Dylan Cole had not scored a touchdown since high school.
On Sunday, the Texans undrafted rookie linebacker was so caught up in the moment, he gave his first NFL touchdown ball to a twelve-year-old in the stands.
“I was just looking up at the crowd and it was just like I was trying to enjoy the moment," Cole said Wednesday. "I turned and I looked and she was right there. She was just kind of reaching out so I ran over there and gave it to her."
In the fourth quarter against Tennessee, Cole intercepted Matt Cassel’s pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. Cole had a standout performance against the Titans, becoming the first rookie in NFL history to record five total tackles, one sack, and one interception returned for a touchdown in the same game.
So in his excitement, Cole gave away the ball from his best game as an NFL player. The 23-year-old had not regrets, giving his ball to the little girl he had never met. Players often give away footballs and their game-worn gloves and items.
After the game, her father contacted Cole. The little girl really wanted Cole to have more than just the memory of his first NFL touchdown.
“She wants to give it back to me which is a pretty awesome deal so we may do like a little exchange,” Cole said. “Didn’t really feel like I needed it. I felt like the moment, the experience was enough but it’s awesome to see that she wants to give me the ball back. She wants me to have my first touchdown ball.”
Cole, who signed as a college free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft, is just the second linebacker in franchise history with a pick-six in a game, joining Brian Cushing.