Former Cougars in NFL to watch this Thanksgiving weekend
Death, taxes and the NFL on Thanksgiving.
Since 1920, the NFL has had a stronghold on Thanksgiving Day, making football on the fourth Thursday of November almost essential to the holiday’s celebration nationwide every year.
With all 32 NFL teams taking the field this Thanksgiving weekend, there is bound to be some Cougars prowling about across the league.
Here are some former Houston players to keep an eye on this Thanksgiving weekend:
Ed Oliver – Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver went No. 9 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Houston, and the 2017 Outland Trophy will be watched across the country on Thanksgiving night.
Oliver, who has three sacks, 24 tackles and six quarterback hits in 11 games played, will face off against one of the toughest units in the NFL when he lines up against the Dallas Cowboys and their offensive line at 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in Jerry’s world.
The 8-3 Bills, third behind the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC, head into the matchup as underdogs to the 6-5 Cowboys, but Buffalo is riding momentum with its two-game win streak.
Matthew Adams – Indianapolis Colts
The next Cougar up is Indianapolis linebacker Matthew Adams, who has started four of 11 games for the Colts in 2019.
Adams recorded 33 tackles for the Colts in 2018, including five for a loss. The 23-year-old appeared in all 16 games that year for Indianapolis and started in five.
Indianapolis, second place in the AFC South behind the Texans, take on their division rival Tennessee Titans at home Sunday at noon.
Tyus Bowser – Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Tyus Bowser is next on the list. The former Cougar, who played for Houston from 2013-16 as a linebacker and defensive end, has had a career season.
The Tyler native has seven quarterback hits, four sacks, both career highs, and a fumble recovery he returned 33 yards to the house for his first NFL touchdown.
He and the red-hot Ravens will stick around in California for another weekend after routing the Los Angeles Rams 45-6, playing the tied-for-first San Francisco 49ers midday Sunday.
D.J. Hayden – Jacksonville Jaguars
Down south, cornerback D.J. Hayden and the Jacksonville Jaguars will go up against the in-state rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at noon.
Hayden, 2013’s No. 12 pick to the Oakland Raiders, has six starts for the Jags this season, tallying a forced fumbled, a couple sacks and 32 tackles.
In his two seasons at Houston from 2011-12, the seven-year NFL veteran had six interceptions, including three pick-sixes.
Kyle Allen – Carolina Panthers
Last but not least, there is Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen.
The 23-year-old has a tough quarterback battle ahead of him against fellow rookie Dwayne Haskins and the Washington Redskins.
Allen assumed the starting position earlier this season when Cam Newton went down with a foot injury, and he has played well since.
Carolina is in the midst of a three-game skid after losses to Green Bay, Atlanta and New Orleans, but the Panthers can turn it around with a win on Sunday at home.