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Former Cowboys Lineman Found Dead in Prison

Saousoalii “Junior” Siavii was the No. 36 player taken in his NFL Draft

A former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle has been found dead in the Leavenworth federal prison in Kansas.

Saousoalii “Junior” Siavii Jr., 43, was found unresponsive at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth on Thursday afternoon, The Kansas City Star reported. Siavii was treated by prison staff and taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The prison did not release additional details about Siavii's death.

Siavii was arrested in August 2019 on suspicion of illegal firearms possession during a struggle with police officers, and was later named as being part of a methamphetamine drug trafficking conspiracy in Missouri. He was also dealing with a charge of burglary,

Born in American Samoa, the 6-foot-5, 315-pound former Oregon star was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the 2004 NFL and spent two seasons with the Chiefs. 

He talked publicly about becoming a force with the Chiefs but the No. 36 overall pick did not produce at that level. He managed only 15 tackles and one sack in his two seasons in Kansas City before his career stalled in large part to a series of knee injuries. After three seasons out of the league, he returned to one-year stops in Dallas and Seattle.

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He actually signed three times with Dallas, in 2008. (when he was a late cut, released on August 31) and again in January of 2009. He was a contributor that season as he played in 16 games as a nose tackle playing as the backup to Jay Ratliff and registering 11 tackles.

The following year he was again re-signed by the team but was cut late again, in September of 2010, when he was beaten for a roster spot out by rookie Josh Brent.

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