Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The playoffs start this weekend, and while the Cowboys didn't make the tournament this season, a couple of former Cowboys are playing for playoff teams this year. In fact, 11 of the 12 playoff teams have at least one former Cowboy on their official roster.
While watching the early games on the RedZone Channel on Sunday, I saw Clifton Geathers record his first sack in the NFL - only he did it wearing a Colts uniform. Geathers originally joined the Cowboys late in 2010 and was with team off and on before finally being waived during roster cuts in August 2012.
On a whim, I looked up the rosters of the 12 playoff teams and scanned those rosters for familiar names. What I found were 19 players on playoff rosters that had been with the Cowboys at one time in the past.
Here's an overview of which former Cowboys are now in the playoffs with their new teams:
|Denver||LB Keith Brooking, FB Chris Gronkowski, CB Mario Butler||Atlanta||OG Harland Gunn, TE Andrew Szczerba|
|New England||FB Tony Fiammetta||San Francisco||OG Leonard Davis|
|Houston||LB Bradie James, CB Alan Ball||Green Bay||LOLB Erik Walden|
|Baltimore||LB Adrian Hamilton, RB Lonyae Miller||Washington||DE Stephen Bowen, K Kai Forbath|
|Indianapolis||DE Clifton Geathers, CB Teddy Williams||Seattle||- -|
|Cincinnati||CB Terence Newman, CB Adam Jones||Minnesota||S Andrew Sendejo|
|Players denoted in bold are on the 53-man roster|
Note that this is just a result of a cursory glance at the team rosters, there may be more former Cowboys on the playoff rosters than are listed in the table above. Obviously not all of these players are on the 53-man roster, even fewer are regular starters for their team. Tony Fiammetta for example is on New England's Exempt/Left Squad list after he left the Patriots to take care of some family issues. He's eligible to return in 2013 and until then, the Patriots hold his rights - which means he's technically still part of that organization and therefore ended up in the table above.
I was asked how those former players compare with the players on the current Cowboys roster. Here's how:
The table below lists the former Cowboys players on the 53-man playoff rosters and shows their snapcount and PFF player grade for 2012. The table also shows the current Cowboys player with the closest snapcount at the same position.
|Former Players||Current Players|
|Terence Newman||878||+8.6||Brandon Carr
|Stephen Bowen||808||-3.7||Jason Hatcher||784||+25.7|
|Erik Walden||783||-25.5||Anthony Spencer||872||+23.5|
|Bradie James||655||-2.2||Bruce Carter||625||+3.5|
|Pacman Jones||608||+11.1||Morris Claiborne
|Keith Brooking||468||-7.8||Dan Connor||350||-3.6|
|Leonard Davis||131||-4.8||Derrick Dockery||180||-5.0|
|Alan Ball||100||-0.8||Sterling Moore||102||-1.6|
|Chris Gronkowski||39||-0.3||Lawrence Vickers||305||-0.7|
|Adrian Hamilton||10||-0.4||Kyle Wilber||16||-2.5|
|Andrew Sendejo||3||0.0||Vince Agnew||12||-1.4|
|Kai Forbath||- -||+5.8||Dan Bailey||- -||+20.8|
|Harland Gunn||0||- -||Ronald Leary||0||- -|
As a group, the current Cowboys players come away with the better overall grades. But all the PFF grades in the world won't change the fact that the group on the left is in the playoffs, while the group on the right isn't.