Alan Ball (American football)

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Alan Ball
No. -- Free agent
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-03-29) March 29, 1985 (age 31)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Detroit (MI) St. Martin de Porres
College: Illinois
NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 7 / Pick: 237
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors (2006)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 4, 2015
Tackles: 232
Sacks: 0.5
Interceptions: 6
Forced fumbles: 3
Pass deflections: 36
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Alan Sheffield Ball (born March 29, 1985) is an American football cornerback who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft and has also played for the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Chicago Bears. He played college football at the University of Illinois.

Early Years[edit]

Ball attended Saint Martin de Porres High School where he helped his team win the 2001 state championship in football. Also an standout track & field athlete, Ball received All-State honors after winning back-to-back 110-meter hurdles state titles as a junior and senior.[1]

He was a four-year starter at cornerback for the University of Illinois. He had five starts as a freshman and 44 tackles. He doubled his starts (10) as a sophomore, finishing with 37 tackles and one pass defensed. As a junior he registered 7 starts and led the team with 55 tackles.

His best season came in his final year, when he received honorable mention All-Big Ten honors, after recording 62 tackles (3 for loss), 13 passes defensed, and one interception. He finished his college career with 199 tackles (8 for loss), 23 passes defensed, 2 interceptions and one forced fumble.

Professional Career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Ball was selected in the seventh round (237th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He was waived on September 2 and spent the first 14 games of the season on the practice squad, before being activated to the roster on December 11.[2] Ball made his NFL debut on December 22, against the Carolina Panthers.[2] In 2009, he was third on the team with 16 special teams tackles. Made an appearance in all 16 games (during the 2009 season) for first time in his career, along with first 3 starts of his career, collecting 18 tackles and 3 pass break-ups.[2] In 2010, with the changes that the NFL was experiencing in the passing game, head coach Wade Phillips thought he could develop into an effective free safety and switched him from his previous cornerback position. He replaced Ken Hamlin and started 16 games, registering 45 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and half a sack.[3] Ball started all 16 contests for first time in his career.[2] The next year he lost his starter job to Abram Elam and returned to a backup cornerback role, registering 32 tackles, 1 interception and 6 passes defensed. He wasn't re-signed at the end of the season.

Houston Texans[edit]

On June 2, 2012, he was reunited with Wade Phillips after signing with the Houston Texans.[4][5] Ball played in 11 games with one start at cornerback and was second on the team with 13 special teams tackles. He wasn't re-signed at the end of the season.

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit]

On March 15, 2013, Ball signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and was named the starter at right cornerback (15 starts), finishing with career-highs in passes defensed (14), tackles (47) and interceptions (2).[6][7] 14 passes defensed were the most by a Jaguars player since Rashean Mathis’ 21 in 2006.[2] The next year he started the first seven games, before sustaining a biceps injury against the Cleveland Browns and being placed on the injured reserve list on October 28. He registered 22 tackles, one interception and 3 passes defensed.[8]

Chicago Bears[edit]

On March 27, 2015, Ball signed with the Chicago Bears on a one-year deal.[9] Ball struggled with a foot injury in training camp, but still was able to begin the regular season as a starter, losing his job to Tracy Porter in the fourth game, who went on to start the rest of the year. Ball played primarily in dime packages, ending the year with 20 tackles and five pass breakups.[10]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

On August 4, 2016, Ball signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals.[11] He suffered a quadriceps injury a few days after signing. On August 30, he was released with an injury settlement.[12]


External links[edit]