Dallas Cowboys Took a Chance on Drafting Pat Riley

Published on January 12th, 2024 3:31 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Drafted both by the NBA and the NFL - P.R. When you think of Pat Riley, you likely think of the successes that he has enjoyed as a NBA head coach and executive.

Riley has enjoyed legendary runs in multiple cities, collecting NBA titles as a player (Los Angeles Lakers), head coach (Lakers, Miami Heat) and executive (Miami Heat).

Did you know, however, that Pat Riley was drafted by both NBA and NFL teams?


The crazy thing about Pat Riley getting picked at the NFL Draft is that he didn't even play college football, instead choosing to focus on basketball instead.

Riley, who played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats, led his team to the 1966 title game.

During his time with the school, Riley was named First Team All-SEC twice, as well as SEC Player of the year in 1966.

Riley was an incredible athlete.


Pat Riley was taken with the 7th overall pick of the 1967 NBA Draft by the San Diego Rockets.

Another team had their eye on Pat Riley - the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.

Back in 1967, the NFL Draft had a total of 17 rounds, meaning that teams would have to go WAY off the board in order to make all of their picks.

In the 11th round of the 1967 NFL/AFL Draft, with the 285th overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected Pat Riley from Kentucky.

Position? Wide receiver.


Riley never even entertained the thought of playing in the NFL, and went on to have an astounding career as a basketball player, coach and executive.

Still, though - getting drafted by a NFL team, when you didn't even play college football, has to be considered a very high compliment.

Related Articles