Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #96

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #96

Five Cowboys have worn #96. Each of these players was a defensive lineman.

Welcome to the Battle of First-Round Busts

Antonio Anderson, DT, Syracuse, 1997-98

Statistics: Anderson recorded 21 tackles and two sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Anderson brought size (6’6, 311 pounds) to the Cowboys, but not much else. The fourth round pick was gone after two years.

Shante Carver, DE, Arizona State, 1994-97

Statistics: Carver recorded 11.5 sacks with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Carver was Jerry Jones’ first pick without Jimmy Johnson. In fact, Jones traded up to get Carver, who was a complete bust until his final year in 1997, when he recorded six sacks.

Ebenezer Ekuban, DE, North Carolina, 1999-03

Statistics: Ekuban recorded 12.5 sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Ekuban was the second consecutive North Carolina defensive end taken in the first round by the Cowboys. Whereas Greg Ellis has had a solid career, Ekuban was a disappointment. In his final two seasons with Dallas, he recorded 3.5 sacks. He has since become a more solid player with the Browns and Broncos.

Marcus Spears, DE, LSU, 2005-

Statistics: Spears has recorded 4.5 sacks, 79 tackles, and 44 assists with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He is currently in his fourth season with Dallas.

Intangibles: Spears has been a starter since he arrived in Dallas in 2005, but he mostly has been a disappointment. He was brought in just as Dallas began its transition to a 3-4 defense, but he has not consistently provided either solid run support or any type of pass pressure.

Daniel Stubbs, DE, Miami, Fla., 1990-91

Statistics: Stubbs recorded 8.5 sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: The 49ers took Stubbs in the second round of the 1988 draft, and the Cowboys acquired him via trade in 1990. He was a solid player on the 1990 squad but lost playing time to Leon Lett in 1991. He was sent to Cincinnati during the 1991 season. He played for five teams in 11 years.


Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #96.

Greatest #96

  • Marcus Spears (64%, 44 Votes)
  • Ebenezer Ekuban (22%, 15 Votes)
  • Shante Carver (6%, 4 Votes)
  • Daniel Stubbs (6%, 4 Votes)
  • Antonio Anderson (3%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 69

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My Vote: Spears

Marcus Spears

Marcus Spears

This is number where all of the choices are bad. Spears is on the road to being a bust, but unlike Carver and Ekuban, he has been a starter since he arrived. That is the only reason I would put him atop this list.

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