Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #35

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #35

Twelve players have worn #35, including three defensive backs, eight running backs, and a receiver.

Jimmy Armstrong, DB, Appalachian State, 1987

Statistics: He started two games as a replacement player.

Accolades: Replacement player.

Longevity: Replacement player.

Intangibles: Replacement player.

Update: Thanks to the blog AppFan, which follows Appalachian State’s athletics, we know a bit more about Armstrong:

Armstrong wore No. 25 at App State from 1983-86. He was a hero in Sparky Woods first win as coach, and later was an all-conference DB (1986). He “played” just that one “season” in the NFL.

Robert Chancey, RB, No College, 1999

Statistics: He gained 57 yards for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in three games in Dallas.

Intangibles: Chancey gained all of his yards come in one game against Green Bay in 1999. He was gone after one season.

Wendell Davis, CB, Oklahoma, 1996-99

Statistics: Nothing worth noting.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Davis was mostly a special teams player with the Cowboys.

Pete Gent, WR/TE, Michigan State, 1964-68

Statistics: Gent caught 68 passes for 989 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None as a player.

Longevity: He lasted five seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: As the author of North Dallas Forty, Gent is better known than many of his more talented teammates. A former college basketball player, Gent developed into a serviceable receiver, mostly as a backup.

Calvin Hill, RB, Yale, 1969-74

Statistics: Hill rushed for 5,009 yards and scored 39 touchdowns with Dallas.

Accolades: He was named to the Pro Bowl four times and was an All-Pro once.

Longevity: He played six years with Dallas.

Intangibles: Hill was a triumph of the Cowboys’ computerized scouting service when he was selected in the first round in 1969. He was a great athlete and in 1972 became the first player in team history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He left Dallas to join the World Football League after the 1974 season.

Walt Kowalczyk, RB, Michigan State, 1960

Statistics: Kowalczyk rushed for 156 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one year in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas picked up Kowalczyk via trade for the inaugural 1960 season, but he left for Oakland after one season.

Scott Laidlaw, RB, Stanford, 1975-79

Statistics: Laidlaw rushed for 997 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Laidlaw was Robert Newhouse’s backup for most of his career in Dallas. His most active year was 1976 when Newhouse suffered an injury.

J.W. Lockett, RB, Central Oklahoma, 1961-62

Statistics: Lockett rushed for 304 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in less than two full seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Lockett was a converted tight end who saw quite a bit of action for Dallas in 1961 and 1962. He later played for the Colts and Redskins.

Jason McKie, FB, Temple, 2002

Statistics: McKie caught one pass for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He was active for one game with Dallas.

Intangibles: McKie has developed into a part-time starter with Chicago. He did very little with the Cowboys.

Chuck McSwain, RB, Clemson, 1983-84

Statistics: McSwain averaged 20.0 yards per kickoff return for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two years in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was injured early in 1983 and spent the 1984 seasons as one of Tony Dorsett’s backups. He later played as a replacement player with New England.

Jacques Reeves, CB, Purdue, 2004-2007

Statistics: Reeves recorded one interception as a Cowboy.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Reeves will probably be most remembered for his poor coverage on the New York Giants’ final drive of the first half in the Cowboys’ 2007 playoff loss. Reeves had filled in pretty well for starters Terence Newman and Anthony Henry when they were injured, but Reeves declined late in the season. He signed with the Texans in the offseason.

Kevin Scott, RB, Stanford, 1989

Statistics: Scott caught nine passes for 63 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season with Dallas.

Intangibles: Scott was Herschel Walker’s backup but suffered an injury early in the 1989 season. He never played again.


Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #35

  • Calvin Hill (90%, 145 Votes)
  • Jimmy Armstrong (5%, 8 Votes)
  • Jacques Reeves (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Pete Gent (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Kevin Scott (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Scott Laidlaw (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Walt Kowalczyk (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Wendell Davis (0%, 0 Votes)
  • J.W. Lockett (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jason McKie (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Chuck McSwain (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Robert Chancey (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 162

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

My Vote: Hill

Calvin HillThere may be a few readers inclined to vote for Gent, assuming they are familiar with North Dallas Forty. But as far as contributions on the field, none of these players compares well with Hill. Hill was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro selection as a rookie in 1969, and it appeared he was headed for greatness. Then along came a back named Duane Thomas, who was simply better than Hill was. Hill took a back seat for two seasons before returning to the role as full-time starter. He gained more than 1,000 yards in two seasons but suffered through some injuries in 1974.

Hill still serves as a consultant with the Cowboys, specializing in problem players. He will likely be called upon to help a few of the new guys, especially one named after a video game.

At least this guy seems to have calmed down…

Calvin Hill, Terrell Owens

  • Dave Frazier

    I’m waiting for 40…BILLY BATES RULES!

  • Fred Goodwin

    Hill got a turf toe injury after his rookie season (it wasn’t called turf toe back then), and he was never the same. With Thomas showing up the next year, it was difficult for Hill to get back into the starting line-up. He eventually signed with the WFL, but I don’t know if he ever played for them. I hated to see him go to Cleveland.

  • Tim Truemper

    Calvin was known early in his career for his ability to hurdle over players when they were about to tackle him. He also was tried at tight end first before the move to RB. A good pass catcher, he became a third down specialist for Cleveland, and EGAD, Washington.

    The turf toe injury hampered him his rookie year and a knee injury did i9n 1971. He was an interesting player in the backfield being nearly 6′ 4″.

  • Fred Goodwin


    Thanx for the memory jogger — yes, the whole world wondered what Schramm and Co. were thinking when they took a Yalie RB with their first round pick in the ’69 draft — but after seeing Hill (and Thomas the next year), the laughs were on the rest of the league.

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