Quincy Carter recounts how drug addiction ruined NFL career


Quincy Carter's career as a quarterback in the NFL was short-lived. Although he managed to lead the 2003 Dallas Cowboys to an NFC playoff berth at the age of 26, his time with the franchise ended the following year, amid reports that he failed a drug test.

Attempts at a comeback in football didn't last long for Carter. In 2005, he filed his retirement papers with the league, and his addiction to marijuana, alcohol, and cocaine resulted in additional failed tests and arrests over a 10-year span. But the former Georgia star has turned his life around, and now spends time mentoring young athletes on and off the field.

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Quincy Carter talks National Championship and his NFL Career
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"I made the fatal mistake of starting smoking weed when I was a younger kid, and it came back to bite me in my ass," Carter told The DA Show on Monday. "To be in these kids' lives -- especially at these moments, where a lot of kids think marijuana is legal but it'll destroy careers -- and having these talks with them, it means the world to me. There's nothing like working your butt off your whole life for something and then throwing it away for drugs, alcohol...

"[My addiction] was eventually something I couldn't stop. When it came time to pass a test, I wasn't able to do it because I started a habit I couldn't stop. Ultimately, it cost me my whole career. You hear 'gateway drug' your whole life, and then eventually, it became a gateway drug because I got into heavy alcohol and cocaine use later on... This thing with addiction is fatal, and you never know something that you start could derail you for the rest of your life."

Carter, who was selected 53rd overall by Dallas in 2001, played 38 NFL games and threw for 6,337 yards with 32 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. In 2003, he became the fifth quarterback in franchise history to throw for 3,000-plus yards in a season. Carter founded the 'QC17' school in 2019, with the goal to teach kids how to play football and go through life the right way.

The entire football conversation between Carter and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.

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