The NFL approved a proposal to change the way jersey numbers are assigned back in April. In the past, linebackers could only wear numbers 40-59 or 90-99. Under the new rule, linebackers can wear 1-59 or 90-99, and Jaylon Smith decided to relive his days at Notre Dame and switch back to No. 9 which caused an uproar within the Cowboys fan base from Tony Romo loyalists.
Smith isn’t the only Cowboy that was reported to wear a different number in 2021 on Tuesday. The previous number rule mandated that defensive backs wear 20-49. Now, they can wear 1-49 going forward. Safety Donovan Wilson, who wore No. 37 for his first two seasons will now sport No. 6 from his days at Texas A&M.
With his switch back to No. 6, the Cowboys are hoping Wilson can relive his days as an Aggie. Wilson only amassed 10 tackles as a freshman, but his last three collegiate seasons were very productive. He registered 189 tackles (19.5 tackles for loss), eight interceptions, seven passes defended, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five sacks, and a defensive touchdown.
Wilson stamped himself as the Cowboys starting strong safety for foreseeable future in 2020. He registered 71 tackles, two interceptions, three passes defended, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and 3.5 sacks in 14 games with 10 starts.
As Wilson looks to take the next step in his progression in year three, the Cowboys are hoping a switch back to a number he’s more comfortable with can assist in that.