waters. Henry finished his career with 256 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, six fumble recoveries and 22 passes defensed. He also had 10 interceptions for 126 yards in returns, breaking the school career-record. As a senior, he started all year at cornerback, but also saw action at free safety and as a receiver, finishing with 40 tackles and a school season-record tying five interceptions for 88 yards in returns. He also had a team-high eight passes defensed and caught one pass for an eight-yard gain. As a junior, he started at free safety and finished fourth on the team with 62 tackles. He also intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles. As a sophomore, he started at free safety but also saw action as a quarterback for one series against Valparaiso. He ranked third on the team with 79 tackles. As a freshman, he earned second-team All-Independent honors at free safety, recording 73 tackles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He did not play in 1996 under NCAA Proposition 48 rules and still had a year of eligibility in 2000 upon his graduation. In the 2001 NFL Draft, he was one-of-three South Florida players drafted consecutively with the first three picks of the fourth round: guard Kenyatta Jones (New England), Henry and kicker Bill Gramatica (Arizona).
PERSONAL: Anthony Daniel Henry was named Lee County Athlete of the Year and District Player of the Year as a senior at Estero High School in Fort Myers, Fla. In the spring of 2004, he had his jersey, #3, retired by the school, where he lettered as a free safety, cornerback, quarterback and punter. On offense he threw for 821 yards and seven touchdowns while gaining 650 yards with seven scores rushing, and on defense, he totaled 60 tackles with three interceptions in his final year. Henry was also the team MVP in basketball and the District Most Valuable Player in track, setting school records in the high jump (6'6) and triple jump (44'1). He earned his B.A. in communications from South Florida. During his time in Cleveland, Henry donated his time to various charitable causes, including the Taste of the NFL to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank, visiting patients at the Cleveland Clinic, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Special Olympics and building a playground with the United Way. He recently started the Anthony Henry Foundation with FCA to provide scholarships for Lee County (Ft. Myers, Fla.). During the 2006 offseason, Henry, joined with Cowboys Linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Defensive End Marcus Spears and a dozen other teammates in support of the Second Annual Taste of the NFL: The Ultimate Dallas Cowboys Tailgate Party which benefited the North Texas Food Bank. The event helped raise money that will provide over 330,000 meals to North Texans in need.