Dallas Clark made a cameo on "Criminal Minds" on Wednesday night, and the reviews were pretty good -- the Colts tight end showed some solid acting chops. But, come on, anybody can do a cameo. Even Jerry Jones ("Entourage") did it.
The true test for an NFL player wanting to make the leap to acting is to be the star of your own show, like Fred Dryer in "Hunter." I don't want to speak out of turn here, but as far as police dramas starring former Rams defensive ends, Hunter ranks among the best. (And this might be a surprise to you, but Dryer also was considered for the lead role as Sam Malone in "Cheers." That's right, Dryer as "May Day" Malone.)
With that in mind, we present our top six pilot pitches for shows starring NFL players. Sure, some of these might seem like remakes of your favorite shows from the past. Something tells me Hollywood won't mind. (Isn't that right, producers of "Hawaii Five-O?")
And without further ado ...
6. Spygate the Series
(Thriller) A 1950s secret agent (Eric Mangini) switches to the Soviets' side but earns the wrath of his bosses when he exposes the USA Patriots' "satellite conspiracy." He loses his job and is shipped to Siberia as the scapegoat for all of the country's problems.
5. Autumn Wind
(Comedy) A mockumentary of office life in a Northern California turbine company, with Al Davis as the boss who insists in doing business the old-fashioned way, with overhead projectors and by hiring competitors' discards. Now he faces his biggest challenge, trying to save his company after a former employee (JaMarcus Russell) nearly bankrupts the operation with his absurd salary.
4. Quantum Lambeau Leap
(Drama) Greg Jennings is a time-traveling receiver who heads into the past to fix what has gone wrong. In the pilot, Jennings treks to 1989 and switches the Packers' draft card for the second overall pick to "Barry Sanders." Co-stars Jordy Nelson as "Max."
3. The NFL Shield
(Drama) A fiery redhead (Roger Goodell) steps in as the new sheriff in the world's most popular town and makes his name by swiftly punishing those who run afoul of the law. Some in town think he's a bit overzealous, and when a dispute erupts between workers and business owners, he locks down the entire town.
2. Skippy the Super Dog
(Drama) A quarterback (Michael Vick) run down by a bus is reincarnated as a dog, who is adopted by the quarterback who replaced him. With Skippy's help, the backup QB leads his franchise to a Super Bowl victory. Warren Beatty stars as the coach.
1. I'm a Quarterback ... Get Me Out of Here
Carson Palmer stars in his own reality show, in which he tries to persuade the Bengals' boss to trade him out of Cincinnati. Palmer is placed in the hills of Kentucky with real Bengal tigers, and if he survives, he's freed. If not, then he's freed, too, in a way.