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Offseason | 2024

Cowboys assign numbers to Conley, Harvey Jr.


FRISCO, Texas — Hoping to continue their current streak of resounding success with spring league football talent, and still in need of addressing some position depth heading into training camp, the Dallas Cowboys signed linebacker Willie Harvey Jr. and cornerback Gareon Conley to compete in Oxnard.

Conley, a former first-round pick of the Raiders in 2017, entered the NFL on the heels of winning a national championship at Ohio State and earning honors as a Second-Team All-Big Ten talent.

Harvey's path to this point has been a bit different, an undrafted free agent of the Cleveland Browns in 2019 who, like Conley, took this talents to the eventual UFL with the hopes of catching the eye of one of the 32 NFL clubs.

It worked for both of them, and as the ink dries and they begin preparing to head to Oxnard in late July, they've been formally assigned their jersey numbers in Dallas.

  • Willie Harvey, Jr. - 55
  • Gareon Conley - 43

Both have something to play up to when wearing those jerseys.

For Harvey, it's about making sure his level of play is comparable or better than the previous owner, and that's former first-round pick and Pro Bowl linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. Having suffered another neck injury in 2023 that forced him into retirement this offseason, LVE was easily one of the better linebackers in recent memory for the Cowboys, when healthy, his career arc eerily reminiscent of his predecessor, Sean Lee.

Harvey enters the Cowboys' roster at a position of need, so there will be opportunities for him to show what he can do over the next two months.

The same applies for Conley, though there's a bit more pressure massaged into his jersey number, considering it once belonged to legendary defensive back Cliff Harris — a Hall of Famer, six-time All-Pro, six-time Pro Bowler, member of the 1970s NFL All-Decade Team and a two-time Super Bowl champion who also resides in the coveted Cowboys' Ring of Honor.

And then there's the originator, Don Perkins, who himself owns a laundry list of accolades in a Cowboys' uniform, and who is also inducted into the Ring of Honor.

Again, there's a smidge more pressure there for Conley.

He enters a cornerbacks' room owned by DaRon Bland and the returning Trevon Diggs, alongside Jourdan Lewis, and will battle it out with others like rookie Caelen Carson and second-year talent Eric Scott to try and dig his heels into the NFL this time around.

Let the games begin.

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