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.

 

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #45

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #45

Eight players have worn #45, including three running backs, three defensive backs, a tight end, and a receiver/cornerback.

L.G. Dupre, RB, Baylor, 1960-61

Statistics: Dupre rushed for 422 with three touchdown in Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dupre was the first starting halfback with the Cowboys. He was an important part of the Colts in the late 1950s but was near the end of his career when he joined the Cowboys.

Richmond Flowers, S, Tennessee, 1969-71

Statistics: Flowers recovered one fumble with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Flowers played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: A second round pick, Flowers was converted from a receiver to a safety when he arrived in Dallas. He was a part-time starter but generally had trouble developing. He was traded to the Giants during the 1971 season.

Manny Hendrix, CB, Utah, 1986-91

Statistics: Hendrix recorded two interceptions with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played six seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Hendrix was a converted basketball player who started several games at cornerback with the Cowboys. He was one of the few players to survive the Landry/Johnson transition, and he remained with the team until the end of the 1991 season.

Larry Robinson, RB, Tennessee, 1973

Statistics: Robinson averaged 21.5 yards on four kickoff returns.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Robinson was another basketball player that the Cowboys signed as a free agent. He played sparingly as a returner but was released after the 1973 season, his only as a pro.

Mike Solwold, TE, Wisconsin, 2001

Statistics: Solwold did not record any notable stats.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played part of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He also played briefly with Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

Nicky Sualua, FB, Ohio State, 1997-98

Statistics: Sualua did not record any notable stats.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Sualua is unfortunately best remembered for being with Mark Tuinei with the former tackle died of a drug overdose. As a player, Sualua did very little, though he started a game in replacement of an injured Daryl Johnston.

Steve Wilson, WR/CB, Howard, 1979-81

Statistics: Wilson recorded six interceptions with the Cowboys. As a receiver, he also caught three passes for 76 yards.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Wilson was signed as a wide receiver but moved to defensive back after his rookie season. He started several games in 1980 and 1981 but was released prior to the 1982 season. He signed with Denver and enjoyed a six-year career with the Broncos.

Rolly Woolsey, DB, Boise State, 1975

Statistics: Woolsey averaged 20.6 yards on 12 kickoff returns.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Woolsey was part of the Dirty Dozen in 1975. A fast player, he moved on to play with Seattle, St. Louis, and Cleveland.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #45:

Greatest #45

  • Manny Hendrix (55%, 36 Votes)
  • L.G. Dupre (15%, 10 Votes)
  • Steve Wilson (12%, 8 Votes)
  • Richmond Flowers (9%, 6 Votes)
  • Nicky Sualua (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Rolly Woolsey (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Larry Robinson (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Mike Solwold (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 66

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My Vote: Hendrix

Manny HendrixThere are not many good choices here, though several of these players were multi-talented. I went with Hendrix due largely to his longevity. I remember him as a good athlete who made the difficult transition from college basketball to pro football. He has been involved with Utah athletics since his retirement.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #44

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #44

Seven players have worn #44, including three running backs, three defensive backs, and a tight end.

Don Bishop, CB, City College of Los Angeles, 1960-65

Statistics: Bishop recorded 22 interceptions with the Cowboys, including eight in 1961.

Accolades: He was named to the Pro Bowl once.

Longevity: He played six seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Bishop is one of the forgotten Cowboys. He had very good speed and was a leader in the Dallas secondary during the team’s early history. He ranks 11th on the team’s all-time interception list.

Michael Brooks, S, North Carolina State, 1990

Statistics: Brooks did not record any meaningful stats with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He dressed for three games in 1990.

Intangibles: He saw action on special teams but did very little.

Lincoln Coleman, RB, Baylor, 1993-94

Statistics: Coleman rushed for 312 yards with three touchdowns as one of Emmitt Smith’s backups.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Coleman is probably best remembered for his performance on Thanksgiving Day in 1993 in the “Snow Bowl.” Filing in for an injured Smith, Coleman rushed for 57 yards. He remained on the team in 1994 but was released before the 1995 season.

Cornell Gowdy, DB, Morgan State, 1986

Statistics: Gowdy did not record any notable statistics in Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He saw action in three games in 1986.

Intangibles: Not much worth noting.

Rodney Hannah, TE, Houston, 2007-

Statistics: Hannah has not yet played in an NFL game.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He was on the practice squad in 2007.

Intangibles: Hannah may not make the team in 2008, but he remains on the roster.

Robert Newhouse, FB, Houston, 1972-83

Statistics: Newhouse rushed for 4784 and 31 touchdowns with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played 12 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Newhouse was one of the most dependable Cowboys during the dozen years he spent on the team. He was a starter in the mid- to late-1970s and led the team in rushing in 1975. Injuries slowed him down in 1978 and 1979, and he lost his starting job by 1980. However, he continued to play on special teams for the final few years of his career.

Robert Thomas, FB, Henderson State, 1998-02

Statistics: Thomas caught 50 passes for 280 yards with the Cowboys. He also had 157 rushing yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Thomas was the first experiment in converting a linebacker to play fullback (Oliver Hoyte being another). Thomas was not a bad player but was also not Daryl Johnston, the man who Thomas replaced as Emmitt Smith’s primary blocker.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #44

  • Robert Newhouse (94%, 136 Votes)
  • Robert Thomas (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Don Bishop (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Lincoln Coleman (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Rodney Hannah (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Michael Brooks (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Cornell Gowdy (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 145

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My Vote: Newhouse

Robert NewhouseNewhouse endeared himself to many fans with his play, where he clawed for every yard he could get. And with 44″ thighs, he had the means to put up a good fight. “The Human Bowling Ball” is best remembered for his touchdown pass to Golden Richards in Super Bowl XII.

Bishop deserves special mention here. He was the first Pro Bowl defensive back in franchise history, and his statistics in terms of interceptions– especially between 1960 and 1963– compare favorably with anyone else in franchise history.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #43

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #43

Five players have worn #43, including four defensive backs and a running back.

Greg Briggs, S, Texas Southern, 1995

Statistics: Briggs saw action in 11 games in 1995.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys originally drafted Briggs in 1992, but he struggled with injuries and development for three years. He finally made the squad in 1995 and saw action on special teams. He layer played with the Vikings and Bears.

Cliff Harris, S, Ouachita, 1970-79

Statistics: Harris had 29 career interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries.

Accolades: 6 Pro Bowls and named All-Pro numerous times. He was a member of the All-Decade team of the 1970s and is a member of the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.

Longevity: Harris played 10 seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Harris was a free agent pickup out of little Ouachita Baptist College who turned into one of the great players of all time. Known as “Captain Crash,” Harris was a hard-hitter who had more than his share of big plays.

Elvis Patterson, CB, Kansas, 1993

Statistics: Patterson saw action in 11 games in 1993.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

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

Intangibles: Patterson had a long career prior to coming to Dallas. After serving on special teams in part of the 1993 season, he was released when the Cowboys would not meet his salary demands.

Don Perkins, RB, New Mexico, 1961-68

Statistics: Perkins rushed for 6217 yards and scored 42 touchdowns with the Cowboys. At the time of his retirement, Perkins ranked fifth on the all-time rushing list.

Accolades: He was named All Pro once and was named to six Pro Bowls. He is a member of the Ring of Honor.

Longevity: Perkins played eight seasons in Dallas. An injury kept him out of his rookie season in 1960, and he was only 30 when he retired after the 1968 season.

Intangibles: Perkins had good acceleration, was a good pass receiver out of the backfield, and had great acceleration to make up for average speed. One of his best games came in the 1966 NFL Championship against Green Bay, when Perkins rushed for 108 yards on 17 attempts.

Izell Reese, S, Alabama-Birmingham, 1998-01

Statistics: Reese had seven interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas. The Cowboys resigned him in 2005, but he was released before the season.

Intangibles: Reese was a special teams player and part-time starter during his time in Dallas. He was also a starter with Denver and Buffalo after leaving Dallas.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #43

  • Cliff Harris (78%, 119 Votes)
  • Don Perkins (20%, 30 Votes)
  • Izell Reese (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Elvis Patterson (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Greg Briggs (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 153

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My Vote: Harris

Cliff HarrisThis should be a really close vote. As far as accomplishments, both Harris and Perkins have six Pro Bowl appearances, and both were clearly dominant players during their eras.

During the 1970s, Harris was the best at his position in the NFL, confirmed by the fact that he was named to the All-Decade team. That he is not a member of the Hall of Fame while others such as Dick Anderson (Miami), Ken Houston (Houston and Washington), Larry Wilson (St. Louis), Roger Wehrli (St. Louis), Jimmy Johnson (San Francisco), and Willie Brown (Oakland) are is a complete travesty. Perkins, on the other hand, was not quite as highly regarded compared to his peers in terms of running backs of the 1960s. Taking nothing away from Perkins, this gives Harris a slight edge in our competition.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #42

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #42

Thirteen players have worn #42, including seven running backs and six defensive backs.

Darryl Clack, RB, Arizona State, 1986-89

Statistics: Clack averaged 21.7 yards per kickoff return.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Clack played behind Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker and never really evolved beyond a kickoff return specialist. He had a total of 113 rushing yards in four seasons.

Ricky Easmon, DB, Florida, 1985

Statistics: Easmon started one game with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played half of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Easmon was released during the 1985 season and later played for Tampa Bay.

Troy Hambrick, RB, Savannah State, 2000-03

Statistics: Hambrink rushed for 1896 yards and 8 TDs with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Hambrink will best be remembered as a short-lived replacement for Emmitt Smith. He lacked big-play ability, however, and moved on to Arizona after one season as a starter in Dallas.

Anthony Henry, CB, South Florida, 2005-

Statistics: Henry has recorded 11 interceptions and scored two touchdowns with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He enters his fourth season in Dallas in 2008.

Intangibles: Henry has shown flashes in Dallas since being signed as a free agent in 2005. However, he has also had injury problems that have slowed him down. His six interceptions in 2007 was nevertheless a career high.

Randy Hughes, S, Oklahoma, 1975-80

Statistics: Hughes recorded 11 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Hughes played six seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Hughes was part of the Dirty Dozen draft of 1975 and served as a capable backup to Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters. He recorded an interception and recovered two fumbles in Super Bowl XII in perhaps his best performance as a pro. He was the likely replacement for Harris in 1980, but injuries kept him out of action for much of that year, and he retired before the 1981 season.

Don McIlhenny, RB, Southern Methodist, 1960-61

Statistics: McIlhenny rushed for 321 yards and one touchdown with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than two full seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: He was part of the 1960 expansion draft, noteworthy because he was a former SMU star. However, he did not have many chances in Dallas and was traded to the 49ers midway through the 1961 season.

Jim Ridlon, S, Syracuse, 1963-64

Statistics: Ridlon recorded four interceptions for the Cowboys.

Accolades: He was named All-Pro by The Sporting News in 1964.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He came to Dallas in 1963 after six years in San Francisco. His final season as a pro was his best when he picked off four passes and recovered two fumbles.

Stan Smagala, DB, Notre Dame, 1990-91

Statistics: Smagala played in 11 games with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in parts of two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Here’s a funny quote: “Smagala never doubted his ability, despite having the body build that could be confused with your favorite grocery checkout boy.” Not sure what I could add to that.

Chris Warren, RB, Ferrum, 1998-00

Statistics: Warren rushed for 948 yards and scored eight touchdowns with Dallas.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Warren was a former Pro Bowler when he joined the Cowboys in 1998. He rushed for more than 6700 yards in eight years with Seattle and was an adequate backup for the Cowboys. However, he had slowed down considerably by 2000 and was released near the end of the season.

Claxton Welch, RB, Oregon, 1969-71

Statistics: Welch rushed for 85 yards and scored one touchdown with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a little-used backup to Walt Garrison in Dallas.

A.D. Whitfield, RB, North Texas, 1965

Statistics: Whitfield had one career rushing attempt with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one year in Dallas.

Intangibles: Whitfield did very little in Dallas but later became the starting fullback in Washington.

Charlie Williams, S, Bowling Green, 1995-00

Statistics: Williams recorded one interception and 84 career tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played six seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: A former third-round pick, Williams spent his career as a special teams player.

Robert Wilson, FB, Texas A&M, 1994

Statistics: Wilson had one rushing attempt in Dallas for minus-one yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in two games with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: The former Texas A&M star was signed to compete as a backup fullback. However, he did very little with the team and was released after seeing action in two games.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #42

  • Anthony Henry (66%, 87 Votes)
  • Randy Hughes (25%, 33 Votes)
  • Darryl Clack (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Charlie Williams (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Troy Hambrick (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Chris Warren (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Jim Ridlon (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Don McIlhenny (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Robert Wilson (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Stan Smagala (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Claxton Welch (0%, 0 Votes)
  • A.D. Whitfield (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ricky Easmon (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 131

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My Vote: Henry

Anthony HenryThe players in this list aren’t completely unknown, but most were backups. Hughes could have been very good, but he suffered injuries that kept him from being a long-time starter. Hambrink and Warren were capable backups but little more. And while Ridlon earned All-Pro honors, he does not have a long list of accomplishments in Dallas.

Henry has started more games already than anyone else on this list. He has also accomplished more statistically than any of the other defensive backs, even though he has only played three seasons in Dallas. Tough call, but I’ll give it to Henry.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #41

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #41

Eight players, all defensive backs, have worn #41. And friends, do we ever have a battle between the old and new school fans with this one.

Anthony Coleman, DB, Baylor, 1987

Statistics: He was a replacement player who did not record any meaningful statistics.

Accolades: Replacement player.

Longevity: Replacement player.

Intangibles: Replacement player.

Pat Dennis, CB, Louisiana-Monroe, 2001

Statistics: Dennis had 16 tackles as a Cowboy.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played part of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys signed Dennis after he was released by Kansas City, which had drafted him in the fifth round in 2000. He did very little in Dallas and ended up moving on following the 2001 season.

Kareem Larrimore, CB, West Texas A&M, 2000-01

Statistics: Larrimore had 17 tackles with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than two full seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Larrimore was one of three corners taken in the 2000 draft, and like second-rounder Dwayne Goodrich, Larrimore was a failure. How low did Larrimore end up falling? At one point, he was signed by the Amarillo Dusters of the Intense Football League in 2004.

Warren Livingston, CB, Arizona, 1961-66

Statistics: Livingston had 10 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played six seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a part-time starter with the Cowboys, sharing time with Don Bishop. He was known as a great open field tackler with good speed.

Terence Newman, CB, Kansas State, 2003-

Statistics: Newman has 16 career interceptions.

Accolades: He has been named to one Pro Bowl.

Longevity: He will play his sixth NFL season in 2008.

Intangibles: Newman has developed into an elite cover man. It has been a travesty that he was not selected for the Pro Bowl until 2007, but he continues to improve. Injuries slowed him slightly in 2007, but he showed towards the end of the season how valuable he is.

Dave Thomas, CB, Tennessee, 1993-94

Statistics: Thomas had two tackles and no picks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Thomas played two seasons in Dallas before being picked up by Jacksonville in the 1994 expansion draft.

Intangibles: Thomas is much better known for his play with the Jaguars and Giants than with Dallas, where he played on special teams.

Charlie Waters, DB, Clemson, 1970-78, 1980-81

Statistics: Waters recorded 41 regular season interceptions. He also started 22 career playoff games, which is tied for the fifth most in NFL history. And his nine career playoff interceptions tied an NFL record that still stands today. He likewise tied an NFL playoff record with three interceptions against the Chicago Bears in 1977.

Accolades: He was named to the Pro Bowl three times.

Longevity: He played 11 seasons in the NFL, missing the 1979 season with an injury.

Intangibles: Waters started at corner for the first few years of his career, but when Cornell Green retired before the 1975 season, Waters took over at strong safety. From there, Waters became one of the best safeties in the NFL, teaming up with Cliff Harris to form part of one of the most memorable defensive backfields in team history.

Charles Wright, DB, Tulsa, 1988

Statistics: Wright did not record any stats of interest.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played part of the 1988 season with Dallas.

Intangibles: He saw some special teams action but little more.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #41

  • Charlie Waters (79%, 189 Votes)
  • Terence Newman (20%, 48 Votes)
  • Anthony Coleman (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Warren Livingston (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Charles Wright (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Pat Dennis (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kareem Larrimore (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dave Thomas (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 240

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My Vote: Waters

Charlie WatersI am certainly taking nothing away from Terence Newman, who has become a great player. And I suspect he may very well receive many votes because he is a current star on the team. But to be quite frank, this one belongs to Waters. He was at his best in the playoffs, where he set the NFL records referred to above. In a 1976 playoff loss to the Rams, Waters recorded two blocked punts and an interception. Two years later against the Rams in the NFC Championship, Waters picked off two passes and recovered a fumble in a 28-0 win. Newman may get opportunities to match these performances, but as of now, Waters simply accomplished more than Newman has.

Recap: Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers, 1-40

Here is a recap of the leaders of the polls for Greatest Players by Their Jersey Numbers thus far.

Number Name Pos. College Years
1 Mat McBriar (62%) P Hawaii 2004-present
2 Lin Elliott (65%) K Texas Tech 1992-1993
3 Billy Cundiff (29%) K Drake 2002-2005
4 Mike Saxon (76%) P San Diego St. 1985-1992
5 Clint Stoerner (80%) QB Arkansas 2000-2002
6 Nick Folk (94%) K Arizona 2007-present
7 Steve Beuerlein (70%) QB Notre Dame 1991-1992
8 Troy Aikman (91%) QB UCLA 1989-2000
9 Tony Romo (98%) QB Eastern Ill. 2003-present
10 Ron Widby (76%) P Tennessee 1968-1971
11 Danny White (96%) QB/P Arizona State 1976-1988
12 Roger Staubach (96%) QB Navy 1969-1979
13 Jerry Rhome (86%) QB Tulsa 1965-1968
14 Craig Morton (74%) QB California 1965-1974
15 Toni Fritsch (77%) K Vienna, Austria 1971-1973, 1975
16 Vinny Testaverde (65%) QB Miami 2004
17 Don Meredith (88%) QB SMU 1960-1968
18 Chris Boniol (65%) K Louisiana Tech 1994-1996
19 Lance Rentzel (37%) WR Oklahoma 1967-1970
20 Mel Renfro (88%) DB Oregon 1964-1977
21 Deion Sanders (96%) DB Florida St. 1995-1999
22 Emmitt Smith (91%) RB Florida 1990-2002
23 Robert Williams (36%) DB Baylor 1987-1993
24 Everson Walls (81%) DB Grambling 1981-1989
25 Pat Watkins (36%) DB Florida St. 2006-present
26 Kevin Smith (31%) DB Texas A&M 1992-1999
27 Ron Fellows (39%) DB Missouri 1981-1986
28 Darren Woodson (100%) DB Arizona St. 1992-2003
29 Kenneth Gant (61%) DB Albany St. 1990-1994
30 Dan Reeves (78%) RB South Carolina 1965-1972
31 Roy Williams (65%) S Oklahoma 2002-present
32 Walt Garrison (64%) RB Oklahoma St. 1966-1974
33 Tony Dorsett (95%) RB Pitt 1977-1987
34 Herschel Walker (56%) RB Georgia 1986-89, 1996-97
35 Calvin Hill (90%) RB Yale 1969-1974
36 Vince Albritton (42%) S Washington 1984-1991
37 James Washington (94%) S UCLA 1990-1994
38 Sam Baker (43%) P/K Oregon St. 1962-1963
39 Lousaka Polite (53%) RB Pitt 2004-2006
40 Bill Bates (99%) S Tennessee 1983-1997

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #40

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #40

Six players have worn #40, including three defensive backs, two running backs, and a receiver.

Bill Bates

Bill Bates, S, Tennessee, 1983-97

Statistics: Bates recorded 667 tackles with the Cowboys, as well as 14 interceptions.

Accolades: He was named to the Pro Bowl once.

Longevity: Bates played 15 seasons in the NFL, all with Dallas.

Intangibles: Bates was nothing short of a legend with the Cowboys, excelling beyond his talent level. He was the first special teams player to be named to the Pro Bowl for his work there, as opposed to defense. He later became a starter and remained a key contributor through the 1990s. The “intangibles” category of this survey was designed with Bates in mind.

Bobby Joe Conrad, WR, Texas A&M, 1969

Statistics: Conrad caught four passes for 74 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas, though he ranked seventh all time in receptions when he joined the Cowboys in 1969.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Conrad enjoyed a long career with the Cardinals but saw little action with the Cowboys.

Jim Harris, S, Oklahoma, 1961

Statistics: Harris recorded two interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played one season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Harris was the subject of a court battle after the Rams had apparently traded his rights to the Cowboys in 1960, but Harris signed with the Dallas Texans. A court later held in favor of the Cowboys, and he played one season with the team.

Eric Hurt, CB, Cal. State San Jose, 1980

Statistics: Hurt averaged 17.4 yards per return with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season with Dallas.

Intangibles: He suffered through a series of injuries in his only season in the NFL.

Jim Stiger, RB, Washington, 1963-65

Statistics: Stiger rushed for 470 yards and scored two touchdowns with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Stiger was a part time starter in the early 1960s before being traded to the Rams in 1965.

Les Strayhorn, RB, East Carolina, 1973-74

Statistics: Strayhorn rushed for 128 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: A 17th-round pick in 1973, Strayhorn saw limited action and retired after two seasons.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #40

  • Bill Bates (99%, 201 Votes)
  • Bobby Joe Conrad (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Les Strayhorn (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Jim Harris (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Eric Hurt (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jim Stiger (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 203

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My Vote: Bates

There is simply no doubt about this one. Anyone who knows anything about the Dallas Cowboys knows the story of Bill Bates. For the few who don’t, here are a couple of very good clips that feature him:

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #39

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #39

If you thought some of the other numbers were bad, we’ve now reached perhaps the worst jersey number in franchise history. Six players have worn #39, including five running backs and one defensive back.

Derrick Gainer, RB, Florida A&M, 1992-93

Statistics: Gainer gained 29 yards rushing with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played for parts of two seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Gainer’s biggest contribution came in the 1992 playoffs when he scored a touchdown against the Eagles. He was the otherwise used as a special teams player.

E.J. Jones, RB, Kansas, 1987

Statistics: Jones rushed for 7 yards as a replacement player in 1987.

Accolades: Replacement player.

Longevity: Replacement player.

Intangibles: Replacement player.

Ryan Neufeld, FB, UCLA, 1999

Statistics: Neufeld did not record any statistics of note with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He later played for the Jaguars and most recently with the Bills, seeing most of his action with Buffalo.

Lousaka Polite, FB, Pittsburgh, 2004-06

Statistics: Polite caught 12 passes for 97 yards and also rushed for 26 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Polite was a below-average blocking fullback with the Cowboys. He spent last season with Chicago but played very little.

Broderick Sargent, FB, Baylor, 1989

Statistics: Sargent rushed for 87 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He started five games in 1989, but that was his last NFL season. He later played in the Arena Football League.

Donald Smith, S, Liberty, 1991

Statistics: Smith recorded a total of two special teams tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He dressed for three games with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: He was a 10th round pick by Minnesota in 1990 but did very little in the NFL.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #39

  • Lousaka Polite (53%, 35 Votes)
  • Derrick Gainer (39%, 26 Votes)
  • Broderick Sargent (5%, 3 Votes)
  • E.J. Jones (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Donald Smith (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Ryan Neufeld (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 66

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If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.

My Vote: Gainer

Derrick GainerGiven that we really don’t have any good choices in this list, I am left with two factors: (1) do I go with a player who is an alumnus of my current employer (see Robert Williams and Thomas Everett; but see Ron Francis)?, or (2) do I go with a player who scored a touchdown in a playoff game, of which I happen to have a copy? For purposes of showing said game clip, I’m going with Gainer.

Sargent deserves consideration because he actually started a few games at fullback. The others were minor role players who accomplished very little with Dallas.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #38

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #38

Seven players have worn #38, including four defensive backs, two running backs, and a kicker.

Note: Roy Williams will wear #38 beginning in 2008. I included him with #31, so he is not listed here.

Sam Baker, P/K, Oregon State, 1962-63

Statistics: Baker averaged 44.7 yards per punt and made 48.9% of his field goals.

Accolades: He made the Pro Bowl once with Dallas and otherwise a total of four times.

Longevity: Of his 15 years in the NFL, Baker played two in Dallas.

Intangibles: Baker was a great punter, a good kicker, and also a running back. He was known for raising hell off the field, which is why Dallas traded him to Philadelphia prior to the 1964 season.

Obvious Note: This Sam Baker should not be confused with USC tackle Sam Baker, who was selected by Atlanta in this year’s draft.

Ron Francis, CB, Baylor, 1987-90

Statistics: Francis had four interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Baylor graduate was a second round pick in 1987 but started just 17 games during his career. Many of his problems were due to injury.

Chris Hall, S, East Carolina, 1993

Statistics: None.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas, mostly on the practice squad.

Intangibles: The former ninth round pick was cut in 1992 but brought back in 1993, which was his only season as a pro.

Duane Hawthorne, CB, Northern Illinois, 1999-02

Statistics: Hawthorne had six interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas before being released.

Intangibles: Hawthorne developed into a starter by 2001, his third season in the league, but he was released during the following season.

David Lang, RB, Northern Arizona, 1995

Statistics: Lang had one carry for seven yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Lang was a part-time starter with the Rams before joining the Cowboys, but he did very little in Dallas.

Lynn Scott, S, Northwestern Oklahoma, 2001-05

Statistics: Scott had 41 tackles and one interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Scott started several games in 2004, the team’s first without Darren Woodson. However, he lacked speed and was never considered a long-term solution at strong or free safety.

John Williams, FB, Wisconsin, 1985

Statistics: Williams gained 40 yards in 13 carried with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in part of one season with Dallas.

Intangibles: Williams was once a USFL player before he signed with Dallas. He later played with Seattle, New Orleans, and Indianapolis.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #38

  • Sam Baker (44%, 36 Votes)
  • Lynn Scott (27%, 22 Votes)
  • Ron Francis (15%, 12 Votes)
  • Duane Hawthorne (15%, 12 Votes)
  • David Lang (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Chris Hall (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Williams (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 82

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If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.

My Vote: Baker

Sam BakerMy paycheck might tell me to go with Francis, but Baker is the only Pro Bowler on this list. His 45.4 yards-per-punt average in 1962 stood along as a record until Mat McBriar broke it in 2006. McBriar and Baker are currently tied for the highest career average with Dallas, with both averaging 44.7 yards-per-punt.

Francis, Hawthorne, and Scott really never did much, though each started a few games.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #37

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #37

Nine players have worn #37, including five defensive backs and four running backs.

Phil Clark, DB, Northwestern, 1967-69

Statistics: Clark recorded three interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Clark showed promise during the late 1960s. However, after a disappointing 1969 season, along with the signing of several new defensive backs in 1970, he became expendable. He was traded that year to Chicago.

Perry Lee Dunn, RB, Mississippi, 1964-65

Statistics: Dunn rushed for 274 yards and three touchdowns with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dunn was a converted college quarterback who saw some action in 1964 and 1965. However, he left for Atlanta after the Cowboys acquired Walt Garrison.

Jim Jensen, RB, Iowa, 1976

Statistics: He averaged 24.1 yards per kickoff return with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Not to be confused with the Miami Dolphins’ Jim Jensen, who played during the 1980s, the Jensen who played for Dallas had few opportunities to shine. Prior to the 1977 season, he was traded to Denver.

Dennis Morgan, RB, Western Illinois, 1974

Statistics: Morgan averaged 15.1 yards per punt return and 23.5 yards per kickoff return for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Known as “Strawberry” due to his red hair, Morgan tied an NFL record when he returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown against the Cardinals. He was traded to Philadelphia the following season.

Ike Thomas, CB, Bishop, 1971

Statistics: Thomas averaged 42.1 yards per kickoff return on seven returns.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Thomas had only seven kickoff returns for Dallas, but two of them went for touchdowns– quite an amazing feat. He was not a good defensive back, however, and was traded to the Packers in 1972.

Lee Vaughn, DB, Wyoming, 1997

Statistics: He did not record a stat with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He was on the practice squad for one season.

Intangibles: Nothing to mention here.

James Washington, S, UCLA, 1990-94

Statistics: Washington recorded 14 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: If there were a co-MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII, he would be it.

Longevity: He played five seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: Washington’s performance in SB XXVIII is legendary. He caused one fumble, returned another for a touchdown, and recorded a key interception that led to the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter. Originally signed as a Plan B free agent from the Rams, Washington started 58 games at both strong and free safety.

Gerald White, FB, Michigan, 1987

Statistics: White caught five passes for 46 yards for the Cowboys.

Accolades: Replacement player.

Longevity: Replacement player.

Intangibles: Replacement player.

Tyrone Williams, CB, Nebraska, 2004

Statistics: Williams recorded one sack and seven tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in part of one season with Dallas.

Intangibles: Williams was a starter for the Packers for several years and signed with Dallas in 2004. He was injured that season after playing in three games, and he never played again.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #37

  • James Washington (93%, 108 Votes)
  • Lee Vaughn (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Phil Clark (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Ike Thomas (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Jim Jensen (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Perry Lee Dunn (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dennis Morgan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Gerald White (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tyrone Williams (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 116

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If you still want to vote, please make a comment below.

My Vote: Washington

James WashingtonReally no contest here. Washington was a quality starter throughout most of the glory days of the early 1990s. His performance in SB XXVIII was more important than was Larry Brown’s in SB XXX, given that Washington made the plays that turned the game around, while Brown was mostly in the right place at the right time on his two famous interceptions.