Welcome back to another edition of the Countdown to Kickoff series. In today's post, we're covering the Greatest #50 in Dallas Cowboys History, but if you missed Saturday's post, which crowned one of the Greatest LBs in franchise history as the Greatest #51, check it out above.
During this series, I have narrowed each day to one player except for the piece that crowned the Greatest #54s in franchise history, and personally, I never thought that same situation would happen again.
But after going through the list of players who donned #50, I found myself stuck deciding between two guys again, so I decided it would be best to honor both.
With that in mind, before I reveal who those players are, here are all players who have worn the big 5-0 and Happy Sunday.
All Of The Following Players Who Have Worn #50:
- Bobby Abrams, LB (1992-1993)
- Akin Ayodele, LB (2006-2006)
- Jamal Brooks, LB (2001-2001)
- Darrick Brownlow, LB (1994-1994)
- Scott Fujita, LB (2005-2005)
- Dave Harper, LB (1990-1990)
- Steve Hendrickson, LB (1989-1989)
- Sean Lee LB (2010-2020)
- D.D. Lewis, LB (1968-1981)
- Justin Rogers, LB (2007-2008)
- Jeff Rohrer, LB (1982-1987)
- Clay Shiver, C (1996-1998)
- Jerry Tubbs, LB (1960-1966)
As mentioned above, I was in a pickle trying to decide between these two great players.
Both players were known for having a knack around the ball, and when on the field, you knew they were going to be flying everywhere to make a play.
So without further ado, let's welcome Mr. D.D. Lewis and Sean Lee to today's floor.
Starting with Lewis, he was another guy I didn't get to see play during my life. While it has been normalized for me to say there are a lot of players during this countdown series that I haven't seen during my life, I have loved learning about them.
Drafted in the 6th Round of the 1968 NFL Draft, Lewis fell into the Cowboy's lap after teams felt he was too small to make it in the league.
An iconic star at Mississippi State, Lewis's stardom didn't translate into the NFL until his 4th season (1963), as he couldn't crack the starting lineup and served in the military in 1969.
Statistically, his best performance was in the 1975 NFC Championship, as he intercepted two passes to help propel the Cowboys to a 37-7 victory and an SB appearance–in which they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lewis would snag an SB ring three seasons later.
His overall record in the big game was 2-3, and he is one of eight NFL players to play in five Super Bowls.
(I think the only championship I have played in five times is in the amateur soccer league I'm in, and the funny thing is Lewis and I have the same record.)
1/21/79 SBXIII – Pit vs Dal
Late 1st qtr. Pit lead 7-0
With the Pittsburgh offense looking unstoppable, D.D. Lewis makes a big interception.
Lewis, in his 11th year here, played all 14 years of his career with Dallas, including a still Cowboys record 27 playoff games. pic.twitter.com/O2ZyJuA6Ky
One hell of an LB for the Cowboys, Lewis would have got the nod as the Greatest #50 in franchise history, but because of Mr.Lee's highly-productive NFL resume, it was only right to have both sharing today's honor.
To be fully transparent, Sean Lee was MY GUY during his Cowboys tenure. I loved seeing him fly all over the field, and it sucks that we couldn't see a healthy Sean Lee NFL career.
Drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Lee fell to the franchise because of red flags over his injury history. Although the risk was high, the Cowboys took a chance on Lee for the potential reward, and you could arguably say it was worth it.
A modest productive player in his first year, Lee's breakout season came in his second year when he led the team in tackles (131), interceptions (4), and TFL (8). Lee would follow up that season with a drop in production but then bounce back the next season to gather almost 100 tackles.
He would then suffer an ACL injury in 2014.
While that could have likely meant the decline of his career, Lee strung along three straight 100-plus tackle seasons and snagged two Pro Bowl honors; and one First-Team All-Pro.
Lee would play a couple more seasons in Jerry World, but it was evident that he wasn't the same player because of injuries, which included his ACL injury, concussions, turf toe, strains, and a wrist dislocation.
Besides that, Lee gave Dallas fans a show every time he was on the field, and he was the heart of their defense during the 2010s. Following his retirement in 2021, Lee finished eighth all-time in franchise history for tackles and holds the record for most tackles (22) in a single game.
Sean Lee's career resume:
– 2x Pro Bowl
– 2016 All-Pro 1st Team
– 2016 top-5 in NFL DPOY
– #Cowboys career TKL AST (281) leader pic.twitter.com/kT6a974KWF
— Best of Pro Sports (@pro_sports_best) July 21, 2022
It was always so amazing to me seeing how intelligent Lee was, and the most memorable video was when Lee broke down to coach Baker on why a play he called couldn't work. I hope someday he can become an asset to this coaching staff.
Why is Sean Lee so important to Dallas? Here's the in-game conversation between Lee & Joe Baker (was let go by Dallas this offseason) after NYG scored a TD to go up 10-3. Cowboys coaches called a defense that was physically impossible to execute, and Lee had to tell him so. pic.twitter.com/QcfA6vqXo8
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 10, 2018
Although he could never snag an SB ring like Lewis, he and Lewis are champions today as they are the Greatest #50s in Dallas Cowboys History. Check back on Monday when I crown the Greatest #49 in franchise history!
Also, let us know your favorite memories of the two.