The moment it happened DeVonte Holloman knew what it meant. The Cowboys linebacker pounded the turf when he re-injured his neck in an Aug. 16 preseason game against the Ravens.
"I knew it was the same injury from last year, and I was told last year if it happened again, that might be the end," Holloman said Monday in his first public comments about the injury. "So in the back of my mind, I kind of knew what was getting ready to happen so I had plenty of time to prepare myself."
Holloman’s career is over after he was diagnosed with stenosis, a narrowing of his spinal canal at the C-3, C-4 level.
A sixth-round pick in 2013, Holloman missed seven games as a rookie with the same injury. He said it makes him "more prone to that one paralyzing hit."
"Considering my health and my family, yeah it’s an easy decision," Holloman said. "But it’ll be tough not to be out there. The hard part about it is being functional as in everyday life, but not being able to play."
Holloman’s alma mater, South Carolina, has offered him a graduate assistant coaching spot. He is returning home to weigh his options.
"Of course, it’s a dream fulfilled," Holloman said "I got to be out here for a year and play against guys that I watched on TV and played with guys that I watched, and I learned a lot over this year."