Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #13

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #13

Only two players in team history have worn number 13, including a backup quarterback who later served as a coach and an idiot kicker.

Jerry Rhome, QB, Tulsa, 1965-68

Statistics: In four seasons with Dallas, Rhome threw for a total of 496 and one touchdown.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Rhome was the Cowboys’ third-string quarterback behind Don Meredith and Craig Morton for four years. He later played for Cleveland, Houston, and Los Angeles.

Intangibles: Rhome is better known as a coach than as a player. He was hired by Tom Landry in 1989 before Jerry Jones fired the legendary coach, and Jimmy Johnson kept Rhome on the staff during the 1989 season. He has served as an assistant with nine different franchises.

Mike Vanderjagt, K, West Virginia, 2006

Statistics: Vanderjagt made 13 of 18 field goals in 10 games during the 2006 season.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Vanderjagt was perhaps the least liked kicker in team history and lasted only 10 games in the 2006 season.

Intangibles: Vanderjagt missed much of the 2006 preseason, and when he returned in the final preseason game, he missed two field goals, either of which would have given Dallas a perfect preseason record. He later had a crucial kick blocked at Washington and then missed two field goal attempts against his former team, the Indianapolis Colts. Following that game, during which fans booed the kicker, Dallas released him. We knew him just long enough to spell his name correctly.


Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #13

  • Jerry Rhome (86%, 122 Votes)
  • Mike Vanderjagt (14%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 142

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

My Vote: Rhome

Jerry RhomeTom Landry thought highly enough of Rhome to hire him to coach Troy Aikman, so I think highly enough to say he was better as a member of the Cowboys than Vanderjagt. For an interesting comparison, take a look at their respective websites. Rhome focuses on his coaching and training. Vanderjagt‘s strangely still shows him in a Dallas Cowboys’ uniform.

  • Fred Goodwin

    Rhome was part of the same ’64 draft that brought us Mel Renfro, Bob Hayes and Roger Staubach. Any draft that nets two HOFers (and potentially a third in Hayes) is a pretty good draft — so Rhome was definitely in good company.

    Rhome’s college stats were outstanding, as he led the nation in passing his senior year at Tulsa (224-326, 2,870 yds, 32 TDs, 4 INTs), where he was an All-American and finished a very close second in the voting for the ’64 Heisman (losing to John Huarte, ND QB, 1,026 to 952).

    He was also a Dallas native, having attended Sunset HS where he was an all-state QB.

    So, even though Rhome never cracked the starting lineup with the Cowboys (toiling behind the likes of Don Meredith and Craig Morton), he wasn’t exactly chopped liver.

    (In fact, if I’m Meredith, I have to wonder how much faith the Cowboys organization has in me, considering they drafted both Rhome & Staubach in ’64 and Morton in ’65.)

  • Meredith was beaten up and down by defensive lines, the fans, Landry, and probably just about everyone else. It’s a wonder that he became so beloved thanks to his work on MNF– beloved is the last word that would describe how folks in Dallas felt about him from everything I’ve read.

    Tony Romo, beware.

  • Fred Goodwin

    How to Grow a Winning Quarterback (Paperback) by Jerry Rhome (Author)

    # Paperback: 144 pages
    # Publisher: Cool Springs Press; Pap/DVD edition (June 11, 2003)
    # Language: English
    # ISBN-10: 1930604971
    # ISBN-13: 978-1930604971
    # Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
    # Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces

    Name the hottest and most popular NFL quarterbacks…Peyton Manning and Drew Bledsoe will be mentioned on everyone’s list. They have established themselves as two of the League’s most exciting quarterbacks.

    Presented by the National Football League Coaches Association (NFLCA), this book and 55 minute instructional DVD starring Manning and Bledsoe are targeted to young aspiring quarterbacks 8-18 years of age. They illustrate the techniques and strategies employed by those playing the position at the highest level. Detailed action covers the essential quarterback moves in every major play category.

    The book is a practical, yet powerful look at the fundamentals of playing the quarterback position. Professional football coach Jerry Rhome teaches moves and strategies employed by the pros, and gives advice to young boys for incorporating a winning attitude into everyday life. On the accompanying DVD, Drew Bledsoe and Peyton Manning reveal secrets to success with step-by-step instruction.

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