Ryan Fowler originally signed as a free agent with Dallas, but suffered a back injury during preseason camp. He returned to Durham and underwent successful surgery by Dr. William Richardson, a consultant with Duke Sports Medicine. He then completed a rehabilitation program with Kerry Mullenix, Duke's director of athletic rehabilitation.
A 6-3, 245-pound linebacker, Fowler lettered for the Blue Devils from 2000-03, playing in 46 games with 41 starting assignments while earning second team All-ACC honors following his senior season. Finishing his career with 495 tackles, 47.5 tackles for loss and 27 double-figure tackle games to his credit, the Redington Beach, Fla., native was a four-time recipient of Duke's Outstanding Linebacker Award, two-year team captain and the team's co-MVP in 2003. On Duke's all-time charts, he ranks third in tackles and second in tackles for loss.
Fowler is one of four Duke players from last year's graduating class currently in the NFL, joining Chris Douglas (N.Y. Giants; injured reserve), Drew Strojny (Philadelphia; practice squad) and Matt Zielinski (Baltimore; injured reserve).