Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #71

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #71

Eleven players have worn #71 for the Cowboys. This includes eight offensive linemen and three defensive linemen.

Note: This has been updated since its original posting to include Cory Proctor.

Paul Dickson, T, Baylor, 1960

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He apparently earned the nickname “Suitcase” thanks to his large hands. He played one season in Dallas before being traded to Minnesota, where he was converted to defensive line and served as a backup for nearly a decade.

Mike Dwyer, DT, Massachusetts, 1987

Statistics: He recorded one sack with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in all three replacement games in 1987.

Intangibles: None.

Andy Frederick, T, New Mexico, 1977-81

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Frederick backed up the likes of Ralph Neely, Rayfield Wright, Pat Donovan, and Jim Cooper. He played five seasons in Dallas before moving on to play for Cleveland and Chicago.

Charlie Granger, T, Southern, 1961

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played part of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Granger played eight games for the Cowboys before Dallas traded him to St. Louis.

Alcender Jackson, G, Louisiana State, 2000-01

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played part of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He also saw action with the Green Bay Packers in 2002.

Cory Proctor, C/G, Montana, 2007-present

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Proctor was first signed in 2005, but he did not see action until 2007.

Intangibles: Proctor filled in ably for Andre Gurode and Leonard Davis in 2007.

Don Talbert, DE/OT, Texas, 1962, 1965, 1971

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Talbert played three seasons with the Cowboys in nonconsecutive years.

Intangibles: Dallas drafted Talbert in 1962, and he made the team as a rookie. He spent two seasons in Vietnam, and then returned to the Cowboys in 1965. He was selected in two expansion drafts– first by Atlanta in 1966, and then by New Orleans in 1969. He returned to the Cowboys in 1971 as a backup.

Willie Townes, DE, Tulsa, 1966-68

Statistics: Townes recorded one safety and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Townes was drafted in 1966 and became a starter that season. In fact, he started both NFL Championship Games against Green Bay, and it was his hit on Bart Starr in the Ice Bowl that led to George Andrie’s fumble recovery for a touchdown. However, he was injured in 1968, and after returning out of shape in 1970, he was traded to New Orleans.

Mark Tuinei, OT/DL, Hawaii, 1983-97

Statistics: He recorded one sack as a defensive lineman.

Accolades: He was named to two Pro Bowls.

Longevity: Tuinei played fifteen seasons with the Cowboys, tying a team record.

Intangibles: He began his career as a free agent defensive tackle, but he successfully made the transition to offensive line starting in 1985. He became a starter in 1987 and was the team’s left tackle in each of the Super Bowl wins of the 1990s.

Rodney Wallace, G/T, New Mexico, 1971-73

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Wallace was a backup for three seasons at both guard and tackle.

Tyson Walter, OL, Ohio State, 2002-04

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Walter saw quite a bit of time at center as a rookie in 2002, but he was primarily a backup in 2003 and 2004. He played for the Packers and Redskins in 2006.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #71.

Greatest #71

  • Mark Tuinei (91%, 84 Votes)
  • Don Talbert (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Willie Townes (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Tyson Walter (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Cory Proctor (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Andy Frederick (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Mike Dwyer (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Alcender Jackson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Charlie Granger (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rodney Wallace (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Paul Dickson (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 92

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My Vote: Tuinei

Mark TuineiThis was is really no contest. Tuinei was a mainstay on the Cowboys for the same length of time that Bill Bates was, and his steady play at left tackle was vitally important during the Super Bowl runs of the 1990s. His death in 1999 was tragic and still difficult to believe, even nearly 10 years later. But he left a solid legacy as one of the great players for the organization.

  • Fred Goodwin

    Just a word about Dwyer — he was one of the replacement players that joined the team during the ’87 strike.

    His enthusiasm and joy for the game caught the public’s attention; I believe there was a photo of him pumping the air after a tackle that made the cover of one issue of the home game program.

    It was Dwyer that caused me to actually buy a ticket for a replacement game (I forget which game it was) and while waiting in line to get in, I was interviewed by a Tyler, TX TV station.

    I told them I loved the Cowboy regulars, but that they had gotten too comfortable in their roles as local heroes — whereas replacement players like Dwyer actually brought fun and emotion back into the game. I loved watching him and the other replacements.

  • Tim Truemper

    Great post Fred. I had forgotten about Dwyer.

    Mark Tunei was quite a player and was part of an offensive line that Landry was slowly rebuilding.

    Willie Townes was developing into a great player. His injury in 1968 was fairly serious and he had difficulties in his comeback. However, it led to Larry Cole replacing him so….
    I remember when Townes hit Starr that caused the fumble in the Ice Bowl. I was 10 years old and I was just a jumping up and down!