Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Only two players in team history have worn number 8, including perhaps the greatest quarterback in team history and a punter who was a replacement player during the 1987 players’ strike.
Buzz Sawyer, P, Baylor, 1987
Statistics: Sawyer averaged 39.9 yards per punt on 16 punts during three games in 1987.
Longevity: None. He replaced Mike Saxon during the 1987 strike.
Intangibles: None. He was a replacement player who gets to be compared with Troy Aikman (and who shares a name with former World Class Wrestling Association Texas Heavyweight Champion “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer)
Troy Aikman, QB, UCLA, 1989-2000
Statistics: 32,942 yards, 165 TDs, career completion percentage of 61.5, three Super Bowl titles.
Accolades: Six Pro Bowls, three-time All Pro, Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Longevity: Aikman had the longest tenure as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback in team history. Only Danny White played more overall seasons with the Cowboys, though during four of those seasons White was primarily the punter and backup quarterback.
Intangibles: Aikman was the perfect quarterback in a system that relied on his accuracy along with the playmaking ability of those around him. He does not quite have the statistics of some of his contemporaries (Favre and Young, especially), but that was mostly because it was not necessary for Aikman to throw for 300 yards a game for Dallas to be successful.
Here are the results of the poll for this number:
- Troy Aikman (93%, 154 Votes)
- Buzz Sawyer (7%, 12 Votes)
Total Voters: 166
If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.
My Vote: Aikman
Kind of hard to believe that Aikman retired seven years ago. We can save the Aikman vs. Staubach debate for some other time. Many want to put Favre on his own pedestal above all others during the 1990s, but I would not have traded Aikman for Favre in a million years.