During the NFL’s annual meeting in Arizona, a new rule change for next season caused buzz across the league and around the Dallas Cowboys. The owners approved the proposal allowing players to wear No. 0.
The amended rule allows quarterbacks to choose from numbers 0-19; defensive backs 0-49; fullbacks, tight ends, halfbacks and wide receivers 0-49 and 80-89; linebackers 0-59 and 90-99. Offensive linemen remain relegated to 50-79, while defensive linemen can wear 50-79 and 90-99.
The amended rule also expands the numbers punters and placekickers can wear to 0-49 and 90-99, where they were previously allowed to wear 1-19.
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley of the Jacksonville Jaguars was the first active player to decide he would be No. 0 for the 2023 season. Other players have since come out and announced they would do the same.
As soon as the rule change was announced, the fight for No. 0 in Dallas was on, specifically between linebacker Micah Parsons and Jayron Kearse.
After Kearse indicated he would be wearing zero on his Instagram page, it looks like he will be the first Dallas Cowboy in team history to wear the number.
Before the 2021 season, it became possible for other players at certain positions to wear numbers in the single digits. Specifically for the Cowboys, former linebacker Jaylon Smith changed from No. 54 to No. 9.
The catch was if Smith wanted to change his number, he needed to buy out all of the existing inventory of his apparel with No. 54 on it. The buyout was somewhere in the “mid-six-figure” range.
Since coming to Dallas, Kearse has always worn No. 27. Now that he is switching to zero, it’ll be interesting to see how much it’ll cost him to make the switch. The cost alone could be why Parsons lost the race to zero, considering his jersey sold the second most in the NFL last season.