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Six former Cowboys players are playing in the Super Bowl; is there anyone you’d want back?

The Cowboys aren’t playing in the Super Bowl, but some former star-wearers are.

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are not in the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean fans won’t be able to root for some guys who used to be on the team. Both the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have players who will be performing on the year’s biggest stage that at one time or another have played for the Cowboys. In particular, the Chiefs have a group of former Cowboys players, including three defensive starters.

While it’s great for those guys to get a shot at a Super Bowl ring, does it make you have any regret over the Cowboys decision to let these guys get away? Let’s take look and see if hindsight reveals any front office mistakes.

Anthony Hitchens

Hitchens played the first four years of his NFL career with the Cowboys before signing a five-year, $45 M deal with the Chiefs in 2018. He was a reliable piece to the Cowboys linebacker group, including a rookie season that saw him start 11 games after Sean Lee was lost for the year with a knee injury. During his first three seasons, he never missed a game. Hitch is a smart player who can play all three of the linebacker positions.

Hitchens wasted no time finding a new home in Kansas City. He recorded 135 tackles in his first year with the Chiefs, and has established himself as a key fixture to their defense.

Did the Cowboys make a mistake letting him go?

No. His price was too steep, and the front office did an outstanding job replenishing the linebacker talent when they selected Leighton Vander Esch in the first round in 2018.

Damien Wilson

Speaking of key fixtures at linebacker, Kansas City grabbed another former Cowboys linebacker when they signed Wilson to a two-year, $5.75 M deal last offseason. During his rookie deal with the Cowboys, he played in all 64 games, although most of them were coming off the bench.

With the Chiefs, Wilson has started every game this season as Kansas City has made good use of another former fourth-round linebacker selection by the Cowboys.

Did the Cowboys make a mistake letting him go?

No. While his cost is nowhere as expensive as Hitchens, that type of investment is still hard to justify when Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, and Sean Lee are taking up most of the snaps. And with Joe Thomas also available to them, the right play was to let him go.

Charvarius Ward

If there is a player on this list that brings about some regret, it has to be Ward. He was signed as an undrafted free agent last year with the Cowboys, but he would never make it onto the official 53-man roster. Due to injury issues along the offensive line, the Cowboys traded Ward to the Chiefs in exchange for Parker Ehinger. While Ehinger never played a down with the Cowboys, Ward has turned out to be a gem of a find for the Chiefs. He started all 16 games at cornerback this year, and he has played very well.

It’s hard to be too critical of the front office when you consider the depth they already had at cornerback. Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis held down the fort as CB#5 (C.J. Goodwin) only played three defensive snaps last season.

Did the Cowboys make a mistake letting him go?

Absolutely! Ward has turned into a quality player who would come in handy, especially with Jones and Brown entering free agency. You can never have too much corner depth.

Matt Moore

An undrafted free agent from Oregon State, Moore looked like a nice signing to spice up the Cowboys depth chart in 2007. Moore had a good preseason where finished with a quarterback rating over 100, but the Cowboys already had Tony Romo and Brad Johnson so they cut him in hopes of sneaking him onto the practice squad. The Carolina Panthers had other ideas and claimed him off waivers.

Moore has spent 11 years in the NFL as a reliable backup. He has a career .500 winning percentage, making a total of 32 starts. He was thrown into action for three games this year when Patrick Mahomes got hurt in the middle of the season. He finished the season with 659 yards passing with four touchdowns and no interceptions (100.9 QB rating), helping the Chiefs win two of the three games he played.

Did the Cowboys make a mistake letting him go?

Yes. His services certainly would’ve come in handy in 2008 when Romo got hurt as Johnson was ineffective and the Cowboys barely missed the playoffs. The inept play of the Cowboys backup QBs over the years have come back to bite them multiple times.

Morris Claiborne

Jerry Jones rolled the dice in 2012 when they traded up to grab the top cornerback in the draft. The former LSU Tiger played five years in Dallas where he battled several injuries and had trouble staying on the field. He left in 2017 to play for the New York Jets, but then signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Chiefs this season.

Claiborne has added some depth to the Chiefs and he’s played in eight games for them this season; however, he’s been a healthy scratch in both playoff games so far.

Did the Cowboys make a mistake letting him go?

No. A change in scenery has done nothing to ignite his career. He’s a backup and nothing more than that.

Mark Nzeocha

There was a time when Mark “Gotcha” Nzeocha was a pet cat of many Cowboys fans, including our own fellow German, OCC.

A seventh-round pick in 2015, Nzeocha exhibited great athleticism, but was a development player. Unfortunately, a run of injuries made it hard for him to get going in Dallas. He only played in seven games across three seasons with the Cowboys.

When he joined the 49ers in 2017, he played in 10 games which eclipsed what he had done in Dallas over his three previous years combined. He’s now played in every game over the last two seasons and was the 49ers leader in special teams snaps with 336.

Did the Cowboys make a mistake letting him go?

No. It’s great to see him experience good health, and to be on a squad with some great defensive players speaks to how well he’s come along. But at this point in time, he hasn’t demonstrated anything more than special teams fodder.

Don’t forget about...

Former Cowboys defensive end Damontre Moore played two games with the Chiefs this season before the team placed him on injury reserve with a broken forearm. He played three games for the Cowboys back in 2017, but was released to make room for kicker Mike Nugent after Dan Bailey suffered a groin injury.

Defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Joey Ivie both logged time for the Chiefs this season. McClain played two games before Kansas City released him. He played three seasons with Dallas, including a strong 2016 season that landed him a four-year, $21 M deal with the Washington Redskins.

Ivie was drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round in 2017; however, he was released during final roster cuts. Ivie’s bounced around on a few practice squads before finally seeing eight games of action this year, including the first five with the Chiefs earlier in the season.

Are there any guys on this list you wished the Cowboys hung on to?

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