Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #23

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #23

Twelve players have worn #23, including two wide receivers, seven defensive backs, and three running backs. This may be the team’s official “Journeyman” number.

Margene Adkins, WR, Henderson J.C., 1970-71

Statistics: Adkins caught four passes for 53 yards for the Cowboys. He also returned a handful of kickoffs and punts.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: A second round pick in 1970, Adkins lasted only two seasons in Dallas. He played for two more years with New Orleans.

Intangibles: Adkins was an All-Pro with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League who had great speed (4.4). However, he did not get many opportunities in Dallas.

Robert Bailey, CB, Miami, Fla., 1995

Statistics: Bailey had a total of seven tackles as a member of the Cowboys, with no picks.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Bailey played in nine games with Dallas in 1995 after being released by Washington.

Intangibles: Bailey lasted 11 years in the league with Dallas, Washington, the L.A. Rams, Miami, Detroit, and Baltimore. His time in Dallas, though, did not produce anything.

Aveion Cason, RB, Illinois State, 2003

Statistics: Cason rushed for 220 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Cason lasted just ten games in 2003 before being injured. He has also played for the Rams and Lions.

Intangibles: Cason scored the first touchdown in the Bill Parcells era on a 63-yard touchdown run vs. Atlanta. He didn’t do much after that, though, and could not finish the season.

Dwayne Goodrich, CB, Tennessee, 2000-02

Statistics: Goodrich had a total of eight tackles in his career with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: After being drafted in the second round of the 2000 draft, he played in only five games as a rookie. He missed the entire 2001 season due to injury before returning to play in 11 games in 2002.

Intangibles: Goodrich is currently serving 7 1/2-year sentence for vehicular homicide stemming from a hit-and-run incident in Dallas.

Johnny Holloway, CB, Kansas, 1986

Statistics: Holloway had one career interception with the Cowboys. Here is the video of it.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Holloway played just one season with the Cowboys. He finished his career after playing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1987.

Intangibles: Holloway was a seventh-round pick who saw action in the Cowboys’ 4-0 defense in 1986. He played wide receiver in college at Kansas and impressed Tom Landry during training camp in 1986.

Mike Johnson, CB, Kansas, 1966-69

Statistics: Johnson had a total of eight interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Johnson lasted four seasons with Dallas, mostly in a backup role.

Intangibles: Johnson played in the same offensive backfield as Gale Sayers at Kansas, but Dallas converted him to a defensive back. He became a starter in 1967, and his five picks that year ranked third on the team.

James Jones, RB, Mississippi State, 1980-82, 1984-85

Statistics: Jones averaged 20.6 yards per kick return and 8.5 yards per punt return during his career. He added 331 rushing yards and 312 receiving yards as well.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: After being drafted in the third round of the 1980 draft, Jones backed up Tony Dorsett. He was the team’s primary return man, but a serious knee injury suffered in 1982 cost him most of that season plus all of 1983. He returned to play two more seasons with Dallas in 1984 and 1985.

Intangibles: Jones was a pretty good return man and was a pretty versatile back when playing in relief.

Woodley Lewis, WR, Oregon, 1960

Statistics: Lewis caught one pass for the Cowboys in 1960.

Accolades: None with the Cowboys. He made the Pro Bowl in 1950 as a member of the Rams.

Longevity: He played in six games for Dallas in 1960.

Intangibles: Lewis was at the end of a long career when he played for Dallas in 1960. He did not do much. He was known primarily as a returner during his better days.

Kevin Mathis, CB, Texas A&M-Commerce, 1997-99

Statistics: Mathis had two interceptions with the Cowboys and also returned a few punts.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Mathis lasted three seasons with the Cowboys before leaving via free agency.

Intangibles: Mathis stood in the shadows of Deion Sanders and Kevin Smith in Dallas. He is better known for his play in New Orleans and Atlanta.

Mike Montgomery, RB/WR, Kansas State, 1972-73

Statistics: Montgomery caught 22 passes for 295 yards with the Cowboys. He scored a total of five touchdowns.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dallas acquired Montgomery from San Diego in 1972 in a trade for Duane Thomas. Montgomery lasted two seasons.

Intangibles: Montgomery replaced Otto Stowe as a starting receiver in 1973. He suffered an injury, however, and when Drew Pearson emerged as a new weapon, the team shipped Montgomery to Houston.

Evan Oglesby, CB, N Alabama, 2007-

Statistics: Oglesby had three tackles for Dallas in 2007.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dallas signed Oglesby in September 2007 after the Baltimore Ravens released him. He was active in all 16 games for Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas signed Oglesby to an exclusive rights contract in March. Depending on the results of the draft, he may be in position to challenge for the nickel corner slot in 2008.

Robert Williams, CB, Baylor, 1987-93

Statistics: Williams had four career interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Williams played seven seasons in Dallas. He played in only nine games in 1992, though, and only four in 1993.

Intangibles: Williams appeared at the end of the Tom Landry era and at the beginning of the Jimmy Johnson era. His longevity during that period, especially for a free agent, is telling. He started a total of 36 games for the Cowboys. He played in nine games with Dallas during the Super Bowl season in 1992, but he was deactivated for the playoffs that year. Bad luck, to say the least.


Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #23

  • Robert Williams (41%, 38 Votes)
  • James Jones (23%, 21 Votes)
  • Kevin Mathis (12%, 11 Votes)
  • Aveion Cason (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Mike Montgomery (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Margene Adkins (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Mike Johnson (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Johnny Holloway (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Dwayne Goodrich (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Robert Bailey (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Evan Oglesby (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Woodley Lewis (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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

My Vote: Williams

Robert Williams Dallas CowboysNone of these are exactly marquee names, but Williams was among very few players (Bates, Gogan, Tuinei, Newton, Martin) to have survived the Landry/Johnson turnover in the late 1980s. He was not a standout player, but he was a solid as any player on this list. His longevity (and perhaps the fact that he played at Baylor) won my vote.

James Jones is a good choice. However, he was only productive really for two seasons.