The Dallas Cowboys do not technically have any jersey numbers retired. There are obviously numbers that hold extreme significance in franchise history that they don’t hand out, even when the roster reaches 90 men, and you likely know the ones. We are talking about (going chronologically here) 8, 12, 22, 74, and recently 9 has joined the list.
While there are numbers that are avoided not every single one can be. We’ve seen players don the same digits as franchise greats, numbers like 20, 33, and 54 have all been handed out at different times despite belonging to some of the best players in team history.
Jerry Jones wants WR CeeDee Lamb to wear number 88
There is a fun debate to be had when it comes to the greatest number in franchise history. So far 22 is the only one that boasts multiple Pro Football Hall of Famers (although 70 could join the ranks with Zack Martin, plus Drew Pearson has long deserved a spot in Canton), but the 88 Club is pretty prestigious.
Dez Bryant brought an incredible swagger to 88 over the last decade and carried the torch that both Pearson and Michael Irvin did before him. It has been two years since the Cowboys moved on from Bryant and, but in many ways it feels like it’s been no time at all.
In the aftermath of drafting Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones noted that he wants the rookie to wear number 88. He explained that it had to do with honoring his late friend and teammate Jerry Lamb.
“But then I recently lost a great friend. One of my very best, might have been my best. I played ball with him at Arkansas. He was number 88. His name was Jerry Lamb, he was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. We couldn’t have won a national championship without him. And he was a wonderful player.”
“And so when we were, this is a little drama from our perspective, when we were all sitting there and had said our piece, and then we said, ‘okay, what’s it going to be?” I said in honor of my great friend that just passed this year we’re going to have his namesake come on here and wear old number 88. Just like Michael and Dez and those guys, and we’ve got us a wide receiver. And let me tell you one thing if he’s got the competes and heart of that Jerry Lamb he’ll be bad to the bone.”
It might be shocking to you to see Jerry want to hand out 88 just two years removed from Dez Bryant, but consider that the team gave out number 94 to Randy Gregory just one year after they moved on from DeMarcus Ware. In that sense this is the exact same thing.
Of course, where this is a little different is in that Dez has openly said he wants to play for the Cowboys again. After the team just drafted Lamb that definitely isn’t going to happen, but the whole thing does feel a little strange at the very least.
For what it’s worth, Lamb said that he wants to wear number 10 so maybe this will all end up not being a thing at all. Still though, if Jerry wants him to wear it, do you think he will?