Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #9

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #9

Four players have worn jersey number 9, including two quarterbacks, a punter, and a kicker.

Mitch Hoopes, P, Arizona, 1975

Statistics: Hoopes averaged 39.4 yards per kick in 1975.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Hoopes lasted only one season, thanks to Danny White joining the club in 1976.

Intangibles: Hoopes might be best remembered as the Dallas punter during Super Bowl X. With Dallas leading 10-7 in the 4th quarter, Pittsburgh’s Reggie Harrison blocked Hoopes’ punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety, and the Steelers took the lead for good shortly thereafter. Hoopes had one more kick as a member of the Cowboys (also in the 4th quarter of that game).

Rodney Peete, QB, Southern California, 1994

Statistics: Peete threw for 470 yards with 4 TDs and only 1 interception during the 1994 season. He started one game and played in seven.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Peete resurrected his career with Dallas but lasted only one season.

Intangibles: Peete was a good backup in 1994. It was his injury, though, that caused Dallas to start third-stringer Jason Garrett against Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day in 1994 in one of the most famous games in franchise history.

Tony Romo, QB, Eastern Illinois, 2003-present

Statistics: In about one and a half seasons as a starter, Romo has completed 64.8 percent of his passes and has thrown for 7,114 yards with 55 touchdowns. His 96.5 passer rating (thus far) is the best of any starting quarterback in team history.

Accolades: Two-time Pro Bowler.

Longevity: Romo sat as a backup for three seasons before getting his shot to start in 2006. He signed a six-year contract extension in 2007.

Intangibles: Although Romo has been subject to some criticism due to the team’s struggles in the playoffs in 2006 and 2007, Romo has proven that he has the skills to be a franchise quarterback in the years to come.

Roger Ruzek, K, Weber State, 1987-89

Statistics: Ruzek had a very good season in 1987, making 22 of 25 field goals. However, in 23 games in 1988 and 1989, he made only 17 of 33 kicks, leading to his release during the 1989 season.

Accolades: Ruzek was named All-Pro in 1987.

Longevity: Ruzek lasted less than three full seasons before moving on to become the kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he remained until the 1993 season.

Intangibles: Ruzek missed a number of crucial kicks in 1988, a season during which Dallas lost several close games en route to a 3-13 finish. Then again, had he made some of those kicks, Dallas may not have finished with the worst record in the NFL, which allowed the Cowboys to pick Troy Aikman in the 1989 draft. So, um, thanks Roger.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #9

  • Tony Romo (98%, 189 Votes)
  • Rodney Peete (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Mitch Hoopes (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Roger Ruzek (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 193

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

My Vote: Romo

Tony RomoA poll for the second best player to wear #9 might be interesting, but this one isn’t very close. Romo is the quarterback that Dallas needed for so many years, even before Troy Aikman retired. He should have plenty of opportunities to succeed in the playoffs in the years to come, and at the very least he’ll be as successful as Danny White and Don Meredith. If we are fortunate, though, we’ll compare him with Aikman and Staubach when it’s all said and done.

  • Fred Goodwin

    My vote also goes to Romo.

    ’08 is the season in which Tony and the Cowboys have to show themselves a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Two straight years of first-round playoff losses will not endear Romo to Cowboy fans; anyone remember Danny White?

    Danny led Dallas to three consecutive NFC Championship games, only to lose all three. He never got the respect he deserves as a result, because despite his other contributions to the team, all people remember is that he couldn’t lead Dallas into a Super Bowl.

    Will Tony’s legacy be the same? Let’s hope not.

  • Fred Goodwin

    The other common factor between Romo & White is that both followed legends: Danny immediately replaced Roger Staubach after Roger retired in ’79.

    It took a few years, but Dallas really didn’t have a replacement for Troy after he retired in 2000. Failed experiments with the likes of Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Ryan Leaf, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, and finally Drew Bledsoe testify to how hard it is to replace a legend.

    I don’t mean to put anymore pressure on Romo than he already feels, but being the quarterback of America’s Team exposes the player to the glare of the media; dalliances with Hollywood starlets and pop tarts doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that Tony’s heart and mind are completely on the game.

    I hope he proves me wrong.

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  • Karen Ruzek

    I gotta vote for my ex-husband Roger 🙂

  • Darla Berndt

    I have to go with Roger Ruzek