IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath grew up around 40 minutes from Ford Field, in Lake Orion, Mich. He attended at least one Detroit Lions game a year growing up and played at the Lions' home for a state championship.
Heath’s return has not gone unnoticed by those in his hometown. He needed to get 80 tickets for Sunday’s game. While he makes $405,000 a year as an undrafted rookie, that’s still some serious coin. But he didn’t have to buy them all.
“My mom had so many people asking her, so she contacted [director of player development] Bryan Wansley and ordered through him and she’s getting money from friends,” Heath said. “I don’t have to pay for them all. My mom is too nice to say no to people, too, so everybody is coming.”
And Heath figures to play a defensive role for the second straight week. He mixed in with J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church in last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Heath finished that game with a tackle and with a sore right wrist that he said is not an issue even if it's in a brace. The Eagles game also allowed him to get some nerves out of the way the week before he returned home.
“It’s going to be fun,” Heath said. “Any time you get an opportunity to play a game in the NFL it’s awesome, and this is going to be extra special because all of my friends back home are going to get to see me play and my family who I haven’t seen since I came down here, so I’m excited to see all of them.”