LeBron James Was Almost A Cowboy Or A Seahawk | Manning’s ‘MNF’ Wins Again

The Monday Night Football Alternate Crew of Peyton Manning, LeBron James, and Eli Manning

Last night the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles took their rivalry to Arlington, Texas, and the At&T Stadium.

Through the Cowboys’ 41-21 romp over the Philadelphia Eagles on “Monday Night Football,” the stars of the night were the Manning brothers. Peyton and Eli Manning’s alternate commentary broadcast on ESPN2 stole the show as usual.

Manning Monday

The Manning brothers’ “Monday Night Football” takes are a hit, with a carousel slate of celebrity guests, hilarious sibling rivalry, and previously untold stories. In addition to memorable moments like Eli Manning flipping both birds while former Eagles defensive end Chris Long was on the feed, the undeniable highlight of Week 3 was LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers star and multiple-time NBA champion stopped by the show and revealed a little-known tidbit: he was offered not one but two NFL contracts.

During the “Monday Night Football” broadcast, James revealed the Cowboys and Seahawks both extended him opportunities to play during the NBA’s 2011 lockout. James seriously considered both Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s overtures.

“I definitely thought about it,” said James during the broadcast. “I still got the jersey they sent me; I wanted to be a red-zone specialist, like Gronk [Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski].”

Football ‘Bron

James’ tenure as a high school football player is legendary in Ohio and beyond. His football reputation preceded his basketball one as a kid in Akron. He was a peewee football star and quarterback that could throw right-handed touchdowns when rolling to his right.

He was so good at quarterback that he surprised people with his basketball abilities.

“I would have made the team,” he said. “I would have tried out, but I would have made the team.

LeBron was just 26 years old during the NBA lockout, which delayed the 2011-12 season. Although he didn’t matriculate into the NFL ranks, James is confident he would have been on an NFL roster.

“One thing about it, I don’t mind working for something, so if I would have had to try out for the Cowboys or the Seahawks, or if I’d have stayed home and went back home to Cleveland, I’d have tried [out], but I would have made the team. I just know what I’m capable of doing on the football field. Especially at that age.”

A Legend In Two Games

For his first two years at the St. Vincent-St. Mary high school, James considered playing college football. He quickly became the standout of the Fighting Irish from the outset.

James caught 42 passes for 752 yards and delivered 11 touchdowns during his sophomore year. He also earned all-state honors.

In just two full high school varsity football seasons, James still ranks seventh in St. Vincent-St. Mary history with 27 career touchdowns, third with 99 receptions, and was all-state both seasons.

But basketball was James’ true calling.

Basketball King

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School recruited James to join their basketball team in 1999. James averaged 18 points per game as a freshman, helping the team win a Division III state title.

James scored 25 points in the championship game alone. He scored 2,657 points, 892 rebounds, and 523 assists during his four years there.

He was chosen for the USA Today All-USA First Team, the first sophomore ever selected for this award. His team also won the Division III state title two years in a row.

If James had been a tight end in the NFL or a “red zone specialist,” would he have been one of the greats? That he went from high school to the pros in basketball and is nicknamed “King,” and is in contention as an NBA GOAT for many is an indication.

However, basketball is not football, where injuries abound, and the politics are different. James famously said that the NFL reminds him of a plantation system, and he has been a strident supporter of Colin Kaepernick.

James picked a sport and a league where he could shine and be his true self, but it is still an athletic dream to imagine him suiting up for a Sunday.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.