Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #41

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #41

Eight players, all defensive backs, have worn #41. And friends, do we ever have a battle between the old and new school fans with this one.

Anthony Coleman, DB, Baylor, 1987

Statistics: He was a replacement player who did not record any meaningful statistics.

Accolades: Replacement player.

Longevity: Replacement player.

Intangibles: Replacement player.

Pat Dennis, CB, Louisiana-Monroe, 2001

Statistics: Dennis had 16 tackles as a Cowboy.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played part of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys signed Dennis after he was released by Kansas City, which had drafted him in the fifth round in 2000. He did very little in Dallas and ended up moving on following the 2001 season.

Kareem Larrimore, CB, West Texas A&M, 2000-01

Statistics: Larrimore had 17 tackles with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

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

Intangibles: Larrimore was one of three corners taken in the 2000 draft, and like second-rounder Dwayne Goodrich, Larrimore was a failure. How low did Larrimore end up falling? At one point, he was signed by the Amarillo Dusters of the Intense Football League in 2004.

Warren Livingston, CB, Arizona, 1961-66

Statistics: Livingston had 10 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played six seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a part-time starter with the Cowboys, sharing time with Don Bishop. He was known as a great open field tackler with good speed.

Terence Newman, CB, Kansas State, 2003-

Statistics: Newman has 16 career interceptions.

Accolades: He has been named to one Pro Bowl.

Longevity: He will play his sixth NFL season in 2008.

Intangibles: Newman has developed into an elite cover man. It has been a travesty that he was not selected for the Pro Bowl until 2007, but he continues to improve. Injuries slowed him slightly in 2007, but he showed towards the end of the season how valuable he is.

Dave Thomas, CB, Tennessee, 1993-94

Statistics: Thomas had two tackles and no picks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Thomas played two seasons in Dallas before being picked up by Jacksonville in the 1994 expansion draft.

Intangibles: Thomas is much better known for his play with the Jaguars and Giants than with Dallas, where he played on special teams.

Charlie Waters, DB, Clemson, 1970-78, 1980-81

Statistics: Waters recorded 41 regular season interceptions. He also started 22 career playoff games, which is tied for the fifth most in NFL history. And his nine career playoff interceptions tied an NFL record that still stands today. He likewise tied an NFL playoff record with three interceptions against the Chicago Bears in 1977.

Accolades: He was named to the Pro Bowl three times.

Longevity: He played 11 seasons in the NFL, missing the 1979 season with an injury.

Intangibles: Waters started at corner for the first few years of his career, but when Cornell Green retired before the 1975 season, Waters took over at strong safety. From there, Waters became one of the best safeties in the NFL, teaming up with Cliff Harris to form part of one of the most memorable defensive backfields in team history.

Charles Wright, DB, Tulsa, 1988

Statistics: Wright did not record any stats of interest.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played part of the 1988 season with Dallas.

Intangibles: He saw some special teams action but little more.


Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #41

  • Charlie Waters (79%, 189 Votes)
  • Terence Newman (20%, 48 Votes)
  • Anthony Coleman (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Warren Livingston (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Charles Wright (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Pat Dennis (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kareem Larrimore (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dave Thomas (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 240

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My Vote: Waters

Charlie WatersI am certainly taking nothing away from Terence Newman, who has become a great player. And I suspect he may very well receive many votes because he is a current star on the team. But to be quite frank, this one belongs to Waters. He was at his best in the playoffs, where he set the NFL records referred to above. In a 1976 playoff loss to the Rams, Waters recorded two blocked punts and an interception. Two years later against the Rams in the NFC Championship, Waters picked off two passes and recovered a fumble in a 28-0 win. Newman may get opportunities to match these performances, but as of now, Waters simply accomplished more than Newman has.

  • Tim Truemper

    Charlie Waters is one of the all time great Cowboy players and should be in the Ring of Honor. He was like a coach on the field after his final few years at strong safety.

    If memory serves me correctly, he was started at Safety and them moved to corner during the 1972 season. He joined the Cowboys the same year as Cliff Harris–1970!

    If this is incorrect, please let me know.
    And kudos again to kickholder for the great synopsis on the well known and also obscure players.

  • Thank you, Tim. Thanks also for your comments throughout this series.

    Waters actually started at safety in Super Bowl V vs. Baltimore, filling in for Cliff Harris when Harris went to serve in the military. Waters was a backup in 1971 before earning the starting corner job in 1972. He played there until 1975, when he moved back to safety.

  • Tim Truemper

    Thanks kickholder for the positive feedback. For me, who started watching the Pokes in 66, its been fun to revisit the players over the years with the jersey # series.

    Thanks for the details on Harris and Waters. With Super Bowl V, I believe Waters was involved in the famous tip play in which John Mackey scored on a long pass in the first half. I had forgotten about Cliff Harris and the military obligation. I believe he was in the Guard and his duties kept him from practicing regularly. I’d be able to check this, but I chunked all my old Dallas Cowboys Weekly’s years ago (dang!)


  • Tim,

    You are right about both the tip and Harris’ military obligation.

    You might want to check out this story about Waters, which is a very good read.

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  • Charlie Waters played with one leg late in his career due to knee damage and was still a great strong safety captain of the defence and held for field goals and
    point after touchdowns. Not only should he be in the ring of honor at texas stadium but, should be in canton, ohio in the hall of fame. Charlie Waters is and always be my favorite all time player.I wrote him when i was a kid and drew pictures of him playing. Mr.Waters sent back autographies and posters and much more.I live in Canada and back then we only received one channel of the N.F.L. with mostly Viking games. GOD BLESS THE COWBOYS. #1 fan

  • J.R.

    Here’s my Charlie Waters’ story:
    I went to the All Star flag football game in honor of Tom Landry at Texas Stadium. At the end of the game Waters had skinned both knees and both elbows! He was as great a player then as he was when he was a pro!

  • The link to your Charlie Waters has changed; it is now:

    Here is another good article about him: