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Cowboys CTK: Interception Artist Everson Walls Owns #24

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Interception Artist Everson Walls Owns #24 6

In three weeks we will have regular season NFL football happening! Isn’t that ridiculously exciting?!

There are three weeks until the Steelers and Patriots game gets going, but an extra 72 hours until the one that really matters. That’s 24 days for all of the math whizzes out there, which means that we are going to continue our Countdown To Kickoff series with the Greatest 24 in Dallas Cowboys History.

The Following Players Have All Worn 24 For The Dallas Cowboys:

  • Marion Barber III, RB
  • Alois Blackwell, RB
  • Larry Brown, CB
  • Morris Claiborne*, CB
  • Tony Dixon, SS
  • Abram Elam, SS
  • Tony Fiammetta, FB
  • Roger Harper, S
  • Dennis Homan, WR
  • Jim Mooty, CB
  • J.D. Smith, FB
  • Omar Stoutmire, FS
  • Everson Walls, CB

*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster

Marion Barber III

The Dallas Cowboys thought that they addressed the future of the running back position when they found themselves with Julius Jones in the 2004 NFL Draft. It never hurts to have insurance so the Cowboys took a Golden Gopher out of Minnesota in the 4th round of the 2005 draft.

Barber had an interesting rookie year, but he really drew the eye of the NFL in 2006 when even though he only had 654 yards – he had 14 touchdowns. Marion became widely regarded as a goal line type of back that forced his way through tacklers in a barbaric fashion.

Marion The Barbarian

2007 was even kinder to MBIII as even though he didn’t start a single game, he recorded 975 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. The Cowboys enjoyed a lot of success that season, going 13-3, and a big reason why was they wore their opponents down throughout games.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Interception Artist Everson Walls Owns #24

Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber (24) evades tackles as Philadelphia Eagles' Moise Fokou (53) gives chase in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)

Marion Barber was the reason that the Cowboys wore opponents down as while they were panting with hands on their knees late in the fourth quarter – Marion Barber got stronger. He gained energy as the game went on which made him one of the more incredible running backs at the time.

Marshawn Lynch gets a lot of hype for his style of running, but Marion Barber was just an earlier version of Beast Mode… even wearing the same jersey number. Unfortunately the Barbarian falls short of our Greatest 24 honor, but he is the proud owner of the Greatest 2-Yard Gain in NFL History.

Marion Barber's two yard run against the Patriots

Marion Barber's two yard run against the Patriots

Larry Brown

There was a TCU Horned Frog hanging around on the Dallas draft board when the 12th round of the 1991 NFL Draft hit. The cornerback went by the name of Larry Brown and he fought hard to show what he was made of. He impressed everyone so much that he became the first Cowboy rookie to start at corner since Ron Francis in 1987.

From early on Brown showed that he had the goods to play in the NFL as he started 28 games in his first two seasons. That second set of 16 games led to the Cowboys winning Super Bowl XXVII, a game in which Larry had an interception in the second quarter.

Super Bowl XXX MVP

When the 1995 season started the Cowboys were a hot commodity. They had won two out of the last three Super Bowls and were in contention to sign a prize free agent – cornerback Deion Sanders. When Kevin Smith tore his achilles in the first game of the season Sanders became a priority for the team. With Deion’s signing the corner tandem of Brown and Sanders was born.

Deion Sanders is arguably the greatest defensive back to ever live. With talent like that on one side of the field opposing quarterbacks were forced to throw to Brown’s side… and he made them pay. 1995 was Brown’s finest season in the NFL as he reeled in 6 interceptions, returning 2 of them for touchdowns.

When Dallas reached its third Super Bowl in four years the stage was set, win and you’re a bonafide dynasty. Among a team of superstars at all positions, even his own, Larry Brown shined.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Interception Artist Everson Walls Owns #24 1

He picked off Steeler QB Neil O’Donnell twice in the second half, helping to set up touchdowns that put the game away for the Cowboys.

In fact after each of his interceptions, both times it took the Cowboys offense only two plays to get Emmitt Smith in the endzone.

After the victory was well in hand Larry Brown was named Super Bowl XXX MVP, the first and only cornerback to ever receive the award.

Larry Brown was a great Dallas Cowboy and holds a special place in both franchise and NFL History. Unfortunately there’s just one more corner who outdid him for the Greatest 24 in Dallas Cowboys History nod.

Everson Walls

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NFL scouts widely regarded Everson Walls as slow when he ran a 4.72 40-yard dash after his career at Grambling State. This caused one of the greatest cornerbacks in Dallas Cowboys Franchise History to go undrafted. Everson was born in Dallas, so fate rolled his way as his hometown Cowboys signed him and gave him a shot in 1981.

Teams may have avoided him on Draft Day, but Everson made himself known immediately as he led the NFL in interceptions… as a rookie! Walls hauled in 11 opposing passes as the Cowboys marched to the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. The game in question resulted in one of the most iconic moments in NFL History, known forevermore as “The Catch”, when Joe Montana hit Dwight Clark over Everson Walls for the go-ahead score.

Walls Of Interceptions

Sometimes after a star rookie season, players taper off. The NFL catches up to them and opposing teams target them more. After leading the NFL in interceptions in his first year… Everson Walls led the NFL in interceptions in his second year! It only took 7 games this time, but it was a strike-shortened season so there was less opportunity overall.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Interception Artist Everson Walls Owns #24 2

Everson Walls went to back-to-back-to-back Pro Bowls in his first three years as a cornerback in the NFL. It is widely known that corner is the most difficult position to transition to from college to the NFL so for Walls to do this so flawlessly was extraordinary. His First-Team All-Pro selection in 1983 was the cherry on top of a stout first three seasons.

Walls would lead the league in interceptions again in 1985, which made him the first player in NFL History to do so three times, Ed Reed has since done it as well.  Within the franchise of the Dallas Cowboys Everson led the team in interceptions 5 times, which is tied for the most with Terrence Newman.

Everson The Teammate

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In 2004 former Dallas Cowboys running back Ron Springs’ Type 2 Diabetes had left him in drastic need of a new kidney. His son Shawn Springs, then starting at cornerback for the Washington Redskins, offered to give up his NFL career and volunteered his. Ron refused.

Right around 2006 Everson Walls, Ron Springs’ old teammate and best friend, had had enough. He volunteered his kidney to Ron and refused to take no for an answer. It was the first time that a former U.S. professional athlete had donated an organ to an ex-teammate.

The surgery went off smoothly and Ron was able to continue enjoying the beauties of life until he passed away on May 12th, 2011.

#24: Everson Walls

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The number 24 became a nightmare for quarterbacks who had to face it under the watch of Everson Walls. Throughout the 1980s Walls was arguably the most feared cornerback in the entire NFL.

Everson’s 44 career interceptions are second all-time in Dallas Cowboys Franchise History. He entered the NFL with one of the biggest bangs that anyone ever has and he exemplified the teammate aspect of life in everything that he ever did. Everson Walls personified excellence both on and off the field, and he is without a doubt the Greatest 24 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 23 in Dallas Cowboys History is!


Want to share your opinions on who should be featured on our Countdown To Kickoff? Email me at rjochoa@insidethestar.com or Tweet @rjochoa.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys CTK: Interception Artist Everson Walls Owns #24" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Tony Pollard, Supporting Cast or a Co-lead with Ezekiel Elliott?

Brian Martin

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How Much can RB Tony Pollard eat Into Zeke's 2019 Workload?

Since the Dallas Cowboys drafted Running Back Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft he's been the star of the show. Any of their other offensive weapons have been nothing more than supporting cast the past three years, but rookie RB/WR Tony Pollard could prove to be more than just supporting cast and become more of a co-lead in Zeke's show.

Suggesting Tony Pollard has a chance to be more than just supporting cast with Ezekiel Elliott is a lot to put on a rookies shoulders, but that's the kind of hype he's receiving already. He hasn't even put on the pads yet with the Dallas Cowboys, but he's already receiving Alvin Kamara type comparisons due to the versatility he's expected to bring with him to the NFL.

Living up to those Alvin Kamara comparisons might be even more difficult than becoming anything more than just an extra behind Zeke anytime soon, but it's doable. After all, Kamara immediately stepped in as a rookie and became a costar with Mark Ingram in New Orleans. It's certainly feasible to think Pollard can do the same.

Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard

There's of course only one problem with this way of thinking. Mark Ingram is no Ezekiel Elliott. And, no RB on the depth chart behind Zeke the last three years has been good enough to cut into #21's heavy workload. Is the hype surrounding Tony Pollard justified? Is he talented enough to cut into Zeke's playing time?

Those are some really big questions we don't have an answer to as of yet. Training camp could help determine the type of role Tony Pollard will have with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and beyond, but even that can be thrown out the window once games start to matter in the regular season.

Personally, I think Tony Pollard will be part of a supporting cast behind Ezekiel Elliott this year. I just don't think he's ready to step in and costar with Zeke just yet. I think he will be more of a comedic relief that will be used from time to time to keep things interesting. That's not necessarily a bad thing though considering his versatility to contribute in the running or passing game.

In time though, Pollard could prove worthy of an increase in playing time and become more of a co-lead with No. 21. It may very well be in his rookie season, but he's really going to have to prove himself and that will need to start this week when the Dallas Cowboys kick off their training camp in Oxnard, California.

What do you think? Is Tony Pollard supporting cast or a co-lead with Zeke?



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Randy Gregory can Make the Perimeter Pass Rush Extremely Formidable

Matthew Lenix

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Randy Gregory can Make the Perimeter Pass Rush Formidable

Randy Gregory showed flashes last season of the potential he has as a pass rusher. Even though he only managed one start he did see action in 14 games. Had registered 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 7 tackles for loss and 15 hits on the quarterback. That's very good production with limited opportunities. Now, this sets up the Dallas Cowboys on the edge getting to the quarterback, and here's how.

The Cowboys acquired Defensive End Robert Quinn via trade from the Dolphins back in March. He is set to start at right defensive end opposite All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence. Gregory, who lines up on the right side as well, can potentially make said side a huge problem for offenses on 2019.

Let's just take a typical season from Quinn which is between 8-9 sacks. If Gregory can give at minimum what he did last season, that's around 15 sacks just between the two of them alone. Now, as we all know, Lawrence can be penciled in for double-digit sacks routinely at this point. So given this information that's a potential 25-30 sacks just from these three players. This is without including guys such as Taco Charlton, Dorance Armstrong, Kerry Hyder, and rookies Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks (assuming they make the final roster).

Why is Gregory's potential impact so important? For me, it's simply where he lines up at defensive end, on the right side. Most quarterbacks are right-handed, which means when they drop back to pass they face left side defensive ends, with their backs to defensive ends coming off the right side. If you can consistently pressure a quarterback from his blindside the opportunities for sacks and fumbles increase. Regardless of how skilled a quarterback is you can't avoid what you can't see.

Of course, this all depends on what the NFL does regarding the reinstatement of Gregory. He was suspended indefinitely in February for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, a situation he is all too familiar with. My guess is Gregory and the Cowboys will ask for a conditional reinstatement like he was given by the NFL in 2018. What this would do is allow Gregory to participate in meetings and condition work until he's a full participant. He is set to apply for that reinstatement within the next few days.

The only thing Randy Gregory can do now is play the waiting game. The league is currently considering the possibility of softening their stance on marijuana use. If they are serious about it I can see Gregory getting reinstated even if it's on a conditional basis. If this is granted the Cowboys will be getting big-time pressure off the edge with Lawrence, Quinn, and Gregory in 2019.



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CB Jourdan Lewis Getting Ready For Bounce-Back 2019 Season

Kevin Brady

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Seldom-Used CB Jourdan Lewis Could Play Big Role Against Saints

For a third round pick, cornerback Jourdan Lewis sure did come to Dallas with his fair share of hype.

In fact, much of Cowboys Nation was more excited about Lewis joining the Cowboys than they were about either of the team's first two selections in that same draft, Taco Charlton and Chidobe Awuzie. But while Awuzie has soared to starting cornerback levels with Dallas during his first two seasons, Jourdan Lewis has been forced to take a back seat.

After a promising rookie season, Jourdan Lewis didn't get much playing time at cornerback in 2018. Anthony Brown took over as the starting slot corner, while Byron Jones and Awuzie manned the outside. This left Lewis as the odd man out, despite what many consider to be impressive cover skills.

Lewis is not allowing this down season to eat away at him too much, though. While speaking with the media last week at SportsCon in Dallas, Lewis gave his thoughts on how his year spent behind the other young Cowboys corners is only fueling him for the future.

 "As a competitor it's always tough, especially as a rookie and you're playing all of the time. It's definitely when you take a step back it humbles you. Sometimes you gotta understand that you have to wait your turn and work on your craft. Understand that you always have to stay a professional no matter your situation. And that's what I learned last year."

Considered undersized by the standards typically used by Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard, some have argued that Lewis was never given a fair shot to earn playing time once Richard took over in 2018. Whether or not this is true can't ever be said for sure, and the level of play Anthony Brown exhibited from the slot in 2018 didn't leave much room for substitutions either.

Still, Jourdan Lewis says he appreciates that time he spent on the bench, and he hopes that it will only drive him towards bigger and better things down the road.

"I appreciate the time that I sat last year honestly...Because it made me a better player, maybe a better person honestly."

The Cowboys cornerback situation didn't get any less crowded this offseason. Not only is Dallas bringing back all three of the aforementioned starters from a year ago, but they also drafted Miami's Michael Jackson in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.

That cornerback room is full of talent. Not only does this create a luxury for the Cowboys at one of the league's most important positions, but it also breeds immense competition between the corners come training camp.

Which, if you didn't know, begins on July 26th.



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