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.

 

Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 36 through 40

DSC_7485_LR

Bryan McCray has been fine on special teams, but he is not a better #40 than Bill Bates.

Sorry for the delay between posts. This is the latest update to the greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. This entry focuses on numbers 36 through 40.

#36

Vince Albritton is not one of the great names in Cowboys history, but few notable players have worn number 36. He received 45% of the vote in 2008. Since then, three players have worn #36, including Michael HamlinMana Silva, and Andrew Sendejo.

#37

James Washington only played in Dallas for five seasons, but he made his mark. That was especially true in Super Bowl XXVIII, when he did enough to earn MVP honors.

Since 2008, only Bryan McCann has worn #37. Though McCann provided highlight moments in 2010, he did not last long in Dallas.

Rookie safety Matt Johnson is scheduled to wear #37 in 2012.

#38

Roy Williams wore #38 during his final season in Dallas in 2008. Nobody has worn the number since then. The player chosen in 2008 as the greatest was kicker/punter Sam Baker.

#39

Although Lousaka Polite edged Derrick Gainer as the greatest to wear #39. Brandon Carr is schedule to wear the number in 2012, and it will not take long for him to become the greatest.

#40

Bill Bates received 99% of the votes on 2008 as the greatest to wear #40. Danny McCray is not going to strip that title from Bates.

 

Here is the entire list:

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Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 31 through 35

Orlando Scandrick at the Dallas Cowboys traini...

Orlando Scandrick isn't a bad nickel corner, but he is not the best player to wear #32.

Here is the latest update to the greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. This entry focuses on numbers 31 through 35.

#31

Roy Williams had perhaps the most dramatic fall from grace of any star in Cowboys history. He made five consecutive Pro Bowls before losing the ability to cover tight ends. Once his coverage ability was gone, he became a liability. He changed numbers from 31 to 38 in 2008 but only played in three games. He played two years in Cincinnati but was out of football after 2010.

Mike Jenkins wore #31 as a rookie but changed to #21 in 2009.

#32

Walt Garrison was voted the best player to wear #32, and Orlando Scandrick is not going to change that.

#33

Duane Thomas has a place in team history, but nobody who wore #33 was better than Tony Dorsett. Nate Jones wore the number until he left after the 2007 season. Although players have worn it in preseason, nobody has worn it in a regular season game since 2007.

#34

I originally voted for Cornell Green at #34, but Hershel Walker received the most votes. Deon Anderson saw some action as a fullback but had trouble overcoming injuries. Philip Tanner wore the number in 2011 but had less than 100 total rushing yards.

#35

Calvin Hill received 90% of the votes in 2008, and only Tra Battle and Lonyae Miller have worn #35 since than.

 

The complete list:

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Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 26 through 30

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Running back DeMar...
DeMarco Murray may already be the greatest player to wear #29 for the Dallas Cowboys.

This is another update to the greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. This entry focuses on numbers 26 through 30.

#26

Cornerback Kevin Smith was the greatest player to wear #26 according to the 2008 poll. Nobody has come along to take that title from him.

Abram Elam changed from #24 to #26 before the start of last season. He had also worn #37 during his first stop in Dallas in 2006.

#27

Ron Fellows remains the greatest to wear #27. Cornerback Cletis Gordon wore the number when he played in one game in 2009. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah wore #27 when he played in 2010. He played briefly for Jacksonville before returning to Dallas in 2011 and wore #11. He is listed as #26 for 2012, assuming he makes the team.

#28

Darren Woodson received 99% of the votes as the greatest #28. Running back Felix Jones has worn the number since 2008, but he is most certainly not better than Woodson.

#29

In just one season, DeMarco Murray became the toast of the town by rushing for 897 yards. Kenneth Gant received the most votes in 2008, but Murray could overtake Gant with another solid performance in 2012.

#30

The only player to wear #30 since 2008 was backup running back Chauncey Washington. He will not overtake Dan Reeves for this jersey number.

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Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 21 through 25

HONOLULU (Feb. 10, 2008) Dallas Cowboys runnin...

Running back Marion Barber wore #24 while playing in six seasons in Dallas.

Here is another update to the greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. This entry focuses on numbers 21 through 25.

#21

Nobody is going to overtake Deion Sanders as the greatest player to wear #21. Since 2008, both Pacman Jones and Mike Jenkins have worn the number. Jenkins made the Pro Bowl in 2009 but has been disappointing since then. Pacman lasted one season in Dallas before moving on.

#22

It’s highly unlikely that any player wears #22 again for the Cowboys. Two Hall-of -Famers is enough.

#23

The Cowboys took Tashard Choice in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. He rushed for 1,139 yards in four seasons with the Cowboys, but the team let him go after six games in 2011. He played briefly for the Redskins before signing with the Bills. His playing days may be over.

It is possible that Choice is the greatest player to wear #23, given that the top player in 2008 was former defensive back Robert Williams. Thoughts?

#24

Marion Barber played for Dallas from 2005 to 2010 and gained 4,358 rushing yards. Dallas released him, and he played one more season in Chicago before retiring.

Two players wore #24 in 2011. Abram Elam started with the number but then changed to #26. Fullback Tony Fiammetta later wore the number when he played in 10 games for the team.

It turns out I missed Elam when I summarized #37 in 2008. He wore that number when he played for Dallas in 2006.

#25

Pat Watkins wore #25 from 2006 through 2009. Cornerback Frank Walker wore it in 2011.

 

Below is a complete list of players who have worn numbers 21 through 25.

 

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Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 16 through 20

More updates to the series on greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. This entry focuses on numbers 16 through 20.

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 21:  Miles Austin #19...
Is Miles Austin the greatest player to wear #19? (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Not many notable players have worn #16. Vinny Testaverde received the most votes in 2008, and he remains the best player to wear that number.

There is only one player who has worn the number since that time: wide receiver Jesse Holley. He won Michael Irvin‘s reality show, 4th and Long, which gave Holley the chance to make the Cowboys roster. In two seasons, he has seven receptions, including an important catch in overtime in the Cowboys’ win over the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.

Sam Hurd was the last player to wear #17. He played in Dallas until 2010 and joined the Chicago Bears in 2011. However, he was arrested on federal drug charges, and his future does not look bright.

Dallas spent a draft pick on kicker David Buehler in 2009. Wearing #18, he was a very good kickoff specialist as a rookie. However, when he became the full-time kicker in 2010, his kickoff suffered. When the league moved kickoffs back to the 35, his value sank. Dallas released him after the 2011 season.

At the time of the original series, Miles Austin had not yet emerged, and Lance Rentzel was the greatest #19 in team history. Austin had a breakout season in 2009, though, recording 1,320 receiving yards with 11 touchdowns. He also gained 1,000 yards in 2010 but struggled in 2011 due to injuries.

Rentzel only gained 35% of the vote and barely beat Keyshawn Johnson and Lance Alworth. Here is a new poll that features Austin:

Who is the greatest player to wear #19?

View Results

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Lastly, Alan Ball continues to wear #20. He moved from corner to safety in 2010 but bombed miserably. He returned to play corner in 2011.

Update (6/3/2012): Ball has reportedly signed with the Houston Texans, where he will be reunited with former Dallas head coach Wade Phillips.

Here is a list of all the players to wear numbers between 16 and 20:

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Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 11 through 15

Roy Williams (wide receiver) - Dallas Cowboys
Roy Williams was most certainly not the greatest player to wear #11 for the Cowboys. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this update to the series on greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers, we focus on numbers 11 through 15.

The most noteworthy update involves #11, worn by wide receiver Roy Williams from 2008 to 2010. The Cowboys gave up a first-round pick in 2009 to acquire Williams, who was supposed to complement Terrell Owens. However, Williams simply could not hold on to the ball consistently and was quickly labeled as a bust.

Danny White received 96% of the votes as the greatest player to wear #11, and Williams did nothing to garner any votes.

(Defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah also wore #11 during the 2011 season, but he played a few more games in 2010 wearing #27.)

#14: Receiver Dwayne Harris joined the Cowboys in 2011 and played in seven games wearing #14. He was used primarily as a returner.

#15: Manual Johnson saw action in two games in 2010, catching one pass for two yards in the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Here is a complete list of players who have worn numbers 11 through 15:

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Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 6 through 10


PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02:  Stephen McGee ...
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 02: Stephen McGee #7 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 14-13. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

This is the second update to the series on greatest Dallas Cowboys by their jersey numbers. We focus today on number 6 through 10.

There are only three, including those below:

#6: Two players have worn #6 since the original post. This includes kicker Shaun Suisham and punter Chris Jones.

Suisham actually played in three different seasons for the Cowboys, but was never the team’s main kicker. He was in Dallas for part of the 2005 and 2006 seasons and wore #4 at the time. He became the Redskins‘ kicker, but Washington released him during the 2009 season. Dallas was having its own kicking problems at the time, and when the Cowboys released Nick Folk, the team signed Suisham. He was the kicker during the playoff run of 2009. He later signed with Pittsburgh.

Chris Jones served as the team’s punter during the final two games of the season when the Cowboys lost Mat McBriar to injury.

#7: The Cowboys drafted quarterback Stephen McGee in 2009, and he has been a backup since then. He started the season finale in 2010 against the Eagles and led Dallas to a win.

Here is a complete list of the players who have worn numbers 6 through 10:

 

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Dallas Cowboys Jersey Numbers: Updates for Nos. 1 through 5

Cowboys white uniform 1960
Cowboys white uniform 1960 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2008, I completed a series for the Greatest Cowboys by Their Jersey Numbers. Unfortunately, I have not done a good job of keeping those lists updated.

Until now. For the next few weeks, I will post updates to the various numbers, going five at a time. Today’s list features jersey numbers 1 through 5.

Here is a complete list of players who wore those numbers:

As for the numbers, here are the updates since 2008:

#1: The Cowboys released Mat McBriar after the 2011 season.

#2: Sam Paulescu replaced an injured McBriar in 2008.

#3: Jon Kitna served as Tony Romo’s backup from 2009 to 2011.

#4: No changes since 2008.

#5:  Brooks Bollinger played in two games at quarterback in 2008.

Kicker Dan Bailey joined the Cowboys in 2011 and had a solid rookie season.

 

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Greatest Cowboys by Their Jersey Numbers: Final Results

Eight months and eight days ago, I started the review of all of the players who have ever played for the Dallas Cowboys, broken down by their jersey numbers. After reviewing 843 players and receiving a total of 13,723 votes, we now have the final totals. Here they are:

#

Total

Votes

Players Winner Pos. Years
1 232 5 Mat McBriar
(59%)
P 2004-present
2 98 3 Lin Elliott
(66%)
K 1992-1993
3 129 5 Billy Cundiff
(30%)
K 2002-2005
4 118 6 Mike Saxon
(76%)
P 1985-1992
5 94 2 Clint Stoerner
(80%)
QB 2000-2002
6 135 3 Nick Folk
(90%)
K 2007-present
7 210 6 Steve Beuerlein
(70%)
QB 1991-1992
8 166 2 Troy Aikman
(93%)
QB 1989-2000
9 193 4 Tony Romo
(98%)
QB 2003-present
10 119 8 Ron Widby
(76%)
P 1968-1971
11 269 9 Danny White
(96%)
QB/P 1976-1988
12 223 2 Roger Staubach
(96%)
QB 1969-1979
13 142 2 Jerry Rhome
(86%)
QB 1965-1968
14 203 5 Craig Morton
(74%)
QB 1965-1974
15 153 4 Toni Fritsch
(77%)
K 1971-1973, 1975
16 150 4 Vinny Testaverde
(64%)
QB 2004
17 231 5 Don Meredith
(90%)
QB 1960-1968
18 148 7 Chris Boniol
(62%)
K 1994-1996
19 213 8 Lance Rentzel
(35%)
WR 1967-1970
20 198 11 Mel Renfro
(88%)
DB 1964-1977
21 260 10 Deion Sanders
(96%)
DB 1995-1999
22 279 7 Emmitt Smith
(88%)
RB 1990-2002
23 93 12 Robert Williams
(41%)
DB 1987-1993
24 122 10 Everson Walls
(82%)
DB 1981-1989
25 94 15 Aaron Kyle
(36%)
DB 1976-1979
26 192 10 Kevin Smith
(30%)
DB 1992-1999
27 183 12 Ron Fellows
(38%)
DB 1981-1986
28 238 5 Darren Woodson
(99%)
DB 1992-2003
29 214 10 Kenneth Gant
(61%)
DB 1990-1994
30 130 10 Dan Reeves
(76%)
RB 1965-1972
31 202 12 Roy Williams
(63%)
S 2002-present
32 176 10 Walt Garrison
(65%)
RB 1966-1974
33 216 11 Tony Dorsett
(94%)
RB 1977-1987
34 210 10 Herschel Walker
(56%)
RB 1986-89, 1996-97
35 162 12 Calvin Hill
(90%)
RB 1969-1974
36 82 9 Vince Albritton
(45%)
S 1984-1991
37 116 9 James Washington
(93%)
S 1990-1994
38 82 7 Sam Baker
(44%)
P/K 1962-1963
39 66 6 Lousaka Polite
(53%)
RB 2004-2006
40 203 6 Bill Bates
(99%)
S 1983-1997
41 203 8 Charlie Waters
(79%)
DB 1970-78, 1980-81
42 131 13 Anthony Henry
(66%)
CB 2005-present
43 153 5 Cliff Harris
(78%)
S 1970-1979
44 145 7 Robert Newhouse
(94%)
FB 1972-1983
45 66 8 Manny Hendrix
(55%)
DB 1986-1991
46 122 9 Mark Washington
(68%)
CB 1970-1978
47 121 6 Dexter Clinkscale
(69%)
S 1980-1985
48 128 3 Daryl Johnston
(99%)
FB 1989-1999
49 51 2 Brett Pierce
(57%)
TE 2004-2005
*49 n/a 1 Tom Landry Coach 1960-1988
50 127 11 D.D. Lewis
(79%)
LB 1968, 1970-81
51 132 11 Ken Norton
(80%)
LB 1988-1993
52 184 11 Dexter Coakley
(77%)
LB 1997-2004
53 131 12 Mark Stepnoski
(58%)
C 1989-94, 1999-01
54 182 9 Randy White
(90%)
DT 1975-1988
55 155 12 Lee Roy Jordan
(82%)
LB 1963-1976
56 159 13 Hollywood Henderson
(41%)
LB 1975-1979
57 111 13 Kevin Burnett
(60%)
LB 2005-present
58 122 9 Mike Hegman
(60%)
LB 1976-1987
59 113 9 Dat Nguyen
(81%)
LB 1999-2005
60 77 14 Derek Kennard
(60%)
C/G 1994-1996
61 130 6 Nate Newton
(88%)
G/T 1986-1998
62 98 11 John Fitzgerald
(93%)
C 1971-1980
63 137 11 Larry Cole
(86%)
DE/DT 1968-1980
64 151 8 Tom Rafferty
(96%)
C/G 1976-1989
65 123 7 Andre Gurode
(98%)
C/G 2002-present
66 103 11 George Andrie
(64%)
DE 1962-1972
67 82 12 Pat Donovan
(52%)
T 1975-1983
68 108 11 Herb Scott
(83%)
G 1975-1984
69 43 2 George Hegamin
(91%)
T 1994-1997
70 123 9 Rayfield Wright
(92%)
T 1967-1979
71 92 11 Mark Tuinei
(91%)
T 1983-1997
72 131 9 Too Tall Jones
(96%)
DE 1974-78, 1980-89
73 120 8 Larry Allen
(91%)
G 1994-2005
74 n/a 1 Bob Lilly
(100%)
DT 1961-1974
75 108 9 Jethro Pugh
(78%)
DT 1965-1978
76 111 11 John Niland
(46%)
G 1966-1974
77 115 13 Jim Jeffcoat
(94%)
DE 1983-1994
78 92 11 Leon Lett
(87%)
DT 1991-2000
79 176 13 Harvey Martin
(77%)
DE 1973-1983
80 215 15 Tony Hill
(85%)
WR 1977-1986
81 197 15 Terrell Owens
(92%)
WR 2006-present
82 120 16 Jason Witten
(88%)
TE 2003-present
83 133 14 Terry Glenn
(41%)
WR 2003-2007
84 222 9 Jay Novacek
(90%)
TE 1990-1995
85 138 12 Kevin Williams
(92%)
WR 1993-1996
86 184 15 Butch Johnson
(91%)
WR 1976-1983
87 94 13 Jay Saldi
(82%)
TE 1976-1982
88 199 9 Michael Irvin
(82%)
WR 1988-1999
89 110 15 Billy Joe Dupree
(87%)
TE 1973-1983
90 97 7 Jay Ratliff
(73%)
DT 2005-present
91 55 6 L.P. Ladouceur
(71%)
LS 2005-present
92 68 4 Tony Tolbert
(93%)
DE 1989-1997
93 51 6 Anthony Spencer
(69%)
LB 2007-present
94 98 5 DeMarcus Ware
(52%)
LB 2005-present
95 83 6 Chad Hennings
(94%)
DT 1992-2000
96 69 5 Marcus Spears
(64%)
DE 2005-present
97 72 7 La’Roi Glover
(79%)
DT 2002-2005
98 71 4 Greg Ellis
(96%)
DE 1998-present
99 53 7 Chris Canty
(91%)
DE 2005-present

Last Chance to Vote: Greatest Cowboys by Their Jersey Numbers

Way back on March 11, I started a series of polls to identify the greatest players in the history of the Dallas Cowboys according to their jersey numbers.  In the past eight months, these posts have featured summaries of 843 players, and the polls have garnered 13,533 total votes.

I am going to leave the polls open until Wednesday, November 19. That evening, I will post the final results.

Here are a few of the more interesting “races” in this series:

#3: Billy Cundiff has barely edged out Eddie Murray, Steve Walsh, and Richie Cunningham.

  • Billy Cundiff (30%, 37 Votes)
  • Eddie Murray (26%, 32 Votes)
  • Steve Walsh (22%, 28 Votes)
  • Richie Cunningham (22%, 27 Votes)

#19: Lance Rentzel has a slight lead over Keyshawn Johnson and Lance Alworth:

  • Lance Rentzel (35%, 74 Votes)
  • Keyshawn Johnson (26%, 55 Votes)
  • Lance Alworth (26%, 54 Votes)

#23: Defensive back Robert Williams holds an edge over James Jones and Kevin Mathis.

  • Robert Williams (41%, 37 Votes)
  • James Jones (22%, 20 Votes)
  • Kevin Mathis (12%, 11 Votes)

#25: In one of the closest races, Pat Watkins leads Aaron Kyle by two votes.

  • Pat Watkins (36%, 32 Votes)
  • Aaron Kyle (33%, 30 Votes)

#26: Kevin Smith holds a three-vote lead over Michael Downs.

  • Kevin Smith (30%, 57 Votes)
  • Michael Downs (29%, 54 Votes)
  • Preston Pearson (25%, 47 Votes)

#27: Former member of Thurman’s Thieves, Ron Fellows, has a small lead over Thomas Everett.

  • Ron Fellows (38%, 68 Votes)
  • Thomas Everett (36%, 64 Votes)

#35: Reserve defensive back Vinc Albritton has a five-vote lead over Dick Bielski.

  • Vince Albritton (44%, 35 Votes)
  • Dick Bielski (38%, 30 Votes)

#49: In a tight race featuring two unknowns. . .

  • Brett Pierce (55%, 27 Votes)
  • Johnny Huggins (45%, 22 Votes)

#56: We have a tie vote between Hollywood henderson and Eugene Lockhart.

  • Eugene Lockhart (40%, 61 Votes)
  • Thomas Henderson (40%, 61 Votes)

#67: Pat Donovan has the edge over Russell Maryland

  • Pat Donovan (53%, 43 Votes)
  • Russell Maryland (43%, 35 Votes)

#76: John Niland has a three-vote lead over Flozell Adams

  • John Niland (46%, 51 Votes)
  • Flozell Adams (43%, 48 Votes)

#83: Terry Glenn has a bit of a lead over Golden Richards and Kelvin Martin.

  • Terry Glenn (40%, 53 Votes)
  • Golden Richards (33%, 44 Votes)
  • Kelvin Martin (23%, 31 Votes)

#94: DeMarcus Ware has a one-vote lead over Charles Haley.

  • DeMarcus Ware (51%, 47 Votes)
  • Charles Haley (49%, 46 Votes)

Here is a list of the jersey numbers, with links to the relevant polls.

#

Total

Votes

Players Poll
1 229 5
Poll
2 95 3
Poll
3 125 5
Poll
4 116 6
Poll
5 91 2
Poll
6 133 3
Poll
7 208 6
Poll
8 162 2
Poll
9 190 4
Poll
10 117 8
Poll
11 266 9
Poll
12 219 2
Poll
13 140 2
Poll
14 201 5
Poll
15 151 4
Poll
16 148 4
Poll
17 226 5
Poll
18 144 7
Poll
19 209 8
Poll
20 198 11
Poll
21 257 10
Poll
22 272 7
Poll
23 91 12
Poll
24 119 10
Poll
25 90 15
Poll
26 188 10
Poll
27 180 12
Poll
28 232 5
Poll
29 212 10
Poll
30 126 10
Poll
31 201 12
Poll
32 173 10
Poll
33 211 11
Poll
34 207 10
Poll
35 160 12
Poll
36 79 9
Poll
37 114 9
Poll
38 80 7
Poll
39 64 6
Poll
40 201 6
Poll
41 238 8
Poll
42 129 13
Poll
43 150 5
Poll
44 141 7
Poll
45 66 8
Poll
46 119 9
Poll
47 120 6
Poll
48 126 3
Poll
49 49 2
Poll
50 124 11
Poll
51 132 11
Poll
52 181 11
Poll
53 129 12
Poll
54 177 9
Poll
55 152 12
Poll
56 152 13
Poll
57 109 13
Poll
58 120 9
Poll
59 108 9
Poll
60 75 14
Poll
61 129 6
Poll
62 97 11
Poll
63 135 11
Poll
64 149 8
Poll
65 121 7
Poll
66 101 11
Poll
67 81 12
Poll
68 107 11
Poll
69 42 2
Poll
70 121 9
Poll
71 91 11
Poll
72 130 9
Poll
73 120 8
Poll
74 n/a 1
Bob Lilly
75 107 9
Poll
76 111 11
Poll
77 114 13
Poll
78 92 11
Poll
79 176 13
Poll
80 214 15
Poll
81 195 15
Poll
82 119 16
Poll
83 132 14
Poll
84 222 9
Poll
85 136 12
Poll
86 182 15
Poll
87 93 13
Poll
88 194 9
Poll
89 109 15
Poll
90 95 7
Poll
91 53 6
Poll
92 66 4
Poll
93 49 6
Poll
94 93 5
Poll
95 81 6
Poll
96 67 5
Poll
97 70 7
Poll
98 67 4
Poll
99 50 7
Poll