Deion Sanders 21
On September 9, 1995 (which fell in Week 2 of that NFL season), Deion Sanders signed a lucrative contract with the Dallas Cowboys (seven years, $35 million with a $12.999 million signing bonus, essentially making him, at the time, the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. Sanders later stated in his book Power, Money & Sex: How Success Almost Ruined My Life that the Oakland Raiders offered him more money than any other team, but he chose to play in Dallas for more time on the offensive side of the ball, a chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and because of his friendship with Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin. Arthroscopic surgery kept him sidelined until his debut in Week 9, which was once again in Atlanta against the Falcons; the Cowboys won, 28-13.
Sanders went on to help the Cowboys win their third title in four years in Super Bowl XXX against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he returned a punt for 11 yards and caught a 47-yard reception on offense, setting up Dallas' first touchdown of the game and a 27–17 victory. Sanders played four more seasons with Dallas, earning Pro Bowl selection in all of them. On June 2, 2000, he was released in a salary cap move. Show your appreciation for Chuck Howley with collectibles, photographs and more here at the Drew Pearson's Cowboys Legends Pro Shop.