But more often than not, if a player has a chance to follow a family member to an NFL team, that player often will acknowledge that he would like to keep the family legacy alive by ending up with the same team.
The Dallas Cowboys could create such a situation this year if they draft TCU offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (6-4, 319), who surprised some at the Combine with his quickness. His 5.00 in the 40-yard dash was third-fastest among all offensive linemen at the Combine.
Of course, Newhouse is the cousin of former Dallas fullback Robert Newhouse, and while he doesn't run quite like his famous cousin did, he reportedly is creeping up the draft boards of several teams, including the Cowboys, who studied him closely at TCU's Pro Day and had him in to Valley Ranch earlier this week.
Newhouse actually grew up playing tight end — he said his favorite player was Jay Novacek, not his cousin — and said that while he would relish the idea of playing with a star on his helmet, he understands the business side of the sport.
"That (the fact that football is a business) is definitely it," Newhouse said. "I'll play wherever or for whoever wants me. But of course the Cowboys were my favorite team."
Newhouse said that in addition to the Cowboys, he has talked with the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs, among others.
Newhouse said he got a crash course in the business side of the NFL this offseason, when the San Diego Chargers cut perhaps the greatest NFL player ever to emerge from Newhouse's alma mater: running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
"That just shows you that no one is immune to how the league works," Newhouse said. "He's been a great player and he'll continue to be a good player. The (New York Jets) are going to get a great player. That's how the business works, though. That's how it is."
What is clear is that the NFL is a business in which Newhouse wants to work. He said that having a cousin who starred for the Cowboys wasn't really a factor in his decision to pursue a football career.
"Not necessarily," he said. "I knew that he was a very good football player and I wanted to be a very good football player, so the fact that we had the same name didn't mean a whole lot. But I started to develop the understanding and appreciation for what he'd done and the example he had set. But I also wanted to make my own path so that's what I'm trying to do right now."
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