Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #32

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #32

Eight players have worn #32, including four defensive backs and four running backs.

Tom Franckhauser, CB, Purdue, 1960-61

Statistics: Franckhauser had four interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He holds the distinction as the first member of the Dallas Cowboys to touch a football in a regular season game, returning the opening kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1960.

Walt Garrison, RB, Oklahoma State, 1966-74

Statistics: Garrison rushed for 3886 yards and 30 touchdowns with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He made the Pro Bowl once (1972).

Longevity: He lasted nine seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: One of the great characters in team history. He was one of the toughest players ever to wear a Cowboy jersey.

Alonzo Highsmith, FB, Miami, Fla., 1990-91

Statistics: He rushed for 48 yards for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played for Dallas in 1990 and part of 1991 before being traded to Tampa Bay.

Intangibles: We have a bit of a theme for running backs wearing #32: Famous College Backs Turned Busts and Signed by Dallas as Free Agents. Highsmith is Exhibit #1.

Tyrone Hughes, CB, Nebraska, 1998

Statistics: Hughes averaged 9.3 yards per punt return and 24.7 yards per kickoff return during a short Dallas career.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played in four games for Dallas in 1998.

Intangibles: He was signed late during the 1998 season as a punt returner. That was his last season as a pro.

Tim Jackson, S, Nebraska, 1989

Statistics: None.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He only saw action in one pro game.

Intangibles: The former Dallas Skyline star had few opportunities in Dallas.

ReShard Lee, RB, Middle Tennessee State, 2004

Statistics: Lee averaged 23.5 yards per kickoff return with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Lee made the team as a free agent in 2004 and was not a bad returner. He later played with Green Bay and Oakland.

Anthony Thomas, RB, Michigan, 2005

Statistics: Thomas rushed for 80 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in only six games for the Cowboys before being released.

Intangibles: Exhibit #2 of Famous College Backs Turned Busts and Signed by Dallas as Free Agents. He was a two-time 1,000-yard rusher for Chicago, but he never quite reached expectations. As a Cowboy, he did very little.

Blair Thomas, RB, Penn State, 1994

Statistics: Thomas rushed for 70 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in two regular season games with Dallas, along with two playoff games.

Intangibles: Exhibit #3 of Famous College Backs Turned Busts and Signed by Dallas as Free Agents. Thomas was brought in when Emmitt Smith suffered a hamstring injury near the end of the 1994 season. Thomas showed very little.

Dennis Thurman, DB, Southern California, 1978-85

Statistics: Thurman had 36 interceptions as a Cowboy.

Accolades: His 36 picks rank fourth in team history. His four career touchdowns on interception returns is tied for the most in club history.

Longevity: He played eight seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The famous “Thurman’s Thieves” were named after Thurman, who was a part-time starter during the early 1980s. Few defensive backs in team history have had a nose for the ball quite like Thurman, who now coaches with the Baltimore Ravens.

Michael Wiley, RB, Ohio State, 2000-02

Statistics: He rushed for 503 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons for Dallas.

Intangibles: Wiley was the third-down back during three forgettable seasons with Dallas (2000 to 2002).

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #32

  • Walt Garrison (65%, 114 Votes)
  • Dennis Thurman (35%, 62 Votes)
  • Tom Franckhauser (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Blair Thomas (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Anthony Thomas (0%, 0 Votes)
  • ReShard Lee (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tim Jackson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tyrone Hughes (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Alonzo Highsmith (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Michael Wiley (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 176

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

My Vote: Garrison

Walt GarrisonAs much as I want to vote for Thurman here, I’ve got to give this to Garrison. The former rodeo star and Skoal pitchman is an icon in team history, ranking up there with Bill Bates. He was also a very good running back, ranking sixth in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in team history.

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Article by Matt Cordon

Blogging impatiently about the Cowboys since 2006. Being a fan since 1977 hasn't required quite as much patience.
  • Fred Goodwin

    I went with Garrison, the Cowboys’ cowboy. I wouldn’t argue with a pick for Thurman, but like you say, Garrison is iconic.

    “Take a pinch between your cheek & gum . . .”

  • Tim Truemper

    If there was ever a player who provided exciting highlights, it was Walt Garrison. His ability to keep moving through a group of tacklers was amazing. I hated when he got injured and could not come back to play. Typical of his toughness was his leading the team in rushing in the 1971 NFC title game with a broken ankle!

  • Fred Goodwin

    I’ll never forget the tape of Kenny Houston stopping Walt near the goal-line at teh end of a ’73 MNF game. I was watching the game in the TV room of a dorm as a freshman at UT Austin. The whole room was screaming for Walt to break the tackle — alas, he could not.

    I’m sure Walt would like to forget it, but I still remember that play. Although the Redskins beat us that day, we went on to win the NFCE but lost to the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.

  • Tim Truemper

    I remember that play too. As soon as Walt had the ball I thought it was a score. Houston had him– a great play by a great player. I believe that was Walt’s last season and the one he made the Pro Bowl?

  • Fred Goodwin

    Close — Walt made the Pro Bowl for the ’72 season, and he retired after the ’74 season.

  • Pingback: Recap: Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers, Nos. 1-60 | Know Your Dallas Cowboys: The Blog

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  • http://4clip.eventbrite.com Julia

    A fantastic site, and brilliant effort. A great piece of work.

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