Dallas Cowboys: Friends Turn Foe, You Won’t Believe How Many!


Rumors broke out earlier this week that All-Pro wide recevier Dez Bryant refused to attend the wedding of former Dallas Cowboys teammate, running back DeMarco Murray. The story first appeared on Terez Owens gossip blog.

"“Our source tells us Dez refused to attend because he still upset about Murray signing with the Eagles.”"

Whether there’s any truth in the story, who knows? But it got me thinking about how many other former Cowboys will be suiting up against the team this year. And the amount will surprise you!

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New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

Seven ex-Cowboys remain in the NFC East. Dwayne Harris is arguably the biggest loss from the roster after Murray and will be suiting up for the Giants. With an eye watering $17.5 million contract will he get his wish to feature more in the offense? Or remain the specials team ace?

What’s important to highlight though is that the players who have switched to rival NFC East teams have arguably had their best days. Yes, DeMarco Murray has the ability to be a key player for the Eagles, but will he have another year of 370+ carries? All the evidence suggests no.

The Packers and Seahawks are the two sides not to have any former Cowboys players on their roster. While the others all do, they’re largely insignificant rotational players. But then there’s the Buccaneers….

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

My biggest fear heading into this off season wasn’t DeMarco Murray heading to Philadelphia. It wasn’t the protracted contract negotiations between Dez and the team. It was the expected departure of defensive coach Rod Marinelli.

Marinelli has a long history with Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith. They were both part of the Bucs staff in 1996, and Marinelli also worked under Smith at the Bears. The two are close friends and every indication pointed to Marinelli leaving.

Thankfully for the Cowboys he didn’t. But one look at the defense in Tampa and you’ll see a distinctly Marinelli-flavored side, with six former Cowboys.

Orie Lemon had two stints with the Cowboys. After going undrafted in 2011 he joined the team for a year, and returned again in 2013. In the two brief spells he suited up eight times.

Jason Williams was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 2009 draft. But after just ten games the Cowboys cut Williams with him struggling to learn the playbook and he failed to show any consistency on the rare occasions when he was featured.

The selection of Mo Claiborne in 2012 signaled the end of Mike Jenkins Cowboys career, and the latest decision to draft cornerback Byron Jones could see the team go full circle with Mo suffering the same fate.

As with Claiborne, the Cowboys traded up to select Jenkins in the 2008 draft. In the four years at Dallas he featured in 71 games, had 147 tackles and eight interceptions.

A Pro Bowl 2009 wasn’t enough though. An injury riddled 2011 saw and the subsequent drafting of Claiborne led to a very unhappy Jenkins. With his rookie contract up in 2012 and Jenkins bumped down the depth chart the Cowboys decided to release him.

Sterling Moore, Bruce Carter and Henry Melton have all traded their Cowboys jerseys for Buccaneers ones this year. The Melton of 2014 wasn’t perhaps as influential as the Cowboys would have wanted.

Sterling Moore featured in every game last year, but with Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr tied up in big contracts, Mo Claiborne finishing off his rookie contract and Byron Jones drafted in the first round of the draft it was Moore who was deemed an extra body. It was a vast overhaul of the Cowboys linebacking core that ended Bruce Carter’s Cowboys career.

Facing DeMarco Murray in an Eagles jersey will undoubtedly be a tempestuous affair. Being on the receiving end of a Dwayne Harris punt return will be a testing change. But maybe the biggest challenge facing the Cowboys this year, is remembering which players are on their team come Week 10!

Next: How Jason Garrett Rebuilt The Dallas Cowboys From Scratch