Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #43
Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Five players have worn #43, including four defensive backs and a running back.
Greg Briggs, S, Texas Southern, 1995
Statistics: Briggs saw action in 11 games in 1995.
Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.
Intangibles: The Cowboys originally drafted Briggs in 1992, but he struggled with injuries and development for three years. He finally made the squad in 1995 and saw action on special teams. He layer played with the Vikings and Bears.
Cliff Harris, S, Ouachita, 1970-79
Statistics: Harris had 29 career interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries.
Accolades: 6 Pro Bowls and named All-Pro numerous times. He was a member of the All-Decade team of the 1970s and is a member of the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.
Longevity: Harris played 10 seasons with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Harris was a free agent pickup out of little Ouachita Baptist College who turned into one of the great players of all time. Known as “Captain Crash,” Harris was a hard-hitter who had more than his share of big plays.
Elvis Patterson, CB, Kansas, 1993
Statistics: Patterson saw action in 11 games in 1993.
Accolades: None with Dallas.
Longevity: He played less than one full season with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Patterson had a long career prior to coming to Dallas. After serving on special teams in part of the 1993 season, he was released when the Cowboys would not meet his salary demands.
Don Perkins, RB, New Mexico, 1961-68
Statistics: Perkins rushed for 6217 yards and scored 42 touchdowns with the Cowboys. At the time of his retirement, Perkins ranked fifth on the all-time rushing list.
Accolades: He was named All Pro once and was named to six Pro Bowls. He is a member of the Ring of Honor.
Longevity: Perkins played eight seasons in Dallas. An injury kept him out of his rookie season in 1960, and he was only 30 when he retired after the 1968 season.
Intangibles: Perkins had good acceleration, was a good pass receiver out of the backfield, and had great acceleration to make up for average speed. One of his best games came in the 1966 NFL Championship against Green Bay, when Perkins rushed for 108 yards on 17 attempts.
Izell Reese, S, Alabama-Birmingham, 1998-01
Statistics: Reese had seven interceptions with the Cowboys.
Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas. The Cowboys resigned him in 2005, but he was released before the season.
Intangibles: Reese was a special teams player and part-time starter during his time in Dallas. He was also a starter with Denver and Buffalo after leaving Dallas.
Here are the results of the poll for this number:
- Cliff Harris (78%, 119 Votes)
- Don Perkins (20%, 30 Votes)
- Izell Reese (2%, 3 Votes)
- Elvis Patterson (1%, 1 Votes)
- Greg Briggs (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 153
My Vote: Harris
During the 1970s, Harris was the best at his position in the NFL, confirmed by the fact that he was named to the All-Decade team. That he is not a member of the Hall of Fame while others such as Dick Anderson (Miami), Ken Houston (Houston and Washington), Larry Wilson (St. Louis), Roger Wehrli (St. Louis), Jimmy Johnson (San Francisco), and Willie Brown (Oakland) are is a complete travesty. Perkins, on the other hand, was not quite as highly regarded compared to his peers in terms of running backs of the 1960s. Taking nothing away from Perkins, this gives Harris a slight edge in our competition.