Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #19
Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Eight players have worn #19, including five receivers, two quarterbacks, and a punter.
Lance Alworth, WR, Arkansas, 1971-72
Statistics: Alworth caught 49 passes for 682 yards and four touchdowns with the Cowboys.
Accolades: None with Dallas. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Longevity: Alworth played an important role during the Super Bowl championship season of 1971. However, he was at the end of his career when he played two seasons for Dallas. He retired after the 1972 season.
Intangibles: Alworth was one of the greats of the AFL. Dallas acquired him to replace Lance Rentzel (see below), and Alworth served the role well. However, he was nowhere near as productive as he was with the Chargers.
Miles Austin, WR, Monmouth Univ, 2006-present
Statistics: As a kick returner, Austin has averaged 25.8 per return. He has only caught five passes, though.
Longevity: Dallas signed Austin as a free agent in 2006. He has played two seasons for the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Austin’s big moment came during the 2006 playoffs (while he wore the #14) when he returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Seahawks. He did not have a bad season in 2007, but he is not a huge weapon.
John Jett, P, East Carolina, 1993-96
Statistics: Jett averaged 41.9 yards per kick during a four-year career with Dallas.
Longevity: Jett was yet another specialist that the Cowboys would not pay. He left for Detroit after the 1996 season.
Intangibles: Jett was a dependable kicker during a very successful stretch in team history.
Keyshawn Johnson, WR, USC, 2004-05
Statistics: Johnson caught 141 passes for 1820 yards and 12 touchdowns with the Cowboys.
Accolades: None with Dallas.
Longevity: Johnson was a former Parcells player who rejoined his coach in Dallas in 2004. He played here for two seasons before the Cowboys signed Terrell Owens and released Johnson.
Intangibles: Johnson generally behaved himself with the Cowboys and was a good target for quarterbacks Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe. Owens has outperformed Johnson, though, so the Cowboys’ decision to cut Johnson in favor of Owens has not been a bad one.
Clint Longley, QB, Abilene Christian, 1974-75
Statistics: Longley threw for 311 yards and 3 TDs as a member of the Cowboys.
Longevity: Longley lasted two seasons with Dallas. He was released after taking a cheap shot at Roger Staubach.
Intangibles:Longley is famous for his Thanksgiving Day heroics against the Redskins in 1974, when he threw two touchdown passes to lead the Cowboys to a win. He is otherwise remembered for punching Staubach.
Jamaica Rector, WR, Northwest Missouri State, 2006
Statistics: Rector returned four kickoffs for the Cowboys in 2006.
Longevity: Rector saw action in one regular season game with Dallas, the opening day loss to Jacksonville in 2006.
Intangibles: Rector looked like a playmaking receiver in training camp in 2006, but he had little opportunity to show it during the regular season. He spent 2007 with Arizona.
Lance Rentzel, WR, Oklahoma, 1967-70
Statistics: Rentzel caught 183 passes for 3521 yards and 31 touchdowns with the Cowboys.
Accolades: He was a two-time all-pro.
Longevity: Rentzel lasted four seasons with the Cowboys. He was released following his arrest for exposing himself to a child.
Intangibles: Rentzel was the third player in team history to gain more than 1000 yards in a season (Frank Clarke and Bob Hayes preceded him). According to the cover of his book When All the Laughter Died in Sorrow, “He was rich, talented, handsome – a star receiver for the Dallas Cowboys married to a beautiful movie star. Then one November morning the world came tumbling down . . . .” He later played for the L.A. Rams.
Kevin Sweeney, QB, Cal. St. Fresno, 1987-88
Statistics: Sweeney threw for 605 yards and 7 TDs in four starts with the Cowboys, including two replacement games in 1987.
Longevity: Sweeney started two of the three replacement games in 1987 and played for a total of two seasons with Dallas.
Intangibles:Sweeney was the Golden Boy among the replacement players. He was nowhere near as effective when the Cowboys gave him a shot to start in 1988.
Here are the results of the poll for this number:
- Lance Rentzel (35%, 74 Votes)
- Keyshawn Johnson (26%, 56 Votes)
- Lance Alworth (25%, 54 Votes)
- Miles Austin (5%, 10 Votes)
- John Jett (5%, 10 Votes)
- Clint Longley (2%, 5 Votes)
- Kevin Sweeney (1%, 3 Votes)
- Jamaica Rector (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 213
If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.
My Vote: Rentzel
This is the second player who is difficult to select due to his criminal record, with Rafael Septien being the first. The only difference for me is that I read Rentzel’s book and have a slightly better understanding of his situation, though as an overprotective father of a six-year-old girl, it still troubles me. As far as the players in this category, Rentzel was the only one to be named an all-pro as a member of the Cowboys, and his overall contribution as a player was greater than the others.
Coming in second on my list: Keyshawn, who performed and behaved much better than I expected, given his problems with his previous teams.