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#46: Why Mark Washington Stands Alone as the Greatest 46 In Franchise History

Welcome back to another Post.

Although there have been some inconsistencies with the countdown series, I guess you could say I'm a true fan because that's one of the main themes the team has been known to have throughout their .

All jokes aside, we're back and better, and in today's post, we're crowning the Greatest #46 in franchise history.

So to keep it short and sweet and mix things up a bit, let's dive right into why CB stands alone as the Greatest #46.

But before I forget, here are all of the players (along with Washington) who have worn #46 for the Dallas Cowboys:

  • Craig Baynham–LB (1967-1969)
  • Erik Bickerstaff–LB (2003-2003)
  • Ricky Blake–RB (1991-1991)
  • –RB (2019-2019)
  • Jon Condo–LB (2005-2005)
  • Joe Fishback–CB (1993-1994)
  • Todd Fowler–TE (1985-1988)
  • Oliver Hoyte–RB (2007-2007)
  • –RB (2016-2017)
  • Nick Ralston–FB (2021-2021)
  • Les Shy–RB (1966-1966)
  • Roland Solomon–CB (1980-1980)
  • Mark Washington–CB (1970-1978)
  • James Whalen–TE (2000-2000)

Mark Washington's NFL Career

Drafted in the 1970 as the 335th Pick overall (13th Round) by the Dallas Cowboys, you could argue that Washington is up there as one of the franchise's best all-time late-round selections.

In his first year, Washington's biggest play came on when he returned a 100-yard against the formerly-named . But, the craziest thing to me was after that return, he would only get four more opportunities to return kicks–and because of that, he finished with an average of 48.4 yards per kick return.

Following a somewhat electric first year, Washington faced many bumps in his NFL career for over four seasons. From injuring his knee in the to getting waived by the team, rejoining them later, getting passed over for starting CB slot, and then hurting his ankle–Washington's Cowboys stardom didn't begin until 1975.

Now a starting CB, Washington had his best statistical year as a Cowboy (4 interceptions) and was one of the key guys who helped the franchise reach X.

Besides the heartbreaking loss to the in the Super Bowl, fans mostly recall Washington letting Steelers HOF WR Lynn Swann finish with four receptions for 161 yards and 1 TD. And before I jumped to conclusions about that insane stat line Washington let Swann have, I quickly realized that Washington was right there in coverage, but Swann just made mind-blowing catches.

This one being the most memorable:

Washington would play for two more seasons, helping the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII against the , before getting waived in 1979. Although he may not have been the most talented player during his Cowboy years to some (shoot, I wasn't even born to see him play), Washington was “that guy” today.

Congratulations to Mr. Washington, and check back on Saturday to find out who the Greatest #45 in Dallas is!

Rocky Garza Jr
Rocky Garza Jr
Rolling with the Boyz since 96'. Chop up sports with me on Twitter @rockssjr.

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