Super Bowl Sunday has featured plenty of Pokes over the years
LARAMIE -- I think we can all agree that this Sunday's game would be much more intriguing around these parts if a certain quarterback from Buffalo was playing in Super Bowl LIV in Tampa.
Maybe next year, huh?
Though Josh Allen didn't make it to the big game, plenty of other former University of Wyoming players have. Twelve of those guys have even hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, including Jay Novacek, who won three Super Bowl titles in the 90's as a member of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty.
We'll get to him in a minute.
Last February, former UW linebacker Mark Nzeocha fell just short of adding his name to this list. His San Francisco 49ers blew a 10-point third-quarter lead and watched Kansas City score 21 unanswered in a 31-20 loss.
Right now, 16 former Cowboys litter rosters throughout the NFL. None of them are playing this Sunday, but that could change in the future.
The odds have never been greater.
Here are the former Wyoming players who have won it all:
This running back from Lingle picked up a championship ring in 1970 after his Baltimore Colts knocked off the Dallas Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Hill scored a one-yard touchdown in his first trip to the big game. That was in Super Bowl III where Hill finished with 29 rushing yards on nine attempts in a stunning 16-7 loss to Joe Namath and the underdog New York Jets. That game also took place in south Florida.
Speaking of that game above. This fullback-tight end hybrid helped lead those New York Jets to a 16-7 victory over his former team, the Baltimore Colts, in Super Bowl III. That was the final game of Smolinski's eight-year career.
This bruising back from New Jersey played in three consecutive Super Bowls, claiming titles in 1973 and '74, including capping the NFL’s only perfect season in 1972. In his second Super Bowl appearance, Kiick carried the ball 12 times for 38 yards and punched in a touchdown from a yard out in a 14-7 win over the Washington Redskins. Kiick scored again from the one-yard line in a 24-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings the following season. He rushed the ball just seven times for 10 yards in the victory. His first appearance on Super Sunday didn't go as planned. You can read about that below.
Jim Kiick’s back-up in Laramie earned his first ring in Super Bowl VI when his Dallas Cowboys hammered Dolphins, 24-3. Those were Kiick's Dolphins. Williams didn’t record any stats in the win. He also was a member of the Cowboys’ “Taxi Squad” in Super Bowl V. That was a 16-13 loss to Jerry Hill’s Colts. Williams was a member of the infamous “Black 14” and was kicked off the team at UW during his senior season.
McGee, who was also kicked off the Wyoming football team in the Black 14 incident, went on to play at Bishop College and was selected in the third round of the 1971 NFL Draft. “Mack the Sack” played in Super Bowls XVII and XVIII, winning in his initial appearance, 27-17, over the Miami Dolphins. McGee finished his NFL career with 106.5 sacks over his 14-year career.
Kyle left Laramie as the leading tackler in school history with 275. He helped lead Dallas to a 27-10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII. Kyle was the Cowboys’ starting right cornerback that night in New Orleans and picked off a Craig Morton pass and returned it 19 yards. The Broncos turned the ball over a record-setting eight times that night and amassed just 35 yards through the air. Kyle also played in Super Bowl XIII. The Cowboys lost that one to Pittsburgh, 35-31.
This former UW offensive lineman spent just one season in the NFL. He picked a good one, too. Ramunno played for the 1985 Chicago Bears, a team that will always be remembered for having one of the most feared defenses in the league. The Bears capped that season with a 46-10 demolishing off the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
No former Wyoming player has had as much success in the big game as Jay Novacek. The athletic tight end was a catalyst in three Dallas Super Bowl titles in the 1990’s. In his first Super Bowl appearance, XXVII, Novacek led the Cowboys with seven catches for 72 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown grab from Troy Aikman to open the scoring. Dallas did plenty more of that, knocking off the Buffalo Bills, 52-17. The following season, Novacek caught five passes for 26 yards in a 30-13 victory over the Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII. Novacek and Aikman connected early in Super Bowl XXX for a three-yard touchdown. Dallas outlasted Pittsburgh 27-17 to earn their third title in four seasons. Novacek snagged five passes for 50 yards in the win.
As a member of the Green Bay Packers, Derrick Martin hoisted the Lombardi trophy for the first time after a 31-25 win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV. The following season, this time a member of the New York Giants, Martin once again claimed the championship in Super Bowl XLVI with a 21-17 victory over Tom Brady and the Patriots. Martin was a special teams ace in both games.
This undrafted tight end was on a pair of Super Bowl teams in each of his first two NFL seasons. That tends to happen when you play for Bill Belichick's New England Patriots. Super Bowl LLI saw the Philadelphia Eagles win their first title, 41-33, over Hollister's Pats. The following season New England claimed its sixth title in a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Hollister was injured reserve and didn't play in that game.
This former Wyoming defensive tackle only played in eight NFL games in his career, but he did snag himself a ring. Orgin was part of the Washington Redskins' team that knocked off the Dolphins 27-17 in Super Bowl XVII in 1983.
This Denver native punted 34 times for his hometown Broncos during the 1986 season. That campaign ended with a trip to Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena where Denver fell to the New York Giants, 39-20. The following year, Weil became a member of the Washington Redskins. This time, he was on the winning side. The 'Skins beat those same Broncos 42-10 in San Diego. Weil didn't kick in either game, but he still got himself some hardware.
Here are the other former Wyoming Cowboys who played in the Super Bowl:
Mark Nzeocha (San Francisco-2020), Mitch Unrein (Denver-2013), John Burroughs (Atlanta-1998), Guy Frazier (Cincinnati-1982)
Super Bowl Champions From Wyoming