On Wednesday, Tight End Dallas Clark will end his career where he started it, in Indianapolis. In what will presumably be a one-day contract, Dallas Clark will hang up his cleats for good as a Colt and ride off into the sunset. Best known throughout his career as QB Peyton Manning’s safety-valve, the sure-handed (and bare handed) tight end amassed 4,887 yards and 46 TD’s in 9 seasons with Indianapolis.
A former All-Pro and Pro-Bowler in 2009, Dallas Clark along with San Diego’s TE Antonio Gates were the first prototype of the NFL’s modern-day tight end. Tight ends that were more receiver than blocker and could stretch the field, as a result of their ability to both run and catch. Of course now, the second prototype of the modern-day tight end, the Rob Gronkowski and Vernon Davis’s of the world are at about 15 more pounds of muscle. It just goes to show you how the position has evolved.
Clark had played the last two season in Tampa Bay and Baltimore respectively. In the two seasons combined, he had 778 receiving yards and 7 TD’s, but he will be best known for his play while in Indianapolis.
My fondest memory of Dallas Clark is from the 2006 Divisional Playoff Game against the Ravens in a 14-4 Colts win at Baltimore during the team’s Super Bowl run. Neither side could score a touchdown in what was a war of field goals, but I seem to remember TE Dallas Clark having some big catches with then-Ravens’ LB Adalius Thomas draped all over him. While the box score only shows 2 receptions for 41 yards, those catches were crucial in pivotal moments of the game. Now if I can just erase the memory of him playing in a Ravens’ uniform from by brain.