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Former NFL player co-parenting with husband, ex-wife in same home

Retired Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer came out publicly last year.
/ Source: TODAY

Former professional football player Jeff Rohrer, 60, retired from the sport after six seasons with the Dallas Cowboys but he made headlines last year for an unexpected reason. He became the first-known former or current NFL player to marry his same-sex partner.

Now a television commercial producer, Rohrer is attracting attention again, but this time for a new style of co-parenting that reflects his nontraditional life.

In an exclusive interview with People magazine, Rohrer opened up about his blended family, how his life has changed since his days in the league, and what he sees in his future now.


This new chapter of Rohrer’s life kicked off last November, when he married Joshua Ross, 37, a celebrity aesthetician and founder of SkinLab, in Los Angeles.

27th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party Celebrating EJAF And The 91st Academy Awards - Arrivals
Jeff Rohrer and Josh Ross at the 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party Celebrating EJAF And The 91st Academy Awards on February 24, 2019 in West Hollywood, California.Karwai Tang / WireImage

The couple first met over happy hour in May 2015 at a tequila bar in West Hollywood when Rohrer was still “completely in the closet,” as he told the New York Times. By 2017, Ross had moved into the Rohrer home but it wasn’t just Jeff who was living there.

In 2013, Jeff and his ex-wife, Heather Rohrer, 56, decided to move back in together, after divorcing in 2011, with their children, Isabella and Dondillon, now 16 and 15 respectively. Two years later, after his father met Ross, Dondillon told People, “I pieced it together that they were dating … and eventually he called Josh his boyfriend. I was fine with it.”

The rest of the Rohrer family has welcomed Ross warmly. “Jeff and Josh are my family, and we’re a better team together than apart,” Heather Rohrer told People. Isabella Rohrer added, “We’re one big bundle of very strong personalities, so sometimes we butt heads but in the end we’re always laughing.”

Jeff Rohrer told People, “There are all these different dynamics, and it’s working out really well so far.” Although others may not have chosen this family dynamic, Heather Rohrer explained, “We’re choosing to live this way now because we love our kids so much.”

“At the end of the day it’s just like any other family,” added Ross, who shares their family story @joshuaandjeffrey on Instagram.