Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #61
Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Six players have worn #61 for the Cowboys. This includes five offensive linemen and a punter/kicker.
Jim Cooper, OL, Temple, 1977-86
Longevity: Cooper played ten seasons with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: He was a dependable right tackle throughout a large part of the 1980s.
Kelvin Garmon, G, Baylor, 2001-02
Longevity: He was originally drafted in 1999 but only played in two seasons with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Garmon spent two seasons on injured reserve but came back to become a starter in 2001. He was traded to San Diego early in the 2002 season.
Allen Green, P/K, Mississippi, 1961
Statistics: Green made five of 15 field goal attempts (yes, you read that correctly) with the Cowboys. As a punter, he averaged 36.7 yards per kick.
Longevity: He played one season.
Intangibles: When a kicker hits on 33.3% of his field goals, he won’t last long in the NFL. Green didn’t.
Nate Newton, G/T, Florida A&M, 1986-98
Accolades: Newton made six Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro twice. He was named to numerous other all-pro and all-conference teams.
Longevity: He played 13 seasons with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Newton was a mainstay during the 1990s, first earning widespread recognition thanks to John Madden showing how far Newton’s sweat showed up on his pants. He was also the most likable of all the Cowboys who ran afoul with the law. Since serving 30+ months in prison for smuggling marijuana, he has turned his life around.
Blaine Nye, G, Stanford, 1968-76
Accolades: Nye was named to two Pro Bowls.
Longevity: He played nine seasons with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Nye was a defensive lineman in college who was converted to offensive line by the Cowboys. He developed into a starter by 1970. He was a solid player with the team (and perhaps its smartest, given that he has a master’s degree in physics). He was notorious for contemplating retirement before changing his mind right before training camp. Didn’t quite get the media coverage of a certain Green Bay quarterback lately.
Duane Putnam, G, Pacific, 1960
Accolades: None with Dallas. He was a five-time Pro Bowler with the L.A. Rams during the 1950s.
Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.
Intangibles: Dallas acquired Putnam in the 1960 expansion draft. He started one season with the Cowboys before the team traded him to Cleveland.
Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #61.
- Nate Newton (88%, 114 Votes)
- Blaine Nye (11%, 14 Votes)
- Jim Cooper (1%, 1 Votes)
- Kelvin Garmon (1%, 1 Votes)
- Allen Green (0%, 0 Votes)
- Duane Putnam (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 130
My Vote: Newton
Very few Cowboys lasted as long as Newton, who remained solid throughout most of the 1990s. He was originally signed by Washington but was released during training camp. He then played two seasons in the USFL before joining the Cowboys in 1986, and what a ride it was. He was versatile enough to move from guard to tackle, then back to guard. He was also a vocal leader in the locker room. He’s paid his debt for the prison term, and I don’t think it has hurt his overall standing as one of the Cowboy greats.
Nye was another great one who came along at the best of times, as he appeared in three Super Bowls. I don’t think that he meant quite as much to the team as Newton, however. Cooper was among the better lineman of the 1980s (some tend to forget all of these linemen thanks to Phil Pozderac), but he simply wasn’t in the same class as Newton or Nye.