He wasn’t afraid of the spotlight and led the team in sacks during the 2014 postseason run. But he had to undergo an elbow surgery after the 2015 season and it never fully recovered.
That elbow injury, coupled with a number of concussions, made it easy for Mincey to walk away from football after a decade in the league.
“It was just the right time,” Mincey said. “I didn’t want to be one of those guys to take that bad hit and lose everything that I had gained when I could’ve walked away and walked away with everything – health, mentality and everything else.
“I was satisfied with my career.”
Mincey finished his career with 26 sacks, spending time with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2007-13), Denver Broncos (2013) and the Cowboys (2014-15). He was part of the Broncos’ run to the Super Bowl in 2013.
Nowadays, Mincey is living in Jacksonville and working his way up in the music industry. He released a song, “Wine Ya Body,” in April and it has generated more than 100,000 YouTube views.
The Star-Telegram caught up with Mincey during a recent phone interview.
Isn’t it just a natural crossover for athletes to pursue music?
Man, as long as there are athletes, there is going to be music. And as long as there’s music, there’s going to be athletes. You can’t have one without the other. We just have to accept that.
But money and fame does not bring good business. You have to learn how to be a businessman. Sometimes I lost money for a lack of education. It’s a gamble, so you’ve got to learn how to gamble wisely.
How’s the music career going?
It’s been great, man. I’ve been landing a whole lot of major distribution deals. I dropped the album, “Just Work,” right when I retired from the Cowboys. I used myself as a guinea pig to try and open up the gates to the music industry and it worked. I started touring, hitting different cities and my following is bigger than I had when I was in the NFL.
What’s the story behind the lyrics for ‘Wine Ya Body?’
I don’t know. I was just going through my archives – I acquired a lot of music when I was in the NFL and paid money for a lot of different beats – and I heard this beat when I was going through my catalog. It was a pop-ish, reggae-ish song that I really liked. Then I started saying, ‘Wine Ya Body, Wine Ya Body,’ and it fit good. So I just went with it.
Have you heard Cole Beasley’s album?
Of course. The guy Cole Beasley is working with, I introduced them and told him how talented Cole was. He’s making good music, so I’ve got to give a shout out to him.
Does being in the music industry make the transition out of football easier?
I mean, it’s never easy doing something for 20 years and then it’s just over. It was tough at first, but I started to find my role, find my niche in the music industry.
Do you still stay in touch with some guys, coaches?
Definitely. Rod Marinelli and I stay in touch all the time. I still speak to my coaches, a few of my ex-teammates. I know a lot of guys are busy, but we still find time to catch up. But me and Rod definitely have stayed in touch. Rod was a special guy before I got to Dallas. I always had a different type of respect for him, he was always like a sensei from what I heard about from other players. So we had a great relationship and still do.
Finally, are you active in anything outside the music industry?
The music, for me, is full time, but I do a lot of philanthropy down here [in Jacksonville] too. We host a lot of events, we had this thing down here called ‘Boss Week’ where we teach young kids to become ‘bosses,’ and the different ways to become ‘bosses.’