Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Nine players have worn number 11 for the Cowboys, including eight quarterbacks and a kicker/punter.
Bob Belden, QB, Notre Dame, 1969-70
Note: Belden is misspelled as “Beldon” on the Dallas Cowboys’ website and some other sources.
Statistics: Belden did not play a down in two seasons with Dallas.
Longevity: Belden was the backup to Craig Morton and Roger Staubach in 1969 and 1970. He never played for another team.
Intangibles: Belden apparently had some success as a college quarterback at Notre Dame, but he is little more than a footnote in Cowboys’ history.
Drew Bledsoe, QB, Washington State, 2005
Statistics: Bledsoe passed for 4803 yards with a 58.4 percent completion percentage and 30 touchdowns. He went 12-10 as a starter in 22 games.
Accolades: None with Dallas.
Longevity: Bledsoe was part of the How-Do-We-Replace-Troy-Aikman? problem in the 2000s. Once Tony Romo took over as the starting quarterback, Bledsoe never again played a down.
Intangibles: Bledsoe had pretty good stats and was more successful than anyone else after Aikman (notwithstanding the Cowboys’ 10-6 record with Quincy Carter in 2003). However, his complete lack of mobility and his habit of holding onto the ball too long was frustrating to watch. Dallas fans turned on him heading into the 2006 season.
Sonny Gibbs, QB, TCU, 1963
Statistics: Gibbs never played during a regular season game with Dallas.
Longevity: Gibbs only lasted one season with the Cowboys as a third-stringer.
Intangibles: He was best known for his height of 6’7″. Otherwise, he did nothing with the Cowboys.
Don Heinrich, QB, Washington, 1960
Statistics: Heinrich threw for 371 yards and 3 TDs in limited action during the Cowboys’ inaugural season in 1960.
Longevity: Heinrich was a long-time backup with the Giants, but he lasted only one season with Dallas. He played in 1962 with the Oakland Raiders.
Intangibles: Heinrich expected to start for the Cowboys in 1960, but the team signed Eddie LeBaron and played Don Meredith more than expected.
Buddy Humphrey, QB, Baylor, 1961
Statistics: Humphrey completed one pass for 16 yards in 1961.
Longevity: Humphrey lasted only one season with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Humphrey was one of several backup quarterbacks in the 1960s who saw little action. He started a few games with the Cardinals and Oilers later in his career.
Mike Quinn, QB, Stephen F. Austin, 1998-99
Statistics: Quinn completed one pass for 10 yards in 1998.
Longevity: Quinn was a third-stringer in 1998 and 1999 but saw very little action.
Intangibles: Quinn played for the Steelers in 1997 and became one of Chan Gailey’s favorites. Gailey brought Quinn to Dallas, but we saw little from him.
Danny Villanueva, P/K, New Mexico State, 1965-67
Statistics: In three seasons with Dallas, Vallanueva made 53.2% of his field goal attempts and also had a 40.4 yard punting average.
Longevity: Villanueva lasted three seasons with Dallas, serving as punter and kicker during team’s first appearances in the NFL Championship Game.
Intangibles: Villanueva stands out slightly because he served as both kicker and punter. However, he was not especially talented in either area, at least as far as statistics are concerned. Mike Clark and Ron Widby replaced him at those positions in 1968.
Danny White, QB/P, Arizona State, 1976-1988
Statistics: In 13 seasons, including nine during which he started at least some of the games, White threw for 21959 yards with 155 TDs. His career passer rating of 81.7 is one tenth of a point better than Troy Aikman’s rating of 81.6. Roger Staubach, by comparison, had an 83.4 rating.
Accolades: White was a three-time All-Pro (once as a punter) and made the Pro Bowl once.
Longevity: White lasted 13 total seasons, including four as the team’s punter and backup QB and nine when he was usually the starting quarterback.
Intangibles: White was a very good punter and a great quarterback. As explained below, he should be considered the third greatest QB in team history, ahead of Don Meredith and Tony Romo.
Wade Wilson, QB, East Texas State, 1995-1997
Statistics: In limited action, Wilson threw for 585 yards during three seasons with Dallas.
Accolades: None with Dallas.
Longevity: Wilson was the team’s primary backup for three seasons, relegating Jason Garrett to third-string status. He played for Dallas very late in his long career.
Intangibles: Wilson is better remembered as a player with the Vikings during the 1980s. He was something of a journeyman during the 1990s, playing with New Orleans, Atlanta, and Oakland, as well as the Cowboys. He is probably better remembered by some fans for being suspended as a coach in 2007 for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Here are the results of the poll for this number:
- Danny White (96%, 257 Votes)
- Drew Bledsoe (3%, 7 Votes)
- Wade Wilson (1%, 2 Votes)
- Bob Belden (0%, 1 Votes)
- Sonny Gibbs (0%, 1 Votes)
- Buddy Humphrey (0%, 1 Votes)
- Don Heinrich (0%, 0 Votes)
- Mike Quinn (0%, 0 Votes)
- Danny Villanueva (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 269
If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.
My Vote: White
White should be remembered more fondly than he has been. He stepped into a most difficult situation, taking over for Roger Staubach in 1980. The team barely missed a beat by making three consecutive NFC championship games. However, the team’s failure to make and to win a Super Bowl hurt White’s reputation. His career had a number of comparisons with Steve Young’s career before Young finally won a title with the paid-for 1994 49ers. The bottom line is that White was just as successful as Don Meredith and suffered just as much criticism as Dandy Don, except that Meredith is now held in much higher regard than White. At any rate, he is better than anyone else on this list.