Cards: Score 2008
Acquired: TTM, Texans Blitz 2009.
Dunta Robinson was the Houston Texans third first round choice in the history of the franchise, taken in 2004 by then general manager Charlie Casserly with the 10th overall pick. He’d be penciled in almost immediately as a starter at RCB for the young franchise across from Aaron Glenn. Dunta had an impact season with 87 tackles and 5 interceptions, which looking back in retrospect counted as his career high.
In 2005, the team started purging veterans, and Robinson would become the leader in the secondary. He’d still manage to defend 10 passes and make an interception; However, the team slumped to a 2-14 record. The next season the team drafted his college teammate Fred Bennett to work opposite Dunta, but Robinson suffered a serious knee injury in week 9 of 2007, that sidelined him for the rest of the season, and for the first 6 games of 2008. Although his recovery from the injury was impressive and heartwarming, Dunta did lose a step. He’d also make 2 interceptions in the 2008 season passing Aaron Glenn for the team career leader with 13.
The offseason proved to be acrimonious for Robinson as he held out for a big multi-season contract with the Texans. General manager Rick Smith saw otherwise and stuck him with the Franchise Tag- the first designated on a Texan player. Dunta spitefully did not show up to camp until one week before the season started, signing his tender for a one year deal worth 9.957 million dollars. To add salt to the wound, Dunta wrote “PAY ME RICK” on his cleats before the opening game of the season against the Jets. The Texans were favored to beat the Jets at home but laid an egg instead. Robinson had a poor game. It was a perfect storm. The ensuing media brouhaha over his message enraged fans and annoyed management, turning him from a team hero to villain. The Texans responded after the Jets loss, but just missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
To make matters even worse Dunta did not make a single interception despite starting the full slate of games. While Robinson expressed his desire and excitement to remain with the Texans, citing the teams’ first winning record as the reason, the Texans did not retain his services. Dunta became a free agent in early 2010 and within days, inked a 6 year contract with his hometown Atlanta Falcons, with 22.5 million dollars in guarantees.
Robinson was never the same after his ACL injury, plus once he assumed the #1 defensive back role in the secondary he never made more than 2 interceptions in a season, or became the game breaker that former DB Aaron Glenn was, making many bad arm tackles along the way. In 2009, there also didn’t seem to be that same fire that was there the previous seasons, and you could almost tell he would get easily frustrated and lose his composure. Indeed, Robinson in 2009 was one of the most targeted defenders in the league allowing 64.7% of passes thrown his direction to be completed and didn’t make a single interception or finish in double digits in pass defensed.
Regardless, best of luck to a cornerback who was once the heralded son of Houston and now sadly leaves as the black sheep. Listed below are his final statistics for the Texans.
Games 84 Tac 394 Sac 4 FF 6
Int 13 Yds 162 Avg 12.5 Td 1 Lg 61