Isaac Alarcón, NFL
Isaac Alarcón during warmups before a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Aug. 2022 Michael Ainsworth/AP Photo

ALABAMA - Four years in the making, it seems like Isaac Alarcón will finally get another shot at making history. Earlier this week, the San Francisco 49ers announced that they had signed Alarcón to a reserve/future contract after the native of Monterrey, Mexico ended his four-year relationship with the Dallas Cowboys where he was part of the practice squad.

The 6-foot-7 offensive lineman entered the NFL through the International Player Pathway Program on April 2020 and joined the Dallas Cowboys where he had to reinvent himself in order to retain a spot in the team's roster, switching from an offensive lineman to a defensive lineman at the request of Will McClay, Cowboys VP of Player Personnel.

Alarcón's journey is one of just four players of Latin American descent that have had opportunities in the NFL thanks to the Player Pathway Program. Brazil's Durval Queiroz Neto was the first person from Latin America to enter the program in 2019, followed by Chile's Sammis Reyes (first Chilean to play in the NFL) and Alarcón's future teammate, Alfredo Gutiérrez.

More Latinos in the NFL

Thanks to the league's effort to increase diversity, these numbers seem to be on the rise. With the introduction of initiatives such as the International Player Pathway Program, players like Isaac Alarcón have gotten the chance to follow their dream of playing football at the professional level.

According to a report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in sports, in 2021 there were only 12 NFL players identifying themselves as Latinos, less than 1 percent of the league total. The figure decreased to 0.4 percent in 2022 but, ahead of the 2023 season, the number of players in NFL rosters that identify as Latinos or are of Latino descent has grown to more than 30.

The highest number of Latino players in any recent NFL season, as per the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), was reached in 2007 with 30, followed by 25 in 2008 and 24 in 2009.





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