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!
Why I’m Not Buying The Jason Witten Rejuvenation Story
Last week, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made headlines with some quotes about the return of Jason Witten. Neither Garrett nor Witten tend to make headlines with their words often, but the two combined to do so with a quote this week.
“Yeah, absolutely. He’s been excited about every part of it ever since I met him and that hasn’t changed,” coach Jason Garrett said. “The work that he’s done in the weight room in the off-season program has been outstanding. His testing numbers and all of that are what they’ve been or even better. And he just has an unbelievable way about him. Tremendous passion for the game. And he demonstrates that every day. Witt looks good. He’s excited to be back and we’re certainly fortunate to have him back.” - Jason Garrett on Witten.
Multiple Cowboys' media outlets ran with these quotes, looking to show that the Cowboys have found a version of Jason Witten that they have not seen in quite some time. They are, publicly, stating that they believe a year away from the game did Witten some good, and that he will be a much healthier and fresher player in 2019 than he was back when he last played in 2017.
As a fan of the team, I sure hope this is the case. But as a realistic human being, I can't get behind this at all.
Jason Witten hasn't been very good for quite some time now. I know he's a Cowboy legend, and will forever be a fan favorite, but the facts are the facts. As a run blocker Witten has regressed greatly in his later years. More often it seemed he was re-adjusting his jersey after a missed block than he was making blocks to spring Ezekiel Elliott on the edge.
As a receiver, Witten's much slower than he used to be. And while he was never a blazer who relied on his speed to win, his lack of speed certainly holds him back in today's game. And if the Cowboys want to be multiple and versatile on offense, I'm not sure how a greatly-aged tight end helps them to do so.
He's still the smart, instinctive route runner he's always been, but at 37 years old what can we realistically expect from him?
I'll be honest, I'm very skeptical that Jason Witten is going to give the Cowboys anything in 2019. Maybe earlier in the season he will look better than expected, but can he withstand a full NFL season? It's impossible to say for sure now, but I'm absolutely not buying that he's rejuvenated or extra-fresh after a year off from football.
Connor Williams Hopes Added Weight, Experience Aids Him In 2019
Offensive lineman Connor Williams had himself an interesting start to his young career. The second round pick was expected to be a plug-and-play guard for the Cowboys, earning the starting left guard spot from just about the first day of training camp.
The results from Williams' play were mixed, however. At moments Connor Williams looked like his athletic, technically sound self, working well on the Cowboys outside zone runs. Other times, though, he was simply overpowered by bigger and stronger defensive tackles.
Williams lost his left guard spot due to injury late in the season, and when Xavier Su'a-Filo came in and played relatively well, fans soured a bit on the then-rookie lineman. Still there was no question that Williams was the better player between the two, and he rightfully started in both the Cowboys playoff games last season.
Now entering year two, and with third round pick Connor McGovern potentially competing for a guard spot and rumors of a move to right tackle swirling around him, Williams believes he's done enough to improve before his Sophomore year.
Connor Williams spoke to DallasCowboys.com, and gave some decent quotes on what his offseason preparation has looked like thus far. Williams emphasized that his main goal was to add strength and size, something he looks to have clearly done based on recent photographs.
“I think I’ve put myself in a good position. Now it’s just about refining the technique and feeling comfortable.” - Connor Williams
According to Williams he played at a "light 300" pounds in 2018, but is now tipping the scales at 315 pounds. That's quite the difference, especially considering that Williams carries the weight pretty well in his frame.
All Pro veteran guard Zack Martin has taken Williams under his wing, as the young lineman credits Martin for being his lifting partner this offseason.
Right tackle might be in Connor Williams' 2020 future, but as of now, he has to ready himself to compete at left guard against the heavier defensive tackles he once struggled with. It's very encouraging to see the progress he has made so far.
Travis Frederick’s Return Highlights Start Of Cowboys’ OTAs
The Cowboys opening of voluntary OTAs came with some serious excitement from football-starved fans. But as we all know, these workouts are just about meaningless in terms of storylines for the upcoming season.
I say "just about meaningless" because there are some storylines which matter, though. Travis Frederick's return, of course, is one of those storylines.
After missing all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, Frederick appears to have gained his strength and ability back heading into 2019. Now he is back where he belongs, as the starting center for the Dallas Cowboys.
@tfrederick72 🔙 at it! 💪🏼 #OTAs https://t.co/wht2Lh5yr5
Travis Frederick's importance to the Cowboys cannot be understated. In addition to being one of the best linemen in all of football, the All-Pro veteran center is responsible for much of the pre-snap communication across the offensive line. His absence was clearly felt in 2018, even as Joe Looney played well-above the preseason expectation level.
Frederick returns to anchor an offensive line which is surrounded with some serious pre-season hype. With Zack Martin back to full health, Connor Williams having a year under his belt, and newly-drafted Connor McGovern comes in with high hopes of starting on the interior.
Regardless of how the rest of the Cowboys' offensive line works itself out, it was great to see Travis Frederick back in action, even if it was during a non-contact voluntary practice.
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