Rashad Jennings claims 'Dancing with the Stars' win over David Ross

Jennings compares dance to the NFL (1:14)

Mirrorball trophy winner Rashad Jennings plans to take what he's learned on the dance floor to the football field and says that despite being a free agent, he has no doubt he'll be playing on an NFL team again in the future. (1:14)

NFL running back Rashad Jennings and partner Emma Slater won the "Dancing with the Stars" finale on Tuesday night, beating former Chicago Cubs catcher and current ESPN analyst David Ross and Lindsay Arnold.

Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei and pro dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy finished third in the wrap-up of the show's 24th season.

The 32-year-old Jennings, a free agent, spent the previous three seasons with the New York Giants.

The winner was chosen based on viewer votes and judges' points from last week and Monday, combined with judges' points from Tuesday night's 24-hour challenge.

Jennings later tweeted that he never would have imagined he'd appear on the show, let alone win the whole thing. Ross wrote that he "couldn't be happier" for Jennings and Slater.

Jennings follows in the footsteps of previous DWTS winners who played in the NFL: Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward and Donald Driver. Also in past seasons, Jerry Rice finished second, Calvin Johnson took third and Lawrence Taylor placed seventh.

At Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, not long after the Cubs' victory, players gathered around clubhouse TVs waiting for the DWTS winner to be announced.

Ross has taken some ribbing for participating on the program, and as the final commercials aired, the locker room mindset had changed little, if at all. Even Ross' close friend Jon Lester -- who had just pitched a complete game -- couldn't help himself.

"I'm surprised he's made it this far," Lester quipped. "I told him to take a fall in the first couple [of weeks] and pull a hammy."

But like all of Ross' former teammates, Lester was pulling for him. Slugger Kyle Schwarber even took a break from a postgame interview session to listen in for the winning couple.

After Ross survived the third-place announcement, these Cubs were sure he would be named the winner. But unlike in the final game of his MLB career -- Game 7 of the World Series in November -- Ross finished in second place.

Ross, who also played for six other MLB teams and was the first baseball player to appear on DWTS, was seen as a long shot to get to the finals. But he was a favorite with the fans, and he even won over the judges with his hard work and positive attitude.

On Monday, Ross said, "Just being in the finals, one, is way more than I ever expected, and the fact that I've got support from so many great people, and that they look up to me and watch this show and support me, just ... I don't even have the words, just a lot of thanks."

Information from ESPN's Jesse Rogers was used in this report.