Tony Casillas: Players used 'DMSO'

  • ESPN.com news services | February 7, 2013

The alleged use of deer-antler spray by professional athletes was the hot topic of Super Bowl week, but former defensive lineman Tony Casillas said it doesn't compare to what players used during his playing career.

"When I heard about deer-antler spray, I said that's nothing. We used to use this stuff called 'DMSO,'" Casillas said last week in an interview with KRLD-FM in Dallas. "That's what veterinarians put on horses' muscles, and we used it in the locker room."

Former Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton, the co-host of ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Coop & Nate" show, confirmed Casillas' comments Thursday afternoon. Newton said he used it as well.

"Horse liniment. I used it one or two times," Newton said. "It helped healed horses, muscles, aches and pains and little whatnots. It helped you.

Tony Casillas
Robert Laberge/Getty ImagesTony Casillas, who played five seasons for the Cowboys (1991-93 and '96-97), said players used a horse ointment as an anti-inflammatory in his era.

"When you put this stuff in you, you had to be careful because it's kind of like a poison. It ain't something you can drink. It's something you've got to rub on you. You can taste it all in your mouth. Your breath smells like onions. You could tell a person that's been using it. I walked by Tony and was like, 'Woah. Tony, you're back on the DMSO?' You could smell it. You could smell it all over the locker room."

The Baltimore Ravens' Ray Lewis became embroiled in a Super Bowl week controversy when a Sports Illustrated story said he received deer-antler spray from a company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids to use during his comeback from a torn triceps injury in October. Lewis strongly denied that he used the product, however.

Casillas won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys (1992, '93) and played in 167 games over 12 NFL seasons (1986-97) for three teams (including the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets).

"We had a bottle, and you'd take it. It goes right to the blood stream. I'm not sure about this deer-antler stuff, but it was prevalent in our locker room," Casillas said in the interview.

Casillas said players saw an immediate benefit from using "DMSO."

"It's an ointment that's like anti-inflammatory. You put it on your skin and you put it on a muscle, and I guarantee you, in about 30 minutes you'd feel great," he said, adding that "people knew" players were using it.

"Everyone knew about it."

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