Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #86

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #86

Fifteen players have worn #86 for the Cowboys. This includes nine wide receivers, three tight ends, a linebacker, a punter, and a defensive end.

Eric Bjornson, TE, Washington, 1995-99

Statistics: Bjornson caught 127 passes for 1232 yards and 4 TDs with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas hoped that Bjornson could step into the role vacated by Jay Novacek, but Bjornson had neither the hands nor the instincts that Novacek had.

Dan Campbell, TE, Texas A&M, 2003-05

Statistics: Campbell caught 25 passes for 235 yards and 2 TDs with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Campbell was known for his leadership and blocking ability. He was injured for most of the 2005 season and then left via free agency after that season.

Ralph Coleman, LB, North Carolina A&T, 1972

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Coleman was an eighth-round pick in 1972 who saw almost no action with the Cowboys.

James Dixon, WR/RB, Houston, 1989-91

Statistics: Dixon averaged 22.9 yards per kickoff return with Dallas. He also caught 26 passes for 503 yards and 2 TDs.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dixon saw quite a bit of action as a kick returner and third receiver in 1989, but his playing time decreased rapidly as the team brought in more talent. He was out of the league after 1991.

Kenny Duckett, WR, Wake Forest, 1985

Statistics: Duckett averaged 19.2 yards on nine kickoff returns.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than a full season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas signed Duckett at the end of the 1985 season. He returned a few kickoffs but was out of the league after that season.

Duriel Harris, WR, New Mexico State, 1984

Statistics: Harris caught one pass for nine yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played less than one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Harris had been a good receiver with the Dolphins, and the Cowboys picked him up off of waivers from Cleveland in 1984. He did next to nothing with the Cowboys.

Bill Houston, WR, Jackson State, 1974

Statistics: Houston caugth six passes for 72 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Houston made the team as a free agent in 1974, but he saw limited action.

Butch Johnson, WR, Calf.-Riverside, 1976-83

Statistics: Johnson caught 132 passes for 2124 yards and 19 TDs with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played eight seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Johnson was a dependable third receiver for the Cowboys but is better known for his outrageous personality. He invented the famous (or infamous, perhaps) California Quake, and he caught one of the most famous passes in team history in Super Bowl XII.

Mike Lucky, TE, Arizona, 1999, 2001-02

Statistics: Lucky caught 19 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Lucky was primarily a blocking tight end who saw action in goalline situations.

Garry Porterfield, DE, Tulsa, 1965

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than a full season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Porterfield looked great in the 1965 preseason but did next to nothing once the regular season began. He was released midway through the 1965 season.

Dave Sherer, P, Southern Methodist, 1960

Statistics: Sherer averaged 42.5 yards per punt with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Baltimore took Sherer with its second pick in the 1959 draft, and Dallas acquired him in the 1960 expansion draft. Dallas let him go in 1961 because the team wanted a kicker who could handle both kicking and punting duties.

Mike Sherrard, WR, UCLA, 1986

Statistics: Sherrard caught 41 passes for 744 yards and 5 TDs with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He saw action during only one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: If anyone needed proof that luck was not on the Cowboys’ side during the 1980s, Sherrard provided that proof. After showing great promise during his rookie season, he suffered a series of leg injuries that caused him to miss the 1987 and 1988 seasons. He was cut and signed with San Francisco. Although never a standout player, he had a lengthy career with the 49ers, Giants, and Broncos.

Waddell Smith, WR, Kansas, 1984

Statistics: Smith caught one pass for seven yards with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He made the team as a free agent and played mostly on special teams.

Isaiah Stanback, WR, Washington, 2007-present

Statistics: Stanback averaged 26.0 yards on three kickoff returns in 2007.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He will enter his second season in 2008.

Intangibles: Like Eric Bjornson, Stanback played quarterback at Washington before being drafted by Dallas and converted to another position. Stanback has shown progress as a receiver, but injuries may set him back early this season.

Tyrone Williams, WR, Western Ontario, 1993

Statistics: Williams caught one pass for 25 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Not to be confused with the Tyrone Williams who played defensive back in 2004 (and who wore #37), this Tyrone Williams was a reserve receiver who caught one big 25-yard pass in a 38-3 win over Washington in 1993.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #86.

Greatest #86

  • Butch Johnson (91%, 167 Votes)
  • Dan Campbell (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Eric Bjornson (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Mike Sherrard (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Garry Porterfield (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Kenny Duckett (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Isaiah Stanback (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Bill Houston (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Waddell Smith (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dave Sherer (0%, 0 Votes)
  • James Dixon (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Mike Lucky (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ralph Coleman (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Duriel Harris (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tyrone Williams (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 184

Loading ... Loading ...

My Vote: Johnson

Butch JohnsonJohnson was one of the most memorable players in team history. Nobody can forget the sight of him laying out to catch Roger Staubach’s pass in Super Bowl XII, barely hanging on with his fingertips and then rolling into the end zone (whether it should have been a legal reception really doesn’t matter . . . ). And his California Quake ranks with Billy “White Shoes” Johnson’s dance as one of the most famous individual celebrations in league history.

Bjornson was not a bust, but he could not live up to the expectation that he could replace Novacek. The others were role players, backups, and/or simply not with the team long enough to accomplish anything close to what Johnson did in Dallas.

Subscribe / Share

Article by Matt Cordon

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

    I’ve always had my doubts about Johnson’s “catch” in SB XII.

    His own reaction leads me to believe that even he thought he dropped or fumbled it. I know the ground cannot cause a fumble, but it can cause an incompletion, at least on the regular field of play between the goal lines.

    Perhaps in the end-zone, it is enough to cross the plane and have possession of the ball, still, it seems to me you must control the ball when hitting the ground or have it ruled an incompletion.

    I think we still would’ve killed the Broncos even w/o Butch’s questionable catch.

  • Tim Truemper

    I’m with Fred on the catch. I think it was a great effort by Butch but an embarrassment that the refs called it a catch.

    On Eric Bjornson–I don’t think he ever got a fair shake in the Dallas Offense. His first year starting he did some good things and showed he was also a durable runner. Over time, he seemed to just get forgotten–as if Aikman lost confidence in him and just didn’t deliver to him. In his last year with Dallas, I remember a great deep ball he caught–and the color announcer wondering why Bjornson was not thrown to more.

Connect

newsletter software
Get Adobe Flash player