Three former Cougs to play in Super Bowl LVII

Jaylen Watson, Gardner Minshew and Andre Dillard make it to the big game



Quarterback Gardner Minshew II runs onto the field as part of senior night before the Apple Cup on Nov. 23 at Martin Stadium. Minshew will play his last game as a Cougar in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28 in San Antonio, Texas.

GABE KAIJA, Evergreen reporter

Social media: Superbowl LVII will feature former Cougar football players Jaylen Watson, Gardner Minshew and Andre Dillard.

After traversing the long and winding road that is the NFL season, the light at the end of the tunnel is here: Superbowl LVII. While some organizations started hot and fizzled out, others have managed to keep it together all the way to the big game. 

With the NFL’s biggest event swiftly approaching, it is time to consider how these two teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, got to where they are. Even more specifically, let’s take a look at some former WSU Cougar football players who have aided their teams to victory all season long. 

Those players are Andre Dillard and Gardner Minshew of the Eagles and Jaylen Watson of the Chiefs.

On the NFC side, WSU has provided the Eagles with two key offensive backups or role players.

Down in the trenches, offensive tackle Dillard has been moving bodies in Philly since he was drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. While he has only had the opportunity to play a handful of snaps, he has a bright future after developing behind a top-tier offensive line.

Somebody Wazzu fans are extremely familiar with is quarterback Minshew, who is arguably a living legend throughout the Palouse. Minshew transferred to WSU in 2018 as a graduate senior and immediately found his place on the team as a starter, even topping the single-season passing record with 4,779 yards through the air. 

Since entering the league, Minshew has continued to garner success, though at a much smaller scale. He had a decent rookie year in Jacksonville but was quickly replaced with the generational talent that is Trevor Lawrence.

After being traded to the Eagles as a backup, he finally got a chance to start in week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys, in which he put up a valiant effort until the final whistle blew, throwing for 355 yards and two touchdowns. It should be noted that the Cowboys finished the 2022–23 season as one of the best defensive units in the league, which makes this performance much more impressive.

Minshew started the following week against the Saints, but the game was a bit more lackluster for the quarterback and the team as a whole, losing 20–10.

The AFC side is a bit more interesting in a way, only because Chiefs cornerback Watson has slowly worked his way up the ranks within Kansas City’s secondary. This being his rookie campaign, Watson has racked up three interceptions, two of which were in the postseason and the other a game-winning 99-yard pick-six. 

Whether the bets are for the Eagles or the Chiefs, one thing can be certain here in Pullman: the light at the end of the aforementioned tunnel flashes crimson and gray. 

With Cougs on both sides of the contest, it will be a win-win no matter what happens at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at State Farm Stadium. Cougars can tune in on FOX.