There are officially 61 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.
Tank Top Tuesday! It is my sincere hope that your eyes are grazing this with your guns fully out thanks to the weekly holiday. Grab the sunscreen and a couple of Capri Suns so we can lay out in the sun and quibble over the Greatest 61 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The Following Players Have All Worn 61 For The Dallas Cowboys:
- Jim Cooper, OT
- Kelvin Garmon, OG
- Allen Green, K/P
- Bill Nagy, OG
- Nate Newton, OG
- Blaine Nye, OG
- Duane Putnam, OG
- John Wetzel, OT
If I had to do a power ranking of the Top 5 Fried Chicken places I’d probably go:
- Popeye’s (the Cajun fries PLUS the biscuits? Dude.)
- Kentucky Fried Chicken (the chicken skin is magnificent)
- Golden Chick (tender-mania)
- Bush’s Chicken (although that drive-thru is crazy the first time)
- Chicken Express (all about dat sweet tea, boss)
So if you’re still with me you’re probably either wondering what in the world I’m talking about or hating me because now you’re starving.
I bring up the glory of fried chicken because the discussion for the Greatest 61 in Dallas Cowboys History revolves around some dudes who are all about meat and potatoes.
Blaine Nye was one of the earlier Cowboys as he was selected in the 5th round of the 1968 NFL Draft… as a defensive tackle.
Like a lot of future great offensive linemen, the Cowboys flipped Nye to the other side of the scrum and Nye became an offensive guard. Nye lined up at right guard specifically, directly next to Pro Football Hall of Famer and the Greatest 70 in Dallas Cowboys History, Rayfield Wright.
He was a staple on some great Cowboys teams that traveled to three Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl VI, and earning himself a trip to two Pro Bowls. You’ve undoubtedly heard about the “Zero Club” that consisted of Cowboys who wanted to avoid the limelight. Blaine Nye was the founding member of this group and prided himself on his hard work.
Nye’s work attitude and disposition can be best exemplified by the fact that during his NFL career, which you now know was incredible, he earned two master’s degrees.
Everyone has different paths in getting to the NFL, and offensive lineman Jim Cooper was no different.
As a 6th round draft pick in 1977 he wasn’t exactly the rookie that everybody was most excited to see… in fact he was cut after training camp. Fortunately for Jim, and for the Cowboys, he was re-signed during the pre-season and worked his tail off to become a master of the offensive line.
Cooper would become the most versatile offensive linemen in the era of Four Irishmen and a Scott as he served backup at every role until replacing Rayfield Wright at right tackle in 1979.
He was part of an elite offensive unit and did the 61 proud, but there’s still some more meat left on this bone.
In terms of paths to success, the one that Nate Newton took is certainly unique.
His pro football career started as an undrafted free agent on the 1983 Washington Redskins squad (they would later go on to lose Super Bowl XVIII). Fortunately for Nate, the 80s were a time where the United States Football League existed and he was able to score a gig with the Tampa Bay Bandits.
The USFL would eventually fold and in 1986 Nate was in need of a chance… when along came the Dallas Cowboys.
One of the first things that happened to Nate was that he scored a sweet nickname. As Newton outweighed the famed Chicago Bear, William “The Fridge” Perry, “The Kitchen” seemed fitting.
Newton started out at the left guard position in 1987 and struggled a bit until the arrival of Jimmy Johnson in 1989.
Johnson challenged Nate to monitor his playing weight and moved him to the right tackle position where Newton excelled. Johnson moved The Kitchen back to left guard in 1992 after the emergence of Erik Williams in an effort to have the best five offensive linemen on the field. This unit became one of the greater offensive lines in NFL History, becoming known as The Great Wall of Dallas, and paving the way for Pro Football Hall of Famer and the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher Emmitt Smith.
Nate Newton was an instrumental part in a line that helped the Dallas Cowboys win three Super Bowls in the 1990s. Newton is regarded as one of the greatest linemen to ever wear the star and he is appropriately the Greatest #61 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 60 in Dallas Cowboys History is!