Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #16

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #16

Four members of the Dallas Cowboys have worn #16, including three quarterbacks and one wide receiver.

Damon Hodge, WR, Alabama State, 2000

Statistics: Hodge caught four passes in limited action during his only season with the Cowboys in 2000.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Hodge played in eight games during the 2000 season.

Intangibles: He was one of a number of receivers who saw action in 2000, but he failed to stand out.

Ryan Leaf, QB, Washington State, 2001

Statistics: In three starts during the 2001 season, Leaf threw for 494 yards with 1 TD and 3 Ints.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: By the time Dallas signed Leaf in 2001, he was already infamous as a first-round bust. He only played in four games for the Cowboys.

Intangibles: It is probably better that people forget he played for the Cowboys.

Steve Pelluer, QB, Washington, 1984-88

Statistics: In four seasons with Dallas, Pelluer threw for 6555 yards with 28 TDs and 38 Ints. He had a passer rating of 71.7 with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Pelluer started his career as a third-stringer behind Danny White and Gary Hogeboom. He was forced into the starter role in 1986 when White suffered a season-ending wrist injury. He started four games in 1987 and then became the primary starter in 1988. He moved on to Kansas City in 1989.

Intangibles: Pelluer was a mobile quarterback, but he came along when the Cowboys were in serious decline. He was not as talented as his predecessors at quarterback for the team, and he was beaten up thanks to a shaky line.

Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami, Fla., 2004

Statistics: Testaverde threw for 3532 yards and 17 TDs in 2004, his only season in Dallas.

Accolades: None with the Cowboys.

Longevity: After starting his career with the Pottsville Maroons in 1927 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987, Testaverde found himself as a member of the Cowboys in 2004. He took over as the starter when Dallas released Quincy Carter but lasted only one season.

Intangibles: Testaverde did not play horribly during the 2004 season, but the team lost a number of close games and was out of the playoff picture much earlier than most expected. Everyone was fully aware that Dallas needed a long-term solution at quarterback and that Vinny wasn’t going to be any part of the solution.


Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #16

  • Vinny Testaverde (64%, 96 Votes)
  • Steve Pelluer (31%, 47 Votes)
  • Ryan Leaf (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Damon Hodge (2%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 150

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

My Vote: Testaverde

Vinny TestaverdeMy children should never hear me repeat the things I said about “Hey Yo’ Yo’ Vinny” (don’t ask) in 2004. But in one season, he managed to win as many games in one season (6, if you give him credit for the Cowboys’ win over Chicago) as Pelluer did in four (6, including one in 1986, two in 1987, and three in 1988). This is a pretty wide-open contest, though.