Greatest Players by Number
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This series reviews every player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, organized by their jersey numbers.
As we wait for the 2016 season to open, here is a quiz about uniform numbers.
The Cowboys showed they are not finished building their roster, as the team added Christine Michael on Sunday. His addition means that the Cowboys currently have 15 players on the 53-man roster who were not on the team last year. Three others are on reserve rosters for a variety of reasons.
Here are the new players and their jersey numbers (as of Monday):
#13: WR Lucky Whitehead.
Last worn by WR Anthony Armstrong, who played in one game in 2012.
#17: QB Kellen Moore
Last worn by Dwayne Harris, who played for the Cowboys from 2011 to 2014 before signing with the Giants.
#20: RB Darren McFadden
Last worn by Tyler Patmon, who will now wear #26.
#23: CB Corey White
Last worn by Jakar Hamilton, who played in Dallas in 2013 and 2014.
#30: RB Christine Michael
Last worn by Sterling Moore in 2012. He later changed to #26.
#31: DB Byron Jones
Last worn by Micah Pellerin, who was on the roster from 2012 to 2014.
#52: LB Andrew Gachkar
Last worn by Justin Durant, who now plays in Atlanta.
#54: LB Jasper Brinkely
Last worn by Bruce Carter, who signed with Tampa Bay.
#56: LB Keith Smith
Last worn by Troy Davis, who was on the roster in 2014.
#57: LB Damien Wilson
Last worn by DeVonte Holloman, who had to retire after suffering a neck injury.
#71: OL La’el Collins
Last worn by Donald Hawkins, who played in one game in 2014.
#87: TE Geoff Swaim
Last worn by Jordan Najvar in 2014.
#93: DT Ken Bishop
Last worn by Anthony Spencer, who signed with New Orleans before being placed on injured reserve.
#94: DE Randy Gregory
Last worn by Josh Brent, who retired.
#99: DE Ryan Russell
Last worn by George Selvie, who signed with the New York Giants.
It turns out that the entire 2013 draft class made the 53-man roster for the Cowboys (pending trades, which are not expected).
Not sure if any of these rookies will become the greatest players to wear these numbers, but there is always a chance. Here’s a look.
New #20: B.W. Webb
Greatest #20: Mel Renfro
Webb will not have a starting position without injuries and will have to prove himself on special teams this year. Renfro was a Pro Bowl player as a rookie and remained a Pro Bowl player for the next decade.
New #27: J.J. Wilcox
Wilcox may see some time at safety, which is not a deep position. However, he has a chance to develop into a starter. Fellows spent time as a returner for three seasons before finally earning a starting role in 1984.
Randle will probably see quite a bit of action in 2013, given the injury history of DeMarco Murray. Hill was an All-Pro as a rookie in 1969 and eventually became the Cowboys’ first 1,000-yard rusher.
New #38: Jeff Heath
Heath made the squad as an undrafted free agent. He will likely be limited to special teams play. Few notable players have worn #38, evidenced by the selection kicker/punter Sam Baker as the greatest player to wear the number. Roy Williams also wore it in his final (and forgettable) season in Dallas in 2008.
New #57: DeVonte Holloman
Holloman is a former college safety who made the transition to linebacker. He can become the greatest #57 by outperforming Kevin Burnett, who played only four seasons in Dallas as a backup.
New #70: Travis Frederick
Frederick will start at center this year and looks like a solid player. He’ll need to accomplish quite a bit to become the greatest #70, though, given that Wright is a Hall-of-Famer.
New #83: Terrance Williams
Williams will see the field as the third receiver this year, and he has quite a bit of potential. He’ll need to perform consistently to outperform Glenn, who gave the Cowboys back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2005 and 2006.
New #89: Gavin Escobar
Escobar is one of four tight ends the Cowboys kept, so he will have limited opportunities to shine in 2013. DuPree did not put up big numbers by modern standards, but he was a force during his time.
The list for numbers between 76 and 80 in the Greatest Player by Number series is one of the longer ones among these updates. However, there are not many updates to report, so this post will be relatively short.
Junior Siavii wore #78 in 2009. Tackle Jimmy Parnell, who remains on the 2012 preseason roster, wore #78 in limited action in 2011.
Jacob Rogers was the last player to wear #79 in 2005.
Anthony Fasano wore #80 in two season before being traded to Miami. Martellus Bennett wore #80 from 2008 to 2011, but he signed with the Giants in the offseason.
The complete list:
Below is an update in the Greatest Player by Number series. This focuses on numbers 71 through 75. This gives us a real treat, as we are reminded of the glory days of Phil Pozderac and Danny Noonan. Not to leave out a few others.
No player has worn #73 in a regular season game since Larry Allen left after the 2005 season.
The only player assured of 100% of the votes was Bob Lilly, who is the only player to ever wear #74. Some players have worn it during preseason, but whoever has it won’t keep it.
Marc Columbo wore #75 during this time in Dallas, which ended in 2010. Derrick Dockery wore it in 2011.
Here is the complete list:
I keep saying I need to finish this update, but I’ve had another long delay. Here is the update to ## 66-70 in the Greatest Player by Number series.
Tackle Doug Free might possibly become the greatest player to wear #68. The winner of the 2008 poll was former guard Herb Scott.
Defensive tackle Jimmy Saddler-McQueen wore #69 during a brief stint with Dallas in 2010.
Leonard Davis played for Dallas from 2007 through 2010.
Here is the complete list:
The latest entry on greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers focuses on numbers 61 through 65.
The greatest #62 remains center John Fitzgerald, notwithstanding the work that Brian Baldinger has done on NFL Network.
Kyle Kosier was released this offseason, marking the end of his Dallas career that started in 2006. He was a solid contributor, but he was not better than Larry Cole.
Defensive tackle Jeremy Clark wore #63 for three games in 2010.
Andre Gurode ended his career in Dallas after the 2010 season.
As always, the complete list:
Here is another entry on greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. This one focuses on number 56 through 60, though there are few updates to report.
Hollywood Henderson remains the greatest to wear #56 for the Cowboys. Bradie James wore the number for nine seasons, but he never evolved into an all-time great. He will play for the Houston Texans in 2012.
Linebacker Jason Williams wore #58 during his brief stint in 2009 and 2010. He is not greater than Mike Hegman.
Linebacker Brandon Williams wore #59 in 2010. He is not better than Dat Nguyen, who earned the most votes in 2008.
The greatest to wear #60 is guard/center Derek Kennard. Kevin Kowalski has worn the number since joining the Cowboys in 2011.
The complete list is below:
Training camp begins in San Antonio on July 27, so it’s about time to finish this series updating the greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. This one focuses on number 51 through 55.
Several good players have worn #51, including Ken Norton and Dave Manders. Keith Brooking has worn the number since 2009, but he does not rank in the same category as those two (at least with respect to what he’s done in Dallas).
A couple of no-names have worn #52 in the past few years, including Carlos Polk (2008) and Leon Williams (2010). New linebacker Dan Connor is schedule to wear it in 2012. Dexter Coakley and Dave Edwards are still at the top.
Two of the greatest players of all time wore #54, including Randy White and Chuck Howley. First-round bust Bobby Carpenter wore the number from 2006 to 2009, and linebackers Jason Williams and Kenwin Cummings have worn it since. Carter will wear it in 2012.
Zach Thomas wore #55 during his only season with Dallas in 2008. Second-year player Alex Albright is scheduled to wear it after wearing #47 in 2011.
And the complete list…
Not much of an update for greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers between jersey numbers 46 through 50.
Dexter Clinkscale remains the greatest to wear #47. He was most famous for being a member of Thurman’s Thieves. Linebacker Alex Albright wore the number in 2011.
This was a no-brainer, as Daryl Johnston is the only notable player to wear #48. Nobody has worn the number in the regular season since Terry Witherspoon in 2001.
Sean Lee may turn out to be the greatest to wear #50, but it’s still awfully early. D.D. Lewis had 13 solid seasons in Dallas, and the late Jerry Tubbs had his own contributions in the early days of the franchise.
Below is the complete list: