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Alvin Harper
Date of birth: July 6, 1967 (1967-07-06) (age 42)
Place of birth: Lake Wales, Florida
Career information
Position(s): Wide receiver
Jersey №: 80, 82
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 1991 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
 As player:
1991-1994, 1999
Dallas Cowboys
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington Redskins
New Orleans Saints
Memphis Maniax
Playing stats at

Alvin Craig Harper (born July 6, 1967 in Lake Wales, Florida) is a former American football player in the National Football League. After going 1-15 in 1989 and 7-9 in 1990, the Dallas Cowboys were poised to capitalize on some key draft opportunities. In the 1991 NFL Draft, of its three first-round picks, the team drafted defensive tackle Russell Maryland (first) and wide receiver Harper (12th).

Harper would play in Dallas for four years as the Cowboys went from the team with the worst NFL record to become back-to-back championships in Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII.

Career highlights

During his first year with the Cowboys (1991), Harper caught 20 passes for 326 yards and one touchdown, which helped Dallas finish 11-5, its first winning season since 1985.

In 1992, he rushed once for 15 yards and caught 35 passes for 562 yards and four touchdowns. He caught a 45-yard touchdown from quarterback Troy Aikman during the 52-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII, after which Harper dunked the ball over the goal post crossbar. The next year, Harper's individual numbers increased again to 36 receptions for 777 yards and five touchdowns. That year, Dallas returned to face the Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII during which Aikman completed a 16-yard pass to Alvin Harper to give the Cowboys a first-and-goal at the six early in the fourth quarter. That set up one-yard-run by running back Emmitt Smith and helped seal the Bills fate as Dallas won 30-13.

But Harper's best year came in 1994, when he led the league with a 24.9 yards-per-reception average, catching 33 passes for 821 yards and eight touchdowns. However, Dallas failed to three-peat, dropping out of Super Bowl contention with a 28-38 loss to the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers.

In 1995, Harper signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers based on his big play ability and championship experience.

After Dallas

For the next two years, Harper played in 25 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he caught 65 passes for 922 yards and three touchdowns. In 1997, Harper played for the Washington Redskins in 12 games, in which he caught only two passes for 65 yards. His final season in the NFL was in 1999 when he returned to play for his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, and played only two games that year.

In 2001, Harper signed with the Memphis Maniax of the ill fated XFL but he did not finish among the league's top ten receivers in any category.

Harper finished his eight NFL seasons with 191 receptions for 3,473 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also rushed once for 15 yards, completed a pass for 46 yards, and recorded one interception on defense.

In 2005, Harper was a volunteer wide receivers coach with NFL Europe team Rhein Fire.




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