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The Wright Stuff: #70, Linemen, and Rayfield

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - The Wright Stuff: #70, Linemen, and Rayfield

There are officially 70 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 Sunday one and all! I truly hope that all of you had a wonderful and safe Fourth of July, commemorating our great nation. NBA Free Agency heated up a bit yesterday and the U.S. Women’s World Cup team is preparing to play, so sports are happening! Let’s be honest though, your Dallas Cowboys trump all of that. I’m your main man RJ, so I get that. I’m here to help! Check out the Greatest 70 in Dallas Cowboys History.

The following players have all worn 70 for the Dallas Cowboys:

  • Ethan Brooks, OT
  • Javier Collins, OT
  • Tyrone Crawford*, DE (also featured on our 98 list)
  • Leonard Davis, OG
  • Dale Hellestrae, LS
  • Frank Kearse, DT
  • Jerome Long, DT
  • Daniel Loper, OT
  • Zack Martin*, OG
  • Bob McCreary, OT
  • Dale Memmelaar, OG
  • Drake Nevis, DT
  • Howard Richards, OG
  • Bill Sandeman, OT
  • Mark Stepnoski, C (who would later change to 53)
  • Bob White, C
  • Rayfield Wright^, OT

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster

Talk about linemen! There are a lot of them for us to consider here. The three greatest 70s all happen to have played on the right side of the offensive line: Zack Martin, Leonard Davis, and Rayfield Wright.

Cowboys Blog - The Wright Stuff: #70, Linemen, and Rayfield 4

Rayfield Wright and I in the summer of 2013

Before we get into the big right three, let’s talk about some of the other 70s. For starters, how many of you knew that Stepnoski wore 70 for his rookie season? Raise your hands. You’re probably lying, but whatever I’ll trust you. Current Cowboy sensation Tyrone Crawford also wore the 7-0 for his rookie year before making the switch to 98…perhaps he’s in for as long and as great of a career as ‘ol Stepnoski!

One of the more decorated 70s on this list is former right guard, Leonard Davis. Signed as a free agent in 2007 to what was a pretty big contract (seven-year, almost $50 million) Davis produced right away. He helped lead one of the more underrated Cowboys offensive lines in franchise history, a line that helped a young Tony Romo transition into the NFL.


Speaking of offensive lines and speaking of Tony Romo, we all know who the hottest 70 on the market is right now. He also happens to play right guard, also happens to have worn 70 for his rookie year, but he’s only entering his second year in the NFL. Zack Martin is a beast.

Cowboys Blog - The Wright Stuff: #70, Linemen, and Rayfield 1

Sep 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys guard Zack Martin (70) in game against the San Francisco 49ers at AT&T Stadium. San Francisco beat Dallas 28-17. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The super fan in me really wanted to call Zack the best 70, but as you’ll find out there is one cat (no pun intended) that trumps him. Zack deserves A LOT of love, though. Taken with the 16th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Zack began playing at an elite level right away. He helped fellow first round picks (from 2011 and 2013) Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick establish arguably the best offensive line in the NFL that helped DeMarco Murray lead the NFL in rushing. Zack was one of just three rookies selected to last year’s Pro Bowl and he was the only rookie to be named First-Team All-Pro (the first Cowboy rookie since Calvin Hill in 1969 and first rookie at o-line since Dick Huffman in 1947). While Zack isn’t quite the Best 70 yet, the future of the number is in great hands with him.

The seventh round of the 1967 NFL Draft yielded a 6’7” 225-pound kid from Fort Valley State. The Dallas Cowboys planned on using their new player at tight end, defensive line, and offensive tackle. His athletic build allowed him to play very large and fast, giving Rayfield Wright the nickname “Big Cat”.

When Ralph Neely, who was featured on our 73 list, got hurt in 1969 Rayfield had to jump to the right tackle position. Keep in mind that in this era of NFL History the right tackle was the position that guarded the opposing team’s best pass-rusher, not the left side like in today’s NFL. Right tackles were a necessity to go up against the games best, and Rayfield’s first start was no different. The Cowboys were playing the Los Angeles Rams and asked Rayfield Wright to stop future Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deacon Jones (he coined the term “sack” for all those interested). The Big Cat played so impressively that the right tackle position became his for good.

Cowboys Blog - The Wright Stuff: #70, Linemen, and Rayfield 3

Rayfield Wright stares on against the Los Angeles Rams

Rayfield flourished at the right tackle position throughout the 1970s. He was a critical element in those Cowboys offenses that finished in the top 10 in terms of overall offense in every year of that decade. While his quickness and athleticism had been traits that scouts considered would make him a great tight end, Wright translated those qualities to the offensive line and helped redefine how people evaluated skill at the position. His resume includes:

  • 6 Pro Bowl Selections (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976)
  • 4 First-Team All-Pro Selections (1971, 1972, 1973, 1975)
  • 2-time Super Bowl Champion (VI and XII)
  • Member of the NFL's 1970s All-Decade Team
  • Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor Class of 2004
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2006

Rayfield’s place in Pro Football History is incredible no matter how you look at it. His accomplishments on the field are obviously incredible, but his Hall of Fame Class is one of the greatest in Canton’s History. Wright was inducted in 2006 along with fellow Cowboy Troy Aikman, Coach John Madden, quarterback Warren Moon, linebacker Harry Carson, and arguably the greatest pass-rusher to ever live…Reggie White.

Cowboys Blog - The Wright Stuff: #70, Linemen, and Rayfield 2

Former Dallas Cowboys great Rayfield Wright, left, unveils his bronze bust with presenter L.J. Lomax, right, during ceremonies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Rayfield Wright was an incredible offensive lineman in the 1970s. It’s only natural then that he is the Greatest 70 in Dallas Cowboys History. He is one of the greater Cowboys regardless of position or jersey number in franchise history, and as a member of the 70 Crew can also be proud of the pedigree of that number and the bright future that it has.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 69 in Dallas Cowboys History is!

Tell us what you think about "The Wright Stuff: #70, Linemen, and Rayfield" 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!

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Star Blog

Robert Quinn’s Return Important For Struggling Cowboys Pass Rush

Kevin Brady

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Breaking News: Robert Quinn Suffers Fractured Hand

Cowboys Nation spent much of the offseason praising the depth of their team as a whole. In particular, though, everyone felt good about what the Cowboys had across their defensive front.

By drafting well in recent years, and acquiring some lesser known players who have turned into solid contributors on the defensive line, the Cowboys have put together a really good group on paper. Despite this perceived depth, however, Dallas' defensive line has not created the pressure through their pass rush which was expected of them through the first two weeks.

After two games the Cowboys have just two sacks, bringing down each opposing quarterback once in each victory. Of course, each sack came at a big moment, as Tyrone Crawford got to Case Keenum on third down early in Sunday's win and DeMarcus Lawrence stripped Eli Manning on a red zone attempt during the season opener. Still, though, the lack of sack production is concerning. Especially considering how often the Cowboys have played with leads so far in 2019.

Star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has shouldered much of the criticism from fans the past two weeks, despite playing the best of any of the pass rushers on the team. Lawrence created a couple key pressures against Washington, and is also fresh off recovering from serious injury. He'll be fine.

The major reason for Lawrence's lack of eye-popping sack production, though, is the lack of help he's received from the rest of his rush-mates. For the most part, Crawford has looked like a guy who missed an entire preseason, and while Dorance Armstrong and Joe Jackson are promising young players, they can't be completely counted on just yet.


Insert Robert Quinn.

The former Pro Bowl defensive end could not be returning at a better time for the Cowboys. Not only should Quinn help to alleviate some of the pressure from Lawrence right away, but he gives the team a rusher who can beat one-on-one blocking more consistently than the rest of the ends currently on this roster.

Robert Quinn's return is also perfect due to the opponent. Quinn came to Dallas via trade from the Miami Dolphins this offseason, and he should be motivated to get after the tanking Dolphins this Sunday.

We should be fair in our expectations of Robert Quinn this week, but don't be surprised if this Cowboys pass rush wakes up quickly Sunday, as he provides a spark on the opposite end of DeMarcus Lawrence.


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Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Should Be Rid of all Rust

Matthew Lenix

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Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Should be rid of all Rust

The Dallas Cowboys were engaged in a very eventful and sometimes nauseating holdout with All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott this summer. After all the speculation and jabs through the media, the two sides finally agreed on a six-year 90 million dollar extension with 50 million in guarantees just prior to the season opener. With his financial future secured it was time for Elliott to get whatever fieldwork he could before playing the New York Giants. With limited practice time, Elliott had a slow start to the season with a 53-yard performance on 13 carries. However, after watching the Cowboys win against the Redskins it's clear that he's slowly but surely getting back to form.

Elliott came into Sunday's game averaging just under 89 yards per game on the road against the Redskins, including one of his best career rushing performances in 2017 with 150 yards. His 484 yards and 6 touchdowns against Washington prior to Sunday's game were both career highs for Elliott versus a single opponent.

This wouldn't be your typical Elliott game of consistent ten-yard runs and leaping over would-be defenders. Instead, it was a steady dose of Elliott as his workload from week one increased from 14 touches to 25. By halftime, he had 48 yards on 11 carries as the Cowboys held a 14-7 lead.

Ezekiel Elliott Should be rid of all Rust

The Cowboys held a 24-14 lead late in the second half until Elliott capped off a ten-play 54-yard drive that put them up 17, and the game essentially out of reach. In the second half, he had just 36 yards on 11 carries until a 27-yard run late in the fourth quarter gave him 111 yards on 23 carries for the game. Now, Elliott averages 94.3 yards a game on the road for his career against the Redskins, and an amazing 99.2 yards overall.


Going into week three Elliott has almost 40 real game carries under his belt. What this means is now he's gotten the necessary reps and taken the necessary hits needed to get him in football shape, which is something he couldn't fully simulate working out in Cabo. Even with a reduced role in the season opener Elliott is currently on a 1,300-yard 16 touchdown pace as we speak. Those are the kind of numbers that get you the NFL's highest paycheck for running backs, an honor Elliott took over recently, and rightfully so.

Elliott himself can feel things coming back to form with a couple of games out of the way. He spoke about where he was postgame after this past Sunday's win over the Redskins.

“I think slowly and surely, I’m getting back in my rhythm, knocking that rust off,” Elliott told Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “I feel good about the game. I feel good about where I am right now. I feel good about everything going forward.”

The Cowboys are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2015, and more importantly, they have their All-Pro running back in football shape and fully confident coming off a 100-yard performance. Next up is the Miami Dolphins at home who have a defense that has given up 102 points and 391 yards rushing in the first two weeks. Another opportunity for Elliott to get his legs under him even more and produce at a high level as the Cowboys look for their first 3-0 start since 2008.


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Dak Prescott not Only one to Roast CB Josh Norman on Sunday

Brian Martin

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Dak Prescott not Only one Roasting CB Josh Norman on Sunday

Thanks to Cornerback Josh Norman the Dallas Cowboys 31-21 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday was a little extra sweet for Quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott's goal of course entering this Week 2 matchup was to seal the win for the Cowboys, but doing that and being able to make Norman eat his words had to make the moment a little extra special for him.

You may have forgotten, but Josh Norman pretty much said he wasn't all that impressed with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys performance in the season opener against the New York Giants. Prescott of course had a career day completing 25 and 32 passes 405 yards and four touchdowns, but to that Norman replied "anybody can do that".

Josh Norman has since said those comments about Prescott were misconstrued and taken out of context, but that could just be him crawfishing and trying to save face after the Cowboys QB roasted him on more than one occasion Sunday afternoon.

Almost fittingly, some of Prescott's best plays against the Redskins were to Josh Norman's side of the field. The first was the 51 yard bomb to WR Devin Smith that resulted in a touchdown. And then Dak was able to get a little physical with a stiff arm to No. 24's face on his long run. It could have even been a little worse for Norman if Michael Gallup could've corralled the deep pass down the sideline from his QB. Anyway you slice it though the Redskins mouthy CB got roasted.

As much as I liked Dak Prescott's roasting of Josh Norman, it fails in comparison to how he's getting slammed on social media. It's downright demoralizing, but comical at the same time.

Here are a few examples:


Not Robert Griffin on Twitter

Can you find Josh Norman?

TOAST! LOL Food humor for the win! @Pseudo_RGIII wasn't the only one roasting Josh Norman on social media though.

Dov Kleiman on Twitter

What type of coverage does Josh Norman calls this? https://t.co/P74jkY3ut5

Someone got caught looking in the backfield. That's gotta be embarrassing. That's not all though, there's more…

https://twitter.com/Jaton336/status/1173329971626094592

Had enough yet!? No… How about one more just from the beautiful Jane Slater for fun?

Jane Slater on Twitter

Dak with a stiff arm to Josh Norman and a 42 yard run. Michael Gallup helping block. Think he heard Norman say "anybody can do that" https://t.co/3JARYX5cII

Out of the numerous tweets I went through roasting Josh Norman, Jane Slater's is probably my favorite. That is exactly the kind of face I made on Prescott's long run that ended in him stiff arming Norman.

It's not a very day you get the opportunity to make someone eat their words, but I'm truly happy Dak Prescott was able to make Josh Norman eat his.  The social media roasting was just icing on the cake. All in all, Norman probably got what he deserved and made think twice about what he says when he opens his mouth in the future.


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