Longtime Cowboys tackle Flozell Adams’ return to JerryWorld with the Steelers will be the top local angle among Super Bowl stories.
Adams, who made five Pro Bowls in 12 seasons with the Cowboys before being cut last offseason, is one of several Steelers and Packers with Metroplex ties. In fact, it can be argued that he isn’t even the former Cowboys draft pick who made the biggest impact in his team getting to this point. A quick rundown of those players:
Steelers K Shaun Suisham: Suisham has had three stints with the Cowboys, the most recent coming after they cut Nick Folk in 2009. The Cowboys opted not to re-sign him last offseason, and he spent most of the season out of football. The Steelers signed him in November after cutting longtime kicker Jeff Reed. Suisham is 16-of-18 on field goals for Pittsburgh, including 2-of-3 in the playoffs.
Steelers LT Jonathan Scott: He was an All-American at Carter High in Dallas and played for Texas. Scott, a fifth-round pick by the Lions in 2006, has been a starter most of his first season in Pittsburgh because of injuries.
Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders: The Steelers selected Sanders in the third round in April, making him the highest draft pick out of SMU since before the NCAA-induced Death Penalty. He made significant contributions as a rookie, catching 28 passes for 376 yards and two touchdowns and averaging 25.1 yards per kickoff return.
Packers OLB Erik Walden: He was the Cowboys’ only draft pick in 2008 not to make the team. The sixth-round pick is now starting opposite Clay Matthews, although Walden’s status for the Super Bowl is in question after he injured his ankle in the NFC championship game. He played primarily special teams in stints with Kansas City and Miami and signed with the injury-plagued Packers in October after the Dolphins waived him. He’s earned his playoff checks. Walden was named the NFC defensive player of the week after the Packers’ playoff-clinching win over Chicago in the season finale, when he had 12 tackles and the first three sacks of his career. He also had a sack and forced fumble in the Wild Card win over the Eagles.
Packers QB Graham Harrell: The Ennis and Texas Tech product holds a long list of Texas high school and NCAA passing records, but he had to get into the NFL the hard way. He didn’t even get an invitation to an NFL training camp in 2009, which he spent in Canada. He spent most of this season on the Packers’ practice squad, getting promoted to the active roster when Aaron Rodgers was injured last month.
Packers S Charlie Peprah: The Plano East product moved into the starting lineup when rookie Morgan Burnett suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 4. Peprah, 27, played the first three seasons of his career for the Packers before getting cut last year after a knee injury and signing with Atlanta. He returned to Green Bay for the veteran’s minimum salary and produced 63 tackles and two interceptions this season.
Packers RB Dimitri Nance: Nance rushed for more than 3,000 yards during Euless Trinity’s first state championship season. He has yet to crack triple digits in the NFL. He rushed for 95 yards on 36 carries this season for the Packers, who signed Nance off of Atlanta’s practice squad.