Thomas Gregory Everett (born November 21, 1964) is a former American football safety in the National Football League. Thomas played nine seasons for three teams (Pittsburgh Steelers 1987–1991, Dallas Cowboys 1992–1993, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1994–1995). He attended Baylor University where he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in college football. As a member of the Dallas Cowboys he helped Dallas win 2 of their 3 Super Bowls in 1992 & 1993, both against the Buffalo Bills, and also in 1993 he made the Pro Bowl.
Everett was born in Daingerfield, Texas. He attended Daingerfield High School, where he started playing football as a sophomore. Although his best position was running back, he played seven positions including quarterback. He was the first, and so far only person to have his number retired at Daingerfield High School.
Everett accepted a scholarship from Baylor University where he played under College Football Hall of Fame coach Grant Teaff. As a freshman, he began the year at running back and was named the starter at cornerback halfway through the season. He also opened the next season at corner, but was moved to free safety in the second game, where he blossomed making 99 tackles.
In his junior year he became one of the best defensive backs in the nation, eventually being named a two-time All-American selection, a two-time Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the year and twice first team All-Conference. As a senior he registered 86 tackles (7 for loss), 14 passes defensed and 6 interceptions.
In 1986, Everett became the first-ever winner of the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. He was also voted the conference’s Athlete of the Year.
He ranks among Baylor’s top ten in career tackles (325), interceptions (12), punt returns (80) and punt return yards (766). Not only was he adept at coverage and as a tackler, but also was a fine punt returner, leading his team in punt return yards three times.
He was a leader during one of the school's most successful eras as the Bears won 30 games and appeared in three bowl games. He ranks among Baylor’s top 10 in tackles (325), interceptions (12) and punt return yards (766).
In 2006, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He was named to Baylor's All-Decade team of the 1980s and to the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.
Everett was selected in by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round (94th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft, after dropping because he as considered too small to play safety. As a rookie he quickly established himself as a punishing hitter and was named the starter at free safety in the eight game of the season, finishing second on the team with 72 tackles.
He played in Pittsburgh for 5 seasons and intercepted 16 passes over that time. He was a top notch safety. On September 19, 1992, missing the first two games on a contract dispute, paved the way for his trade to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a fifth round draft choice (#140-Marc Woodard).
Everett was one of the most important trades made during the Jimmy Johnson era, that along with Charles Haley, helped to solidify the team's defense. He was named the starter at strong safety.
In his first season with the Cowboys he wore number 31 because reserve running back Curvin Richards had the number 27, which was the one he wore for five seasons with the Steelers. When Richards was cut after the final regular season game, he changed his number to 27 for the playoffs. The Cowboys went on to win Super Bowl XXVII with him recording two interceptions and a sack in a 52-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
In 1993, he was moved to his natural free safety position, so that Darren Woodson could start at strong safety. He posted 97 tackles (third on the team), 2 interceptions, 3 passes defensed and contributed to the Cowboys winning back-to-back Super Bowls.
On April 2, 1994, because of salary cap reasons he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a fourth round draft choice (#109-Willie Jackson).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In 1994, he started 15 games at free safety. The next year he was limited to 13 games (10 starts) because of a knee injury, registering 54 tackles and one sack. He was waived on March 20, 1996.
His brother Eric Everett played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1988–89), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1990), Kansas City Chiefs (1991), and Minnesota Vikings (1992). He currently runs an athletic camp called Thomas Everett Athletics.