Boise State Football

These 10 players with Idaho ties are still in contention for a Super Bowl ring

Dallas Cowboys linebackers Leighton Vander Esch, left, and Jaylon Smith, right, celebrate a defensive play against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of their NFC wild-card game Jan. 5 in Arlington, Texas.
Dallas Cowboys linebackers Leighton Vander Esch, left, and Jaylon Smith, right, celebrate a defensive play against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of their NFC wild-card game Jan. 5 in Arlington, Texas. AP

When the NFL’s four divisional playoff games are contested this weekend, there will be a total of 10 players with Idaho ties representing five NFL teams.

Eight of those players are Boise State alums, one played for Blackfoot High and then Idaho State, and another won a state championship at Highland High in Pocatello.

Dallas rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, a Salmon River High graduate, is one of five former Boise State players on the Cowboys’ roster. In his NFL playoff debut, Vander Esch led Dallas with 10 tackles in a 24-22 wild-card win over Seattle.

From the moment he was drafted in April, Vander Esch was outspoken about his professional goals.

“There’s a lot to live up to, and I’m gonna do just that and more,” Vander Esch told the NFL Network after he was drafted. “Like I said, we’ve got Super Bowls to win, a lot of them.”

The fourth-seeded Cowboys take on the No. 2 L.A. Rams at 6:15 p.m. MT on Saturday (Fox).

PLAYERS WITH IDAHO TIES IN THE NFL PLAYOFFS

RB Jay Ajayi (Boise State), No. 26 Philadelphia Eagles (injured reserve)

DL Tyrone Crawford (Boise State), No. 98 Dallas Cowboys

CB Donte Deayon (Boise State), No. 38 Los Angeles Rams (practice squad)

TE Josh Hill (Blackfoot High, Idaho State), No. 89 New Orleans Saints

QB Taysom Hill (Highland High), No. 7 New Orleans Saints

DE DeMarcus Lawrence (Boise State), No. 90 Dallas Cowboys

DB Orlando Scandrick (Boise State), No. 22 Kansas City Chiefs

S Darian Thompson (Boise State), No. 20 Dallas Cowboys

LB Leighton Vander Esch (Salmon River High, Boise State), No. 55 Dallas Cowboys

WR Cedrick Wilson (Boise State), No. 16 Dallas Cowboys (injured reserve)

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Saturday

AFC: No. 6 Indianapolis (11-6) at No. 1 Kansas City (12-4), 2:35 p.m. (NBC)

NFC: No. 4 Dallas (11-6) at No. 2 L.A. Rams (13-3), 6:15 p.m. (Fox)

Sunday

AFC: No. 5 L.A. Chargers (13-4) at No. 2 New England (11-5), 11:05 a.m. (CBS)

NFC: No. 6 Philadelphia (10-7) at No. 1 New Orleans (13-3), 2:40 p.m. (Fox)

Rachel Roberts has been covering sports for the Idaho Statesman since 2005. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and is Boise born and raised.
  Comments