How fast did Deion Sanders really run the 40-yard dash at the 1989 NFL Combine?
The tall tale of Deion Sanders’ 40-yard dash raced back into the news this year when Washington receiver John Ross broke the official NFL Combine record, with a blazing 4.22 in the 40-yard dash — besting the previous record of 4.24, held by Chris Johnson since 2006. Yet some people insist that Deion is the “unofficial” record-holder.
“In 1989, the Combine was nothing like it is today,” Sanders told NFL Network. “I wanted to go to the Combine to prove everything you heard was true. It was no doubt that I was going to run the 40, and I was going to break the 40 record. That’s all I came for. I don’t even believe I stretched. You know why? Because I’ve never seen a cheetah stretch before he go get his prey.”
No one doubts Deion’s speed, but according to Charley Casserly — who was at the 1989 Combine as the Redskins’ GM — Sanders’ official times (from his only run, hand-timed on four different stop watches) were 4.27, 4.27, 4.29 and 4.33.