Cowboys in the NFL: Wildcard Edition
LARAMIE -- Four former Wyoming Cowboys suited up in the first round of the NFL playoffs this past weekend.
Tashaun Gipson, the Texans' safety, was placed on injured reserve early in the week with a lower-back injury, and Minnesota's Eddie Yarbrough was inactive for the Vikings road win Sunday over the Saints.
In next week's divisional round, former Cowboy, Mark Nzeocha, will lineup at linebacker -- and maybe defensive end -- for the San Francisco 49ers.
Here are the Pokes that did play this weekend:
JOSH ALLEN — Buffalo Bills
In his first career playoff start, former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen completed 24-of-46 passes for 264 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown, but he caught one to give the Bills a commanding 16-0 lead in the third quarter. It didn't last. Buffalo fell to the Texans, 22-19, in overtime in the opening round of the playoffs Saturday night in Houston. Allen rushed the ball nine times for 92 yards -- 42 in the video above -- as the Bills were eliminated from the postseason in the first round for the second time in three seasons. Allen finished the season with 3,089 passing yards and 20 touchdown passes to go along with nine interceptions. The second-year signal caller also rushed for 602 yards.
CARL GRANDERSON – New Orleans Saints
Wyoming's former defensive end, Carl Granderson, played in the wildcard game against the Vikings but failed to record any stats in the Saints 26-20 home loss to Minnesota. Granderson played in parts of five games for New Orleans during his rookie campaign. He registered 11 tackles, one tackle for loss and a memorable first sack in his first NFL action against Tampa Bay. Granderson celebrated with the "worm" dance, which quickly made the rounds on social media.
JACOB HOLLISTER – Seattle Seahawks
Jacob Hollister has become a favorite target for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Sunday, however, the former Wyoming tight end took a backseat to wide out DK Metcalf. No problem. Hollister will get another shot next Sunday when Seattle travels to Lambeau Field to tangle with the Packers in the divisional round. Hollister caught just two passes for 16 yards in the Seahawks 17-9 road win Sunday over the Eagles. He now has 41 catches for 349 yards and three touchdowns in his first significant NFL action.
MARCUS EPPS – Philadelphia Eagles
This former Wyoming safety lined up across from Hollister Sunday night in the 17-9 loss to the Seahawks in Philly. Marcus Epps, a rookie and former walk-on in Laramie, made three tackles in the Eagles final game of the season. Over the past two weeks, Epps has racked up seven tackles. Epps had a wild first NFL season. After being drafted in the sixth round by the Vikings last spring, the team let him go midway through the season. He landed in Philadelphia and found himself playing special teams and lining up in the Eagles defensive backfield. Epps finished his first season with nine tackles.