Posted: 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2013
At the introductory press conference the Dallas Cowboys held for their top three picks, all three picks already had their new jersey numbers assigned. The Cowboys don't usually make a big production out of assigning the rookie jersey numbers, but as of yesterday, all seven rookies from the 2013 draft class (although not the undrafted free agents) have their numbers:
Different Dallas Cowboys jersey numbers will have different meanings for different people. Some of the numbers will be strongly associated with one particular player, some won't. And that association to a given player strongly depends on how far back your memory goes as a Cowboys fan. Here's a summary of some of the more prominent former Cowboys to have worn the numbers now being sported by the 2013 rookie class:
Some fans will look at Frederick's No. 70 (worn last year by Tyrone Crawford) and recognize Leonard Davis' old number, others will realize that this number once belonged to Hall Of Famer Rayfield Wright.
Escobar's No. 89 is Billy Joe Dupree's old number. Dupree spent 11 seasons in Dallas from 1973-83, played in three Super Bowls and was nominated for three Pro Bowls. Little known trivia: TE Rob Awalt wore the number from 1990-91. Like Escobar, Awalt was a tight end out of San Diego State.
The most recognizable previous owner of Terrance Williams' No. 83 is probably Terry Glenn, who wore the number from 2003-07 in Dallas and recorded two successive 1,000+ yard receiving seasons in 2005-06. If your memory strecthes back into the 70s, you may remember WR Golden Richards, another receiver who also wore the 83.
The No. 27 assigned to J.J. Wilcox was most recently worn by Eric Frampton last year and by Akwasi Owusu-Ansah before that. More prominent previous owners include Thomas Everett, who was brought in for two championship seasons in 1992 and 1993 as well as Ron Fellows. Fellows wore the number from 1981-1986 and was part of a secondary QB Danny White coined "Thurman's Thieves" for their opportunistic play on defense when the Cowboys notched 33 interceptions in 1985, the second-highest total in franchise history.
B.W. Webb's No. 20 still makes Cowboys fans uncomfortable when it shows up in the secondary, as it was last worn by Alan Ball. But it is an auspicious number nevertheless: Hall of Famer Mel Renfro, probably the best defensive back in team history, wore the number between 1964 and 1977. In that span, Renfro had 52 interceptions, still a team record, and was named to the All Pro team ten times.
Randle's No. 35 was last worn by UDFA Lonyae Miller, and we have to go back a long way to find the most accomplished player to have worn the number: RB Calvin Hill played six seasons for the Cowboys from 1969-74, made the Pro Bowl four times and became the first Cowboy running back to have 1,000+ yards rushing in a 14-game season in 1972, a milestone reached again the following season.
Devonte Holloman's No. 57 is the number Victor Butler wore for the last four years, and Kevin Burnett had it for the four years before that.
If you're interested, you can browse all the Cowboys' jersey numbers and their history at Know Your Dallas Cowboys.com.