Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #87

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #87

Thirteen players have worn #87 for the Cowboys. This includes seven wide receivers, four tight ends, and two defensive ends.

Ray Alexander, WR, Florida A&M, 1988-89

Statistics: Alexander caught 55 passes for 804 yards and 6 TDs with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Alexander was a standout in the Canadian Football League, but he had only one good year in the NFL. After catching 54 passes for 788 yards in 1988, he was injured for most of the 1989 season and never played again.

Gordon Banks, WR, Stanford, 1985-87

Statistics: Banks caught 35 passes for 220 yards with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Banks was a former USFL standout who was a backup in Dallas.

Nate Borden, DE, Indiana, 1960-61

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Borden in the 1960 expansion draft from Green Bay. He started for the Cowboys in 1960 and part of 1961 before moving on to Buffalo in 1962.

Billy Davis, WR, Pittsburgh, 1995-98

Statistics: Davis caught 42 passes for 724 yards and three touchdowns with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Davis was a very good special teams player who became a starter in 1998. He was not a bad receiver, but when Dallas acquired Rocket Ismail in 1999, Davis moved on. After two seasons in Baltimore, he was out of the league.

Ron Howard, TE, Seattle, 1974-75

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Howard played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a former basketball player who played special teams in Dallas for two seasons. He played much more when he moved to Seattle in 1976.

Ken-Yon Rambo, WR, Ohio State, 2001-02

Statistics: Rambo caught 17 passes for 239 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: A product of Ohio State, Rambo saw quite a bit of action in 2002. However, that was his final year in the league.

Alfredo Roberts, TE, Miami, Fla., 1991-92

Statistics: Roberts caught 19 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The former teammate of Michael Irvin played two years in Dallas as a blocking tight end.

Jay Saldi, TE, South Carolina, 1976-82

Statistics: Saldi caught 63 passes for 704 yards and seven touchdowns with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played seven seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Saldi was Billy Joe DuPree’s primary backup from 1976 to 1980. He has some big plays in some important playoff games, including a touchdown catch that was Roger Staubach’s final career touchdown pass.

Zuriel Smith, WR, Hampton, 2003

Statistics: Smith averaged 7.1 yards per punt return and 21.5 yards per kickoff return for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Smith saw action in 2003 but had trouble making the team after that.

Andy Stynchula, DE, Penn State, 1968

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Stynchula played for the Colts, Redskins, and Giants before joining the Cowboys in 1968. He retired after one year in Dallas.

Billy Truax, TE, Louisiana State, 1971-73

Statistics: Truax caught 19 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was one of Roman Gabriel’s favorite targets in Los Angeles, and he backed up Mike Ditka in Dallas. However, injuries slowed him in 1972 and 1973, and he retired after the 1973 season.

Jason Tucker, WR, Texas Christian, 1999-00

Statistics: Tucker caught 36 passes for 565 and two touchdowns with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Tucker was a product of nearby TCU, and he made the squad as a free agent after being cut by Cincinnati. He caught a 90-yard touchdown pass from Troy Aikman in the season finale in 1999 in a win over the Giants that gave Dallas a playoff berth.

Dedric Ward, WR, Northern Iowa, 2004

Statistics: Ward caught one pass for five yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Ward was another former Jet who joined the Cowboys thanks to Bill Parcells. He saw action in only eight games and played mostly on special teams.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #87.

Greatest #87

  • Jay Saldi (82%, 77 Votes)
  • Alfredo Roberts (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Jason Tucker (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Ray Alexander (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Billy Davis (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Gordon Banks (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Zuriel Smith (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Billy Truax (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Dedric Ward (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Ron Howard (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ken-Yon Rambo (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Nate Borden (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Andy Stynchula (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 94

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My Vote: Saldi

Jay SaldiSaldi had several big plays, including a fumble recovery against Minnesota in the 1977 NFL Championship Game, the touchdown reception against Los Angeles in the 1979 playoffs, and a huge 37-yard reception against the Rams in the 1980 playoffs. Thanks to those and his longevity, he gets my vote.

Saldi’s son, John, tried out for the Cowboys in 2006 and 2007, but John failed to make the team.

  • ChrisBoyd1545

    where’s the recognition for Jason Hatcher?

  • dodger71

    Hatcher wears #97, not #87.  His summary is at http://goo.gl/c1Cbn.