|No. 20, 22, 23, 24, 45|
March 29, 1985|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school:||Detroit (MI) St. Martin de Porres|
|NFL Draft:||2007 / Round: 7 / Pick: 237|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Alan Sheffield Ball (born March 29, 1985) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Chicago Bears. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Illinois. He was a contestant on the 35th season of Survivor (Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers), where he placed 15th.
Ball attended Saint Martin de Porres High School in Detroit, Michigan where he helped his team win the 2001 state championship in football. He finished with 15 interceptions, including six in his senior season postseason.
Ball accepted a football scholarship from the University of Illinois. He appeared in 7 games with 5 starts as a freshman, making 44 tackles, 4 passes defensed and one forced fumble.
He doubled his starts (10) as a sophomore, finishing with 37 tackles (one for loss) and one pass defensed. As a junior, he registered seven 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), one interception, and 13 passes defensed. He finished his college career with 199 tackles (8 for loss), 2 interceptions, 23 passes defensed, and one forced fumble.
Ball was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round (237th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. He was waived on September 2 and spent the first 14 matches of the season on the practice squad, before being activated to the roster on December 11. He made his NFL debut on December 22, against the Carolina Panthers.
In 2009, he was third on the team with 16 special teams tackles. He made an appearance in all 16 games (during the 2009 season) for first time in his career, along with first three starts of his career, collecting 18 tackles and three pass break-ups.
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, two interceptions, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and ½ sack. Ball started all 16 contests for first time in his career.
In 2011, he lost his starter job to Abram Elam and returned to a backup cornerback role, registering 32 tackles, one interception, and six passes defensed. He wasn't re-signed at the end of the season.
On June 2, 2012, he was signed by the Houston Texans, reuniting with former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips. Ball played in 11 games with one start at cornerback and was second on the team with 13 special teams tackles. He was not re-signed at the end of the season.
On March 15, 2013, he signed as a free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was named the starter at right cornerback (15 starts), finishing with career-highs in passes defensed (14), tackles (47) and interceptions (two). The 14 passes defensed were the most by a Jaguars player since Rashean Mathis' 21 in 2006.
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 three passes defensed.
On March 27, 2015, Ball signed with the Chicago Bears on a one-year deal. He 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.
On August 30, 2017, CBS announced that Ball would be included in the cast of season 35 of Survivor. He would initially be placed on Levu (the Heroes tribe). After losing the first immunity challenge, Levu went to Tribal Council, where Ball caused trouble with fellow players JP Hilsabeck and Ashley Nolan, whom he saw as a power couple. At the tribal switch on Day Nine, he remained on the same tribe as Nolan, and they were forced to work together, to try to vote out Joe Mena of the former Soko (Healers) tribe. However, Mena had an idol, which he used to cancel the votes against him, thus sending Ball home. He was the fourth person voted out of the game, placing 15th.