Dallas' Fantasy Roster

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When I say No. 22, who comes to mind?

Do you immediately think of the Dallas Cowboys' all-time best runner? Or their all-time best rusher? Or perhaps instead the second-leading all-time scorer in the history of the Dallas Mavericks?

The quest is to attach a Dallas/Fort Worth player to every sports uniform 0-99. A fantasy roster, if you will.

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 an associative combination of performance, personality, pizzazz and perseverance.

Bob Hayes vs. Emmitt Smith seems a juicy first bite. When Hayes was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month it reminded me how cool - how fast - he was as the greatest number 22 in franchise history. Then Smith's image as the NFL's all-time leading rusher plunged into the conversation, followed closely by Rolando Blackman. Double-deuce may be, in fact, the most talented number in the history of Dallas sports.

But it's certainly not the most easily identifiable. Some numbers are indelible. Bless David Murphy because Texas Rangers' new/old catcher Pudge Rodriguez will always be No. 7. I say 12 and you see Roger Staubach. Nolan Ryan is No. 34. Roy Tarpley, for all the wrong reasons, evokes No. 42.

But who is our definitive No. 9: Tony Romo? Mike Modano? Maybe even Tatu? At 19: Eric Dickerson or Juan Gonzalez? The tug-of-war for numerical immortality at No. 20 is between a baseball MVP (Jeff Burroughs), a Stanley Cup champion (Ed Belfour) and an NFL Hall of Famer (Mel Renfro). Who's the better gritty captain at No. 10: the Rangers' Michael Young or the Stars' Brenden Morrow? Does No. 24 belong to the Mavs' Mark Aguirre or the Cowboys' Everson Walls? Do you associate No. 37 with the good of Doak Walker or the bad of Kenny Rogers? Is our No. 44 the heightened disappointment of Mavs' center Shawn Bradley or the diminutive desire of Cowboys' fullback Robert Newhouse?

This roster, of course, is fluid. A year ago Terrell Owens was our area's greatest all-time No. 81. Now he's in Buffalo and his reputation 'round these parts has been 86'd. T.O. vs. Jackie Smith just might make 81 our most heinous number. Is Mavericks' point guard Jason Kidd No. 5 (circa 1994) or No. 2 (circa 2008) or neither (circa all the years in between)? Can Rangers' shortstop Elvis Andrus someday - if not already - steal No. 1 from Rafael Septien? Can Cowboys' receiver Roy Williams overtake Danny White for 11? Felix Jones seemingly has a ways to go before catching Darren Woodson at 28. But Rangers' surprising ace Scott Feldman is closer than you think to owning 39. Is Neftali Feliz a legitimate threat to Dan Reeves at No. 30?

For my money, Randy White is a more deserving 54 than Chuck Howley, but just barely. Nate Newton's 61 - tainted as it is - dwarfed the laughable legacy of the Rangers' Chan Ho Park. Jethro Pugh edges Tony Casillas for 75, John Niland is still holding off Flozell Adams at 76, Harvey Martin is No. 79 over Erik Williams, Alvin Harper owns 80 over Tony Hill, Golden Richards No. 83 over Kelvin Martin and Jay Novacek is the better No. 84 tight end over Doug Cosbie.

No. 88: Gotta be Michael Irvin over Drew Pearson. Right?

If the 2009 Cowboys are to have a playoff season, Anthony Spencer needs to make us forget Peppi Zellner at 93, DeMarcus Ware needs to convincingly snatch 94 away from Charles Haley, and Marcus Spears needs to unseat Ebenezer Ekuban at 96.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but this Dallas dream lineup surely is worth a couple lively debates. For the record, Smith's unprecedented production ultimately tops Hayes' legendary speed for No. 22.

 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

2 Derian Hatcher, Stars' defenseman

3 Alex Rodriguez, Rangers' shortstop

4 Michael Finley, Mavs' guard

5 Jason Kidd, Mavs' guard

6 Tom Grieve, Rangers' outfielder/GM/ broadcaster

7 Ivan Rodriguez, Rangers' catcher

8 Troy Aikman, Cowboys' quarterback

9 Mike Modano, Stars' forward

10 Michael Young, Rangers' shortstop

11 Danny White, Cowboys' quarterback

12 Roger Staubach, Cowboys' quarterback

13 Steve Nash, Mavs' guard

14 Julio Franco, Rangers' second baseman

15 Brad Davis, Mavs' guard

16 Brett Hull, Stars' forward

17 Don Meredith, Cowboys' quarterback

18 Chris Boniol, Cowboys' kicker

19 Juan Gonzalez, Rangers' outfielder

20 Ed Belfour, Stars' goalie


21 Deion Sanders, Cowboys' cornerback

22 Emmitt Smith, Cowboys' running back

23 Mark Teixeira, Rangers' first baseman

24 Mark Aguirre, Mavs' forward

25 Rafael Palmeiro, Rangers' first baseman

26 Johnny Oates, Rangers' manager

27 Thomas Everett, Cowboys' safety

28 Darren Woodson, Cowboys' safety

29 Rusty Greer, Rangers' outfielder

30 Dan Reeves, Cowboys' running back

31 Fergie Jenkins, Rangers' pitcher

32 Josh Hamilton, Rangers' outfielder

33 Tony Dorsett, Cowboys' running back

34 Nolan Ryan, Rangers' pitcher

35 John Wetteland, Rangers' pitcher

36 Gaylord Perry, Rangers' pitcher

37 Doak Walker, SMU running back

38 Roy Williams, Cowboys' safety

39 Mike Henneman, Rangers' pitcher

40 Bill Bates, Cowboys' safety


41 Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs' forward

42 Roy Tarpley, Mavs' forward

43 Cliff Harris, Cowboys' safety

44 Shawn Bradley, Mavs' center

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

54 Randy White, Cowboys' defensive lineman

55 Lee Roy Jordan, Cowboys' linebacker

56 Thomas Henderson, Cowboys' linebacker

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

62 John Fitzgerald, Cowboys' offensive lineman

63 Mike Ribeiro, Stars' forward

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

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

76 John Niland, Cowboys' offensive lineman

77 Jim Jeffcoat, Cowboys' defensive lineman

78 Leon Lett, Cowboys' defensive lineman

79 Harvey Martin, Cowboys' defensive lineman

80 Alvin Harper, Cowboys' receiver


81 Terrell Owens, Cowboys' receiver

82 Jason Witten, Cowboys' tight end

83 Golden Richards, Cowboys' receiver

84 Jay Novacek, Cowboys' tight end

85 Kevin Williams, Cowboys' receiver

86 Butch Johnson, Cowboys' receiver

87 Jay Saldi, Cowboys' tight end

88 Michael Irvin, 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

95 Chad Hennings, Cowboys' defensive lineman

96 Ebenezer Ekuban, Cowboys' defensive lineman

97 La'Roi Glover, Cowboys' defensive lineman

98 Greg Ellis, Cowboys' defensive lineman

99 Kevin Brooks, Cowboys' defensive lineman

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