The Houston Texans signed Brandon Dunn to a contract extension on Wednesday, just weeks before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent. Last year, he saw action in all 16 games with six starts and recorded 25 total tackles (11 solo), one tackle for loss, 1.0 sack and four quarterback hits. Dunn also appeared in both playoff games and had two total tackles.
"People don't talk about Brandon Dunn a lot," head coach Bill O'Brien said after the Texans' Dec. 1 win against the New England Patriots. "He's just a grinder, plays really tough football."
The hard-working, blue-collar mentality of Dunn has fit in well with Houston's interior defensive linemen, who nicknamed themselves "The Lunch Pail Crew." The LPC consisted of Dunn, D.J. Reader and Angelo Blackson. After the Texans' Week 3 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, O'Brien credited Dunn for a big stop against the offense to force a field goal in the fourth quarter.
"That was big," O'Brien said. "That was a lot of great effort on that play. Brandon Dunn stood up the center, did a really good job. Reader, Watt and then B-Mac (Benardrick McKinney) jumped over the top and he was a part of that too, but I think Brandon Dunn doing what he did in the middle of that defense, he's an unsung player on our defense. He's a grinder, he's a great teammate, and the play that he made there was really, really awesome."
Since 2016 when he first began coaching the defensive line position group, Anthony Weaver has watched Dunn's progress. The nose tackle not only has developed his understanding of the game, he has become a mentor to younger players at the position.
"All of those young noses, they gravitate towards guys like Reader and Brandon Dunn as well," Weaver said. "Brandon Dunn is guy who has been in a bunch of battles for us, understands that position and tries to impart his wisdom on those young guys."
Dunn went from undrafted college agent with the Chicago Bears to playing the final 11 games of the 2015 season with the Texans. After spending most of the 2016 season on the practice squad, Dunn earned a spot back on the active roster for the last three years. In 2018, he picked off Andrew Luck in the AFC Wild Card game. Last year, Dunn logged his first career sack when he brought down Jameis Winston in the third quarter at Tampa Bay.
As for the locker room, Dunn earned himself the aux cord and nickname "D.J. Dunny" for his disc jockey skills. D.J. Dunny is best known for bringing a wide variety of high-energy music and entertaining his teammates throughout the week and on game days.
Check out the best shots of Texans NT Brandon Dunn.