Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #78

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #78

Eleven players have worn #78 for the Cowboys. This includes five offensive linemen and six defensive linemen.

Bob Asher, T, Vanderbilt, 1970

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: “Smasher” Asher was highly touted as a rookie but seldom played. He was injured in 1971 and did not play for the Cowboys again. He later played for Chicago.

John Dutton, DL, Nebraska, 1979-87

Statistics: Dutton recorded 18 sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played nine seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Dutton in 1979 when Too Tall Jones tried to become a boxer. Dutton was a former All-Pro with Baltimore, but he had contract problems with the Colts. He was often injured with Dallas, and when Jones returned in 1980, Dallas moved Dutton to left defensive tackle. He played there until 1986.

Don Healy, DT, Maryland, 1960-61

Statistics: Healy recorded one interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Healy in the 1960 expansion draft from Chicago. He played defensive tackle for two season before moving on to Buffalo.

Leon Lett, DL, Emporia State, 1991-2000

Statistics: Lett recorded 22.5 sacks and 229 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He was twice named to the Pro Bowl.

Longevity: Lett played 10 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He is best remembered for his blunders, but Lett was a solid defensive tackle. He had speed an athleticism that few defensive linemen could match. Then again, there was his judgment…

James Marten, OT, Boston College, 2007-present

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Marten has yet to dress for a game with the Cowboys, but that is likely to change this season.

Intangibles: Marten was drafted in 2007 as a tackle, but he may see some action this season at guard.

John Meyers, DT, Washington, 1962-63

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Meyers was a starter in 1962 and part of 1963, but when Dallas moved Bob Lilly to defensive tackle in 1963, Meyers was benched. He was traded to the Eagles after the 1963 season.

Greg Schaum, DE, Michigan State, 1976

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Schaum was the backup to Too Tall Jones and Harvey Martin in 1976, but an injury sidelined him for the 1977 season. He played his last NFL season in 1978 with New England.

Kurt Vollers, T, Notre Dame, 2002-04

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Vollers was one of several linemen given a chance to start at right tackle during the 2000s. He lasted three years before moving on to Indianapolis.

Bruce Walton, G, UCLA, 1973-75

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Bruce Walton is the older brother of basketball great Bill Walton. Bruce was a backup offensive lineman with Dallas.

Dave Widell, T, Boston College, 1988-89

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Widell started several games with the Cowboys due to injuries to other players. The Cowboys traded Widell in 1990 to Denver, and the player the Cowboys acquired with the draft choice was Leon Lett.

Maury Youmans, DE, Syracuse, 1964-65

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Youmans played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Youmans started one season at left defensive end in 1965, but that was his last in the NFL.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #78.

Greatest #78

  • Leon Lett (87%, 80 Votes)
  • John Dutton (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Maury Youmans (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Dave Widell (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Bruce Walton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kurt Vollers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Greg Schaum (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Meyers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • James Marten (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Don Healy (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bob Asher (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 92

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My Vote: Lett

Leon LettLett’s lapses in Super Bowl XXVII and in the Snow Bowl in 1993 were embarrassing, to be sure, but neither really mattered in the end, given that Dallas won Super Bowls in both seasons. What was less forgivable was his suspension in 1996 for testing positive for drugs. Dallas was 8-5 when he was suspended, and though the team won the NFC East with a 10-6 record, his absence was very noticeable during playoff loss to Carolina. During that game, converted fullback Anthony Johnson rushed right up the middle of the Dallas defense for 104 yards. Lett was also suspended in 1995 and 1999.

That said, Lett is still the best player on this list. He was very important in the 1995 run to Super Bowl XXX, and he returned to Pro Bowl form in 1998.

Of the others, Dutton is the only one who deserves serious mention. He was better than just about any lineman drafted during the 1980s, which allowed him to extend his playing career so long. However, he was never as good with Dallas as Lett.

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Article by Matt Cordon

Blogging impatiently about the Cowboys since 2006. Being a fan since 1977 hasn't required quite as much patience.
  • Anonymous

    What about Harvey Martin? Co-MVP with Randy White in a Super Bowl.

  • Anonymous

    My mistake – Harvey was #79 – sorry guys. Don’t know how I forgot.

  • hoop

    Anybody ever hear of a guy name ross erret? HE apparently played for the cowboys as a lineman wearing number 78. He played from 78-79 and has super bowl ring possibly. Any help here or info would be appreciated. Please email me at the yahoo address. Thanks

    Hoop

  • Fred Goodwin

    According to the all-time roster in the official Dallas Cowboys media guide, no one by that name has ever played for the Cowboys at all, let alone worn #78.

    Ask the guy for some proof — considering the Cowboys 78-79 team did not win the Super Bowl, maybe he could show you his ring.

  • Dennis2

    Dutton

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