Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cowboys Mailbag - 11/18 - All Active Former Cowboys Team

Every year during the Cowboys bye week, I attempt to tackle a few projects that I have deemed worthy of doing, but they would have to wait for a break in the schedule.  I have 3 planned and this one is certainly not going to be for everyone.

However, since I accept your emails and some of you are wired just like me, I have received the following emails and tweets over the last few months:

Bob, if you could put a team together of nothing but ex-Cowboys still in the league, would the team be any good and what would the line-up look like…

Bob, are we so bad at drafting that none of our picks go anywhere else and play, either?


Bob, I don't remember Andrew Sendejo being here.  Do you?

So, let's put this together.  Let's scour every roster in the NFL (I did this while watching the Panthers and Patriots play an instant classic on Monday Night) and see how many players we can find who spent at least a little time at Valley Ranch.

First, we must establish our ground rules:

1 - Players must be in the NFL presently (Nov 19, 2013) on either a practice squad, injured reserve, or active roster.

2 - Players must have been on the Cowboys roster at some point for some amount of time.  Either active roster, camp roster, practice squad, or draft pick.

And then, this note that I don't claim this to be a complete list.  I tried my best, but anytime you scan 2,000 names while watching football, it is possible that I missed a name or three.  Please feel free to correct me and I will update the list and try to keep this as an active data base for such a bar-room discussion.

With that in mind, here is the current database of ex-Cowboys still active in the NFL.  A regular in the league has played 500 or more snaps and most top reserves will have played about 200 snaps by now.  Anything less than 200 snaps is a player that has either been used very sparingly or has missed considerable time due to injury or unemployment.

And that means, as we scan every offensive ex-Cowboy still in the NFL, that besides Tight End, there is not one regular in the entire league on that side of the ball.  Amazing!

Martellus Bennett, Scott Chandler, and Anthony Fasano are starters or regulars for their respective teams and all were Jason Witten understudies at different points of their careers.  But, there can't be many teams that have a list this light.  Andre Gurode was a long-time NFL starter and Joe Berger has been a long-time NFL reserve, but that OL has nothing to speak of.

Matt Moore has at least shown he can play alright at the QB position when given a chance to look competent, and we all know the stories of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice.  Danny Amendola is maybe the best in the category of "guys we had here and didn't know what we had", which just about every team has at least one horror story about a no-name that they let go and found out they made a mistake.

But, the scenario where you try to put an offense together using ex-Cowboys seems like a pretty far-fetched idea and a team that would not do very well.  Defense gets a bit better below.


POS Player Team Left Dallas '13 Snaps Notes on Dallas End
QB Matt Moore Miami 2007 0 Cut at Camp '07
QB Nick Stephens Balt  PS 2013 -- Practice Squad Player
RB Felix Jones Pittsburgh 2012 125 UFA
RB Tashard Choice Buffalo 2011 107 Waived Oct 2011
RB Jamize Olawale Oakland 2012 117 Cut at Camp '12
FB Tony Fiammetta Chicago 2011 140 Non Tendered FA
TE Martellus Bennett Chicago 2011 590 UFA
TE John Phillips San Diego 2012 176 UFA
TE Scott Chandler Buffalo 2010 670 Waived Dec 2010
TE Anthony Fasano Kansas City 2008 378 Trade to Miami April '09
TE Dante Rosario Chicago 2013 93 UFA
TE Andrew Szczerba Atlanta IR 2013 0 UFA
WR Danny Amendola New England 2008 282 Cut at Camp '08
WR Kevin Ogletree Detroit 2012 89 UFA
WR Andre Holmes Oakland 2012 171 Signed off PS to NE PS
WR Teddy Williams Arizona 2012 4 Cut at Camp '12
WR Saalim Hakim New York Jets PS 2012 --- Cut at Camp '12
T Sam Young Jacksonville 2011 0 Cut at Camp '11
C Andre Gurode Oakland 2011 238 Cut at Camp '11
C/G Joe Berger Minnesota 2008 77 UFA
G David Arkin Miami 2013 0 Signed off PS to Miami
G Harland Gunn Atlanta 2012 0 Cut at Camp '12

OK, defensively, we see about 8 NFL regulars on other rosters, including that DL depth that the Parcells crew left the Cowboys with Canty (2005 Draft) and Bowen (2006 undrafted).  I realize the cap numbers were never going to work, but you do wonder how much history changes if the Cowboys were able to retain those 2 up front in the last several years.  Maybe the Cowboys depth on their DL would have really been a strength and not a figment of Jerry's imagination.  Instead, they ran Marcus Spears and Jay Ratliff into the ground, while Bowen and Canty were part of rotations and it appears were able to extend their careers.

You may also be interested in seeing that Kevin Burnett (2005) is still a regular in the NFL - also from that 2005 draft - and anyone who plays 9 seasons in the NFL, and many of them as a regular contributor would certainly have to be considered as a successful NFL career.  Erik Walden was left off the original draft here and shouldn't have been.  He was a 2008 pick who was cut out of camp, but has since bounced around a bit before finding a home in Green Bay and then in Indianapolis via free agency and is very much a regular in 2013.

There are also some names below who are playing that you may not recognize.  Andrew Sendejo was a  safety the Cowboys tried to develop after signing him in 2010 and taking him to camp in 2011, but they decided to go in a different direction.  Because of injuries in Minnesota, he has played quite a bit and has shown flashes of having something.  Also, Josh Thomas was a pick of the Cowboys in the 2011 draft from Cedar Hill and Buffalo, but he never made the team out of camp and has been a reserve in Carolina ever since.

Meanwhile, cornerback is where the ex-Cowboys are all over the place playing a ton.  Adam Jones and Terence Newman have extended their careers with Mike Zimmer, Mike Jenkins has played all year in Oakland (and actually tackles!) and even Alan Ball is still playing every down in Jacksonville after the Cowboys' attempt to make him a safety failed so badly in 2010.  Will Allen picked off Matt Stafford on Sunday to save the game in Pittsburgh, making some wonder if he might have helped against Matt Stafford in Dallas - had the Cowboys not cut him 2 weeks prior to the meeting.


POS Player Team Left Dallas '13 Snaps Notes on Dallas End
DE Chris Canty Baltimore 2008 377 UFA
DE Kenyon Coleman New Orleans 2012 0 UFA -  IR in '13
DE Clifton Geathers Philadelphia 2012 184 Waived Sept '12
DE Ashton Whiteside Cincinnati PS 2012 --- Cut in Camp '12
DE Ikponmwosa Igbinosun Buffalo PS 2013 --- Cut in Camp '13
DT  Stephen Bowen Washington 2010 422 UFA
DT  Jay Ratliff Chicago 2013 0 Waived Oct '13
DT Sean Lissemore San Diego 2013 110 Traded Sept '13
DT Landon Cohen Chicago 2013 213 Waived Sept '13
DT Jimmy Sandler-McQueen Detroit PS 2011 --- Waived Sept '11
LB Kevin Burnett Oakland 2008 626 UFA 
LB Dan Connor Carolina 2012 22 UFA
LB Erik Walden Indianapolis 2008 579 Cut at Camp '08
LB Victor Butler New Orleans 2012 0 UFA - IR in '13
LB Orie Lemon Arizona PS 2013 --- Cut at Camp '13
LB Adrian Hamilton Baltimore IR 2012 0 Cut at Camp '12
LB Jason Williams Carolina 2010 0 Cut at Camp '10
LB Brandon McGee Cleveland PS 2013 ---- Cut at Camp '13
LB Jerry Franklin Chicago 2012 0 Waived Nov '12
CB Adam Jones Cincinnati 2008 685 Waived Feb '09
CB Terence Newman Cincinnati 2011 715 Cap Cut March '12
CB Alan Ball Jacksonville 2011 591 UFA
CB Mike Jenkins Oakland 2012 639 UFA
CB Josh Thomas Carolina 2011 242 Cut at Camp '11
CB Bryan McCann Arizona 2011 0 Cut at Camp '11
CB Mario Butler Buffalo PS 2012 --- Waived Oct '12
CB Chris Greenwood Detroit PS 2013 --- Waived Oct '13
S Andrew Sendejo Minnesota 2010 400 Cut at Camp '11
S Will Allen Pittsburgh 2013 101 Waived Oct '13

Kickers and punters play everywhere, so this list is a bit misleading.  But, as you can see, there are several kickers with Dallas stamped on their NFL passports:


POS Player Team Left Dallas '13 Snaps Notes on Dallas End
K Matt Bryant Atlanta 2004  --- Cut at Camp '04
K Billy Cudiff Cleveland 2005  --- Waived Dec '05
K Shaun Suisham Pittsburgh 2009  --- UFA
K Nick Folk NY Jets 2009  --- Waived Dec '09
K Nick Novak San Diego 2005  --- Cut at Camp '05
K Kai Forbath Washington 2012  --- Cut April 2012
P Mat McBriar Pittsburgh 2011  --- Cap Cut June '12
P Brian Moorman Buffalo 2012  --- UFA

Like I said, I am sure I missed some.  Please send your corrections to sturm1310@me.com and I will update the list and try to keep this as an updated list.

Wise personnel people will often tell you that you can see how strong a roster is by how many players are picked up by other teams when you make cuts.  Do you have so many talented players that your  refuse can find a home in another NFL locale?

As you can see, it is pretty slim-pickings around here.  When the Cowboys cut players, they often start filling out job applications in the real world.  Not very many ex-Cowboys making major impacts around the rest of the NFL.

Note: Roster information courtesy of Ourlads.com and snap information courtesy of Profootballfocus.com

Note 2: Special thanks to Ch 11's Bill Jones for his amazing brain's assistance.

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