Cowboys in the NFL: Week 14
LARAMIE – Currently, 11 former Wyoming Cowboys are on active NFL rosters.
Each week, we’ll look at how these former Pokes are producing in the pros.
RICO GAFFORD — Oakland Raiders
Welcome to Oakland, Rico Gafford! The first time No. 10 touched a ball in his NFL career, that video above details what happened. The former Wyoming defensive back took it 49 yards to the house. Look at that speed and separation. Imagine if Josh Allen could've thrown a few to him in Laramie? That was Gafford's lone catch of the game, which was a 42-21 home loss to the Tennessee Titans. Gafford has quite the story. He started his college career at Iowa Western Community College before joining Craig Bohl in Wyoming. He wasn't drafted, though he did turn heads at the Cowboys Pro Day in Laramie. He's been on the Titans and Raiders practice squad ever since. What a debut. Gafford Tweeted this after the game: "It’s all Gods Plan!!! It’s bigger than just me though, I do this for the fam, for the city, for all of those overlooked and slept on!!! Blessed"
BRIAN HILL — Atlanta Falcons
Look who found the end zone again. Wyoming's all-time leading rusher, Brian Hill, carried the ball nine times for 62 yards and a touchdown Sunday in the Falcons 40-20 home rout of the Panthers. That's Hill's second touchdown of his young career. He now has 220 yards on 65 carries this season to go along with 10 receptions for 69 yards and a score.
TASHAUN GIPSON – Houston Texans
Not much went right for the Houston Texans defense Sunday in a stunning 38-24 home loss to the lowly Denver Broncos. Drew Lock torched the home team for three touchdowns. Just when it looked like he was on his way to No. 4, former Wyoming defensive back, Tashaun Gipson, stepped in, snagging his third interception of the season from his safety position. Gipson now has 40 tackles during his first season in Houston. He added two more Sunday.
JOSH ALLEN — Buffalo Bills
It was a rough Sunday afternoon for Josh Allen and the Bills. The former Wyoming signal caller completed just 17-of-39 passes for 146 yards on a windy day in western New York. Allen also threw one touchdown in Buffalo's 24-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Allen was under duress all day long and was sacked six times. He rushed for just nine yards and fumbled twice. Allen now has 17 touchdown passes to go along with eight interceptions. He has thrown for 2,737 yards in his second NFL season and is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes.
JACOB HOLLISTER – Seattle Seahawks
Former Wyoming tight end, Jacob Hollister, snagged four passes for 34 yards, including a long of 19, in a 28-12 loss to the Rams Sunday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Hollister now has 29 catches this season for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
ANDREW WINGARD – Jacksonville Jaguars
Wyoming's former safety and Mountain West all-time tackles leader, Andrew Wingard, racked up four tackles while playing 46-of-63 defensive snaps for the Jaguars Sunday in a lopsided 45-10 home loss to the Chargers. This was Wingard's second NFL start during his rookie season. He now has 23 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. And, as you can see above, the "Wingard" is now a popular hairstyle on the east coast of Florida. Why wouldn't it be?
MIKE PURCELL — Denver Broncos
That Mike Purcell guy is pretty good, huh? To think, he bounced around from the 49ers to the Rams to the Chiefs to the Patriots and to the Alliance of American football before truly finding a home -- in his hometown. The former Wyoming defensive tackles registered four tackles Sunday in Houston, helping the Broncos to their most impressive victory of the season, a 38-24 win over the Texans. Purcell now has 33 tackles while helping Derek Wolfe and Co. clog up the middle of the Denver defense.
MARK NZEOCHA – San Francisco 49ers
Mark Nzeocha is probably saying some really important stuff in that video above. If you speak German, by all means, feel free to translate. The universal language of football says the former Wyoming linebacker racked up a solo tackle in San Francisco's 48-46 last-second win over the Saints Sunday in the Superdome. Nzeocha now has eight tackles and an interception for the Niners this season.
CHASE ROULLIER – Washington Redskins
All good things must come to an end sometime, and for the Washington Redskins, that was a two-game winning streak that was unceremoniously snapped Sunday in Green Bay. The Packers rolled to a 20-15 victory, sacking Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins four times in the process. Washington rushed for 121 yards on 28 carries behind former Wyoming center Chase Roullier and Co., but it wasn't enough. Of course, last week Roullier and the Redskins rushed for 248 yards in a win over the Panthers. He earned that ranking in the graphic above for that performance.
CARL GRANDERSON – New Orleans Saints
Well, Carl Granderson finally saw the field again for the Saints Sunday. Unfortunately, Wyoming's former defensive end got most of his action in on special teams during New Orleans' 48-46 home loss to the 49ers. Granderson has three tackles and a sack during his rookie season.
MARCUS EPPS – Philadelphia Eagles
Indeed, former Wyoming safety, Marcus Epps, did get waived by the Vikings this season and picked up by the Eagles. Epps is playing right now on Monday Night Football against the Giants. The rookie has no tackles so fat tonight as Philadelphia trails Eli Manning and the Giants, 17-3. We will update is Epps picks up any stats in this one.