Did You Know This Dallas Cowboy Trained at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas?
Here is a fun fact about a Dallas Cowboy I learned today.
Turn Out a Member of Those 90's Super Bowl Teams Was an Airmen at Sheppard
Wichita Falls is home to several things, but without a doubt the biggest is Sheppard Air Force Base. It's estimated that around 60,000 people are trained on the base each and every year. Well one airmen has a very interesting connection to those dominant 90's Dallas Cowboys teams.
Chad Hennings Air Force Veteran
Turns out after playing football for the Air Force Falcons from 1984-1988. Chad Hennings then came to Wichita Falls, Texas to train at Sheppard Air Force Base in 1989. He joined the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard that year. Due to Hennings size (he was defensive tackle in college) he was only eligible to fly certain aircraft with the Air Force.
Chad Was Deployed to the Persian Gulf in the Early 90's
He was actually deployed twice from April to June 1991, and October 1991 to January 1992. He flew an A-10 in 45 missions. He was twice awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal, a humanitarian award and an Outstanding Unit Award for his actions in the service. He was promoted to captain on June 1, 1992.
Chad Officially Becomes a Dallas Cowboy in 1992
Now because Chad had a military obligation, he could not play for the Dallas Cowboys right out of college. Crazy to think that in 1988, the Dallas Cowboys would draft a player that they would not be able to use for several years. Tom Landry and Tex Schramm took a shot on Chad Hennings with an 11th round pick in the 1988 draft. Chad's military service was allowed to end four years early due to the Gulf War ending.
Jimmy Johnson Gives Chad Hennings a Shot
When Jimmy was looking over players in 1992, he noticed they had the draft rights still to Chad Hennings. He looked over his workout and gave him a shot at training camp that season. He was a starter on special teams and backup defensive tackle during the Dallas Cowboys first two Super Bowls in the 90's. He would become a starter while Leon Lett served a suspension for four games in the 1995 season.
1996 Chad Hennings is a Full Time Starter for the Dallas Cowboys
Russel Maryland would leave the Dallas Cowboys to go play for the Raiders, bumping Chad up to the starting line. He would play until the year 2000 where injuries forced him to retire. He finished with 27.5 sacks, 6 fumble recoveries and one touchdown in 107 games.
Chad Hennings NFL Touchdown
Chad Is Now a Writer and Activist for Veterans
Chad actually has three books he has written and also helps get veterans proper care for when they get out of the military. He still resides in Texas over in Flower Mound. It's pretty cool that Chad got his training here in Wichita Falls at Sheppard Air Force Base and then actually trained with the Dallas Cowboys here as well from 1998 to 2000.
Photo of Chad at Wichita Falls Training Camp, Scroll Below for More
Dallas Cowboys Photos from Wichita Falls Training Camp
Gallery Credit: Stryker
Remember When the Dallas Cowboys Practiced in Austin, Texas?
Gallery Credit: Stryker