Cowboys reveal jersey numbers for the 2022 NFL Draft class
The Dallas Cowboys rookie minicamp has come and gone. This past weekend was the first opportunity for the 2022 NFL Draft class and undrafted free agents to experience professional football for the first time. They got to meet the staff, experience The Star, and begin to practice and play with an NFL organization.
One of the most exciting parts about this process for a rookie is the chance to finally put on an NFL uniform for the first time. Ahead of the weekend, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reported the jersey numbers for all nine of the members of the 2022 draft class. Here they are in draft order:
- Tyler Smith: No. 73
- Sam Williams: No. 54
- Jalen Tolbert: No. 18
- Jake Ferguson: No. 48
- Matt Waletzko: No. 71
- DaRon Bland: No. 30
- Damone Clark: No. 53
- John Ridgeway: No. 95
- Devin Harper: No. 50
The undrafted free agents received numbers as well, although the likelihood is that not all of them will make the team. Some of these aren’t just any old jersey numbers. They carry heavy significance in the Cowboys organization. These numbers were worn by some of the best and most important players in the franchise’s history. Let’s take a look at the significance of some of these numbers.
Dallas Cowboys rookies’ jersey numbers are revealed, and some hold high significance
Tyler Smith – No. 73: This jersey number was worn by Hall of Famer Larry Allen. The 11-time Pro Bowler spent 12 of his 14 NFL years with Dallas. He was a six-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion. The 2022 first-rounder wasn’t blind to the significance of this number. Here’s what he told reporters:
"“Larry Allen wore that number, and I’ve seen a lot of the adversity he went through early in his life and I feel like I resonate with a lot of that. It means a lot to be able to wear that and carry on that legacy.”"
Sam Williams – No. 54: Two Cowboys defensive greats wore this number. The first was Chuck Howley. Howley was a linebacker with Dallas for 13 seasons. In his tenure, he collected six Pro Bowl nods, five All-Pro honors, and a Super Bowl ring. He’s also the only player in history to win Super Bowl MVP while being on the losing team. Another legendary defender with even more accolades than Howley to wear No. 54 was Randy White. White was a DT, DE, and LB who played all of his NFL years with the Cowboys. The Hall of Famer was a 9x Pro Bowler, 7x All-Pro, Super Bowl MVP, Super Bowl champ, and NFC Defensive Player of the Year. Those are quite big shoes to fill for Williams.
Damone Clark – No. 53: Clark wore No. 18 at LSU which is a number given to the player who most exemplifies excellence on and off the field. That number was taken by wide receiver Jalen Tolbert, so Clark went with No. 53 instead. This jersey has been worn in various Super Bowls and hopefully, Clark will wear it in a Super Bowl soon, too. Center Mark Stepnoski (a 5x Pro Bowler) wore it in two Cowboys Super Bowl wins. Defensively, linebacker Bob Breunig donned this number in Super Bowl XII.
Hopefully, one day in the future, these rookies will be remembered as the next greats to wear these jersey numbers.