Cedar Rapids, Ia. – Dallas Clark’s ideal playing weight as an NFL tight end was 242 pounds. He looked slimmer Monday.
“I don’t weigh myself,” Clark said before teeing off in the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic at Elmcrest Country Club. “It doesn’t matter.”
Clark, 35, an Iowa native and former Hawkeye consensus all-America tight end, announced June 18 that he was retiring after 11 NFL seasons. Clark said he used to eat late-night pizzas to keep his weight up. No more.
A first-round draft pick by Indianapolis in 2003, Clark played a majority of his career with the Colts. Retirement started to creep into his mind at the end of last season, when he played for Baltimore.
“I think in my heart, after the season I had a good idea,” Clark said.
As the weeks went by, the former Super Bowl champ and All-Pro was at peace with his decision.
“There were a lot of factors, but it’s the right time,” Clark said. “The risk-reward isn’t there anymore. Just health wise and getting hurt at this stage of my career. I have two boys I can wrestle with and play with. And I want to start valuing my health. I realize it’s a blessing that I was able to play 11 years and feel as good as I do. I don’t want to roll the dice anymore.”
He will live in Indianapolis for now – Dallas and Karen Clark’s oldest son starts school this fall – but plans to move his family back to Iowa in the near future. Dallas plans to attend as many Iowa football games as he can this fall. Sundays with no football will take some time to get used to.
“It will be hard, especially when my old teammates are playing,” Clark said. “It will be easier when time lapses and there are none of my old teammates or people I played with. For the first few years I’ll miss the preparation, and the locker room, and the practices. It’s everything, the whole environment. There’s no replacing that.”
Clark could see himself helping coach at the high school level, but you won’t see him on a college staff.
“You couldn’t pay me to do that,” Clark said. “The schedules are miserable.”
He has considered venturing into television.
“I’ve been told I’d be good at that, I don’t know,” Clark said. “That’s a big jump, from player to media. I’ll give it some thought. I haven’t excluded it.”
Clark does know his playing days are over, even though at least one NFL team approached his agent recently to see if he was interested in still playing.
“That’s when the decision is real,” Clark said. “I told my agent, ‘You know what? Tell them I’m retired.’ It’s a weird thing to do. But it’s the right thing to do.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football