There are officially 75 days until the toe meets the ball at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Giants on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Congratulations! You’ve made it all the way to the number 75 on our countdown here at Inside The Star. I know that it still feels like forever until we’re going to hear that glorious sound of helmets crashing together, but today we’re a bit closer as we determine the Greatest 75 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The following players have all worn 75 for the Dallas Cowboys:
- Jon Carter, DT
- Tony Casillas, DT
- Marc Colombo, OT
- Derrick Dockery, OG
- Bob Fry, OT
- Brandon Noble, DT
- Phil Pozderac, OT
- Jethro Pugh, DG
- Darrion Weems*, OT
- Marcellus Wiley, DE
- Ryan Young, OT
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
My oh my there is a lot to digest here.
Bob Fry was the first starting left tackle in Dallas Cowboys History. Think about that for a second. This is a franchise that has featured the following players at left tackle: Ralph Neely, Mark Tuinei, Flozell Adams, and current standout Tyron Smith. The path was paved for all of those greats by the one and only Bob Fry (who was actually coached in high school by the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant).
Tony Casillas was a huge part of the reason why the Cowboys had, as Ken Norton Jr. called it, the “best defense in the land” in 1992. He became a run-stopping specialist in his time wearing the Cowboys 75. The former Sooner recounted his days in Dallas on our Cowboys Cast a few weeks ago, talking about how he and his fellow defensive linemen bonded over terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. Casillas has over 200 tackles to his Cowboy name and is one of the more elite players to wear the number.
If you like monster trucks and heavy metal music then Marc Colombo might be your guy. The former 75 was, quietly, a very productive right tackle for the Cowboys. He was a part of an offensive line in the beginning of the Romo era that kept him upright and the ‘Boys very competitive. He would go on to form a literal rock band with former teammates Leonard Davis and Cory Procter.
While there are certainly a few guys who we all have fond memories of in the blue and white 75, one stands above the rest.
Both the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders in the 1965 NFL/AFL Drafts drafted Jethro Pugh. He opted to play for the NFL’s Cowboys and put together what is arguably a Hall of Fame career.
In his 14 seasons as a Cowboy (only Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Bill Bates, and Mark Tuinei played more years as a Cowboy) Jethro Pugh was a part of a lot of history. In terms of NFL History, Pugh was on the receiving end of Jerry Kramer’s block on the final play of the Ice Bowl that allowed Bart Starr to score and send the Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl II against the Oakland Raiders (where they defeated them in the Orange Bowl). Pugh was no pansy though which is exemplified by the fact that he fought through appendicitis during the 1971 season (the first in which the Cowboys won the Super Bowl…SBVI against the Miami Dolphins). APPENDICITIS! The dude took shots of penicillin to numb the pain so that he wouldn’t miss time. I’ve personally had appendicitis and I don’t know how much respect you guys will have for me after this, but I was in the hospital for a week after it. So needless to say Jethro is more man than I.
Jethro put his hand in the dirt next to some pretty amazing players. Bob Lilly, George Andrie, Randy White, Harvey Martin, and Ed “Too Tall” Jones all lined up next to him at one point or another. While quarterback sacks did not become an officially tallied statistic until 1982, Jethro has an unofficial 95.5 career sacks. He led the team in this category each season from 1968-1972, a record that stood until 2010 when DeMarcus Ware led the team for his sixth consecutive season.
The late Jethro Pugh is one of the all-time greats who never put on another uniform in his career. A Cowboy for life, Pugh was a part of both the Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII World Champion teams. He is in some great company in Club 75, but Jethro Pugh is the Greatest 75 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 74 in Dallas Cowboys History is!