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Focusing On No. 93: Counting Down Days To Training Camp
IRVING, Texas – While the focus remains heavily on the draft and free agency, it won’t be too long before the Cowboys report to training camp in Oxnard, Calif.
While schedules are always subject to change, the Cowboys are tentatively scheduled to report to California on July 19 with a first practice set for July 21.
It’ll be a longer camp and preseason this year with the Cowboys playing five exhibition games, including the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. That pushes up the start date to camp, meaning the pads will be coming on before too long.
So as we count down the days to camp, let’s take a light-hearted look at the significance of each number as we stroll through the years of Cowboys football.
Let’s start the countdown, taking a closer look at the number 93:
- The current player wearing No. 93 is arguably the best player to wear the jersey. Anthony Spencer is coming off a Pro Bowl season and has been designated the Franchise Tag for the last two year. Kenyon Coleman wore 93 in his first stint with the club.
- What a season the Cowboys had in ’93, winning their second straight Super Bowl against the Bills. Lots of storylines that year but the biggest involved Emmitt Smith, who started out with a heated contract negotiation that spilled over into the first two games. The Cowboys lost them both, including a home defeat to Buffalo. Smith was signed the next week and eventually led the Cowboys to a glorious season, rushing for 1,486 yards. He also caught 57 passes for 414 yards and scored 10 total touchdowns to earn NFL MVP honors. His biggest moment that year actually occurred in the calendar year of 1994 when he played with a shoulder injury and willed himself and his team past the Giants to win the NFC East in the season finale.
- Another strange occurrence in the ’93 season took place on Thanksgiving Day against the Dolphins. An ice storm in Texas is odd enough, especially in November. But this day, ice and snow covered the entire field and made the playing conditions a major factor from start to finish. The memorable play took place in the final seconds when Leon Lett unnecessarily attempted to cover a blocked field goal that seemingly won the game for the Cowboys. But Lett slipped and kicked the ball forward, which made it live again and the Dolphins recovered just short of the goal line. There was enough time remaining on the clock to kick another field goal, giving Miami an improbable 16-14 win. However, the Cowboys never lost another game that year, and it was the last loss for head coach Jimmy Johnson with the Cowboys.
- The 1993 season saw a then-club record 11 Pro Bowlers, including seven starters on offense. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Nate Newton, Jay Novacek, Michael Irvin, Mark Stepnoski and Erik Williams took the opening series for the NFC squad. Daryl Johnston was also a Pro Bowler that year, along with Thomas Everett, Russell Maryland and Ken Norton Jr.
- Wearing No. 14, rookie wide receiver Miles Austin became the first player in Cowboys history to return a kickoff for a touchdown in the playoffs. Austin’s 93-yard return against Seattle in the 2006 season made history. He later changed numbers to No. 19 – but his 93-yard score remains the only kick return for a score in the playoffs.
- The third-longest punt return in Cowboys history occurred in 2010 when rookie Dez Bryant returned a punt 93 yards against the Giants for a touchdown. It was the first of three touchdowns Bryant scored in a losing effort.
- In a 24-21 win over the Chargers in 1986, the Cowboys were sacked 11 times for a club-record 93 yards of sack yardage, but still managed the win.