Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #7
Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Six players have worn number 7, including five quarterbacks and a kicker.
Randall Cunningham, QB, UNLV, 2000
Statistics: In six total games in 2000, including three starts, Cunningham completed 59.2 percent of his passes with 6 TDs and 4 Ints. Dallas went 1-2 during his three starts.
Accolades: None with the Cowboys.
Longevity: Although quite a few fans wanted Cunningham to start over Troy Aikman, Cunningham showed no durability. He did not play in the final six weeks of the season despite the fact that Aikman was also out for most of those games.
Intangibles: Having Cunningham was somewhat strange. The Cowboys had essentially closed the door on Cunningham’s Philadelphia career when he appeared to be unprepared to fill in for an injured Rodney Peete for a 1995 divisional round game between the Cowboys and Eagles. He had a resurgence in 1998 with the Vikings, but by the time Dallas signed him, he had little left in the tank. He showed a few flashes, but not many.
Steve Beuerlein, QB, Notre Dame, 1991-92
Statistics: Beuerlein threw for 1061 yards and 5 TDs with 3 picks. Much more importantly, though, Beuerlein won all four of his starts in 1991. He also led Dallas to wins over the previously unbeaten Redskins during the regular season and the heavily favored Chicago Bears in the playoffs.
Longevity: Beuerlein tried to catch on as a starter for other teams but essentially became a journeyman. He only lasted two years with Dallas.
Intangibles: Since Roger Staubach retired in 1979, only three quarterbacks have won playoff games as starters: Danny White, Steve Beuerlein, and Troy Aikman. Unlike Aikman, who relied heavily on Jay Novacek, Beuerlein’s first option was Michael Irvin. He led the team to a roll at the end of the 1991 season that Cowboys had not seen since the mid-1980s.
Chad Hutchinson, QB, Stanford, 2002-03
Statistics: Hutchinson threw for 1555 yards with 7 TDs and 8 Ints. in nine starts with Dallas in 2002. Dallas went 2-7 during that stretch.
Longevity: Hutchinson became the quarterback the first time that Dallas gave up on Quincy Carter. He started nine games, but lost the starting job to Carter in 2003. He played in only one game during that season before joining the Bears in 2004.
Intangibles: Hutchinson was the first version of Former-College-Quarterback-Turned-Minor-League-Baseball-Player-Who-Later-Decided-To-Give-Pro-Football-a-Shot. You will discover in two lines that the Cowboys did learn their lesson with the Hutchinson experiment.
Drew Henson, QB, Michigan, 2004-05
Statistics: Henson threw for a total of 78 yards in two appearances in 2004.
Longevity: Henson led Dallas on one drive in one game, then started and played the first half of the second game. After that, he never saw action.
Intangibles: The Cowboys finally learned, apparently, that former college quarterbacks who play pro baseball generally have trouble returning to football to play quarterback in the pros. To make matters worse, Henson never showed the type of arm strength that Hutchinson had, and so there was very little reason to be optimistic about Henson’s chances in the NFL.
Hugh Millen, QB, Washington, 1993
Statistics: Millen never played a down with Dallas.
Longevity: Dallas signed Millen as a backup in 1993 after Millen had started several games with Atlanta and New England in the previous four seasons. However, he was released when Dallas signed Bernie Kosar during week 11 of the 1993 campaign.
Intangibles: Few probably remember that Millen was on the Cowboys’ roster because more will remember that Dallas had Kosar and Garrett.
Martin Gramatica, K, Kansas State, 2006
Statistics: In five games in 2006, Gramatica went 6 of 8 in field goal attempts.
Accolades: None with Dallas.
Longevity: Gramatica lasted about half of the 2006 season. He was released during training camp in 2007.
Intangibles: He will be best remembered as the team’s kicker when Tony Romo bobbled the snap against Seattle in the 2006 playoffs. He also made a huge field goal to beat the Giants at the Meadowlands during week 13 that year. And he also wasn’t Mike Vanderjagt, which was a good thing at that point.
Here are the results of the poll for this number:
- Steve Beuerlein (70%, 146 Votes)
- Randall Cunningham (20%, 43 Votes)
- Martin Gramatica (5%, 11 Votes)
- Chad Hutchinson (2%, 5 Votes)
- Drew Henson (1%, 3 Votes)
- Hugh Millen (1%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 210
If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.
My Vote: Beuerlein
If you don’t remember the 1991 season, you may not understand why some of us remember Beuerlein so fondly. Let’s try this: assume that Dallas limps along a little bit next season, starting out 6-5 and having trouble with consistency. Then Tony Romo is injured and will miss the rest of the regular season. In comes Brad Johnson, who had done very little up to that point. However, Johnson leads Dallas to five straight wins to get the team into the playoffs and then leads the team to a win in the playoffs, marking the first Dallas playoff win in 12 years. Would you hold Johnson in high regard?
Well, that was Beuerlein in 1991. Dallas had not won a playoff game in nine years when Beuerlein led the Cowboys to a 17-13 win over Chicago in the wildcard round of the playoffs. He didn’t make big mistakes, and he let his playmakers make big plays. You have to believe that Aikman learned more than a little bit about how to win by watching Beuerlein led Dallas that year.