Dude was a MAN on the football field in college, carrying the old pigskin; and he wasn't too shabby either when he got drafted and went on to play for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. Won the Heisman in 1995 in college, NFL rookie of the year, and later, a 4-time Pro-bowl selection in the NFL.
And to top it all off, he was just one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet; intelligent, great work ethic, hard worker etc.
So, I'd expect a similar kind of all-or-nothing approach to what he's made his current focus, acting!
He put 8 years of work in on the pro level, retired in 2004 with the Dallas Cowboys, and he's been pursuing acting for much of the last 6 years according to the below NPR interview/profile; first heading to Los Angeles, realizing he didn't quite have what it takes; then returning to Tennessee where he essentially put the work in with an acting coach, took some bit parts in films, and TV (his IMDB page says he was featured in one episode of the new BET scripted show Reed Between the Lines), and now he's on stage doing Shakespeare - specifically, the title role in Julius Caesar at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.
As NPR notes, Denice Hicks of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival calls Eddie "a really strong actor — really, really strong... a charismatic stage presence. There is no other actor who could play Caesar the way he could."
And from audience member Sherry Lawler who isn't a football fan, but says "He reminds me of Yul Brenner in The King and I."
But this isn't some temporary distraction for Eddie; he says he's taking acting very seriously, and hopes to hone his skills on stage and eventually transfer them to film and TV.
At least he's putting the work and the years in, and not just counting on his name and connections to break in. He could likely have taken a much quicker path - maybe star in some reality TV series to begin with :)
But he's only 38 years old, so he's still young enough to make a screen splash.
We'll see... I now have him on my alerts so I can keep tabs on his progress and report anything that I think is worth sharing.
Listen to the 4-minute NPR piece below for the full story: