The Duel

Dont'a Hightower's Résumé Includes One Staggering Stat Proving He's a Career Winner

Jason Schandl
Dont'a Hightower's impressive resume dates back to his college days at Alabama.
Dont'a Hightower's impressive resume dates back to his college days at Alabama. / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It's no secret that the New England Patriots cultivate a culture of winning. That has led them to a ridiculous amount of success over the last couple decades, and the two primary faces of that winning culture have long been Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Those two don't get it done on their own, however, and there are plenty of other players who bring that same level of consistent excellence to the organization. A prime example is linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who was a proven winner before joining the Pats, to say the least.

When the Patriots selected Hightower with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was coming off a BCS National Championship win in 2011 — his second since 2009. His two non-championship seasons at Alabama weren't exactly finishes to scoff at, either. The Crimson Tide finished at No. 6 in the final AP Top-25 Poll and lost the Sugar Bowl in Hightower's 2008 freshman season, and then they finished No. 10 and won the Capital One Bowl when he was a junior in 2010.

The Patriots' run of success since he was selected has been truly incredible too. They have at least made it to the AFC Championship in seven of the last eight seasons, which includes five Super Bowl appearances and three wins.

Hightower hasn't just been riding coattails in New England, either. He has started 99 games as a Patriot, and since he was drafted he leads all Patriots players with 42 tackles for a loss, while ranking third with 505 total tackles and third with 25.5 sacks.

The Tom Brady era may be over, but this team is still loaded with talent, and players like Hightower will ensure that the culture of winning in Foxborough doesn't leave with Brady.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.