We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 30 and a historical player.
(Juanyeh Thomas is now #30, but he was used back at #40, his old jersey number)
CB Issiac Holt
Born: 4th October 1962 (60) - Birmingham, Alabama
College: Alcorn State Braves
Draft: 1985, Round 2, Pick 30, Minnesota Vikings
Punt Blocks: 7
Holt accepted a scholarship to play at Alcorn State and was named one of the teams starting cornerbacks straight away. He made 32 tackles, one fumble recovery and led the team with five interceptions. The next year he repeated as team leader with seven interceptions and did the same during his junior year.
In his senior season he completed an NCAA and school record finishing his career with 24 interceptions. He was also remembered for battling Jerry Rice during a grudge game against Mississippi Valley State. During the game, Holt managed to snag the ball and return his interception for a touchdown. Holt left college twice named second-team All-SWAC and in 1984 named first-team All-SWAC and All-American.
"The Godfather vs. The Gunslinger" features @ProFootballHOF member @JerryRice and @NFL Legend Issiac Holt as they relive the famous 1984 HBCU powerhouse matchup between @AlcornStateU and @MVSUDEVILS.— Troy Vincent, Sr. (@TroyVincentSr) February 24, 2023
Proud to be a part of this film pic.twitter.com/JkCX0wzRCc
Holt was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1985 NFL Draft and made 25 tackles and record an interception his first year. The next year he won a starting role and played all 16 games. He made 52 tackles and led the Vikings with eight interceptions (third-most in NFL).
The next season in 1987, he suffered a knee injury and played only half the season. He did however get a rematch with Jerry Rice. This time he kept the Hall of Fame receiver to just three receptions.
In 1989, he made a 90-yard interception that he took all the way to the endzone. Then during the famous “Herschel Walker Trade”, Holt was one of the 18 players that was used in the historical transaction. Holt didn’t start in his first season for Dallas, but the next year he was named as starting cornerback leading the team in interceptions and pass breakups.
In 1991, Holt again led the team in interceptions (4), pass breakups (21) and also made 53 tackles and blocked a punt. The next season he would make 30 tackles, two interceptions, one safety and one blocked punt. He would help the team win 13 regular season games to get into the playoffs. Then during the Super Bowl he registered a tackle and was part of the starting lineup that lifted the Lombardi Trophy for the third time in the team’s history.
The next year he became vocal about the team’s offseason training schedule and was quickly traded. This made him the final player to leave the team from the Herschel Trade.
Apart from posting a total of nine interceptions while at Dallas and being career leader in blocked punts (5), he will be remembered most for being part of a trade that helped acquire players like Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson and Russell Maryland.