Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #4

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #4

Six players have worn jersey #4, including three punters, two kickers, and a quarterback.

Brett Visintainer, K, Fresno State, 2005

Statistics: None. Visintainer was on the Cowboys’ roster in 2005, but he never played.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Visintainer only lasted one season. He never caught on with another team.

Intangibles: Visintainer was expected to compete with Billy Cundiff for the kicking job in 2005. However, a poor showing in training camp did not allow him to do so. Dallas had so many kickers in 2005 that it is tough to recall all of them. Okay, I’ll give it a shot: Billy Cundiff, Brett Visintainer, Seth Marler (acquired from Jacksonville in August 2005 but did nothing), Jose Cortez, and Shaun Suisham.

Shaun Suisham, K, Bowling Green, 2005-06

Statistics: Suisham hit four of six field goals as a fill-in kicker for the Cowboys in 2005 and 2006.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Suisham was originally signed in 2005 to the practice squad. He appeared briefly before being cut so that Dallas could sign Billy Cundiff. When Cundiff flopped late in the season, the team brought Suisham back to kick in the finale. He also kicked in the season opener vs. Jacksonville in 2006 before being released for good.

Intangibles: Suisham kicked for the Washington Redskins. He did not get enough opportunities in Dallas to show what he could offer.

2012 Update: Suisham returned to the Cowboys late in the 2009 season when Dallas released Nick Folk. Suisham then became the kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mike Saxon, P, San Diego State, 1985-92

Statistics: In eight years with Dallas, Saxon had a career average of 41.5 yards per punt. His best season was 1990, when he averaged 43.2 per kick.

Accolades: None. He never made the Pro Bowl.

Longevity: Only Danny White punted for the Cowboys as many years as Saxon. He remained with the team through the dark years of 1986 through 1990 and was the team’s punter in the Super Bowl season of 1992.

Intangibles: Saxon was a solid punter, though he never did much to stand out.

Toby Gowin, P, North Texas, 1997-99, 2003

Statistics: In four total seasons with Dallas, Gowin averaged 41.7 per punt.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Gowin replaced John Jett in 1997, and the Cowboys did not miss a beat. However, the team would not pay him enough to resign him, and he jumped ship after the 1999 season to sign with New Orleans. He came back for one season in 2003, but it was nearly a disaster, and he was gone after one season.

Intangibles: Gowin averaged more than 43 yards per kick in 1998 and 1999, which led the Saints to sign him. He only managed a 39.0 per kick average in 2003, though. He was one of a number of casualties to the Cowboys’ philosophy that kickers and punters were too easily replaceable for the team to have to pay to keep them.

Micah Knorr, P, Utah State, 2000-02

Statistics: In three seasons with Dallas, Knorr averaged 41.2 per kick.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Knorr was the Cowboys’ kicker during the three 5-11 seasons of 2000 through 2002. His ineffectiveness led Dallas to release him seven games into the 2002 season.

Intangibles: Other than being a left-footed punter, he did not stand out.

Richard Bartel, QB, Tarleton St., 2007-present

Statistics: None. He has not played a down in the NFL.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: The Cowboys released Bartel along with Matt Moore at the end of the Cowboys’ training camp in 2007. He was brought back after Moore signed with the Panthers. Bartel was

Intangibles: We haven’t seen much of Bartel, who saw limited action during the preseason in 2007.


Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #4

  • Mike Saxon (76%, 90 Votes)
  • Toby Gowin (14%, 17 Votes)
  • Shaun Suisham (5%, 6 Votes)
  • Richard Bartel (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Micah Knorr (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Brett Visintainer (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 118

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

My Vote: Saxon

Mike SaxonThis group features a bunch of blah players, to be honest. Saxon gets my vote based on longevity. He never really stood out, but he also was never a liability. He only negative: his first punt in Super Bowl XXVII was blocked, which led to a Buffalo touchdown.

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