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Jay Novacek: Greatest 84 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Jay Novacek: Greatest 84 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had 2

There are officially 84 days until the toe meets the ball at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Giants on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Cowboy dads out there! This is a special Sunday that you’re hopefully spending with your old man, while recounting some great Cowboys memories. Amidst those I’m going to throw one in, the Greatest 84 in Dallas Cowboys History.

The following players have all worn 84 for the Dallas Cowboys:

  • Rich Borresen, TE
  • Scott Chandler, TE
  • Doug Cosbie, TE
  • Patrick Crayton, WR
  • Jean Fugett, TE
  • Joey Galloway, WR
  • James Hanna*, TE
  • Keith Jennings, TE
  • Mike Lucky, TE
  • Pettis Norman, TE
  • Jay Novacek, TE
  • Tysson Poots, WR
  • Gary Wisener, DB

*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster

There are a great number of guys that have worn 84 for America’s Team. James Hanna is one of the team's current tight ends who hopes to have a big 2015 season. Scott Chandler has had success as an NFL tight end with the Buffalo Bills. Mike Lucky has one of the coolest names ever; however, this comes down to three guys.

Patrick Crayton actually played some quarterback at Northwestern Oklahoma State. Taken by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft he continued his progression at the wide receiver position. He saw his true emergence in the 2006 season as Tony Romo began to assimilate Crayton into his arsenal when he took over at quarterback. Bill Parcells was one of Patrick’s biggest fans and continually said that he had the best hands on the team…a team that included players like Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, and Jason Witten.

Cowboys Blog - Jay Novacek: Greatest 84 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had

Patrick Crayton signing my helmet at Training Camp in 2007.

When it comes to drafting NFL players, taking the “best player available” is always a safe play. The Cowboys lived and breathed this mantra in the 1970s, but when Doug Cosbie was on the board at the 76th pick in 1979 they thought differently. They took a tight end who they could pair with Danny White for the foreseeable future, and Doug had a great career…but pick number 77 was Joe Montana.

Cosbie became a great tight end within a franchise that already had a great history at the position. He fully took over for Billy Jo DuPree (who was featured on our #89 countdown) in 1982 and Cosbie set franchise records at catches/yards per season and per career. He played his entire career for the Cowboys, being left unprotected by them in Plan B Free Agency in 1989.

Plan B Free Agency (which in a nutshell meant that teams signed their “A” list guys and left their “B” list unprotected) included the departure of Cosbie, but brought in the Greatest 84 in Dallas Cowboys History. In 1990 The Phoenix Cardinals (Yes, Phoenix…the Cardinals once played there youngsters) left Jay Novacek unprotected and the Cowboys pounced. Novacek arrived in Dallas at a time where their offensive dynasty was beginning to take shape. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, and Co. were all coming into their own…and a play-making tight end was the cherry on top of Sundays (clever, I know).

He became a great third down threat and Troy Aikman’s security blanket, much like Jason Witten is to Tony Romo today. After his initial season in 1990, Jay made trips to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl in each of his remaining years with the Cowboys/in the NFL (1991-1995). In the middle of that run Jay also made three trips to the Holy Grail and helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in four years, establishing themselves as a dynasty. He caught 339 balls for 3,576 yards and 22 touchdowns as a Cowboy and even rushed in a touchdown!

Cowboys Blog - Jay Novacek: Greatest 84 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had 1

Left to Right: Myself, Jay Novacek, and my Dad on Christmas Eve 2006.

Novacek is one of the greater, and most literal, Cowboys of all time. It wasn’t strange to see him with a ten-gallon hat on or talking about life on the ranch. He is easily the Greatest 84 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 83 in Dallas Cowboys History is!

Tell us what you think about "Jay Novacek: Greatest 84 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had" 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!

Star Blog

Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?

Brian Martin

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Can Dak Prescott Regain His Mojo Against Atlanta?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.

It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.

Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.

Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.

Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.

Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:

24 starts
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating

Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:

17 starts
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating

As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.

Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

Now, he just has to go out and prove it!

Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?



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Star Blog

How Cowboys Could Regain a 2019 1st-Round Draft Pick

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - 5 Cowboys Players That Could Be Traded
Matthew Edmonds-USA Today

The Dallas Cowboys are currently without a 2019 first-round draft pick after acquiring Wide Receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders, but what if I were to tell you there was a way to regain another first-rounder? Well, with a little outside the box thinking I think there could be a way to accomplish just that.

It's completely hypothetical, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly regain a first-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with little finagling and good luck. Everything would have to fall into place perfectly, but I think it's definitely doable.

Remember, this is completely hypothetical with a lot of "what if's" involved, but the Cowboys could regain what they lost acquiring Amari Cooper and come out of it no worse for wear. I think there are a lot of different scenarios that could accomplish this feat, but only one of them that doesn't hurt the team in my opinion and it centers around Right Tackle La'el Collins.

I know you're probably going to think I'm crazy, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly land a 2019 first-round draft pick if they decided to trade away RT La'el Collins. Trust me, I wouldn't suggest this if I didn't think there was somebody capable of stepping in and playing just as well.

Enter Connor Williams.

Connor Williams

Dallas Cowboys LG Connor Williams

I always believed Connor Williams' best position in the NFL was at right tackle, not on the inside at guard. And yes, I was one of those advocating for Williams to play RT and Collins to move back to LG before the 2018 season started. I thought that gave the Cowboys their best starting five.

Williams has been serviceable at LG this season, but has been overpowered at times. His athletic ability would've been much better served on the outside at tackle, which is where I would play him next season, making La'el Collins expendable.

Again, I know what you're thinking. If you move Williams to RT and trade Collins, there is now a void at LG. Well, that's where Xavier Su'a-Filo comes into play. He is coming off a fantastic performance against the Philadelphia Eagles and a lot of Cowboys Nation is already advocating that he remains the starter over Connor Williams.

If Su'a-Filo can maintain the same level play he did against the Eagles, he probably remains the starter for the rest of the 2018 season. If this is indeed what happens, he could end up being the starter once again next season, making my plan of trading La'el Collins more feasible.

Were you able to follow all of that?

Keep Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard

Move Connor Williams to right tackle

Trade La'el Collins

Like I said, this is all hypothetical, but something that could feasibly happen. Now we just have to wait and see if Xavier Su'a-Filo can continue to play like he did last week, because without him sticking at left guard none of this is possible.

I told you it was some out-of-the-box thinking.

Would you go along with the scenario to regain a 2019 first-round draft pick?



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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su’a-Filo at Left Guard?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su'a-Filo at Left Guard? 1

Don't look now, but we may have another Ron Leary/La'el Collins situation unfolding before our eyes with Xavier Su'a-Filo and Connor Williams. Who ends up starting at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys the rest of the 2018 season is up in the air right now, but might not be for long.

Remember a few years ago when La'el Collins started the season at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys, but then had to miss time due to a toe injury. Ronald Leary took over during his absence and never looked back. It even earned him a big payday with the Denver Broncos.

Déjà vu anyone?

Yes, I'm talking about the hot topic of the hour as to whether or not the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard or reinsert Connor Williams once he is healthy enough to return to the lineup? As with any debate, there are two sides of the coin.

Honestly, I can make an argument for both sides here. These are two different players and both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Su'a-Filo isn't as agile as Williams and relies more on his strength and power, whereas Williams is almost the complete opposite. Depending what the Cowboys coaching staff wants out of their LG, either player makes sense.

Xavier Su'a-Filo

Dallas Cowboys LG Xavier Su'a-Filo

I could go into a long debate as to who I believe the Cowboys should start at LG moving forward, but I think that would be a waste of our time. I think this is a situation that will work itself out one way or another this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Nothing is set in stone right now, but I have a hard time seeing Connor Williams being ready to play this week after having knee surgery. It would be unwise to rush him back before he's 100% healthy, especially after the way Su'a-Filo preformed against the Eagles. And if Su'a-Filo plays well once again, Williams may not get his starting job back.

See, I told you it was looking like a Ronald Leary/La'el Collins situation all over again.

This is a situation that many of us will be following closely this week and it may not only have ramifications on the rest of the 2018 season, but it could carry over into next year. Maybe Xavier Su'a-Filo remains at LG next year and Connor Williams moves to his more natural position (right tackle), making La'el Collins expendable. But that's a debate for another time.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at LG?



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