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: #81

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #81

Fifteen players have worn #81 for the Cowboys. This includes 12 wide receivers, two tight ends, and a punter.

Scott Ankrom, WR, Texas Christian, 1989

Statistics: Ankrom returned two kickoffs with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas tried Ankrom on both offense and defense in 1989, but he was unable to stick around.

Tyji Armstrong, TE, Mississippi, 1996

Statistics: Armstrong caught two passes for 10 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Armstrong was primarily a blocking tight end.

Marv Bateman, P, Utah, 1972-74

Statistics: Bateman averaged 39.3 yards per punt with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Bateman had several injury problems during his time in Dallas.

Vince Courville, WR, Rice, 1987

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in two of the replacement games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Kelvin Edwards, WR, Liberty, 1987-88

Statistics: Edwards caught 39 passes for 614 yards and three touchdowns with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Edwards first saw action during the replacement games in 1987, and he later became a starter with the regulars. He suffered a terrible knee injury in 1988, however, and did not play again.

Percy Howard, WR, Austin Peay, 1975

Statistics: Howard never had a regular season catch, but he caught a 34-yard touchdown pass in Super Bowl X.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Howard was injured during preseason in 1976 and never played pro football again.

Billy Howton, WR, Rice, 1960-63

Statistics: Howton caught 161 passes for 2368 yards and 17 touchdowns in Dallas.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Howton played four seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: At one time, Howton was the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions, as he surpassed Don Hutson. He was a starter with Dallas during the early years of the franchise.

Raghib Ismail, WR, Notre Dame, 1999-01

Statistics: Ismail caught 158 passes for 2281 yards and 9 TDs.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Rocket got off to a great start in Dallas, catching a touchdown pass in overtime to give the Cowboys a win over the Redskins in the 1999 season opener. He gained more than 1,000 yards that year, but he suffered through injuries in 2000 and caught on 25 passes. He was certainly a playmaker but came along at the time when the team was in serious decline.

Patrick Jeffers, WR, Virginia, 1998

Statistics: Jeffers caught 18 passes for 330 yards and 2 TDs.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Jeffers in 1998, and he showed great promise late in the 1998 season. Carolina signed him in 1999, though, and he gained more than 1,000 yards with the Panthers. His career tapered off after that.

Quincy Morgan, WR, Kansas State, 2004-05

Statistics: Morgan caught 22 receptions for 260 yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than a full season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Morgan as part of the trade that sent Antonio Bryant to Cleveland in 2004. Morgan saw action in the receiver rotation with Dallas, but he joined the Steelers in 2005.

Terrell Owens, WR, Tenn-Chat., 2006-07

Statistics: Owens has caught 166 passes for 2535 yards and 28 TDs.

Accolades: He earned Pro Bowl and All Pro honors in 2007. He has been named to a total of six Pro Bowls during his career.

Longevity: He will enter his third season with the Cowboys in 2008.

Intangibles: Few players in team history have been as productive during a two-year stretch as Owens in 2006 and 2007. He is even showing signs of leadership, and at age 35, does not appear to be slowing down.

Kirk Phillips, WR, Tulsa, 1984

Statistics: Phillips caught one pass for six yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Phillips saw action early in the 1984 season due to injuries to some starters, but he was released after the season was over.

Karl Powe, WR, Alabama State, 1985-86

Statistics: Powe caught 14 passes for 237 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

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

Intangibles: Powe showed promise in 1985, but a neck injury suffered in the first week of the 1986 season ended his career.

Jackie Smith, TE, Northwest Louisiana, 1978

Statistics: Smith caught 480 regular season passes during his career with the Cardinals. He caught no regular season passes with Dallas, and though he had some playoff receptions in 1978, we know him for one big drop.

Accolades: None with Dallas. He is now in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas signed Smith in 1978 to back up Billy Joe DuPree when Jay Saldi was injured. Bless his heart, Smith became the sickest man in America when he dropped a sure touchdown pass in the third quarter of Super Bowl XIII when the Cowboys trailed the Steelers 21-14.

Alexander Wright, WR, Auburn, 1990-92

Statistics: Wright caught 21 passes for 274 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

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

Intangibles: Wright won the competition as the league’s fastest man, but he developed too slowly for Dallas and was traded to Los Angeles during the 1992 season. I have no idea why I remember, this, but when Wright was with the Raiders, Chris Berman nicknamed him Alexander “If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want to Be” Wright.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #81.

Greatest #81

  • Terrell Owens (92%, 181 Votes)
  • Raghib Ismail (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Jackie Smith (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Billy Howton (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Karl Powe (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Scott Ankrom (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Marv Bateman (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tyji Armstrong (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Alexander Wright (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Percy Howard (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kelvin Edwards (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Patrick Jeffers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Quincy Morgan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Vince Courville (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kirk Phillips (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 197

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My Vote: Owens

Terrell OwensTwo years ago, I would have never believed that I could vote for Owens as the greatest anything in team history. A year ago, I would have found a reason not to vote for him. This year, he’s shown that he still has enough in the tank to be an elite receiver, and if we didn’t know how valuable he was before his injury late last year, we knew afterward. The big question for the rest of this decade is how long he can keep this up.

Ismail and Howton were productive receivers during their time in Dallas and deserve mention. The others were mostly backups.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #81

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #81

Fifteen players have worn #81 for the Cowboys. This includes 12 wide receivers, two tight ends, and a punter.

Scott Ankrom, WR, Texas Christian, 1989

Statistics: Ankrom returned two kickoffs with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas tried Ankrom on both offense and defense in 1989, but he was unable to stick around.

Tyji Armstrong, TE, Mississippi, 1996

Statistics: Armstrong caught two passes for 10 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Armstrong was primarily a blocking tight end.

Marv Bateman, P, Utah, 1972-74

Statistics: Bateman averaged 39.3 yards per punt with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Bateman had several injury problems during his time in Dallas.

Vince Courville, WR, Rice, 1987

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in two of the replacement games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Kelvin Edwards, WR, Liberty, 1987-88

Statistics: Edwards caught 39 passes for 614 yards and three touchdowns with Dallas.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Edwards first saw action during the replacement games in 1987, and he later became a starter with the regulars. He suffered a terrible knee injury in 1988, however, and did not play again.

Percy Howard, WR, Austin Peay, 1975

Statistics: Howard never had a regular season catch, but he caught a 34-yard touchdown pass in Super Bowl X.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Howard was injured during preseason in 1976 and never played pro football again.

Billy Howton, WR, Rice, 1960-63

Statistics: Howton caught 161 passes for 2368 yards and 17 touchdowns in Dallas.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: Howton played four seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: At one time, Howton was the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions, as he surpassed Don Hutson. He was a starter with Dallas during the early years of the franchise.

Raghib Ismail, WR, Notre Dame, 1999-01

Statistics: Ismail caught 158 passes for 2281 yards and 9 TDs.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Rocket got off to a great start in Dallas, catching a touchdown pass in overtime to give the Cowboys a win over the Redskins in the 1999 season opener. He gained more than 1,000 yards that year, but he suffered through injuries in 2000 and caught on 25 passes. He was certainly a playmaker but came along at the time when the team was in serious decline.

Patrick Jeffers, WR, Virginia, 1998

Statistics: Jeffers caught 18 passes for 330 yards and 2 TDs.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Jeffers in 1998, and he showed great promise late in the 1998 season. Carolina signed him in 1999, though, and he gained more than 1,000 yards with the Panthers. His career tapered off after that.

Quincy Morgan, WR, Kansas State, 2004-05

Statistics: Morgan caught 22 receptions for 260 yards.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than a full season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Morgan as part of the trade that sent Antonio Bryant to Cleveland in 2004. Morgan saw action in the receiver rotation with Dallas, but he joined the Steelers in 2005.

Terrell Owens, WR, Tenn-Chat., 2006-07

Statistics: Owens has caught 166 passes for 2535 yards and 28 TDs.

Accolades: He earned Pro Bowl and All Pro honors in 2007. He has been named to a total of six Pro Bowls during his career.

Longevity: He will enter his third season with the Cowboys in 2008.

Intangibles: Few players in team history have been as productive during a two-year stretch as Owens in 2006 and 2007. He is even showing signs of leadership, and at age 35, does not appear to be slowing down.

Kirk Phillips, WR, Tulsa, 1984

Statistics: Phillips caught one pass for six yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Phillips saw action early in the 1984 season due to injuries to some starters, but he was released after the season was over.

Karl Powe, WR, Alabama State, 1985-86

Statistics: Powe caught 14 passes for 237 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

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

Intangibles: Powe showed promise in 1985, but a neck injury suffered in the first week of the 1986 season ended his career.

Jackie Smith, TE, Northwest Louisiana, 1978

Statistics: Smith caught 480 regular season passes during his career with the Cardinals. He caught no regular season passes with Dallas, and though he had some playoff receptions in 1978, we know him for one big drop.

Accolades: None with Dallas. He is now in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas signed Smith in 1978 to back up Billy Joe DuPree when Jay Saldi was injured. Bless his heart, Smith became the sickest man in America when he dropped a sure touchdown pass in the third quarter of Super Bowl XIII when the Cowboys trailed the Steelers 21-14.

Alexander Wright, WR, Auburn, 1990-92

Statistics: Wright caught 21 passes for 274 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

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

Intangibles: Wright won the competition as the league’s fastest man, but he developed too slowly for Dallas and was traded to Los Angeles during the 1992 season. I have no idea why I remember, this, but when Wright was with the Raiders, Chris Berman nicknamed him Alexander “If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want to Be” Wright.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #81.

Greatest #81

  • Terrell Owens (92%, 181 Votes)
  • Raghib Ismail (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Jackie Smith (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Billy Howton (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Karl Powe (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Scott Ankrom (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Marv Bateman (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tyji Armstrong (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Alexander Wright (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Percy Howard (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kelvin Edwards (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Patrick Jeffers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Quincy Morgan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Vince Courville (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kirk Phillips (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 197

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My Vote: Owens

Terrell OwensTwo years ago, I would have never believed that I could vote for Owens as the greatest anything in team history. A year ago, I would have found a reason not to vote for him. This year, he’s shown that he still has enough in the tank to be an elite receiver, and if we didn’t know how valuable he was before his injury late last year, we knew afterward. The big question for the rest of this decade is how long he can keep this up.

Ismail and Howton were productive receivers during their time in Dallas and deserve mention. The others were mostly backups.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #80

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #80

Fifteen players have worn #80 for the Cowboys. This includes 12 wide receivers and three tight ends. Assuming that Martellus Bennett makes the squad, he will be the 16th player to wear the number.

Note: Several players have worn #80 in preseason games, while others have been assigned the number but did record at least one official game. These players played in at least a single game.

Rod Barksdale, WR, Arizona, 1987

Statistics: Barksdale caught 12 passes for 165 yards and 1 TD for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas traded Ron Fellows to the Raiders for Barksdale in 1987, but the former sprinter did not get many chances with the Cowboys.

Gary Barnes, WR, Clemson, 1963

Statistics: Barnes caught 15 passes for 195 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys picked up Barnes from Green Bay in 1963, and he saw quite a bit of action. He was traded to Chicago before the 1964 season.

Anthony Fasano, TE, Notre Dame, 2006-07

Statistics: Fasano caught 28 passes for 269 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys picked up Fasano in the second round of the 2006 draft. However, he did not progress as quickly as the team would have liked, and the Cowboys shipped him to Miami during offseason in 2008.

Bernard Ford, WR, Central Florida, 1989

Statistics: For caught 7 passes for 78 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a free agent who made the team during the dreadful 1989 season. Ford played for Houston in 1990.

Everett Gay, WR, Texas, 1988

Statistics: Gay made 15 receptions for 205 yards and one touchdown.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Gay made the team in 1988 after spending the 1987 season on injured reserve. He was traded to Tampa Bay in 1989.

Alvin Harper, WR, Tennessee, 1991-94, 1999

Statistics: Harper caught 124 passes for 2486 yards (a 20.0 average) and 18 TDs.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played six seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Harper is very well remembered for his many playoff heroics, including the famous catch and run against San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game in 1992. He was well-known for his athletic catches, but he was never as productive as he should have been. The most catches he had in one season in Dallas was 36, and he never surpassed 50 in a single season during his career. He left via free agency in 1995. He returned briefly in 1999 following Michael Irvin’s career-ending neck injury, but Harper did nothing at all once he was back in Dallas.

Rod Harris, WR, Texas A&M, 1990

Statistics: Harris had 12 receptions for 63 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades:None.

Longevity: He played less than one full season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Harris was traded to the Eagles midway through the 1990 season.

Tony Hill, WR, Stanford, 1977-86

Statistics: Hill caught a total of 479 passes for 7988 yards and 51 TDs. He ranks fourth in team history in receptions and second in receiving yards.

Accolades: He earned three trips to the Pro Bowl.

Longevity: Hill played 10 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Hill was a big-play receiver throughout his career in Dallas. He famously caught Roger Staubach’s lob pass against Washington in the final game of the regular season in 1979, and he had other huge games as well. He is sometimes forgotten when the names of Irvin and Pearson were brought up, but Hill was one of the great receivers in franchise history.

David McDaniels, WR, Mississippi Valley, 1968

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: When the Cowboys selected McDaniels in the second round of the 1968 draft, it was apparently a mistake by the scouting department. He was slower and smaller than expected and was traded to Philadelphia in 1969.

Ola Lee Murchison, WR, Pacific, 1961

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Murchison made the team in 1961 and primarily played on special teams.

Sean Ryan, TE, Boston College, 2004-05

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Ryan was primarily a blocking tight end in Dallas. He later played for the Jets.

O.J. Santiago, TE, Kent, 2000

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys traded with Atlanta for Santiago in 2000, but he never caught a pass in the one season in played in Dallas.

Sebron Spivey, WR, Southern Illinois, 1987

Statistics: Spivey caught two passes for 34 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in two of the replacement games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Reggie Swinton, WR, Murray State, 2001-03

Statistics: Swinton averaged 24.0 yards per kickoff return.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Swinton showed some promise as a return specialist, but once Bill Parcells arrived in 2003, Swinton was no longer returning kicks regularly. He later played for the Lions and Cardinals.

Stepfret Williams, WR, Northeast Louisiana, 1996-97

Statistics: Williams caught 31 passes for 340 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Williams played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Taken in the third round of the 1996 draft, Williams was not as skilled as Kevin Williams or Kelvin Martin as a slot receiver. He caught 30 passes in 1997 but did not make the squad in 1998.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #80.

Greatest #80

  • Tony Hill (85%, 182 Votes)
  • Alvin Harper (14%, 30 Votes)
  • Reggie Swinton (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Anthony Fasano (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Gary Barnes (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Bernard Ford (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sebron Spivey (0%, 0 Votes)
  • O.J. Santiago (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sean Ryan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ola Lee Murchison (0%, 0 Votes)
  • David McDaniels (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rod Harris (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Everett Gay (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rod Barksdale (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 215

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My Vote: Hill

Tony HillThis one is clearly between Hill and Harper, but I do not think this is much of a competition. Hill may not be as well-known for his big-time plays as Harper. But he was more accomplished as a receiver and played much longer in Dallas than Harper. Harper had some huge plays during his time in Dallas, but he underachieved for the most part. Thus, Hill gets my vote.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #80

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #80

Fifteen players have worn #80 for the Cowboys. This includes 12 wide receivers and three tight ends. Assuming that Martellus Bennett makes the squad, he will be the 16th player to wear the number.

Note: Several players have worn #80 in preseason games, while others have been assigned the number but did record at least one official game. These players played in at least a single game.

Rod Barksdale, WR, Arizona, 1987

Statistics: Barksdale caught 12 passes for 165 yards and 1 TD for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas traded Ron Fellows to the Raiders for Barksdale in 1987, but the former sprinter did not get many chances with the Cowboys.

Gary Barnes, WR, Clemson, 1963

Statistics: Barnes caught 15 passes for 195 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys picked up Barnes from Green Bay in 1963, and he saw quite a bit of action. He was traded to Chicago before the 1964 season.

Anthony Fasano, TE, Notre Dame, 2006-07

Statistics: Fasano caught 28 passes for 269 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys picked up Fasano in the second round of the 2006 draft. However, he did not progress as quickly as the team would have liked, and the Cowboys shipped him to Miami during offseason in 2008.

Bernard Ford, WR, Central Florida, 1989

Statistics: For caught 7 passes for 78 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a free agent who made the team during the dreadful 1989 season. Ford played for Houston in 1990.

Everett Gay, WR, Texas, 1988

Statistics: Gay made 15 receptions for 205 yards and one touchdown.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Gay made the team in 1988 after spending the 1987 season on injured reserve. He was traded to Tampa Bay in 1989.

Alvin Harper, WR, Tennessee, 1991-94, 1999

Statistics: Harper caught 124 passes for 2486 yards (a 20.0 average) and 18 TDs.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played six seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Harper is very well remembered for his many playoff heroics, including the famous catch and run against San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game in 1992. He was well-known for his athletic catches, but he was never as productive as he should have been. The most catches he had in one season in Dallas was 36, and he never surpassed 50 in a single season during his career. He left via free agency in 1995. He returned briefly in 1999 following Michael Irvin’s career-ending neck injury, but Harper did nothing at all once he was back in Dallas.

Rod Harris, WR, Texas A&M, 1990

Statistics: Harris had 12 receptions for 63 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades:None.

Longevity: He played less than one full season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Harris was traded to the Eagles midway through the 1990 season.

Tony Hill, WR, Stanford, 1977-86

Statistics: Hill caught a total of 479 passes for 7988 yards and 51 TDs. He ranks fourth in team history in receptions and second in receiving yards.

Accolades: He earned three trips to the Pro Bowl.

Longevity: Hill played 10 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Hill was a big-play receiver throughout his career in Dallas. He famously caught Roger Staubach’s lob pass against Washington in the final game of the regular season in 1979, and he had other huge games as well. He is sometimes forgotten when the names of Irvin and Pearson were brought up, but Hill was one of the great receivers in franchise history.

David McDaniels, WR, Mississippi Valley, 1968

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: When the Cowboys selected McDaniels in the second round of the 1968 draft, it was apparently a mistake by the scouting department. He was slower and smaller than expected and was traded to Philadelphia in 1969.

Ola Lee Murchison, WR, Pacific, 1961

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Murchison made the team in 1961 and primarily played on special teams.

Sean Ryan, TE, Boston College, 2004-05

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Ryan was primarily a blocking tight end in Dallas. He later played for the Jets.

O.J. Santiago, TE, Kent, 2000

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys traded with Atlanta for Santiago in 2000, but he never caught a pass in the one season in played in Dallas.

Sebron Spivey, WR, Southern Illinois, 1987

Statistics: Spivey caught two passes for 34 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in two of the replacement games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Reggie Swinton, WR, Murray State, 2001-03

Statistics: Swinton averaged 24.0 yards per kickoff return.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Swinton showed some promise as a return specialist, but once Bill Parcells arrived in 2003, Swinton was no longer returning kicks regularly. He later played for the Lions and Cardinals.

Stepfret Williams, WR, Northeast Louisiana, 1996-97

Statistics: Williams caught 31 passes for 340 yards with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Williams played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Taken in the third round of the 1996 draft, Williams was not as skilled as Kevin Williams or Kelvin Martin as a slot receiver. He caught 30 passes in 1997 but did not make the squad in 1998.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #80.

Greatest #80

  • Tony Hill (85%, 182 Votes)
  • Alvin Harper (14%, 30 Votes)
  • Reggie Swinton (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Anthony Fasano (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Gary Barnes (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Bernard Ford (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sebron Spivey (0%, 0 Votes)
  • O.J. Santiago (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sean Ryan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ola Lee Murchison (0%, 0 Votes)
  • David McDaniels (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rod Harris (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Everett Gay (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rod Barksdale (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 215

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My Vote: Hill

Tony HillThis one is clearly between Hill and Harper, but I do not think this is much of a competition. Hill may not be as well-known for his big-time plays as Harper. But he was more accomplished as a receiver and played much longer in Dallas than Harper. Harper had some huge plays during his time in Dallas, but he underachieved for the most part. Thus, Hill gets my vote.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #79

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #79

Thirteen players have worn #79 for the Cowboys. This includes ten offensive linemen and three defensive linemen.

Willie Broughton, DT, Miami, Fla.., 1989-90

Statistics: Broughton recorded three sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Broughton played for Jimmy Johnson in Miami, and when Johnson arrived in Dallas in 1989, he talked Broughton out of retiring. Broughton played two seasons in Dallas, starting a total of 14 games.

Sal Cesario, G, Cal. Poly SLO, 1987

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in three replacement games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Char-ron Dorsey, T, Florida State, 2001-02

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

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

Intangibles: Dorsey was a seventh-round pick in 2001. He saw some playing time during his rookie season, but he was released early in the 2002 season. At 367 pounds, he was known for his size.

Ken Frost, DT, Kentucky, 1961-62

Statistics: Frost recorded one interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Frost made the team in 1961 and saw some action in two seasons.

Forrest Gregg, G/T, Southern Methodist, 1971

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None with Dallas. He is a Hall of Famer, though, thanks to 14 outstanding seasons with Green Bay.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Tom Landry persuaded Gregg to come out of retirement in 1971 to play one final season. He was a backup in Dallas but picked up his third Super Bowl ring and sixth NFL championship.

John Hunt, G/T, Florida, 1984

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Hunt was injured for much of his rookie season, but late in the year, he filled in on the offensive line. He later played briefly for Tampa Bay.

Dick Klein, T, Iowa, 1960

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None with Dallas. He made an AFL Pro Bowl with the Boston Patriots.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Klein from Chicago, and he started during the Cowboys’ inaugural season. He later played for the Steelers, Patriots, and Raiders.

Harvey Martin, DE, East Texas State, 1973-83

Statistics: Unofficially, Martin had 114 career sacks, including 20 in 1977.

Accolades: He was named to four Pro Bowls and one All Pro team. He was a member of the All-Decade team of the 1970s.

Longevity: Martin played 11 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was one of the best linemen of the 1970s, earning co-MVP honors in Super Bowl XII along with Randy White. He is one of a handful of players whom Cowboys fans (me included) believe should be in the Hall of Fame.

Marques McFadden, T, Arizona, 2002

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: McFadden made the team in 2004 when Dallas was still trying to rebuild its offensive line. He saw action in only four games.

Rob Petitti, T, Pittsburgh, 2005

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas picked up Petitti in the sixth round of the 2005 draft, and he started every game that season. However, the Cowboys waived him in 2006, and he was picked up by the Saints. He played in 2007 with St. Louis, but is now injured.

Jacob Rogers, T, Southern California, 2004

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Rogers is probably Bill Parcells’ biggest bust as Cowboys coach/draft guru. Rogers was an outstanding college tackle, but he only played in two games with the Cowboy as a rookie. In 2005, he decided to undergo microfracture surgery on his right knee, and he missed the entire 2005 season. Dallas released him in 2006, and he now coaches at Central Connecticut State.

Daryle Smith, T, Tennessee, 1987-88

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Smith was originally a replacement player who remained on the team after the strike. He filled in quite a bit for Mark Tuinei in 1987 and 1988.

Erik Williams, T, Central State Ohio, 1991-00

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: Williams made four Pro Bowls and two All Pro teams.

Longevity: He played 10 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Williams was on his way to becoming the Larry Allen of the Cowboys until a wreck during the 1994 season caused him to miss more than half of the season. He returned in 1995 and made three more Pro Bowls, but he was never as dominant after the wreck as he was in 1992 and 1993. He was more penalty-prone than Flozell Adams is now, as Williams had a penchant for violating the “Erik Williams” rule by using illegal hands to the face (this was, of course, one of his most effective moves, but after punching Reggie White throughout the 1995 NFC Championship Game, the league outlawed the practice). To his credit, Williams only missed a handful of starts after his accident, even though he knee and elbow problems.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #79.

Greatest #79

  • Harvey Martin (77%, 136 Votes)
  • Erik Williams (21%, 37 Votes)
  • Willie Broughton (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Forrest Gregg (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Char-ron Dorsey (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Ken Frost (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Hunt (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sal Cesario (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Marques McFadden (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rob Petitti (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jacob Rogers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Daryle Smith (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dick Klein (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 176

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My Vote: Martin

Harvey MartinEven with the likes of Charles Haley, DeMarcus Ware (yet), and Too Tall Jones, no Cowboy lineman was as good at rushing the passer as Martin was. He was fast and tough, and once again, he belongs at least in the Ring of Honor if not the Hall of Fame.

Incidentally, Martin wore #76 as East Texas State University in the 1970s, as you can see from the photo below. Here is a story written after Martin’s death in 2001 (the link is to Texas A&M Commerce, which is the current name for the former East Texas State).

Harvey Martin

We sometimes tend to forget how good Williams was in the early 1990s. He was just as dominating as Larry Allen, and he remained an effective (if not quite as outstanding) tackle for the rest of the decade. Gregg was obviously one of the all-time greats, but not with Dallas, and the others were mostly spot starters or backups.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #79

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #79

Thirteen players have worn #79 for the Cowboys. This includes ten offensive linemen and three defensive linemen.

Willie Broughton, DT, Miami, Fla.., 1989-90

Statistics: Broughton recorded three sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Broughton played for Jimmy Johnson in Miami, and when Johnson arrived in Dallas in 1989, he talked Broughton out of retiring. Broughton played two seasons in Dallas, starting a total of 14 games.

Sal Cesario, G, Cal. Poly SLO, 1987

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in three replacement games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Char-ron Dorsey, T, Florida State, 2001-02

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

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

Intangibles: Dorsey was a seventh-round pick in 2001. He saw some playing time during his rookie season, but he was released early in the 2002 season. At 367 pounds, he was known for his size.

Ken Frost, DT, Tennessee, 1961-62

Statistics: Frost recorded one interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Frost made the team in 1961 and saw some action in two seasons.

Forrest Gregg, G/T, Southern Methodist, 1971

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None with Dallas. He is a Hall of Famer, though, thanks to 14 outstanding seasons with Green Bay.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Tom Landry persuaded Gregg to come out of retirement in 1971 to play one final season. He was a backup in Dallas but picked up his third Super Bowl ring and sixth NFL championship.

John Hunt, G/T, Florida, 1984

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Hunt was injured for much of his rookie season, but late in the year, he filled in on the offensive line. He later played briefly for Tampa Bay.

Dick Klein, T, Iowa, 1960

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None with Dallas. He made an AFL Pro Bowl with the Boston Patriots.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Klein from Chicago, and he started during the Cowboys’ inaugural season. He later played for the Steelers, Patriots, and Raiders.

Harvey Martin, DE, East Texas State, 1973-83

Statistics: Unofficially, Martin had 114 career sacks, including 20 in 1977.

Accolades: He was named to four Pro Bowls and one All Pro team. He was a member of the All-Decade team of the 1970s.

Longevity: Martin played 11 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was one of the best linemen of the 1970s, earning co-MVP honors in Super Bowl XII along with Randy White. He is one of a handful of players whom Cowboys fans (me included) believe should be in the Hall of Fame.

Marques McFadden, T, Arizona, 2002

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: McFadden made the team in 2004 when Dallas was still trying to rebuild its offensive line. He saw action in only four games.

Rob Petitti, T, Pittsburgh, 2005

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas picked up Petitti in the sixth round of the 2005 draft, and he started every game that season. However, the Cowboys waived him in 2006, and he was picked up by the Saints. He played in 2007 with St. Louis, but is now injured.

Jacob Rogers, T, Southern California, 2004

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Rogers is probably Bill Parcells’ biggest bust as Cowboys coach/draft guru. Rogers was an outstanding college tackle, but he only played in two games with the Cowboy as a rookie. In 2005, he decided to undergo microfracture surgery on his right knee, and he missed the entire 2005 season. Dallas released him in 2006, and he now coaches at Central Connecticut State.

Daryle Smith, T, Tennessee, 1987-88

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Smith was originally a replacement player who remained on the team after the strike. He filled in quite a bit for Mark Tuinei in 1987 and 1988.

Erik Williams, T, Central State Ohio, 1991-00

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: Williams made four Pro Bowls and two All Pro teams.

Longevity: He played 10 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Williams was on his way to becoming the Larry Allen of the Cowboys until a wreck during the 1994 season caused him to miss more than half of the season. He returned in 1995 and made three more Pro Bowls, but he was never as dominant after the wreck as he was in 1992 and 1993. He was more penalty-prone than Flozell Adams is now, as Williams had a penchant for violating the “Erik Williams” rule by using illegal hands to the face (this was, of course, one of his most effective moves, but after punching Reggie White throughout the 1995 NFC Championship Game, the league outlawed the practice). To his credit, Williams only missed a handful of starts after his accident, even though he knee and elbow problems.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #79.

Greatest #79

  • Harvey Martin (77%, 136 Votes)
  • Erik Williams (21%, 37 Votes)
  • Willie Broughton (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Forrest Gregg (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Char-ron Dorsey (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Ken Frost (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Hunt (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sal Cesario (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Marques McFadden (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Rob Petitti (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jacob Rogers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Daryle Smith (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dick Klein (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 176

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My Vote: Martin

Harvey MartinEven with the likes of Charles Haley, DeMarcus Ware (yet), and Too Tall Jones, no Cowboy lineman was as good at rushing the passer as Martin was. He was fast and tough, and once again, he belongs at least in the Ring of Honor if not the Hall of Fame.

Incidentally, Martin wore #76 as East Texas State University in the 1970s, as you can see from the photo below. Here is a story written after Martin’s death in 2001 (the link is to Texas A&M Commerce, which is the current name for the former East Texas State).

Harvey Martin

We sometimes tend to forget how good Williams was in the early 1990s. He was just as dominating as Larry Allen, and he remained an effective (if not quite as outstanding) tackle for the rest of the decade. Gregg was obviously one of the all-time greats, but not with Dallas, and the others were mostly spot starters or backups.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #78

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #78

Eleven players have worn #78 for the Cowboys. This includes five offensive linemen and six defensive linemen.

Bob Asher, T, Vanderbilt, 1970

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: “Smasher” Asher was highly touted as a rookie but seldom played. He was injured in 1971 and did not play for the Cowboys again. He later played for Chicago.

John Dutton, DL, Nebraska, 1979-87

Statistics: Dutton recorded 18 sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played nine seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Dutton in 1979 when Too Tall Jones tried to become a boxer. Dutton was a former All-Pro with Baltimore, but he had contract problems with the Colts. He was often injured with Dallas, and when Jones returned in 1980, Dallas moved Dutton to left defensive tackle. He played there until 1986.

Don Healy, DT, Maryland, 1960-61

Statistics: Healy recorded one interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Healy in the 1960 expansion draft from Chicago. He played defensive tackle for two season before moving on to Buffalo.

Leon Lett, DL, Emporia State, 1991-2000

Statistics: Lett recorded 22.5 sacks and 229 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He was twice named to the Pro Bowl.

Longevity: Lett played 10 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He is best remembered for his blunders, but Lett was a solid defensive tackle. He had speed an athleticism that few defensive linemen could match. Then again, there was his judgment…

James Marten, OT, Boston College, 2007-present

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Marten has yet to dress for a game with the Cowboys, but that is likely to change this season.

Intangibles: Marten was drafted in 2007 as a tackle, but he may see some action this season at guard.

John Meyers, DT, Washington, 1962-63

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Meyers was a starter in 1962 and part of 1963, but when Dallas moved Bob Lilly to defensive tackle in 1963, Meyers was benched. He was traded to the Eagles after the 1963 season.

Greg Schaum, DE, Michigan State, 1976

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Schaum was the backup to Too Tall Jones and Harvey Martin in 1976, but an injury sidelined him for the 1977 season. He played his last NFL season in 1978 with New England.

Kurt Vollers, T, Notre Dame, 2002-04

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Vollers was one of several linemen given a chance to start at right tackle during the 2000s. He lasted three years before moving on to Indianapolis.

Bruce Walton, G, UCLA, 1973-75

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Bruce Walton is the older brother of basketball great Bill Walton. Bruce was a backup offensive lineman with Dallas.

Dave Widell, T, Boston College, 1988-89

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Widell started several games with the Cowboys due to injuries to other players. The Cowboys traded Widell in 1990 to Denver, and the player the Cowboys acquired with the draft choice was Leon Lett.

Maury Youmans, DE, Syracuse, 1964-65

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Youmans played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Youmans started one season at left defensive end in 1965, but that was his last in the NFL.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #78.

Greatest #78

  • Leon Lett (87%, 80 Votes)
  • John Dutton (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Maury Youmans (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Dave Widell (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Bruce Walton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kurt Vollers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Greg Schaum (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Meyers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • James Marten (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Don Healy (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bob Asher (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 92

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My Vote: Lett

Leon LettLett’s lapses in Super Bowl XXVII and in the Snow Bowl in 1993 were embarrassing, to be sure, but neither really mattered in the end, given that Dallas won Super Bowls in both seasons. What was less forgivable was his suspension in 1996 for testing positive for drugs. Dallas was 8-5 when he was suspended, and though the team won the NFC East with a 10-6 record, his absence was very noticeable during playoff loss to Carolina. During that game, converted fullback Anthony Johnson rushed right up the middle of the Dallas defense for 104 yards. Lett was also suspended in 1995 and 1999.

That said, Lett is still the best player on this list. He was very important in the 1995 run to Super Bowl XXX, and he returned to Pro Bowl form in 1998.

Of the others, Dutton is the only one who deserves serious mention. He was better than just about any lineman drafted during the 1980s, which allowed him to extend his playing career so long. However, he was never as good with Dallas as Lett.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #78

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #78

Eleven players have worn #78 for the Cowboys. This includes five offensive linemen and six defensive linemen.

Bob Asher, T, Vanderbilt, 1970

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: “Smasher” Asher was highly touted as a rookie but seldom played. He was injured in 1971 and did not play for the Cowboys again. He later played for Chicago.

John Dutton, DL, Nebraska, 1979-87

Statistics: Dutton recorded 18 sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None with Dallas.

Longevity: He played nine seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Dutton in 1979 when Too Tall Jones tried to become a boxer. Dutton was a former All-Pro with Baltimore, but he had contract problems with the Colts. He was often injured with Dallas, and when Jones returned in 1980, Dallas moved Dutton to left defensive tackle. He played there until 1986.

Don Healy, DT, Maryland, 1960-61

Statistics: Healy recorded one interception with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Healy in the 1960 expansion draft from Chicago. He played defensive tackle for two season before moving on to Buffalo.

Leon Lett, DL, Emporia State, 1991-2000

Statistics: Lett recorded 22.5 sacks and 229 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: He was twice named to the Pro Bowl.

Longevity: Lett played 10 seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: He is best remembered for his blunders, but Lett was a solid defensive tackle. He had speed an athleticism that few defensive linemen could match. Then again, there was his judgment…

James Marten, OT, Boston College, 2007-present

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Marten has yet to dress for a game with the Cowboys, but that is likely to change this season.

Intangibles: Marten was drafted in 2007 as a tackle, but he may see some action this season at guard.

John Meyers, DT, Washington, 1962-63

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Meyers was a starter in 1962 and part of 1963, but when Dallas moved Bob Lilly to defensive tackle in 1963, Meyers was benched. He was traded to the Eagles after the 1963 season.

Greg Schaum, DE, Michigan State, 1976

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Schaum was the backup to Too Tall Jones and Harvey Martin in 1976, but an injury sidelined him for the 1977 season. He played his last NFL season in 1978 with New England.

Kurt Vollers, T, Notre Dame, 2002-04

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Vollers was one of several linemen given a chance to start at right tackle during the 2000s. He lasted three years before moving on to Indianapolis.

Bruce Walton, G, UCLA, 1973-75

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Bruce Walton is the older brother of basketball great Bill Walton. Bruce was a backup offensive lineman with Dallas.

Dave Widell, T, Boston College, 1988-89

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Widell started several games with the Cowboys due to injuries to other players. The Cowboys traded Widell in 1990 to Denver, and the player the Cowboys acquired with the draft choice was Leon Lett.

Maury Youmans, DE, Syracuse, 1964-65

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Youmans played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Youmans started one season at left defensive end in 1965, but that was his last in the NFL.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #78.

Greatest #78

  • Leon Lett (87%, 80 Votes)
  • John Dutton (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Maury Youmans (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Dave Widell (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Bruce Walton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kurt Vollers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Greg Schaum (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Meyers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • James Marten (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Don Healy (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bob Asher (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 92

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My Vote: Lett

Leon LettLett’s lapses in Super Bowl XXVII and in the Snow Bowl in 1993 were embarrassing, to be sure, but neither really mattered in the end, given that Dallas won Super Bowls in both seasons. What was less forgivable was his suspension in 1996 for testing positive for drugs. Dallas was 8-5 when he was suspended, and though the team won the NFC East with a 10-6 record, his absence was very noticeable during playoff loss to Carolina. During that game, converted fullback Anthony Johnson rushed right up the middle of the Dallas defense for 104 yards. Lett was also suspended in 1995 and 1999.

That said, Lett is still the best player on this list. He was very important in the 1995 run to Super Bowl XXX, and he returned to Pro Bowl form in 1998.

Of the others, Dutton is the only one who deserves serious mention. He was better than just about any lineman drafted during the 1980s, which allowed him to extend his playing career so long. However, he was never as good with Dallas as Lett.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #77

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #77

Thirteen players have worn #77 for the Cowboys. This includes six offensive linemen and seven defensive linemen.

Byron Bradfute, T, Southern Mississippi, 1960-61

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Bradfute made the team as a rookie in 1960, and he became the team’s starting right tackle. However, he was injured in 1961 and never played again.

Clyde Brock, DT, Utah State, 1962-63

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Brock was a backup on both defense and offense, and he saw quite a bit of action in 1963 filling in for an injured George Andrie. He was traded in 1964 to San Francisco.

Steve Cisowski, T, Santa Clara, 1987

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in the three strike games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Jim Colvin, DT, Houston, 1964-66

Statistics: He recovered five fumbles for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Colvin from Baltimore in 1964, and he started all three seasons he was with the team. However, he was injured in 1966 and was traded to the Giants after that season.

Ron East, DT, Montana State, 1967-70

Statistics: East recorded five fumble recoveries for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: East made the team as a free agent in 1967, and he served as a backup to Bob Lilly and Jethro Pugh for four years. He later played for San Diego, the World Football League, and finally the Cleveland Browns.

Bill Gregory, DL, Wisconsin, 1971-77

Statistics: Gregory recorded several tackles as a backup defensive lineman.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played seven seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Gregory backed up the likes of Jethro Pugh, Bob Lilly, and Larry Cole. He was later traded to Seattle.

Jim Jeffcoat, DE, Arizona State, 1983-94

Statistics: Jeffcoat recorded 94.5 sacks and 690 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played twelve seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Jeffcoat was one of the few quality picks that the Cowboys made during the 1980s, at least prior to arrival of Jimmy Johnson. Jeffcoat had more than 10 sacks five times during his career, which was a long one. He lost his starting job with the arrival of Charles Haley in 1992, but Jeffcoat was still great in the rotation. He finished his career by playing three seasons with Buffalo.

Pat McQuistan, OT, Weber St., 2006-present

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He enters his third season with the team in 2008.

Intangibles: McQuistan is one of the scariest-looking players the Cowboys have ever had, and he might just get a few chances to play this year. Until now, he has been a backup.

Solomon Page, G/T, West Virginia, 1999-02

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Page in the second round of the 1999 draft, and though he was a starter for several years, he was generally the weak link on the line. He played one season in San Diego before his career ended.

Steve Scifres, OL, Wyoming, 1997

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a third-round bust in the 1997 draft. He played one season in Carolina before embarking on an Arena Football League career.

Larry Stephens, DE, Texas, 1963-67

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Stephens was primarily a backup but filled in at every position on the defensive line.

Bruce Thornton, DL, Illinois, 1979-81

Statistics: Thornton recorded one interception with the Cowboys. He also had six sacks (unofficially) as a rookie in 1979.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Thornton is not related to the Bruce Thornton who played cornerback for Dallas in 2004-05. However, the Bruce Thornton who played defensive line is the father of Kalen Thornton, who played linebacker for the Cowboys in 2004. Got it? I didnt’ at first. Bruce Thornton saw quite a bit of action early in his career, due in large part to Too Tall Jones’ one-year hiatus to box.

Torrin Tucker, T, Southern Mississippi, 2003-05

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Tucker was one of several players who got a shot to start at right tackle during the 2000s. He also filled in for an injured Flozell Adams at left tackle in 2005, but he was largely ineffective and did not play after that season.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #77.

Greatest #77

  • Jim Jeffcoat (94%, 108 Votes)
  • Torrin Tucker (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Bill Gregory (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Byron Bradfute (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Larry Stephens (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Pat McQuistan (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Bruce Thornton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Steve Scifres (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Solomon Page (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Clyde Brock (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Steve Cisowski (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ron East (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jim Colvin (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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My Vote: Jeffcoat

Jim JeffcoatIt may surprise some that Jeffcoat never made a Pro Bowl. However, he had to compete with the likes of Richard Dent, Leonard Marshall, Dan Hampton, Dexter Manley, Charles Mann, and Reggie White, each of whom played on teams that were more successful than Dallas during Jeffcoat’s best years. He is clearly the best player on this list of Cowboys who wore #77, though, given that most of the others were primarily backups.

Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #77

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #77

Thirteen players have worn #77 for the Cowboys. This includes six offensive linemen and seven defensive linemen.

Byron Bradfute, T, Southern Mississippi, 1960-61

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Bradfute made the team as a rookie in 1960, and he became the team’s starting right tackle. However, he was injured in 1961 and never played again.

Clyde Brock, DT, Utah State, 1962-63

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Brock was a backup on both defense and offense, and he saw quite a bit of action in 1963 filling in for an injured George Andrie. He was traded in 1964 to San Francisco.

Steve Cisowski, T, Santa Clara, 1987

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in the three strike games in 1987.

Intangibles: n/a

Jim Colvin, DT, Houston, 1964-66

Statistics: He recovered five fumbles for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired Colvin from Baltimore in 1964, and he started all three seasons he was with the team. However, he was injured in 1966 and was traded to the Giants after that season.

Ron East, DT, Montana State, 1967-70

Statistics: East recorded five fumble recoveries for the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: East made the team as a free agent in 1967, and he served as a backup to Bob Lilly and Jethro Pugh for four years. He later played for San Diego, the World Football League, and finally the Cleveland Browns.

Bill Gregory, DL, Wisconsin, 1971-77

Statistics: Gregory recorded several tackles as a backup defensive lineman.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played seven seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Gregory backed up the likes of Jethro Pugh, Bob Lilly, and Larry Cole. He was later traded to Seattle.

Jim Jeffcoat, DE, Arizona State, 1983-94

Statistics: Jeffcoat recorded 94.5 sacks and 690 tackles with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played twelve seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Jeffcoat was one of the few quality picks that the Cowboys made during the 1980s, at least prior to arrival of Jimmy Johnson. Jeffcoat had more than 10 sacks five times during his career, which was a long one. He lost his starting job with the arrival of Charles Haley in 1992, but Jeffcoat was still great in the rotation. He finished his career by playing three seasons with Buffalo.

Pat McQuistan, OT, Weber St., 2006-present

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He enters his third season with the team in 2008.

Intangibles: McQuistan is one of the scariest-looking players the Cowboys have ever had, and he might just get a few chances to play this year. Until now, he has been a backup.

Solomon Page, G/T, West Virginia, 1999-02

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played four seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: The Cowboys acquired Page in the second round of the 1999 draft, and though he was a starter for several years, he was generally the weak link on the line. He played one season in San Diego before his career ended.

Steve Scifres, OL, Wyoming, 1997

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: He was a third-round bust in the 1997 draft. He played one season in Carolina before embarking on an Arena Football League career.

Larry Stephens, DE, Texas, 1963-67

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played five seasons with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Stephens was primarily a backup but filled in at every position on the defensive line.

Bruce Thornton, DL, Illinois, 1979-81

Statistics: Thornton recorded one interception with the Cowboys. He also had six sacks (unofficially) as a rookie in 1979.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Thornton is not related to the Bruce Thornton who played cornerback for Dallas in 2004-05. However, the Bruce Thornton who played defensive line is the father of Kalen Thornton, who played linebacker for the Cowboys in 2004. Got it? I didnt’ at first. Bruce Thornton saw quite a bit of action early in his career, due in large part to Too Tall Jones’ one-year hiatus to box.

Torrin Tucker, T, Southern Mississippi, 2003-05

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played three seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Tucker was one of several players who got a shot to start at right tackle during the 2000s. He also filled in for an injured Flozell Adams at left tackle in 2005, but he was largely ineffective and did not play after that season.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #77.

Greatest #77

  • Jim Jeffcoat (94%, 108 Votes)
  • Torrin Tucker (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Bill Gregory (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Byron Bradfute (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Larry Stephens (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Pat McQuistan (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Bruce Thornton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Steve Scifres (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Solomon Page (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Clyde Brock (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Steve Cisowski (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ron East (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jim Colvin (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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My Vote: Jeffcoat

Jim JeffcoatIt may surprise some that Jeffcoat never made a Pro Bowl. However, he had to compete with the likes of Richard Dent, Leonard Marshall, Dan Hampton, Dexter Manley, Charles Mann, and Reggie White, each of whom played on teams that were more successful than Dallas during Jeffcoat’s best years. He is clearly the best player on this list of Cowboys who wore #77, though, given that most of the others were primarily backups.