We are coming in hot on the NFL season. It’s the time of year where front offices take vacations and storylines are so crazy that you’d think this was the NBA. There is no offseason here at Inside The Star so buckle up and enjoy a fresh baked heap of Cowboys-ness for you, today we reveal the Greatest 82 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The following players have all worn 82 for the Dallas Cowboys:
- Chris Brazell, WR
- Cornell Burbage, WR
- Franke Clark, WR
- Cory Fleming, WR
- Alvin Harper, WR (Yes, Harper wore 82 for Dallas in 1999)
- Tony McGee, TE
- James McKnight, WR
- Johnny Mitchell, TE
- Jeff Ogden, WR
- Beasley Reece, DB
- Mike Renfro, WR
- Derrick Shepard, WR
- Cleo Simmons, TE
- Jimmy Smith, WR
- Otto Stowe, WR
- Jason Witten*, TE
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
I’m not going to jive you here, this is not a competition. The Greatest 82 in Dallas Cowboys History is exactly who you think it is, but we need to give a bit of props first.
Jimmy Smith is one of the more underrated receivers in NFL History. He is the all-time leading receiver in Jacksonville Jaguars History. While he hardly played for the Cowboys, it’s pretty cool that the leading receivers for another NFL team donned the 82 here.
Frank Clarke was the ultimate badass. He was named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was one of the very first Dallas Cowboys ever, taken in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft. While he took a while to get going, Frank was the first true deep threat that the Cowboys had, Bob Hayes has even credited Clarke with improving his own deep threat ability. He put together a streak in 1961 where he caught a touchdown in seven straight games. Bob Hayes himself tied this in 1965/1966, Terrell Owens did it in 2007, and current Cowboy Dez Bryant did it in 2012. Frank Clarke was so stone cold awesome that one of his records lasted all the way until 2014. Clarke had the most career receiving multi-touchdown games (9), which Dez Bryant broke last season. Bravo, Frank Clarke!
It is not just undeniable, it is not just non-debatable, it is a fact of life in the same way that water is wet that the Greatest 82 in Dallas Cowboys History is Jason Witten.
His resume is LOADED. In 12 years Witten’s biggest, and believe me there are plenty, accolades include:
- 943 career receptions (most in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 10,502 receiving yards (second most in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 57 career touchdowns (third most in Dallas Cowboys History)
- 10 Pro Bowl Selections (all in the last 11 years)
- 2 First-Team All-Pro Selections
- 2012 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
- 191 games played (second most in Dallas Cowboys History among pass catchers), with 181 starts
- On December 9th, 2007 in Detroit against the Lions, Witten tied Kellen Winslow Sr. for the most catches by a tight end in an NFL game (15)
Witten is everything that you want in a football player. He works hard, he plays hard, he’s a leader among his teammates, he’s a leader in the community (as exemplified by his Walter Payton Man of the Year Award), he is a role model, and he never quits. He is Tony Romo’s best friend and has served as his security blanket on many a third down. He, along with Romo, has helped keep the Cowboys at a competitive level for the last decade and it would be fitting for a player of Witten’s stature to finish his career with a Super Bowl Victory among his accomplishments.
Jason Witten is not just the Greatest 82 in Dallas Cowboys History; he is arguably the Greatest Player in Dallas Cowboys History. Don’t think so? Tony Romo disagrees with you. Witten has been the definition of excellence in his time in Dallas. He has all the records, all the statistics, and someday he will put on a Gold Jacket and enter the hallowed halls of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 81 in Dallas Cowboys History is!