Former Cowboy greats Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett wore numbers that will always be associated with them.
Former Cowboy greats Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett wore numbers that will always be associated with them.
Ross Lewis

The Great Digit Debate

They are both blessed with cutesy dimples and with famous buxom blondes. Both dabble in golf. Both earned their reputations and their millions as charismatic captains and record-setting scorers for their respective local sports teams.

So I ask you, Dallas sports fans, who is No. 9—Tony Romo or Mike Modano?

Before you go throwing Tatu's jersey into the debate, how about Emmitt Smith vs. Rolando Blackman for No. 22, or Eric Dickerson vs. Juan Gonzalez at 19?


jersey numbers

The criterion for determining which local athlete "owns" a specific number is as simple as it is subjective. It's not necessarily the best player to wear the number, but more so a combination of performance, personality, pizzazz and perseverance.

I say "12" and you immediately think Roger Staubach. Nolan Ryan will always be "34."

Easy, right?

But the tug-of-war for numerical immortality at, say, No. 20 is between a baseball MVP (Jeff Burroughs), a Stanley Cup champion (Ed Belfour) and an NFL Hall of Famer (Mel Renfro). Then there's Romo vs. Modano (Modano won a championship while Romo has yet to win a playoff game). Emmitt vs. Ro (The NFL's all-time leading rusher trumps the Mavs' second all-time leading scorer).

An assemblage of Dallas players most identified with uniform numbers 0-99 surely is worth a couple of lively debates. So grab a beer, choose a side and pick a number. Any number.

00 Eric Montross, Mavericks center

0 Al Oliver, Rangers outfielder

1 Rafael Septien, Cowboys kicker
Runner-up: Bump Wills, Rangers second baseman

2 Derian Hatcher, Stars defenseman

3 Alex Rodriguez, Rangers shortstop

4 Michael Finley, Mavs guard

5 Jason Kidd, Mavs guard
Runner-up: Josh Howard, Mavs forward

6 Tom Grieve, Rangers outfielder/GM/broadcaster

7 Ivan Rodriguez, Rangers catcher

8 Troy Aikman, Cowboys quarterback

9 Mike Modano, Stars forward
Runners-up: Tony Romo, Cowboys quarterback; Tatu, Sidekicks forward

10 Michael Young, Rangers shortstop
Runners-up: Jim Sundberg, Rangers catcher; Brenden Morrow, Stars forward

11 Danny White, Cowboys quarterback
Runner-up: Toby Harrah, Rangers shortstop

12 Roger Staubach, Cowboys quarterback
Runner-up: Derek Harper, Mavs guard

13 Steve Nash, Mavs guard
Runner-up: Clint Dolezel, Desperados quarterback

14 Julio Franco, Rangers second baseman
Runner-up: Craig Morton, Cowboys quarterback

15 Brad Davis, Mavs guard

16 Brett Hull, Stars forward

17 Don Meredith, Cowboys quarterback
Runners-up: Dock Ellis, Rangers pitcher; Quincy Carter, Cowboys quarterback

18 Chris Boniol, Cowboys kicke

19 Juan Gonzalez, Rangers outfielder
Runners-up: Eric Dickerson, SMU running back; Clint Longley, Cowboys quarterback

20 Ed Belfour, Stars goalie
Runners-up: Mel Renfro, Cowboys cornerback; Jeff Burroughs, Rangers outfielder

21 Deion Sanders, Cowboys cornerback
Runners-up: Mike Hargrove, Rangers first baseman; Ruben Sierra, Rangers outfielder

22 Emmitt Smith, Cowboys running back
Runners-up: Rolando Blackman, Mavs guard; Bob Hayes, Cowboys receiver

23 Mark Teixeira, Rangers first baseman

24 Mark Aguirre, Mavs forward
Runner-up: Everson Walls, Cowboys cornerback

25 Rafael Palmeiro, Rangers first baseman
Runner-up: Buddy Bell, Rangers third baseman

26 Johnny Oates, Rangers manager

27 Thomas Everett, Cowboys safety

28 Darren Woodson, Cowboys safety
Runner-up: Bert Blyleven, Rangers pitcher

29 Rusty Greer, Rangers outfielder
Runners-up: Pete Incaviglia, Rangers outfielder; Steve Ott, Stars defenseman

30 Dan Reeves, Cowboys running back

31 Fergie Jenkins, Rangers pitcher

32 Josh Hamilton, Rangers outfielder
Runners-up: Jamal Mashburn, Mavs forward; Craig James, SMU running back

33 Tony Dorsett, Cowboys running back
Runner-up: Jose Canseco, Rangers outfielder

34 Nolan Ryan, Rangers pitcher
Runner-up: Herschel Walker, Cowboys running back

35 John Wetteland, Rangers pitcher
Runner-up: Marty Turco, Stars goalie

36 Gaylord Perry, Rangers pitcher

37 Doak Walker, SMU running back
Runner-up: Kenny Rogers, Rangers pitcher

38 Roy Williams, Cowboys safety

39 Mike Henneman, Rangers pitcher

40 Bill Bates, Cowboys safety
Runners-up: James Donaldson, Mavs center; Jeff Russell, Rangers pitcher

41 Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs forward
Runners-up: Charlie Waters, Cowboys safety; Kevin Brown, Rangers pitcher; Terence Newman, Cowboys cornerback

42 Roy Tarpley, Mavs forward

43 Cliff Harris, Cowboys safety
Runner-up: Don Perkins, Cowboys running back

44 Shawn Bradley, Mavs center
Runner-up: Robert Newhouse, Cowboys running back

45 A.C. Green, Mavs forward

46 Mark Washington, Cowboys cornerback

47 Dexter Clinkscale, Cowboys safety

48 Daryl Johnston, Cowboys fullback

49 Charlie Hough, Rangers pitcher

50 D.D. Lewis, Cowboys linebacker

51 Ken Norton Jr., Cowboys linebacker

52 Dexter Coakley, Cowboys linebacker

53 Mark Stepnoski, Cowboys center
Runner-up: Bob Bruenig, Cowboys linebacker

54 Randy White, Cowboys defensive lineman
Runner-up: Chuck Howley, Cowboys linebacker

55 Lee Roy Jordan, Cowboys linebacker

56 Thomas Henderson, Cowboys linebacker
Runner-up: Sergei Zubov, Stars defenseman

57 Vinson Smith, Cowboys linebacker

58 Mike Hegman, Cowboys linebacker

59 Jeff Zimmerman, Rangers pitcher

60 Don Smerek, Cowboys defensive lineman

61 Nate Newton, Cowboys offensive lineman
Runner-up: Chan Ho Park, Rangers pitcher

62 John Fitzgerald, Cowboys offensive lineman

63 Mike Ribeiro, Stars forward
Runner-up: Larry Cole, Cowboys defensive lineman

64 Tom Rafferty, Cowboys offensive lineman

65 Andre Gurode, Cowboys offensive lineman

66 George Andrie, Cowboys defensive lineman

67 Russell Maryland, Cowboys defensive lineman

68 Herb Scott, Cowboys offensive lineman

69 George Hegamin, Cowboys offensive lineman

70 Rayfield Wright, Cowboys offensive lineman
Runner-up: Dennis Rodman, Mavs forward

71 Mark Tuinei, Cowboys offensive lineman

72 Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Cowboys defensive lineman

73 Larry Allen, Cowboys offensive lineman

74 Bob Lilly, Cowboys defensive lineman

75 Jethro Pugh, Cowboys defensive lineman
Runner-up: Tony Casillas, Cowboys defensive lineman

76 John Niland, Cowboys offensive lineman
Runner-up: Flozell Adams, Cowboys offensive lineman

77 Jim Jeffcoat, Cowboys defensive lineman

78 Leon Lett, Cowboys defensive lineman

79 Harvey Martin, Cowboys defensive lineman
Runner-up: Erik Williams, Cowboys offensive lineman

80 Alvin Harper, Cowboys receiver
Runner-up: Tony Hill, Cowboys receiver

81 Terrell Owens, Cowboys receiver
Runner-up: Jackie Smith, Cowboys tight end

82 Jason Witten, Cowboys tight end

83 Golden Richards, Cowboys receiver
Runner-up: Kelvin Martin, Cowboys receiver

84 Jay Novacek, Cowboys tight end
Runner-up: Doug Cosbie, Cowboys tight end

85 Kevin Williams, Cowboys receiver

86 Butch Johnson, Cowboys receiver

87 Jay Saldi, Cowboys tight end

88 Michael Irvin, Cowboys receiver
Runner-up: Drew Pearson, Cowboys receiver

89 Mike Ditka, Cowboys tight end

90 Alonzo Spellman, Cowboys defensive lineman

91 Brad Richards, Stars forward

92 Tony Tolbert, Cowboys defensive lineman

93 Peppi Zellner, Cowboys defensive lineman

94 Charles Haley, Cowboys defensive lineman
Runner-up: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys defensive lineman

95 Chad Hennings, Cowboys defensive lineman

96 Ebenezer Ekuban, Cowboys defensive lineman

97 LaRoi Glover, Cowboys defensive lineman

98 Greg Ellis, Cowboys defensive lineman

99 Kevin Brooks, Cowboys defensive lineman


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