We're officially 81 Days until the Week 1 kickoff, and in today's post–expect a player who had ALOT on-the-field antics, but when it came down to game time, he was your guy.
Although he played for the Dallas Cowboys at the tail-end of his career, his impact was massive as he helped Cowboys QB Tony Romo grow into his own, and he was arguably one of the most-talented wideouts that ever donned the silver and blue.
Before we reveal the Best #81, here are all the players who have worn the number for the Cowboys:
- Scott Ankrom
- Tyji Armstrong
- Marv Bateman
- Kelvin Edwards
- Simi Fehoko
- Scott Galbraith
- Percy Howard
- Billy Howton
- Rocket Ismail
- Patrick Jeffers
- Jon'Vea Johnson
- Quincy Morgan
- Terrell Owens
- Kirk Phillips
- Karl Powe
- Peerless Price
- Laurent Robinson
- Jackie Smith
- Robert Steele
- James Whalen
- Steve Wilson
- Alexander Wright
Just looking at the whole list, some solid names pop up.
From WR Billy Howton, the Cowboys' first-ever WRs who once held the NFL all-time receiving record in 1963, to WR Rocket Ismail (first off, freaking, awesome name), who played three seasons with the Boys (1999-2001) and gave the team 158 receptions for 2,281 yards and 9 TDs.
Those two were for sure ballers.
However, the biggest name that stands out (even if you hated him for his antics) is Mr. Terrell Owens.
Owens NFL/Cowboys Career:
Owens entered the league in 1996 after getting drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round (89th overall). His exposure was limited to NFL scouts, as he played at UT-Chattanooga, but that didn't stop the Niners from selecting him.
In his first year, Owens saw most of his work in special teams and limited-WR sets, as he finished with just 35 receptions for 520 yards and 4 TDs.
It wasn't until the next season that Owens got his opportunity after starting WR Jerry Rice tore his ACL, and he would break out for 60 receptions for 936 yards and 8 TDs.
His 49ers tenure would last for seven more seasons and he would have several 1000-yard career years during his time in the Bay, but he then got traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004–which was a crazy debacle.
After only two seasons with them, he would get released because of violations of team conduct towards Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and then signed by the Cowboys a couple of days later.
His first year with the team was one of the best of his career, but he would turn it up a notch and have two 1000-yard plus yard seasons while also dropping double-digits touchdowns on defender's heads.
Despite the constant antics that Cowboy fans had to live through, Owens was a key player in their offense and elevated Romo's game to another level.
In three seasons, Owens nearly cracked the Top-10 of Dallas Cowboys receiving leaders, and it makes you think what the team could have looked like if they didn't release him in 2009.
Nonetheless, Owens was the Best #81 to play for the Cowboys, and he may get his title stolen in the future by an under-the-radar WR whose name rhymes with “Mimi Tehoko,” and he could be a sneaky playmaker for the Boy's offense this year.
All jokes aside, Owens was that guy for me, and we may never see a flamboyant, uber-talented wideout like him walk through Jerry World again.