Dallas’s Markquese Bell Named NFLPA’s 2024 Black College Football Pro Player of the Year


Media Contact

Carl Francis, Communications Director



Dallas Cowboys defender Markquese Bell has been named the 2024 winner of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year presented by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). The award is presented annually to a top professional football player who attended a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

After signing with Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2022 and showing strong potential, Bell had a breakout campaign while playing linebacker for the first time. The Florida A&M alum finished second on the team with 90 total tackles to go with two forced fumbles. His efforts on and off the field also earned him the NFL’s HBCU Spotlight Player of the Year award earlier this year.

"Thank you to the NFLPA for this incredible recognition," Bell said. "It's a privilege to receive an award that salutes those HBCU players who laid the foundation for myself and so many others. With this honor, I am now even more motivated to represent my family, Florida A & M and football's rich HBCU roots in whatever I do."

Bell will be recognized as this year’s winner during the 15th annual Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons, on June 8 in Atlanta. The 2024 BCFHOF class features Joe “747 Adams, Antoine Bethea, Waymond Bryant, Kevin Dent, Richard Huntley, Lemar Parrish and Coach Eddie Hurt.

Since the award’s 2018 inception, the NFLPA has recognized one active NFL player who serves as a positive influence in his community, has ties to his HBCU alma mater, exhibits good character and has performed at a high level during the most recent NFL season.

Past winners of the NFLPA Black College Football Pro Player of the Year*:

2023: Tytus Howard (Houston Texans)
2022: Grover Stewart (Indianapolis Colts) 
2021: Terron Armstead (New Orleans Saints) 
2020: Javon Hargrave (Pittsburgh Steelers) 
2019: Darius Leonard (Indianapolis Colts) and Tarik Cohen (Chicago Bears) 
2018: Antoine Bethea (Arizona Cardinals)

*Denotes player’s team at the time he was honored



NFL Players Association: 
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 NFL season. www.nflpa.com.