Cowboys Offered LeBron A Contract During 2011 NBA Lockout

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - There is one thing LeBron James can do that, as far as we know, Michael Jordan never could: Play football at a high level.

LeBron, in fact, could be the "greatest football player ever" if not for basketball, says Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers. And maybe the Dallas Cowboys agreed ... inasmuch as during the 2011 NBA lockout, LeBron started training like a football player ... and ended up receiving a contract offer from NFL owner Jerry Jones.

The TV event known as "The Last Dance" has added fuel to the Jordan-vs-LeBron debate. Coach Rivers just added another log. But now LeBron's own story, via "Uninterrupted,'' really brings the Cowboys into the picture.

Would LeBron have been an unstoppable tight end by adding a little weight? An unstoppable wide receiver maybe by dropping a little? James is 6-9 and 250 pounds; it is easy imaging him bulking up, at whatever position, to mimic, say, the 6-7, 265-pound Jimmy Graham - a real-life basketballer-turned-footballer.

In 2011, it was all rather fanciful - oh, the workouts were serious but Jerry's contract offer ended up framed and hanging in the King's office ...

But before that?

Some reports have LeBron running just a 4.9 40 ... but then you watch this flag-football game and you wonder ...

... and you realize that his old football coach's claim of a 4.5 might be closer to true. Indeed, what LeBron did as a kid is remarkable: He was Ohio All-State as a receiver in his sophomore and junior seasons before giving up the sport - while still being recruited to play football at Ohio State and Notre Dame.

Harold Carmichael of the Philadelphia Eagles (and briefly for the Dallas Cowboys) played throughout the 70's at 6-8 and 225 made four Pro Bowls. That's probably the best comp here ...

Our friend Lance Zierlein of NFL.com and SportsMap.com says, "LeBron's elite size, athletic talent, play traits, and competitive nature would make him a Pro Bowler very quickly - even if he stepped into the NFL at the age of 33 or 34."

We'll never know, obviously. But we do know this: The career choice LeBron James did make worked out OK.

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