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#54, But Twice as Nice: It’s Chuck Howley and Randy White’s World, We’re Just Living In It

After a two-day hiatus of posts, we're back in business, baby.

Currently, we sit 54 days until the kickoff against the , and while that may seem like a long time, if you have been able to live through the Cowboys 26-year drought, you can handle the wait.

All jokes aside, I was excited about this number when it came around because I knew it would be special. As you all know, the “most famous” numbers in Dallas (besides the retired 8,12,22, and 74) are arguably 88 and 54.

From , , and to and , the number of legends is insane.

With that in mind, we had a historic moment during the Countdown to Kickoff series as two players made the final cut. But before I spill the beans on who they are, check out all the players who have worn the historic #54.

The Following Players Have Worn #54:

  • , LB, (2006-2009)
  • , LB (2011-2014)
  • Quinton Caver, LB (2005-2005)
  • Mike Connelly, C (1960-1960)
  • Kenwin Cummings, DE (2010-2010)
  • Anthony Fieldings, LB (1995-1995)
  • Darren Hambrick, LB (1998-2001)
  • Darryl Hardy, LB (1995-1997)
  • Chuck Howley, LB (1961-1973)
  • Azur Kamara, LB (2021-2021)
  • Keith O'Neil, LB (2003-2004)
  • , LB (2017-2020)
  • Jesse Solomon, LB (1989-1990)
  • Randy White, DT (1975-1988)

As mentioned, today's post is special. I never imagined choosing two players for a Countdown to Kickoff post, but here we are.

So without further ado, let's welcome Mr. Chuck Howley and Mr.Randy White to the floor.

Chuck Howley's NFL Career

Drafted in the 1958 by the (7th overall), the beginning of Howley's NFL career was a rollercoaster, as he almost retired after just two years of being in the league because he suffered what he thought was a “career-ending knee .”

(Crazy to think how advanced technology has become, as a knee injury isn't that serious in today's NFL, and the rehab of knee are easily-managed.)

Howley would make a comeback in 1961, get traded to the Dallas Cowboys during the 1961 NFL Draft, and from there, his career would flourish.

A 13-year career with the Cowboys, Howley's best years was arguably during the 1970 and 1971 seasons when he helped the franchise make the Super Bowl back-to-back.

While that accomplishment may be mind-blowing by itself, Howley is remembered most for landing the Super Bowl during the team's 1970 SB Loss to the Colts–which was a rare feat, as no player from the losing team had ever won the MVP in NFL .

(Fun Fact: That accomplishment still stands today.)

Howley would help his team pull a 2014 Spurs-Esque redemption tour on route to a championship, but instead of facing the same team two years in a row, Howley and the Cowboys took care of business versus the .

(Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins–both teams taking an L from my favorite team, we love to see it.)

Although no Super Bowl MVP this time, Howley played a kick factor in helping the Cowboys grab their first Lombardi Trophy. Beyond the Super Bowls, Howley was also a 6-time All-Pro and 6-time Pro Bowler.

After learning about Howley, I realized the common theme around him is, “he has been robbed for years of a Gold Jacket,” and I have to agree. But let's not worry because Howley is among the semifinalists for the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he's not alone–as some other Cowboy legends are in the running too.

Let's hope they finally give him his roses.

Randy White, time.

Randy White's NFL Career

Nicknamed the “Manster” (half-man, half monster), White entered the NFL in 1975 after getting drafted by the Cowboys 2nd overall. Although highly-hyped coming out of Maryland, White didn't get his feet wet until his third season, as he got moved from MLB to DT.

With big shoes to fill from DT 's , White proved the moment wasn't too big for him as he broke out to the tune of earning All-Pro honors, landing his first , and becoming a Super Bowl Champion.

Oh, and I almost forgot that he also snagged Super Bowl Co-MVP with his teammate , but what a mind-blowing “first” season.

 

White would prove his play wasn't a fluke as he had several years of high-production and casually snagged multiple All-Pros, several more Pro Bowls, and made two more Super Bowl appearances.

Although I never lived to see White nor Howley play, watching both in videos is a sweet sight to watch. I admit I'm a little jealous of fans who got to see witness how great both players are.

But congratulations to Howley and White on being the Greatest #54s in Cowboys History.

Let us know in the comments what your favorite memories of Howley and White were, and be on the lookout for the Greatest #53!

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

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VAM

Good article Rocky. Randy is one of my favorite Cowboys, however I did see Howley play and was a very good player as well. Don’t think we will ever see another losing team player in SB win MVP again. Maybe because I saw more of Randy, I would give him the edge. The “Manster”, what a great nickname. GREAT PLAYER, one of the best ALLTIME Cowboys! One consequential faux pas by Randy was a fumble on a kickoff return in the Super Bowl XIII, against the HATED Steelers.

VAM

I’m thinking maybe former KC LB Derrick Thomas. I know that’s a very high bar as Thomas was one of the all-time best, but hopefully Micah can continue with his great play he showed in year one.

Sak

Howley’s Super Bowl MVP also made him the first defensive player to win the award as well as the first non QB to win it.
The reason why you’ll never see anyone from the losing team win the award again is because Howley refused to accept it, believing that it should have gone to someone on the Colts.

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