Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #2

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #2

Only three players in team history have worn jersey #2: former kicker Lin Elliott, former backup quarterback Anthony Wright, and former kicker Jose Cortez. Not a great contest, but here we go anyway.

2012 Update: This list now includes punter Sam Paulescu, who punted for the Cowboys in 2008.

1. Lin Elliott, K, Texas Tech, 1992-1993

Statistics: Elliott was the kicker on the Cowboys’ 1992 Super Bowl team. He hit 24 of 35 field goals that year, and then made two of four in the first two games of 1993.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Jimmy Johnson infamously cut Elliott after the second game of the 1993 season. Elliott told Johnson that the kicker had lost his confidence, and the coach immediately cut him. Elliott returned to kick for Kansas City in 1994 and 1995.

Intangibles: Elliott did not hit any notable game-winners for Dallas in 1992, and he basically lost the game for the Cowboys against the Bills in week 2 of the 1993 season. He certainly had a kicker’s name, though: Lindley Franklin Elliott Jr.

2. Anthony Wright, QB, South Carolina, 2000-02

Statistics: In five starts over two seasons with the Cowboys, Wright completed 70 of 151 passes for 766 yards, 5 TD, and 8 Int.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Wright was inexperienced when he played for Dallas but was not a bad backup. He led Dallas to one victory: a 9-7 win over Washington in 2001. He is better known for his play at Baltimore in 2003 and 2005, and he is still in the league.

Intangibles: Wright showed a little bit of promise during some bad times for the Cowboys. However, he was not with the team long enough to make a significant impact.

3. Jose Cortez, K, Oregon State, 2005

Statistics: Cortez made 12 of 16 field goals for Dallas in 2005. He was one of three Dallas kickers that season, along with Billy Cundiff and Shaun Suisham.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dallas signed Cortez after Cundiff was injured in training camp in 2005.

Intangibles: Cortez was better known as a kickoff specialist and was not expected to make the team that season. He made the game-winning kick against the Giants in overtime that season (and because I was actually at that game, I can’t believe I forgot about him!).


Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #2

  • Lin Elliott (66%, 65 Votes)
  • Anthony Wright (29%, 28 Votes)
  • Jose Cortez (5%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 98

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If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.

My Vote: Elliott

Lin Elliott The choice really comes down to a somewhat obscure backup on two 5-11 football teams vs. the kicker for a Super Bowl champion. I thought that Elliott was an improvement over Ken Willis (the Dallas kicker in 1990 and 1991), and the only noteworthy kick that Elliott failed to make that season was an extra point against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game (following the Kelvin Martin touchdown that followed Alvin Harper’s epic 70-yard catch-and-run).

I should note for the sake of fairness that Elliott is unofficially a member of the Chiefs Hall of Shame.

Update (5/2012):

Punter Sam Paulescu wore #2 when he filled in for an injured Mat McBriar in 2008.

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  • I voted for Elliot, not sure how you could vote for Anthony Wright. He simply did not do anything memorable as a Cowboy. I was at the 9-7 game vs Washington in 2001, was that Troy’s final game? I seem to remember Aikman getting knocked out of the game (Lavar Arrington hit near the sidelines).

  • I would suspect that some will vote for Wright because he is still playing and thus will be recognized by more. As a Cowboy, though, he didn’t do much.

    Troy’s last game was in 2000. Dallas won that game 32-13. Wright played in that game and then started the final two games of the season vs. the Giants and Tennessee. Wright did replace Aikman vs. Washington, but Dallas only threw the ball a handful of times, while Emmitt rushed for more than 150 yards.

    The 9-7 win in 2001 was the Cowboys’ first win that year. Wright threw for 177 yards.

  • Fred Goodwin

    The 2007 MG says #2 was also worn by K Jose Cortez during the 2005 season — I don’t remember him.

    I remember Suisham & Cundiff, but not Cortez. I don’t think adding him will change your poll results at all.

  • Thanks, Fred. I was going by the list on the Dallas Cowboys site, and it does not include Cortez at all. I should have remembered him.

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