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: #27

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #27

Twelve players have worn #27, including eight defensive backs and four running backs.

Courtney Brown, S, Cal Poly, 2007-

Statistics: Brown recorded one fumble recovery in 2007.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Brown will enter his second season in 2008.

Intangibles: A seventh-round pick last year, Brown played in eight games for the Cowboys in 2007. He will need to show more next season if he is going to remain here long-term.

Mario Edwards, CB, Florida State, 2000-03

Statistics: Edwards recorded four interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Edwards played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was part of the 2000 draft, when the Cowboys took three cornerbacks. Edwards lasted longer than Dwayne Goodrich and Kareem Larrimore, starting 47 games in four seasons. He left via free agency in 2004 but played only one season with Tampa Bay.

Thomas Everett, S, Baylor, 1992-93

Statistics: Everett had four interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He made the Pro Bowl in 1993.

Longevity: After Dallas acquired him from Pittsburgh, Everett played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Everett was a very important part of the Cowboys’ title years in 1992 and 1993. He was also one of the first big losses when free agency began after the 1993 season.

Ron Fellows, CB, Missouri, 1981-86

Statistics: Fellows recorded 17 interceptions with Dallas. He also averaged 6.8 yards per punt return and 20.2 yards per kickoff return.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Fellows played six seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a member of Thurman’s Thieves who started 43 games opposite Everson Walls at corner. Prior to taking over as starter, he was one of the best nickel corners in the league.

Mike Gaechter, S, Oregon, 1962-69

Statistics: Gaechter recorded 21 interceptions during his time in Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Gaechter played eight seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: A free agent speedster from Oregon, Gaechter started his career at corner. However, he moved to safety in 1963, where he remained for the rest of his career. His final game was the 1969 Playoff Bowl vs. Los Angeles, during which he ruptured his Achilles’ tendon, ending his career.

Eddie George, RB, Ohio State, 2004

Statistics: George rushed for 432 yards with Dallas.

Accolades: None with the Cowboys.

Longevity: George lasted one season in Dallas before retiring.

Intangibles: Dallas signed George in 2004, hoping he had something left in the tank while Julius Jones was still developing. As it turns out, George showed little of his former self, and he finished the season with a 3.3 per-carry average.

Tommy Haynes, S, Southern California, 1987

Statistics: Haynes had three interceptions in 1987 as a replacement player.

Accolades: (Replacement player)

Longevity: (Replacement player)

Intangibles: He never played in the NFL other than the three strike games in 1987.

Keylon Kincade, RB, Southern Methodist, 2006

Statistics: Kincade had four carries for nine yards with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Kincade played in one game for Dallas.

Intangibles: His long appearance came in a blowout win vs. Arizona in 2006.

Signor Mobley, S, Washington State, 1997-99

Statistics: Mobley played in 44 games with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Mobley lasted three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: He was mostly a special teams player for the Cowboys.

Curvin Richards, RB, Pittsburgh, 1991-92

Statistics: Richards rushed for 180 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Richards lasted two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He is best remembered for being cut on the eve of the playoffs in 1992 after fumbling twice in the season finale vs. Chicago. He played one year in Detroit before he was out of the league.

Bill Thomas, RB, Boston College, 1972

Statistics: Thomas returned two kickoffs for 50 yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Thomas played in seven games with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Thomas was a first-round pick in 1972 who was a complete bust. He injured his shoulder in training camp and did not join the team until midway through his rookie season. Dallas sent him to Houston in 1973.

Greg Tremble, S, Georgia, 1995

Statistics: Tremble played in seven games with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Tremble lasted less than half of the 1995 season.

Intangibles: He was mostly a special teams player before being released in mid-October in 1995.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #27

  • Ron Fellows (38%, 70 Votes)
  • Thomas Everett (36%, 65 Votes)
  • Eddie George (11%, 20 Votes)
  • Mike Gaechter (9%, 16 Votes)
  • Courtney Brown (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Greg Tremble (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Mario Edwards (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Signor Mobley (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Keylon Kincade (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Curvin Richards (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bill Thomas (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tommy Haynes (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 183

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My Vote: Everett

Thomas EverettEverett was a major part of two Super Bowl teams, which is why he gets my vote. He is the only one on this list to earn a spot on the Pro Bowl. Though Brock Marion filled in well for Everett after Everett left for Tampa Bay, Dallas missed his playmaking ability.

This was another tough one. Gaetcher contributed to the team for most of the decade of the 1960s, as did Fellows for the first half of the 1980s. Neither, however, accomplished quite as much as Everett even though he spent much less time on the team.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #26

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #26

Ten players have worn #26, including seven defensive backs, two running backs, and a wide receiver.

Note: This was recently updated to include Aaron Glenn, who was inadvertently omitted from the original list.

Herb Adderley, CB, Michigan State, 1970-72

Statistics: Adderley had nine interceptions with the Cowboys, including six in 1971.

Accolades: He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, due mostly to his play with the Green Bay Packers.

Longevity: Adderley joined the Cowboys in 1970 and played three seasons.

Intangibles: He was an important part of two Super Bowl teams. He was quick, had great coverage skills, and was a solid tackler. Bart Starr called the greatest corner to ever play the game.

Andrew Davison, CB, Kansas, 2003

Statistics: He played in four games but did not record any statistics.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Four games.

Intangibles: Nothing worth noting.

Buddy Dial, WR, Rice, 1964-66

Statistics: Dial caught 42 passes for 713 yards and 2 TDs with Dallas.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Dial lasted three seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: He was never as good with Dallas as he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was due in large part to a leg injury he suffered in 1964 after he first arrived. He averaged 21.6 yards per catch with Pittsburgh but only 17.0 with far fewer opportunities in Dallas.

Michael Downs, S, Rice, 1981-88

Statistics: Downs had 34 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He earned All-NFC honors in 1984.

Longevity: Downs played eight seasons in Dallas, ending with Tom Landry’s final season.

Intangibles: Downs and Everson Walls were two of the best free agent (i.e., not drafted) signings that Dallas ever made, and they both played in the Dallas secondary at the same time. Downs was a great playmaker.

Aaron Glenn, CB, Texas A&M, 2005-06

Statistics: Glenn recorded five interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He lasted two seasons with Dallas before being cut during preseason in 2007.

Intangibles: Glenn appeared to have slowed down during preseason in 2007, leading to his release. Fans immediately questioned the wisdom of the move, however, after injuries to Terence Newman and Anthony Henry kept them out of action early in the season. Glenn played in five games for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007.

Ken Hamlin, S, Arkansas, 2007-

Statistics: Hamlin has recorded five interceptions with Dallas.

Accolades: He made the Pro Bowl in 2007.

Longevity: Hamlin has played one season for Dallas.

Intangibles: He filled an important role with the Cowboys at free safety. He was a better tackler than fellow safety Roy Williams, and he was very good in coverage. Dallas kept him by slapping the franchise tag on him.

Paul Palmer, RB, Temple, 1989

Statistics: Palmer rushed for 446 yards and 2 TDs with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Palmer lasted part of one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Palmer is the answer to the trivia question: who replaced Hershel Walker after the Cowboys-Vikings trade in 1989. The former first-round pick for the Chiefs had one great run (63 yards vs. the Chiefs), but he otherwise provided little.

Preston Pearson, RB, Illinois, 1975-80

Statistics: Pearson rushed for 1207 yards with Dallas and had 2274 yards receiving.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He lasted six season with Dallas after the Cowboys acquired him following his release by the Steelers in 1975.

Intangibles: Pearson played in a total of five Super Bowls (III, IX, X, XII, and XIII) with three different teams (Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Dallas). With the Cowboys, he became a great third-down back and had a number of memorable plays. He scored three touchdowns in the NFC Championship game against the Rams in 1975.

Jeff Sanchez, CB, Tulane, 2003

Statistics: None.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in one game for the Cowboys in 2003.

Intangibles: Sanchez now plays in the Arena Football League.

Kevin Smith, CB, Texas A&M, 1992-99

Statistics: Smith recorded 19 interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Smith lasted eight seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Smith started as a rookie and earned two Super Bowl rings in his first two seasons. He was well on his way to stardom when he suffered an Achilles injury in the opening game of the 1995 season. He was never the same after that and played second fiddle to Deion Sanders for the rest of the decade.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #26:

Greatest #26

  • Kevin Smith (31%, 59 Votes)
  • Michael Downs (29%, 56 Votes)
  • Preston Pearson (26%, 50 Votes)
  • Ken Hamlin (9%, 17 Votes)
  • Herb Adderley (7%, 13 Votes)
  • Jeff Sanchez (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Paul Palmer (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Buddy Dial (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Andrew Davison (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Aaron Glenn (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 192

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My Vote: Downs

Michael DownsIf Hamlin stays around for a few years, he should take this title, but right now, I have to give it to Downs. He was a solid starter for several years and should have made the Pro Bowl at least a couple of times. His 34 career interceptions ties him with Cornell Green for fifth on team’s all-time list.

I have fond memories of both Pearson and Smith as well. Pearson was a great receiver who made some important plays. Smith should have been a dominant corner but suffered in the second half of his career due partly to the injury and partly to teams throwing at him to avoid throwing at Deion.

Suggested Jersey Numbers for the New Dallas Cowboys

I don’t know that anyone is waiting anxiously for me to resume the Greatest Players by Number Series, but before I continue with that, here’s a look at some possible numbers for these new players.

[I assume that these players have not been assigned a number; if they have, just play along with me that they haven’t…]

Felix Jones, RB: #25

Pat Watkins currently has number 25, but since Watkins wore #22 at Florida State, he ought to consider what he could get from Jones for the number. Jones has a better chance of being a great #25– perhaps the best ever (even if Watkins is leading our poll right now)– so this deal should go through. Watkins could pick up #31 now that Roy Williams is changing to #38.

Mike Jenkins, CB: #44

Jenkins wore #4 in college at Oregon, so he’ll need a new number. I’d suggest #44, which was worn by backup TE Rodney Hannah. With all of the tight end movement lately, I doubt Hannah will be around long to use it.

Martellus Bennett, TE: #87

Bennett wore #13 at Texas A&M, so he’ll also need a new number. Dallas has not had a great #87 in its history, and nobody has worn it since Dedric Ward in 2004.

Tashard Choice, RB: #32

Choice was #22 in college, so that number is out. He is most likely a better prospect than Anthony Thomas, the last player to wear #32.

Orlando Scandrick, CB: #28

Scandrick can’t wear #8, which we wore at Boise State. #38 is out because of Roy Williams, but #28 is available thanks to the departure of Tyson Thompson. Scandrick won’t remind anyone of Darren Woodson, but he offers more at this point than Thompson did last year.

Erik Walden, DE/LB: #95

Walden wore #58 at Middle Tennessee State. Assuming that he plays defensive end in the NFL and not OLB, he’ll need a number in the 70s or 90s. The 90s are pretty full, but he could take #95 now that Jason Ferguson is gone.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #25

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #25

Fifteen players have worn #25, including ten defensive backs, three running backs, and two receivers.

Scott Case, S, Oklahoma, 1995

Statistics: Case had 14 tackles as a member of the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: After an 11-year career with Atlanta, Case earned a Super Bowl ring in 1995 in his final season as a pro.

Intangibles: Case backed up Brock Marion in 1995, playing in nickel and dime situations. He did not do anything spectacular that year, but he was often around the ball.

Rod Hill, CB, Kentucky State, 1982-83

Statistics: Hill averaged 8.0 yards per punt return and 17.4 yards per kick return for the Cowboys. He also had two interceptions.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Hill lasted two seasons with Dallas. He later played with the Bills, Lions, and Raiders.

Intangibles: Hill was one of Gil Brandt’s biggest mistakes. Brandt took Hill with the 25th pick in the first round, thinking that the speedster from Kentucky State was a playmaker. However, aside from a couple of big punt returns, he showed very little, other than a cocky attitude. He was gone by the 1984 season.

Jermaine Jones, CB, Northwestern State, (LA), 2002

Statistics: None.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Jones dressed for one game for the Cowboys in 2002. He dressed for a total of three NFL games.

Intangibles: No idea here. He was a fifth-round pick of the Jets in 1999 but had taken three years off before making an appearance in a Cowboy uniform.

Aaron Kyle, CB, Wyoming, 1976-79

Statistics: Kyle had six interceptions as a Cowboy.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: After being a first round pick in 1976, Kyle earned a starting job when Mel Renfro finally started showing signs of aging. After suffering through an injury-plagued 1979 season, Kyle was traded to Denver.

Intangibles: Kyle had a great game in Super Bowl XII, recording an interception and recovering a fumble. He might be better remembered, though, for missing a tackle of John Stallworth in Super Bowl XIII.

Derrick Lassic, RB, Alabama, 1993

Statistics: Lassic rushed for 269 yards and 3 TDs in a short career.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Lassic was the back who briefly replaced Emmitt Smith in the lineup while Smith held out at the start of the 1993 season. That was the only season that he played, however, after suffering a knee injury before the 1994 season.

Intangibles:Lassic was drafted to give Smith a backup, but he was never expected to be a full-time player. His injury shortened his time in Dallas, so he is best remembered for starting the first two games of 1993.

Obert Logan, S, Trinity Tex., 1965-66

Statistics: Logan had five interceptions for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Logan played two seasons in Dallas before being picked up by New Orleans in the 1967 expansion draft.

Intangibles: Known as “Little O,” Logan was a part-time starter as a rookie in 1965 and for two seasons split time with Mike Gaetcher. Logan made several big plays for Dallas during his short time with the team.

Ray Mathews, WR, Clemson, 1960

Statistics: Mathews caught three passes for the Cowboys in 1960.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Mathews was at the end of a long career with Dallas selected him in the 1960 expansion draft. He retired after that season.

Intangibles: He was an all-purpose back with the Steelers who was at the end of his road when he joined the expansion Cowboys.

Tommy McDonald, WR, Oklahoma, 1964

Statistics: McDonald caught 46 passes for 612 yards and 2 TDs for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, based largely on his accomplishments with Philadelphia.

Longevity: Dallas acquired McDonald in 1964, bu the only lasted one season.

Intangibles: The Cowboys thought they had found a playmaker when they traded for the former All Pro from the Eagles. His one year in Dallas was a disappointment, and he was traded to the Rams in 1965. He reverted to his old form and earned a Pro Bowl berth with Los Angles. He retired after the 1967 season.

Dick Nolan, S, Maryland, 1962

Statistics: Nolan played in 11 games for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Nolan came to Dallas after several seasons with the Giants. He lasted just one season.

Intangibles: Nolan is best remembered as a longtime assistant with Dallas and as the coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He also had the distinction of coaching under both Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson. The father of current San Francisco coach Mike Nolan, Dick Nolan died in 2007.

Jerry Norton, S, Southern Methodist, 1962

Statistics: Norton had two interceptions for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Norton was a defensive back and punter for the Eagles and Cardinals before joining Dallas in 1962. He lasted just one season before moving on to Green Bay to become the Packers’ punter.

Intangibles:Norton had 35 career interceptions and was a solid punter, but he did not accomplish very much with the Cowboys.

Jemeel Powell, CB, California, 2003

Statistics: Powell played in three games for Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Three games.

Intangibles: Not much to say here.

Les Shy, RB, Cal. St. Long Beach, 1966-69

Statistics: Shy rushed for a total of 523 yards and 3 TDs for Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Shy was a 12th round pick for the Cowboys. He lasted four seasons before playing one final year with the Giants.

Intangibles: Shy played in the shadows of Don Perkins, Dan Reeves, and Calvin Hill. He was more of an all-purpose player.

Junior Tautalatasi, RB, Washington State, 1989

Statistics: Tautalatasi caught 17 passes for 157 yards and rushed for 15 yards for Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Tautalatasi lasted one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He showed some promise with the Eagles earlier in his career, but he did not have many opportunities on a bad Dallas team.

Bruce Thornton, CB, Georgia, 2004-05

Statistics: Thornton played in one game with the Cowboys, returning two kickoffs for 43 yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: A fourth-round pick in 2004, Thornton suffered an ACL tear which caused him to miss all but one game that season. He was later signed by San Francisco and started 11 games for the 49ers in 2005. He has not played in the league since then.

Intangibles: Thornton is one of several busts from the 2004 draft.

Pat Watkins, S, Florida St., 2006-

Statistics: Watkins has four interceptions for the Cowboys. He also recorded a touchdown on a blocked field goal return in 2007.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Watkins will enter his third season in 2008.

Intangibles: Watkins is much taller (6’4″) than the typical free safety. He started nine games as a rookie, but he is often out of position and struggles in coverage. He is still a project, but if he does not show further development in 2008, he may be gone.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #25

  • Aaron Kyle (38%, 35 Votes)
  • Pat Watkins (34%, 32 Votes)
  • Scott Case (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Rod Hill (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Dick Nolan (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Tommy McDonald (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Derrick Lassic (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Les Shy (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Junior Tautalatasi (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jerry Norton (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Obert Logan (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jermaine Jones (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jemeel Powell (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ray Mathews (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bruce Thornton (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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My Vote: Kyle

Aaron KyleThis is another of the “none of the above” categories, but I think that Kyle is the best of these players. He was a starter on two Super Bowl teams and made a few memorable plays. He didn’t turn out to be a great player for being a number one pick, but that was due as much to injury as it was to talent.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #24

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #24

Ten players have worn #24, including three running backs, six defensive backs, and a receiver.

Marion Barber, RB, Minnesota, 2005-

Statistics: Barber has rushed for 2,167 yards and 29 touchdowns with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2007.

Longevity: Barber has earned the starting running back job, and the team is currently trying to tie him up with a long-term contract.

Intangibles: He has quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his hard running style and nose for the end zone.

Alois Blackwell, RB, Houston, 1978-79

Statistics: Blackwell rushed for a total of 37 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Blackwell lasted two seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Blackwell was unable to overcome injuries during his short career.

Larry Brown, CB, Texas Christian, 1991-95, 1998

Statistics: Brown had 13 regular season interceptions with the Cowboys. His biggest plays, however, came during the playoffs.

Accolades: MVP of Super Bowl XXX.

Longevity: A 12-round draft pick in 1991, Brown played five years with Dallas before leaving for Oakland via free agency. His Raider career was short-lived, as was his attempted comeback with Dallas in 1998.

Intangibles: Brown was one of the great draft picks in team history, starting 74 games during his career. He was a starting corner in each of the three Super Bowls during the 1990s and recorded three interceptions in Super Bowl play (including the two most famous in Super Bowl XXX).

Tony Dixon, S, Alabama, 2001-04

Statistics: Dixon started 14 games and recorded one career interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: A second-round pick in 2001, Dixon lasted four years in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dixon was selected in the same draft as Quincy Carter. Dallas apparently wanted out of him what the eventually got with Roy Williams, but Dixon never showed the talent to justify taking him so high in that draft.

Roger Harper, S, Ohio State, 1996

Statistics: Harper recorded two interceptions with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Harper played in 14 games with the Cowboys in 1996.

Intangibles: A former second round pick of the Falcons, Harper was an addition that did not quite make up for the losses that the Cowboys experienced on defense between 1995 and 1996.

Dennis Homan, WR, Alabama, 1968-70

Statistics: Homan caught 23 passes for 437 yards for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None (unless you count the MOP Award)

Longevity: Homan played three seasons with Dallas before finishing his NFL career with Kansas City. He also played in the WFL.

Intangibles: Homan played in the shadows of Bob Hayes and Lance Rentzel in Dallas. His 19.0-yards-per-catch average was rather impressive, though.

Jim Mooty, CB, Arkansas, 1960

Statistics: Mooty averaged 17.5 yards per kickoff return and 4.6 yards per punt return for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Mooty played in seven games for the Cowboys in 1960.

Intangibles: A free agent from Arkansas, Mooty saw a little bit of action as a returner during the inaugural 1960 Dallas season.

J.D. Smith, RB, North Carolina A&T, 1965-66

Statistics: Smith rushed for 302 yards and 3 TDs for the Cowobys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Smith came to Dallas after a long career with Chicago and San Francisco. He only lasted two years with Dallas, however.

Intangibles: Smith was a good player for the 49ers, but his role with Dallas was primarily as a backup.

Omar Stoutmire, S, Fresno State, 1997-98

Statistics: Stoutmire had two interceptions and three sacks as a member of the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: A seventh round pick in 1998, Stoutmire lasted two seasons. He has since had a long career with the Giants, Jets, Redskins, and Saints.

Intangibles: Stoutmire started 12 games as a second year player in 1998, even though the Cowboys had George Teague on the roster. He was gone the next year, however.

Everson Walls, CB, Grambling, 1981-89

Statistics: Walls had 44 interceptions with the Cowboys, the second most in team history.

Accolades: Four Pro Bowls. One time All-Pro.

Longevity: After joining the Cowboys as a free agent in 1981, Walls spent nine years with the club. He was arguably the team’s best defensive player during the 1980s.

Intangibles: Walls is a native of Dallas and grew up close to the Cowboys’ practice facility. A Grambling graduate, Walls made the Cowboys’ roster and proceeded to record 11 interceptions. As the defensive cast around him deteriorated in talent, Walls remained one of the top defenders in the league. He earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Giants in 1990.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #24

  • Everson Walls (83%, 101 Votes)
  • Marion Barber (10%, 12 Votes)
  • Larry Brown (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Roger Harper (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Omar Stoutmire (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tony Dixon (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Alois Blackwell (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jim Mooty (0%, 0 Votes)
  • J.D. Smith (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dennis Homan (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 122

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My Vote: Walls

Everson WallsI fully realize how popular Marion Barber is, and he may turn out to be a great running back, but this one has to go to Walls. He was the last true great Cowboys defenders developed during the Landry era, and he gave the team nine very good years. Consider this: Walls recorded 44 interceptions with Dallas in 117 games. By comparison, Mel Renfro recorded 52 picks in 174 games, while Charlie Waters recorded 41 in 160 games.

As for Barber, check back in a year or two.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #23

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #23

Twelve players have worn #23, including two wide receivers, seven defensive backs, and three running backs. This may be the team’s official “Journeyman” number.

Margene Adkins, WR, Henderson J.C., 1970-71

Statistics: Adkins caught four passes for 53 yards for the Cowboys. He also returned a handful of kickoffs and punts.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: A second round pick in 1970, Adkins lasted only two seasons in Dallas. He played for two more years with New Orleans.

Intangibles: Adkins was an All-Pro with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League who had great speed (4.4). However, he did not get many opportunities in Dallas.

Robert Bailey, CB, Miami, Fla., 1995

Statistics: Bailey had a total of seven tackles as a member of the Cowboys, with no picks.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Bailey played in nine games with Dallas in 1995 after being released by Washington.

Intangibles: Bailey lasted 11 years in the league with Dallas, Washington, the L.A. Rams, Miami, Detroit, and Baltimore. His time in Dallas, though, did not produce anything.

Aveion Cason, RB, Illinois State, 2003

Statistics: Cason rushed for 220 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Cason lasted just ten games in 2003 before being injured. He has also played for the Rams and Lions.

Intangibles: Cason scored the first touchdown in the Bill Parcells era on a 63-yard touchdown run vs. Atlanta. He didn’t do much after that, though, and could not finish the season.

Dwayne Goodrich, CB, Tennessee, 2000-02

Statistics: Goodrich had a total of eight tackles in his career with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: After being drafted in the second round of the 2000 draft, he played in only five games as a rookie. He missed the entire 2001 season due to injury before returning to play in 11 games in 2002.

Intangibles: Goodrich is currently serving 7 1/2-year sentence for vehicular homicide stemming from a hit-and-run incident in Dallas.

Johnny Holloway, CB, Kansas, 1986

Statistics: Holloway had one career interception with the Cowboys. Here is the video of it.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Holloway played just one season with the Cowboys. He finished his career after playing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1987.

Intangibles: Holloway was a seventh-round pick who saw action in the Cowboys’ 4-0 defense in 1986. He played wide receiver in college at Kansas and impressed Tom Landry during training camp in 1986.

Mike Johnson, CB, Kansas, 1966-69

Statistics: Johnson had a total of eight interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Johnson lasted four seasons with Dallas, mostly in a backup role.

Intangibles: Johnson played in the same offensive backfield as Gale Sayers at Kansas, but Dallas converted him to a defensive back. He became a starter in 1967, and his five picks that year ranked third on the team.

James Jones, RB, Mississippi State, 1980-82, 1984-85

Statistics: Jones averaged 20.6 yards per kick return and 8.5 yards per punt return during his career. He added 331 rushing yards and 312 receiving yards as well.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: After being drafted in the third round of the 1980 draft, Jones backed up Tony Dorsett. He was the team’s primary return man, but a serious knee injury suffered in 1982 cost him most of that season plus all of 1983. He returned to play two more seasons with Dallas in 1984 and 1985.

Intangibles: Jones was a pretty good return man and was a pretty versatile back when playing in relief.

Woodley Lewis, WR, Oregon, 1960

Statistics: Lewis caught one pass for the Cowboys in 1960.

Accolades: None with the Cowboys. He made the Pro Bowl in 1950 as a member of the Rams.

Longevity: He played in six games for Dallas in 1960.

Intangibles: Lewis was at the end of a long career when he played for Dallas in 1960. He did not do much. He was known primarily as a returner during his better days.

Kevin Mathis, CB, Texas A&M-Commerce, 1997-99

Statistics: Mathis had two interceptions with the Cowboys and also returned a few punts.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Mathis lasted three seasons with the Cowboys before leaving via free agency.

Intangibles: Mathis stood in the shadows of Deion Sanders and Kevin Smith in Dallas. He is better known for his play in New Orleans and Atlanta.

Mike Montgomery, RB/WR, Kansas State, 1972-73

Statistics: Montgomery caught 22 passes for 295 yards with the Cowboys. He scored a total of five touchdowns.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dallas acquired Montgomery from San Diego in 1972 in a trade for Duane Thomas. Montgomery lasted two seasons.

Intangibles: Montgomery replaced Otto Stowe as a starting receiver in 1973. He suffered an injury, however, and when Drew Pearson emerged as a new weapon, the team shipped Montgomery to Houston.

Evan Oglesby, CB, N Alabama, 2007-

Statistics: Oglesby had three tackles for Dallas in 2007.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dallas signed Oglesby in September 2007 after the Baltimore Ravens released him. He was active in all 16 games for Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas signed Oglesby to an exclusive rights contract in March. Depending on the results of the draft, he may be in position to challenge for the nickel corner slot in 2008.

Robert Williams, CB, Baylor, 1987-93

Statistics: Williams had four career interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Williams played seven seasons in Dallas. He played in only nine games in 1992, though, and only four in 1993.

Intangibles: Williams appeared at the end of the Tom Landry era and at the beginning of the Jimmy Johnson era. His longevity during that period, especially for a free agent, is telling. He started a total of 36 games for the Cowboys. He played in nine games with Dallas during the Super Bowl season in 1992, but he was deactivated for the playoffs that year. Bad luck, to say the least.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #23

  • Robert Williams (41%, 38 Votes)
  • James Jones (23%, 21 Votes)
  • Kevin Mathis (12%, 11 Votes)
  • Aveion Cason (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Mike Montgomery (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Margene Adkins (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Mike Johnson (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Johnny Holloway (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Dwayne Goodrich (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Robert Bailey (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Evan Oglesby (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Woodley Lewis (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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My Vote: Williams

Robert Williams Dallas CowboysNone of these are exactly marquee names, but Williams was among very few players (Bates, Gogan, Tuinei, Newton, Martin) to have survived the Landry/Johnson turnover in the late 1980s. He was not a standout player, but he was a solid as any player on this list. His longevity (and perhaps the fact that he played at Baylor) won my vote.

James Jones is a good choice. However, he was only productive really for two seasons.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #22

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #22

Seven players have worn #22, including three running backs, three defensive backs, and a wide receiver. This is one of only two numbers worn by members of the Ring of Honor (#54 is the other)

Amos Bullocks, RB, Southern Illinois, 1962-64

Statistics: Bullocks rushed for a total of 537 yards as a member of the Cowboys. He also averaged 21.7 yards per kick return.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Bullocks lasted three seasons with Dallas, playing in only one game in 1964.. He later played a season with the Steelers.

Intangibles: Bullocks played in the shadows of Don Perkins and Amos Marsh. He was better known as a kickoff return man.

Bill Butler, S, Tenn. Chattanooga, 1960

Statistics: Butler had one interception as a member of the Cowboys. He was also a returner, averaging 10.1 yards per punt return and 20.0 yards per kickoff return.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Butler lasted just one season with Dallas. He later played for the Steelers and Vikings.

Intangibles: The Cowboy obtained Butler in the 1960 expansion draft from the Green Bay Packers. He has some decent years with the Vikings (5 picks in 1962), but never did much with the Cowboys during the 1960 season.

Bob Hayes, WR, Florida A&M, 1965-74

Statistics: Hayes had 7295 receiving yards with the Cowboys, as well as 71 TDs. He averaged 11.1 yards per punt return and had three returns for touchdowns in his career.

Accolades: Hayes was named to the Pro Bowl three times and as an All Pro twice. He is a member of the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.

Longevity: Hayes played ten seasons with Dallas. His productivity tailed off after the 1971 season, however.

Intangibles: Hayes forced defenses to develop creative means to stop him due to his speed. Defenses had to start using zone defenses to stop him. His total yardage figure may not be terribly impressive, but his yards-per-catch average is. No regular starter in team history comes close to his 26.1 ypc average in 1970, and only Alvin Harper matches Hayes’ 20.0 yards per catch average for a career among receivers who played more than one season with Dallas.

Wade Manning, DB, Ohio State, 1979

Statistics: Manning averaged 5.5 yards per punt return and 20.7 yards per kickoff return in limited action in 1979.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Manning lasted only one season with Dallas. He later played for the Broncos.

Intangibles: Manning was a free agent pickup who played in nine games with Dallas.

George Peoples, RB, Auburn, 1982

Statistics: Peoples rushed for 22 yards in limited action in 1982.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Peoples played in eight games with Dallas during the strike-shortened 1982 season. He later played with the Patriots and Buccaneers.

Intangibles: Peoples was an eighth round pick in 1982 who had few opportunities.

Victor Scott, DB, Colorado, 1984-88

Statistics: Scott had five career interceptions with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He lasted a total of five seasons but seldom started.

Intangibles: Scott was a member of Thurman’s Thieves. He saw action in passing situations, including times when Dallas switched to the rather infamous 4-0 defense. I personally remember him because he played for East St. Louis High School, not far from my hometown (and far, far superior in terms of collective football talent).

Emmitt Smith, RB, Florida, 1990-02

Statistics: Smith rushed for an NFL-record 18,355 yards, of which 17,162 came as a member of the Cowboys. Other stats as a member of the Cowboys are equally impressive: 3012 yards receiving, 153 rushing touchdowns, 11 receiving touchdowns.

Accolades: Eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. He is a member of the Ring of Honor and will soon be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Longevity: Smith lasted 13 seasons with Dallas, enough to allow him to break Walter Payton’s rushing record while still a member of the Cowboys. He played two seasons with the Cardinals before retiring.

Intangibles: Smith was one of the most complete backs in NFL history. He could break arm tackles at the line, and even though he lacked breakaway speed, he had the vision that allowed him to take angles that led to long runs (a great line helped, of course). He was a very good receiver and an excellent blocker.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #22

  • Emmitt Smith (88%, 246 Votes)
  • Bob Hayes (11%, 31 Votes)
  • Amos Bullocks (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Wade Manning (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Bill Butler (0%, 0 Votes)
  • George Peoples (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Victor Scott (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 279

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My Vote: Smith

Emmitt SmithAlthough I think that Hayes deserves a slot in the Hall of Fame, there is little question that this one has to go to Smith. He may have been the most valuable member of the Dallas franchise in its history, for even the great teams of the 1990s struggled to win any time that Smith was out or at less than full strength. He ranks right next to Walter Payton as one of the most complete backs in NFL history.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #21

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #21

Ten players have worn #21, including four running backs, two receivers, and four defensive backs.

Note: Safety Lynn Scott wore #21 in 2001 and 2002 but later changed to #38. Derek Ross wore #20 in 2002 but changed to #21 in 2003.

David Adams, RB, Arizona, 1987

Statistics: Adams rushed seven times for 49 yards as a replacement player in 1987.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He lasted three games as a replacement player in 1987.

Intangibles: Adams was a 12th round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 1987. His only NFL experience, though, was during the strike games.

Dick Daniels, S, Pacific, Ore., 1966-68

Statistics: Daniels had two interceptions as a member of the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Daniels played three seasons with the Cowboys and started a total of eight games.

Intangibles: Daniels played safety and returned kicks. He later played for the Chicago Bears.

Doug Dennison, RB, Kutztown State, 1974-78

Statistics: Dennison rushed for 1112 yards and scored 19 touchdowns for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dennison played with the Cowboys for a total of five seasons. However, once Tony Dorsett arrived in 1977, Dennison saw little action.

Intangibles: Dennison played during the period of time between Calvin Hill and Tony Dorsett, and during this time the Cowboys did not have a dominant running back. Dennison still stands out in one way: his 19 touchdowns on 302 career carries (6.2%) tops Marion Barber’s career mark thus far (29 TDs on 477 attempts, or 6.0%).

Glynn Gregory, WR/DB, Southern Methodist, 1961-62

Statistics: Gregory was something of a Deion Sanders of his day (okay, not quite). He caught six passes for 100 yards and had one career interception.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Gregory lasted two seasons with Dallas.

Intangibles: I found an article about Gregory in the Dallas Morning News, focusing on a reunion at Abiline High School. As a Cowboy, though, I don’t know much about him.

Mark Higgs, RB, Kentucky, 1988

Statistics: Higgs had two kickoff returns as a member of the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Higgs played in only five games with Dallas during the 1988 season.

Intangibles: Higgs is much better remembered as a member of the Miami Dolphins, where he twice rushed for more than 900 yards. As a member of the Cowboys, he simply did not do much.

Carl Howard, CB, Rutgers, 1984

Statistics: Howard never recorded an interception as a member of the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Howard played in ten games with Dallas in 1984. He played several seasons with the New York Jets.

Intangibles: None to note.

Julius Jones, RB, Notre Dame, 2004-07

Statistics: Jones rushed for 3,484 yards and 18 touchdowns with the Cowboys. He gained 1,084 yards in 2006, becoming the first Dallas player other than Emmitt Smith to rush for more than 1,000 in a season since Hershel Walker in 1988.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Jones played four seasons with Dallas. He signed with Seattle this offseason.

Intangibles: Jones at times looked like he could be a franchise back. However, he did not always seem to read holes very well and did not break tackles regularly. Marion Barber emerged as the better running back in 2006 and 2007.

Billy Parks, WR, Cal. St. Long Beach, 1972

Statistics: Parks caught 18 passes for 298 yards with one touchdown with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Dallas acquired Parks in a trade with San Diego in 1972. He lasted only one season before being shipped to Houston in 1973 in a trade that allowed Dallas to select Too Tall Jones in 1974.

Intangibles: Parks was a bit liberal for Tom Landry’s taste and did not last long in Dallas. His best game as a pro came as a member of the Cowboys, though, when he caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown in a 30-28 win by the Cowboys over San Francisco in the 1972 NFL playoffs (i.e., Roger’s first miracle).

Derek Ross, CB, Ohio State, 2002-03

Statistics: Ross had a total of six interceptions with the Cowboys. He also returned kickoffs, averaging 24.1 yards per return.

Accolades: None, other than Waste of Talent.

Longevity: Ross played well as a rookie in 2002 but ran into problems in 2003. Bill Parcells released him ten games into that season.

Intangibles: Ross and Antonio Bryant were part of a solid 2002 draft, but both caused more problems than they were worth. Ross played briefly for Atlanta and Minnesota, but he was out of the league after the 2004 season.

Deion Sanders, CB/WR, Florida State, 1995-99

Statistics: Sanders had 14 interceptions as a member of the Cowboys, along with three defensive touchdowns (2 from picks, one from a fumble recovery). He averaged 13.3 yards per punt return and returned four punts for touchdowns. He also caught 49 regular season passes for 624 yards as a receiver.

Accolades: Sanders made the Pro Bowl four times and was named All Pro three times as a member of the Cowboys.

Longevity: He lasted five seasons for the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Like him or not (I didn’t at first, then did), Sanders was simply amazing. He made the Dallas defense one of the best in the league during the second half of the 1990s because he could take away half of the field (either because he was just too talented or because his reputation was just too good that teams would not test him). Dallas paid a steep price for him in 1995, given the salary cap limitations at the time, but if it weren’t for Sanders, I don’t think Dallas would have won Super Bowl XXX in 1995.

Poll

Here are the results of the poll for this number:

Greatest #21

  • Deion Sanders (96%, 249 Votes)
  • Billy Parks (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Julius Jones (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Doug Dennison (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Derek Ross (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Carl Howard (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Mark Higgs (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Glynn Gregory (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dick Daniels (0%, 0 Votes)
  • David Adams (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 260

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My Vote: Sanders

Deion SandersI was as pleased about Dallas signing Deion in 1995 as I was about the Cowboys signing Terrell Owens (i.e., not very). But it did not take long during the 1995 season to warm up to the idea of having Sanders on the team. He continued to make plays throughout the rest of the decade and is one of the most memorable players ever to wear a Dallas uniform.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: Numbers 1-20

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 (63%) K Texas Tech 1992-1993
3 Eddie Murray (30%) K Tulane 1993, 1999
4 Mike Saxon (76%) P San Diego St. 1985-1992
5 Clint Stoerner (81%) QB Arkansas 2000-2002
6 Nick Folk (93%) K Arizona 2007-present
7 Steve Beuerlein (70%) QB Notre Dame 1991-1992
8 Troy Aikman (92%) QB UCLA 1989-2000
9 Tony Romo (98%) QB Eastern Ill. 2003-present
10 Ron Widby (75%) 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 (75%) QB California 1965-1974
15 Tony Fritsch (76%) K Vienna, Austria 1971-1973, 1975
16 Vinny Testaverde (63%) QB Miami 2004
17 Don Meredith (89%) QB SMU 1960-1968
18 Chris Boniol (67%) K Louisiana Tech 1994-1996
19 Lance Rentzel (39%) WR Oklahoma 1967-1970
20 Mel Renfro (91%) DB Oregon 1964-1977

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #20

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #20

Eleven players have worn #20, including eight defensive backs and three running backs.

Richie Anderson, FB, Penn State, 2003-04

Statistics: Anderson rushed for 552 yards and 2 TDs with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Anderson was a Parcells player that Dallas signed in 2003. He spent two years with the club before retiring.

Intangibles: Anderson was a pretty good contributor as a fullback for Dallas. He later became rather infamous after his arrest for soliciting a prostitute in 2007.

Alan Ball, CB, Illinois, 2007-present

Statistics: Ball played in two games in 2007 but did not record any statistics.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Ball was a seventh round pick in 2007. He has played in two games.

Intangibles: Ball is a player who is still developing.

Bob Bercich, S, Michigan State, 1960-61

Statistics: Bercich recorded a total of five interceptions with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: A 1959 draft choice of the New York Giants, Bercich lasted two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: I am not sure what happened to Bercich. He played in just six games for Dallas in 1961, so it is possible that he was injured. Any help would be appreciated.

Ray Horton, S, Washington, 1989-92

Statistics: Horton recorded five interceptions and three touchdowns (two from interceptions and one from a fumble recovery) with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Horton played four seasons with Dallas, starting the majority of the games he played with the team.

Intangibles: Horton provided some veteran leadership as the Cowboys developed in the early 1990s. He was a starter with the Cincinnati Bengals during their Super Bowl run in 1988. He eventually lost his starting job to James Washington in Dallas in 1992 and retired after that season.

Jason Kaiser, S, Culver-Stockton, 1999

Statistics: Kaiser was on the Dallas roster in 1999 but never played.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He was on the Dallas roster in 1999.

Intangibles: I remember Kaiser because he played at Culver-Stockton College in Missouri, which was a school that I visited when I was hoping and praying that someone would let me play college football. Culver Stockton would have, in fact, let me play college football (very, very badly), but I instead chose this school to show off my lack of passing and running talents.

Bruce Livingston, DB, Arkansas Tech, 1987

Statistics: Livingston had one punt return for zero yards in 1987.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Livingston was a replacement player who appeared in three games in 1987.

Intangibles: Nothing worth noting.

Jerry Overton, S, Utah, 1963

Statistics: Overton averaged 6.4 yards on five punt returns in 1963.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Overton played in ten games in 1963. That was his only season as a pro.

Intangibles: Nothing worth noting.

Mel Renfro, DB/RB, Oregon, 1964-77

Statistics: Renfro had 52 interceptions, still a team record, along with three touchdowns during his career. He had a league best 10 picks in 1969.

Accolades: Renfro is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Ring of Honor. He was named to the Pro Bowl ten times and was named an all pro ten times.

Longevity: Renfro came from the outstanding draft of 1964 and played 14 seasons for Dallas. Many still consider him the greatest defensive back in team history, and rightfully so.

Intangibles: He was drafted as a running back out of Oregon, but immediately made the move to safety. The former track star excelled at both safety and cornerback. He was also an outstanding returner early in his career.

Phillippi Sparks, CB, Arizona State, 2000

Statistics: Sparks had five interceptions with Dallas in 2000.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Sparks lasted one season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Sparks was a veteran brought in from the Giants when the Cowboys were trying to replace Kevin Smith and Deion Sanders. He did not play badly, but the entire season in 2000 was so bad that most probably do not remember him as a Cowboy. Where people will remember him (and perhaps recognize his name) is as the father of American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.

Ron Springs, RB, Ohio State, 1979-84

Statistics: Springs ranks tenth on the team’s all-time rushing list with 2180 yards. His 28 touchdowns rank eighth in team history.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Springs played fullback with Dallas for six seasons. He was a starter for about half of his career in Dallas.

Intangibles: Springs may be best remembered as the father of current Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs. Ron Springs also made news when former teammate Everson Walls donated a kidney in an effort to save Springs’ life. Spring slipped into a coma in October and has remained in that state since then. As a Cowboy, he was a contributor on a number of good teams in the early 1980s.

Sherman Williams, RB, Alabama, 1995-99

Statistics: Williams rushed for 1162 yards as Emmitt Smith’s backup.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Williams lasted five seasons in Dallas, though he only appeared in one game during 1999, his final as a pro.

Intangibles: Williams was not a bad backup for Smith, and at times outperformed Smith during the 1996 and 1997 seasons when Smith was suffering from a variety of injuries. Dallas signed former Seahawk Chris Warren in 1998, which limited Williams’ playing time.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #20:

Greatest #20

  • Mel Renfro (88%, 175 Votes)
  • Ron Springs (8%, 15 Votes)
  • Sherman Williams (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Phillippi Sparks (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Bruce Livingston (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jason Kaiser (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Alan Ball (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jerry Overton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ray Horton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bob Bercich (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Richie Anderson (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 198

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My Vote: Renfro

Mel RenfroThis one simply is no contest. Renfro was an outstanding athlete who performed at a high level for more than a decade with the team. He had a number of memorable plays, including an interception that sealed the Cowboys’ 5-0 win over Detroit in the 1970 NFC playoffs.