Let’s start this Monday with a Dez Bryant/Tyler Patmon group hug. We’re all family here and let’s focus on the positive things going on around Cowboys Nation! We’re in the thick of Training Camp, Jeremy Mincey is no longer holding out, and we’re 41 days away from Dallas Cowboys football. To commemorate this special occasion we’re going to continue our Countdown To Kickoff with the Greatest 41 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The Following Players Have All Worn 41 For The Dallas Cowboys:
1970 was no joke in the NFL. The two professional football leagues, the NFL and AFL, had finally merged to form one super league. The Cowboys were just becoming one of the super teams and the draft that year yielded a 3rd round defensive back that would help them get there.
Charlie Waters’ Cowboy career almost never got off the ground during his rookie year when he was almost cut from the team during training camp. He managed to hang on though and managed to become the backup free safety… backing up the Greatest 43 in Dallas Cowboys History, Cliff Harris.
Even though the Cowboys won their first Super Bowl in 1971 it wasn’t that great of a time for Waters. He had made the move to cornerback, where he would stay for three more years, and struggled. This Charlie kid had something special, they just had to figure out what it was.
Charlie and the Safety Factory
Tom Landry and Co. decided that perhaps Charlie Waters would make a great strong safety, so in 1975 they moved him on back. This would end up being one of the finer decisions in Coach Landry’s career as Waters flourished next to Cliff Harris and made them one of the finer safety tandems in NFL History.
Charlie Waters was a lot like today’s Cowboy, Sean Lee. He had superb instincts and coupled with his athletic ability allowed him to make big plays. Many players with that deep of a knowledge of the game are sometimes referred to as coaches on the field, and Charlie Waters epitomized that quality.
After one year of experience at strong safety Charlie really turned the heat up. He went to 3 straight Pro Bowls from 1976-1978, was selected All-Pro in both 1977 and 1978, and he was a member of what I believe to be the finest team ever fielded in franchise history… the 1977 World Champion Dallas Cowboys.
#41: Charlie Waters
It is no question that Charlie Waters is the Greatest 41 in Dallas Cowboys History. He was an absolute menace in the backfield over an incredible stretch in time. Charlie Waters is actually tied for the most career interceptions in the playoffs with 9 (tied with Bill Simpson, Ronnie Lott, and Ed Reed). 30% of these came in a 1977 playoff victory over Chicago, where Charlie picked 3 passes!
Charlie is one of the more revered players in Dallas Cowboys History. He is held near and dear to every Cowboys fan’s hearts. His 41 career interceptions (How cool is that?) rank him 3rd in franchise history. He never experienced a losing season over his career, played in 5 Super Bowls, and won 2 Lombardi Trophies.
There are some numbers that are forever linked to a player that wore them. There have been some decent players since Waters and there will undoubtedly be great talent that comes along in the future; however, the Greatest 41 in Dallas Cowboys History is Charlie Waters and #41 will forever belong to him.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 40 in Dallas Cowboys History is!