As the Dallas Cowboys prepared to kickoff their third preseason game Saturday night against the Miami Dolphins, I decided to do my part for the important “dress rehearsal” and sport one of my Cowboys jerseys for the game. The three choices in my closet included the numbers 94, 19, and 9.
Former Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Ware (#94) is about to be re-born in Denver (you just know he’ll finally get to the Super Bowl this year) so that jersey goes into storage. (I’ll pull it out again when Ware is inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.) Ex-Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (#19) will soon be pulling a hammy in Cleveland. So there’s one for the garage sale pile.
The last jersey standing was that of the polarizing Dallas starting quarterback Tony Romo (#9). Sorry, I just can’t walk around wearing a Romo jersey. While I believe he is the answer and not the problem for America’s Team, donning the garb of your team’s starting quarterback is simply not cool. Come on, you know what I mean, it just reeks of “casual fan.”
There is one thing clear to me, I need a new Dallas jersey! There are only twelve shopping days until the regular season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, which doesn’t leave much time to decide which jersey to throw down my hard-earned cash on. In honor of all the fantasy football drafts taking place around the country this week, I decided to hold my personal Dallas Cowboy Jersey Draft.
Who should be my top pick? Should I go with #29? I love running back DeMarco Murray, but just ask former Dallas starting running backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones just how disposable ball carriers are these days. #82? Six time All-Pro tight end Jason Witten is a safe choice, but he’ll probably retire in a year or two and I’ll be stuck again. #88? Excellent choice! Wide receiver Dez Bryant, on the heels of his first trip to the Pro Bowl, should be around for a long time and seems primed for a monster 2014 campaign. But wait, my son has a Dez jersey and we watch many of the Cowboys games together. We both can’t wear the #88, that’s just bad karma.
A sleeper selection has just jumped to the top of my jersey draft board. With the first pick in the 2014 Cowboy Jersey Draft, I select number 77, Tyron Smith, offensive tackle, USC. I know, I know, wearing the jersey of an offensive lineman is not very sexy. (Do they even sell O-line apparel?) Having such a generic last name on your back is also pretty boring… but this guy is special.
At only 23, Smith already has three full NFL seasons under his belt with the last culminating in what was surely the first of many Pro Bowl appearances. With the addition of first round draft picks Travis Frederick last year and Zack Martin (who is a few weeks older than Smith) this year, Tyron is the anchor of what just may become the top offensive line in the business. Just ask NFL Hall-of-Famers Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin what a dominant offensive line can do for a franchise.
What jersey do you rock on gamedays? Tell me in the comments section below.