Cortez Kennedy Won Defensive Player of the Year in 1992

Published on March 23rd, 2024 12:27 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Defensive Giant - Cortez Kennedy - Seattle Seahawks jersey. Cortez Kennedy (RIP) was truly a force of nature.

Kennedy, who the Seattle Seahawks selected with the third overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, finished his career as a 3x First-team All-Pro, a 8x Pro Bowler and a 2x second-team All-Pro. Kennedy was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

One of Kennedy's craziest accomplishments, however, came in 1992 when he was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while playing on a team that finished the second 2-14.

This is something that may never be accomplished again.


Kennedy, after playing sparingly in his first year in the league, really started to blossom in 1991. Kennedy finished the season with 6.5 sacks and 73 tackles, and ended up making the Pro Bowl - impressive statistics for an interior linesman.

In 1992, Kennedy blew the roof off of the league, as he finished with 14 sacks, 92 tackles and 4 forced fumbles. In addition, Kennedy recovered a fumble as well.

The Seahawks, however, were TERRIBLE that season, finishing the year with a record of 2-14.

This didn't stop Kennedy from winning the DPOY award, however, as he finished with 41.3% of the votes to win the award. Kennedy would finish in front of some very impressive names, including the likes of Junior Seau, Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

Despite playing on a 2-14 team, Kennedy managed to finish 5th in MVP voting, behind the likes of Steve Young and Emmitt Smith.


Kennedy would never have another season like he had in 1992, though he would finish as a member of the first-team All-Pros a total of two more times.

Kennedy would play his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks, and he managed to make the Pro Bowl in two of his last three seasons.

Kennedy helped to re-define the role of the interior linesman in the NFL, and his impact on the game is still being felt to this day.

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