The Cowboys don't usually make a big production out of assigning the rookie jersey numbers, but as of yesterday, all seven rookies from the 2017 draft class (although not the undrafted free agents) have their numbers:
Dallas Cowboys announce jersey numbers for their draft picks: pic.twitter.com/SBhoK3Tgzw— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 1, 2017
Different Dallas Cowboys jersey numbers will have different meanings for different people. Some of the numbers will be strongly associated with one particular player, some won't. And that association to a given player strongly depends on how far back your memory goes as a Cowboys fan. Here's a summary of some of the more prominent former Cowboys to have worn the numbers now being sported by the 2014 rookie class:
97: Taco Charlton
Charlton wanted a number in the 90s and there weren't that many left in that range, so he took the 97 just vacated by DT Terrell McClain. Prior to McClain, Jason Hatcher wore the number from 2006-2013, earning Pro Bowl honors with 11 sacks in his final season in Dallas. Hopefully that is a good omen for Charlton.
The number saw four more Pro Bowl nods during La'Roi Glover's four years in Dallas from 2002-2005.
33: Chidobe Awuzie
Most Cowboys fans will (of a certain age) will immediately recognize this as Tony Dorsett's number, which he wore from 1977 to 1988 en route to a Hall Of Fame career that included a Super Bowl win, four Pro Bowls and an All Pro nomination.
27: Jourdan Lewis
This number will have a familiar feel for most Cowboys fans, as it was worn by J.J Wilcox from 2013-2017, but it's not a very pedigreed number. More prominent previous owners include Thomas Everett, who was brought in for two championship seasons in 1992 and 1993 as well as Ron Fellows. Fellows wore the number from 1981-1986 and was part of a secondary QB Danny White coined "Thurman's Thieves" for their opportunistic play on defense when the Cowboys notched 33 interceptions in 1985, the second-highest total in franchise history.
10: Ryan Switzer
This is a number worn by a succession of punters and kickers who left no recognizable impact in Dallas. Had Switzer gotten the 15 he reportedly had initially asked for he'd have had slightly more prominent previous owners, include Toni Fritsch, an Austrian-born kicker who played for the Cowboys from 1971-75, as well as Babe Laufenberg, who is better known for being a Dallas TV personality than for the two years he was the backup QB for the Cowboys in 1989-90.
25: Xavier Woods
Another number with not much of a pedigree. Lance Dunbar last wore it from 2012-2017, and it was briefly worn by Pat Watkins from 2006-2009.
39: Marquez White
This is Brandon Carr's number, which he wore from 2012-2017. No other noteworthy previous owner.
74: Joey Ivie
Ivie getting this number is a bit of a surprise, as this is Bob Lilly's number. Mr. Cowboy was the first member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, and one of the great defensive linemen to play professional football. A Hall Of Famer, Lilly played for the Cowboys from 1961-1974, won on Super Bowl, was an 11-time Pro Bowler and a 7-time All Pro.
Some players have worn it during preseason, but nobody has kept the number into the regular season.
85: Noah Brown
Kevin Ogletree last wore this number regularly between 2009 and 2012. Kevin Williams wore the number from 1993 to 1996. Williams was a terrific return man, setting the franchise career records for number of kickoff returns (144), number of combined returns (239) and kickoff return yards (3,4616) in just four seasons, but never really came into his own as a wide receiver, even after Alvin Harper left.
69: Jordan Carrell
Henry Melton wore 69 for one season in 2013. Ross Tucker also wore the number for a year in 2002, though you'll probably know less for his time with the Cowboys and more for his post-NFL career as a broadcaster, journalist and media personality.