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Focusing On No. 98: Counting Down Days To Training Camp


While the focus remains heavy on the draft and free agency, it won't be too long before the Cowboys report to training camp in Oxnard, Calif.

With the team playing five exhibition outings, including the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, it'll be an extended camp and preseason this year, meaning the pads will be coming on soon enough.

So as we mark off the days until camp, let's take a light-hearted look at the significance of each number with a stroll through the years of Cowboys football, continuing the countdown today with No. 98:

  • The best player to wear jersey No. 98 would have to go to Greg Ellis, who put together a strong career in Dallas between 1998 and 2008. Ellis totaled 377 tackles, 77 sacks, 20 forced fumbles and four interceptions while starting 155 of 162 games during his Dallas career. Those are pretty respectable numbers for a first round draft pick, though they come with a caveat.
  • The current player wearing No. 98 is Tyrone Crawford, a third-round pick from Boise State in 2012. Crawford wore No. 70 last year but switched in the offseason.
  • Fitting that No. 98 would be taken in the 1998 NFL Draft, though Cowboys fans will always remember that Dallas selected Ellis in favor of Marshall wide receiver Randy Moss. Moss and his eventual team, the Minnesota Vikings, would go on to torch Dallas in the playoffs. And, of course, Moss had a pretty decent career in his own right.
  • The '98 draft did include a rather solid second-round pick as the Cowboys grabbed Flozell Adams with the 38th overall selection. Adams went to five Pro Bowls in his career.
  • When looking at the longest plays in club history, it's pretty freaky how often Greg Ellis shows up in this particular category. During his second year in the league, the big man recorded the longest fumble return in Cowboys history – a 98-yarder for a score against Arizona. The longest punt return in team record books was also a 98-yarder, coming from running back Dennis Morgan way back in 1974 in what would be Morgan's first and only season with the Cowboys. [embedded_ad]
  • It wasn't the longest kick return in Dallas history, but it was certainly scintillating. With a 98-yard kickoff return in his second pro game, Felix Jones gave Cowboys fans a mouth-watering glimpse of his potential when he blew through a crowd of tacklers, dodged the kicker and outran a Philadelphia tackler on the way to paydirt in a Week 2 home win against the Eagles.
  • The 1998 season was significant in many ways for the Cowboys, though not all in a positive fashion. In his first of two seasons as head coach, Chan Gailey won the NFC East crown and the Cowboys became the first team to sweep the division, 8-0. Unfortunately, 1998 would be the first of two times during the decade that the Cowboys would reach the playoffs and fail to win a game. Arizona stunned the division champs as road underdogs during the wild card round after losing two regular season matchups to the Cowboys. Injuries certainly played a factor as Deion Sanders missed the final six games of the regular season with a toe injury sustained against the Cardinals. He had recorded five picks through 10 games to that point. Quarterback Troy Aikman also missed five contests after going down in Week 2 against Denver, setting the stage for current head coach Jason Garrett to take the reigns. Garrett managed a 3-2 record in place of Aikman.
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