‘Survivor’: Former NFL Star Discussed Joining the Show

by Anna Dunn

Survivor certainly has an interesting cast of people this year, one of which is a former NFL star. In a recent interview, former Dallas Cowboys safety Danny McCray talked about joining the show. McCray retired from the NFL in 2015. After that, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands. That’s when he found Survivor.

Once he found survivor, the former NFL star became a major fan. Survivor follows a group of people on an island who have to collect food and water along with build shelters all while competing for a cash prize. The show involves not only survival skills and brute strength but a keen sense of strategy and a strong social game.

“I wasn’t into Netflix or anything yet and I’m scrolling through and I just started watching, I believe it was Season 15 or 16,” McCray told ESPN in a recent interview. “I watched the first episode and then I binge-watched it all day and night. My wife got home from work and she started watching but she went to sleep. I stayed up till like 5 in the morning.”

This is when McCray decided he wanted to be on the show. But the thing is, he may have had the physicality going for him, but he didn’t consider himself much of an outdoorsman. He’s mentioned, however, that it’s his competitive spirit that drove him to want to play. He’s also not the only former Cowboy to go on the show.

“Funny story, as I was watching I told her, ‘I’m going on the show,’ and she continued to say no,” McCray explained. But she quickly changed her tune. “We got married in 2019 and she was like, ‘I’m ready. I want you to go do it.’

McCray Was Originally Supposed to Join the ‘Survivor’ Cast in 2020

Like many others on this year’s cast, McCray was originally supposed to feature on Survivor in 2020, but the pandemic changed those plans. This allowed him, however, to be around for his newborn child.

By the time it was actually time to leave the nerves had set in.

“It was excitement but also, like, ‘Oh, my God, this is really about to happen,’” McCray said. “Until they call and tell you that you made it, my mindset wasn’t, ‘I’ve got to leave my family. No TV, no phone, no contact with the outside world.’ But then it all hit at one time and there’s a little anxiety.”

McCray did a ton to prepare for the show as well, getting plenty of workouts in before leaving for Fiji. The current season of Survivor is still ongoing, and while McCray knows how he did, he’s remained very tight-lipped about his future on the show. His own wife doesn’t even know how McCray does. So far, however, two episodes in, McCray is still in the game.

You can watch Survivor on Wednesday nights at 8/7 Central.