During his run as an Argo, Declan Cross won two Grey Cups, played for four head coaches and wore multiple hats on the field.
His career will be remembered for his versatility, durability and an overall ability to adapt to the changing times and faces with the Double Blue. His role changed, but Cross never complained when fewer touches were given on offence.
You are reading: Two-time Grey Cup champion Declan Cross calls it a career
He exits football as a champion, a fitting ending for a player and person who left everything out on the field and never turned down any opportunity to help his community.
His retirement was officially announced by the Argos on Monday.
“Declan arrived as a relatively unknown draft pick and leaves as a two-time champion and fan favourite,” Argos GM Michael Clemons said in a statement released by the club..
“He definitively exemplifies what it means to be an Argonaut: A fearless competitor on the field and a selfless contributor in the community.
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“Whatever opportunities await him in the future, you can be certain he will attack them with the unequalled level of passion he brought to our family each and every day. While he’s announcing his retirement, he’ll always be an Argonaut.”
Cross is an Oakville native who attended Holy Trinity Catholic School. He would often return to his alma mater to offer students words of encouragement. It’s the same school that produced Nathan Rourke, who is younger than Cross.
Cross attended McMaster before the Argos drafted the full back/H-back with the 26th overall pick in the CFL’s 2016 draft.
His first head coach in Toronto was Scott Milanovich. When he joined the Argos, Cross was a member of the team that transitioned to BMO Field, a place he would call his football home for the balance of his career.
Following the retirement of long snapper Jake Reinhart earlier this season, Cross became the longest-tenured Argo. The two are very similar in how each went about their business in a zero-maintenance, team-first manner, selfless and willing to embrace whatever role asked by team.
Cross experienced the low of a five-win season in his rookie year, followed by a Grey Cup title in 2017 before the franchise hit rock bottom the next two seasons with a combined eight wins.
He played on special teams and was named captain of the unit during his time in Toronto.
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Under head coach Ryan Dinwiddie, the full back wasn’t used as much as in previous regimes by the likes of Marc Trestman and Corey Chamblin. In the past two seasons, Cross had a combined six receptions.
When he was a focal point of the offence, Cross accounted for a total of 66 catches and scored a combined six touchdowns over the course of the 2017 and 2018 seasons, when he appeared in every game.
Cross, 29, was limited to 12 games in 2022, in part due to a foot injury he suffered during a game in Hamilton. Oddly enough, in the same game Andrew Harris tore his pec muscle when he landed awkwardly on Cross.
The very definition of what it means to a be pro, Cross left it all on the line and likely leaves the game with zero regrets.
A newlywed, Cross’ better half is from Australia.
The land down under will now welcome Cross as its new full-time resident.
No word on how Cross will receive his title ring from last month’s upset over Winnipeg in an epic Grey Cup.