|No. 99, 97|
|Date of birth:||December 15, 1971|
|Place of birth:||San Francisco, California|
|Height:||Script error: No such module "convert".|
|Weight:||Script error: No such module "convert".|
|High school:||Bishop O'Dowd (CA)|
|NFL draft:||1995 / Round: 4 / Pick: 110|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career Template:If empty statistics
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Eric Thomas Bjornson (born December 15, 1971, in San Francisco, California) is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League. He was originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at University of Washington.
Bjornson attended Bishop O'Dowd High School where he became a three-year starter at quarterback. In his senior year, he helped his team earn a 10–1 record and the East Shore Athletic League championship. He received scholar-athlete awards from the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame and the Oakland Tribune.
He accepted a football scholarship to the University of Washington. As a redshirt freshman in 1991, he was the third string quarterback behind Billy Joe Hobert and Mark Brunell, on the national championship team. He was converted to wide receiver as a sophomore. As a junior he returned to quarterback, as the backup to Damon Huard, getting a chance to start the final 3 games of the 1993 season and registered a 2–1 record.
As a senior he was moved back to wide receiver, leading the team with 49 receptions (at the time fifth highest total in school history), for 770 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was sixth in the PAC-10 in receptions and tied for second in touchdown receptions, while earning second-team All-PAC-10, Academic All-PAC-10 and second-team Academic All-American honors. He finished his college career with 64 receptions for 958 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Bjornson was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL draft, with the plan of converting him to tight end. As a rookie he contributed on special teams (6 tackles) and as a backup, while being part of the Super Bowl XXX championship team.
He became a starter in 1996, after Pro Bowler Jay Novacek suffered a back injury, that eventually forced him to retire. He would go on to start 10 games and had career-highs with 48 receptions (second on the team) and 3 touchdowns, despite playing through two sprained ankles that limited his playing time over the final four games of the regular season and the playoffs.
In 1997, although the Cowboys had drafted tight end David LaFleur in the first round, Bjornson still was an integral part of the offense, finishing second on the team and third among NFC tight ends with 47 receptions. He also was third on the team with a career high 442 receiving yards, even though he suffered a fractured left fibula in Week 14, that placed him on the injured reserve list.
In 1998, he was re-signed by the Cowboys to a two-year contract. That year he played in all 16 games mainly as a backup (four starts), and although he was used some times as the slot receiver in four-wide receiver sets, his production decreased when he wasn't the starter.
Bjornson had 127 receptions for 1,232 yards (9.7 avg.) and six touchdowns during his five seasons with the Cowboys.
New England Patriots