Is Dorsett on Colts Related to Tony? The Truth Behind the NFL Surname

If you are a fan of the NFL, you might have heard of the name Dorsett. It belongs to two players who have made their mark in the league: Tony Dorsett and Phillip Dorsett. Tony Dorsett is a Hall of Fame running back who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos from 1977 to 1988. Phillip Dorsett is a wide receiver who currently plays for the Las Vegas Raiders, after stints with the Indianapolis Colts, the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans. But are these two players related? Do they share a common ancestry or a family connection? The answer might surprise you.

The Dorsett Surname

The surname Dorsett is derived from Dorset, a county in southwestern England. It is a locational name that means “one who came from Dorset” or “one who dwells near the sea”. According to, the name was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it was spelled as Dorsata or Dorsæte. The name has various spellings over time, such as Dorsset, Dorsit, Dorsitt, Dorsette, and Dorsett. The name is also found in Ireland, where it was brought by English settlers in the 17th century.

The NFL Players

Tony Dorsett was born on April 7, 1954, in Rochester, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Wes and Myrtle Dorsett. He has three siblings: Wesley Jr., David, and Donna. He attended Hopewell High School, where he starred as a running back and a defensive back. He then went to the University of Pittsburgh, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1976 as the best college football player in the nation. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 1977 NFL Draft. He played for the Cowboys for 11 seasons, winning one Super Bowl and four Pro Bowl selections. He finished his career with the Denver Broncos in 1988. He retired with 12,739 rushing yards and 91 touchdowns, ranking him ninth on the all-time list. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

Phillip Dorsett was born on January 5, 1993, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is the son of Phillip Sr. and Barbara Dorsett. He has two siblings: Brianna and Javon. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where he was a two-sport star in football and track. He then went to the University of Miami, where he was a standout wide receiver and a team captain. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played for the Colts for two seasons, before being traded to the New England Patriots in 2017. He won one Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2019. He then signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2020, but missed the entire season due to injury. He joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021, but was released after one game. He then signed with the Houston Texans, where he played for six games before being waived. He was claimed by the Las Vegas Raiders in November 2021.

The Relationship

Despite sharing a career and a surname, Tony Dorsett and Phillip Dorsett are not related. They do not have any known blood or family ties. They are not father and son, uncle and nephew, cousins, or distant relatives. They are simply two players who happen to have the same last name.

Phillip Dorsett has stated that he gets asked about his relationship with Tony Dorsett almost every day. He has also said that he admires Tony Dorsett as a player and a person. Tony Dorsett has also expressed his respect for Phillip Dorsett and his game. However, they have never met in person or spoken to each other.


The name Dorsett is a common surname that originates from England. It does not imply any familial connection between Tony Dorsett and Phillip Dorsett, who are both NFL players with different backgrounds and histories. They are not related by blood or by marriage. They are simply two individuals who share a passion for football and a coincidental name.

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