Alabama in the Pros

Trio of former UA football stars dominated Week 12 of NFL action

Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports

While the viewing public enjoyed a feast of food and National Football League action on last week, there were quite a few standouts from the University of Alabama that turned in quality performances in Week 12. 

Three players in particular – Amari Cooper, Eddie Jackson and Cyrus Jones – were recognized by the league for offensive, defensive and special teams player of the week. 

RELATED: Amari Cooper has Dallas Cowboys in driver’s seat to win NFC East

Since arriving to the Dallas Cowboys, Cooper has felt at home.  

After a 3-4 start, the former All-American, Fred Biletnikoff Award winner and first-round pick has guided the franchise on a three-game winning streak.

For the Washington Redskins, it had no answers for Cooper on Thanksgiving as he shredded its secondary for 180 yards receiving on eight catches – including two touchdown receptions for 40 and 90 yards in a 31-23 victory. 

His efforts not only have Dallas tied for the division lead at 6-5 in the NFC East, but it also earned him Offensive Player of the Week for the National Football Conference (NFC). 

Some teams continue to have nightmares after passing on Eddie Jackson multiple times during the 2017 NFL Draft; however, the Chicago Bears feel like geniuses. 

It selected the former Tide safety in the fourth round and he has become one of the elite, young talents in the NFL.

He is putting together an All-Pro season with four interceptions, two forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns. Jackson sealed the Bears’ 23-16 win over the Detroit Lions on last week, as he intercepted Matthew Stafford and returned the pick for a score. 

The 6-foot, 202-pound ball hawk has Chicago sitting atop the NFC North at 8-3 and was awarded Defensive Player of the Week via the NFL.  

Despite being released from the New England Patriots, Cyrus Jones was able to return to his hometown of Baltimore, Md., and was received with open arms.

Channeling his output of four punt return touchdowns from his senior year at Alabama in 2015, the former second-round pick of the 2016 draft averaged 19.8 yards per return for the Ravens in its 34-17 win over Oakland. 

Jones gave Baltimore a 10-7 lead in the second quarter, when he took a punt 70 yards for a score to the joy of screaming fans. He has the team with the sixth and final playoff spot for the American Football Conference (AFC) at 6-5 and received Special Teams Player of the Week.  

All three players were national champions for the Tide.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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