There are officially 83 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.
I decided that I'd try to take a swing at something different for this, but I missed two times like Dustin Johnson. Too soon? Yesterday's U.S. Open gave us some riveting television all the way until the very end, and congratulations to this year's champion, Jordan Spieth (who happens to be a Cowboys fan!). Just like the Open I'm going to continue to give you guys riveting content all the way until the very end, and today is no different. Let's check out the Greatest 83 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The following players have all worn 83 for the Dallas Cowboys:
- Mike Clark, K
- Hayward Clay, TE
- Harold Deters, K
- Doug Donley, WR
- Jim Doran, DE
- Lee Folkins, TE
- Terry Glenn, WR
- Leon Gonzalez, WR
- Kelvin Martin, WR
- Wane McGarity, WR
- Joey Mickey, TE
- Anthony Miller, WR
- Golden Richards, WR
- Martin Rucker, TE
- Kendell Watkins, TE
- James Whalen, TE
- Terrance Williams*, WR
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
This is a difficult one. One of the more popular current Cowboys is Terrance Williams who wears 83. In just two years Terrance has already impressed fans with his big play ability. In 2014 alone Terrance had standout games against the Saints (his two TDs), Texans (who could forget the Romo juke on Watt?), Seahawks (the 3rd and 20 is one of my all-time favorite plays), and the game-winning touchdown catch against Detroit (not to mention the long TD to close out the first half of that game). T-Will's resume is short, but impressive. The future of 83 is in good hands with him, but the greatness of it lies in the past.
Terry Glenn quietly had a pretty productive career in the NFL. He suited up for New England (where he took a trip to Super Bowl XXXI with Coach Parcells' Patriots), Green Bay, and Dallas. Glenn was a carryover from Parcells' stint in New England, and he certainly helped in the transition from Drew Bledsoe to Tony Romo in 2006. He was a gritty guy, but he didn't have the lore that we're looking for in 83. Sorry, Terry.
83 came down to two guys for me. Both of them have Super Bowl rings, and both played for iconic Cowboys coaches; one of them is just slightly better and meant more during his playing time.
Kelvin Martin was an ace punt returner for Dallas, and he even has a place in Cowboys History in punt return yardage for his career (1,803 yards). He was a victim of the introduction of free agency and the salary cap era, but his impact shouldn't be forgotten. Those 90s Cowboys are remembered at the wide receiver position for guys like Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper, but Kelvin helped the team survive to that point. In 1989 (the inaugural year of Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, and Troy Aikman) Kelvin's impact was felt at that wide receiver spot as he led the team in receptions (46) and receiving yards (644). Those were dark days in Cowboys History, but K-Mart helped us last until the dawn. While he is not our greatest 83, he deserves a tip of the cap.
The Greatest 83 in Dallas Cowboys History takes us back to a golden age, Golden Richards to be specific. The Dallas Cowboys went gold with the 46th pick of the 1973 draft in Richards. His speed was apparent from day one as he, like a lot of rookies, found a home on the special teams unit. Golden's most significant special teams moment of 1973 came in that season's NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings where he returned a punt to the house from 63 yards out (the Vikings would win that game and go on to lose Super Bowl VIII to the defending champion Miami Dolphins).
1974 saw Richards take a starting role at wide receiver with Bob Hayes' beginning the end of his career. He quickly, no pun intended, established himself as the team's home run hitter and posted receptions of 52, 58, 46, and 43 yards that season. That 1974 season would prove to be Golden's most statistically successful as he posted career highs in yards and touchdowns, with 467 and 5 respectively. He was a part of the team that got to (and lost) Super Bowl X against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his finest hour was undoubtedly Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos.
With seven minutes remaining Golden Richards ran deep (29 yards to be exact) and caught a game-clinching touchdown pass not from Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, but from the late Robert Newhouse on a fullback pitch out. It's one of the more spectacular plays in NFL history and one that Cowboys fans look back on fondly. It's one of the many reasons that the Greatest 83 in Dallas Cowboys History is Golden Richards.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 82 in Dallas Cowboys History is!