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Tar Heels in the NFL Had a Good Day Yesterday

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Former Tar Heels playing in the NFL had their share of key plays in the final week of the regular season.

Linebacker Bruce Carter, now with the Dallas, picked off two passes and had 11 tackles to help the Cowboys to a 44-17 win over Washington to finish the season 12-4. Carter finishes the regular season tied for 3rd in the NFL with five interceptions one of which he returned for a touchdown. Carter also had 68 tackles, one sack and 13 pass deflections.

Gio Bernard capped off his second season with a touchdown reception(video here) that required him to hurdle a defender on the way to the end zone. Bernard's sophomore season in the league was slightly less productive thanks to injury and the emergence of rookie Jeremy Hill who proved to be a better rusher. Bernard ended the season with 680 yards rushing and five TDs to go with 349 yards receiving and a pair of scores.

The big highlight of the day for former Tar Heels came from Carolina Panthers safety Tre Boston. If you recall, Boston was often the subject of much angst among UNC fans during his career in Chapel Hill. While he had his share of interceptions there were times when his play in the secondary was called into question. Despite this, Boston was picked in the fourth round by the Carolina Panthers and started seeing playing time in the back half of the season.

On Sunday, Boston made the biggest play of his young NFL career picking off Atlanta's Matt Ryan and returning in 84 yards for a touchdown(video here.) It was Carolina's second defensive score of the game and sealed a 34-3 win over the Falcons to win the NFC South and clinched a playoff spot.

These three players are part of a group of 19 former Tar Heels which will see action in the NFL Playoffs starting this weekend(h/t @awaytoworthy)