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.
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, continuing today with No. 86.
- The best Cowboys player to sport No. 86 would be longtime wide receiver Butch Johnson. The Cal product spent eight seasons with Dallas, and although he never cracked the starting lineup, he was a valuable option for the Cowboys' offense. Johnson finished his time in Dallas with 2,124 yards and 19 touchdowns. Most notable among those scores was his fabulous 45-yard touchdown catch during the Super Bowl XII victory.
- Johnson is also one of just two players to score a touchdown in two consecutive Super Bowls. He made a touchdown catch the next year in the loss to Pittsburgh.
- The Cowboys recorded the longest play in NFL playoff history at 86 yards in 1967. On Christmas Eve, Don Meredith returned from injury and helped Dallas destroy Cleveland in the playoffs. His 86-yard touchdown pass to Bob Hayes after a Browns' turnover put Dallas up 21-0 in a 52-14 rout.
- The win against Cleveland sent Dallas to the infamous Ice Bowl, where they would lose the NFL championship to Green Bay in arctic conditions.
- The 1986 season was a forgettable one for Dallas. The Cowboys missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record. Perhaps the highlight of the year happened as early as Week 1, when Dallas knocked off the division rival New York Giants, 31-28, to open the season. The Giants would finish the campaign 14-2 and win the Super Bowl.
- No part of the calendar year of 1986 was kind to the Cowboys. Dallas' lone playoff game following the 1985 season, in January of 1986, was a 20-0 shutout loss to Los Angeles. [embedded_ad]
- The Cowboys would see solid production from their duo of running backs, Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker, in what would be Dorsett's second-to-last season with the team. Both players rushed for more than 700 yards, and they combined for 17 rushing touchdowns.
- The Cowboys have only ever drafted one player 86th – they took West Virginia wide receiver Bob Dunlevy No. 86 overall in the 1966 NFL Draft. He spent two seasons with the team.