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Keith Daniel O'Neil (born August 26, 1980 in Rochester, Michigan) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI as they beat the Chicago Bears. He played college football at Northern Arizona.

Keith O'Neil
No. 54, 53
Personal information
Born: (1980-08-26) August 26, 1980 (age 38)
Rochester, Michigan
Career information
High school:Sweet Home (NY)
College:Northern Arizona
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:52
Forced fumbles:1
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR


Early yearsEdit

O'Neil attended Sweet Home High School, where he played at linebacker. As a senior, he received second-team All-state, All-conference and All-Western honors. He also practiced track and lacrosse.

He accepted a football scholarship from Northern Arizona University. As a true freshman, he played in 10 games as a backup linebacker, tallying 28 tackles (3 for loss) and 2 sacks. As a sophomore, he appeared in 10 games (7 starts), making 4 tackles (10 for loss), 6 sacks (led the team) and one forced fumble.

As a junior, he tallied 83 tackles (led the team), 15 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. As a senior, he posted 75 tackles (21 for loss), 3 interceptions and 4 fumble recoveries.

He had 225 career stops, 20 sacks, 49 tackles for losses and 3 interceptions. He was first-team All-Big Sky choice as a junior and senior.

Professional careerEdit

Dallas CowboysEdit

O'Neil was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2003 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he registered 17 special teams tackles (second on the team).

In 2004, he notified head coach Bill Parcells his intentions to retire from professional football, stating he was dealing with anxiety and sleepless nights. Parcells and the team provided help, allowing him to remain a core special teams player (third on the team with 18 special teams) and the backup weakside linebacker for Dexter Coakley.

On September 3, 2005, he was waived because the defense switched to a 3-4 alignment and he wasn't seen as a good fit for the new scheme.[1]

Indianapolis ColtsEdit

O'Neil was claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts on September 5, 2005.[2] Four days before opening day, his anxiety made him seek help from head coach Tony Dungy and the organization.

In 2006, he was inactive for 5 games with a high ankle sprain, he later suffered two fractured ribs and a sprained knee, but still was able to be a part of the Super Bowl XLI winning team. On July 30, 2007, he was placed on the Physically unable to perform list recovering from a sports hernia surgery.[3] He suffered a chest injury in the second preseason game against the Chicago Bears. On August 28, he was placed on the injured reserve list and was eventually released.

New York GiantsEdit

On February 18, 2008, he was signed as a free agent by the New York Giants, after spending a year out of football. To focus on improving his mental health, he decided to retire and was placed on the reserve/retired list on June 2.[4]


O'Neil is the son of former NFL linebacker Ed O'Neil. O'Neil's brother Kevin, played football for Syracuse University. His brother-in-law Drew Haddad played wide receiver in the NFL. He experienced extreme anxiety during his time in the NFL, that created a serious sleep disorder and eventually was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.[5]


  1. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  2. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "Quinn, Browns Remained Stalemated". Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "Giants see signing as a big Wynn". Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ex-Super Bowl champ from WNY thanks his superheroes as he confronts bipolar disorder". Retrieved March 5, 2018.

External linksEdit