Focusing On No. 99: 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, starting the countdown today with No. 99:

  • You can't start many lists in reference to memorable moments and not include Tony Dorsett's record-setting touchdown. So for an entire article devoted to the number 99, obviously Dorsett has to lead off. Dorsett's 99-yard touchdown run against the Vikings during the 1982 season finale is a play that will stand forever in the NFL record books, at least as a tie. For now, no other player has ever matched the feat, with Ahman Green's 98-yard run against Denver in 2003 coming the closest. The ironic part about Dorsett's touchdown run is that only 10 players were on the field for the Cowboys, who had a mishap in substitution. But Dorsett busted through the line anyway before darting to the right and sprinting the length of the field, getting a nice downfield block from Drew Pearson. The Cowboys lost that night to the Vikings, 31-27, but that game will always be remembered for that record-breaking run.
  • While Dorsett's run isn't the longest touchdown in Cowboys history, with eight other returns of 100 yards or more, it stands as the only 99-yard touchdown of any kind in franchise record books.
  • The last time the Cowboys have scored a touchdown on a 99-yard drive occurred in 2009 in a home game against the Chargers. The 11-play series was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown from Tony Romo to Miles Austin.
  • The first player to wear the No. 99 jersey for Dallas was Kevin Brooks, a first-round pick in 1985. In fact, for the first 25 seasons of Cowboys football, no player wore a jersey in the 90s. Finally, in 1985, the Cowboys allowed players to wear 90s numbers and Brooks was the first to snag 99.
  • The best player in franchise history to wear 99 is probably a healthy debate. Lately, Kenyon Coleman and Igor Olshansky have donned the number, but Chris Canty is likely the most accomplished player to wear the highest number possible. Canty played four seasons (2005-08) before signing with the Giants. He was a part of the Giants' Super Bowl XLVI team.
  • Currently, the 99 jersey has been issued to Brian Price, a three-year veteran defensive tackle signed to the roster back in January. [embedded_ad]
  • The '99 Draft wasn't exactly a memorable one for the Cowboys, who took Ebenzer Ekuban with the 20th overall pick. It was the second straight year the club drafted a North Carolina defensive end, after taking Greg Ellis in 1998. Other notable selections in '99 were Solomon Page, Dat Nguyen and Wane McGarity.
  • The '99 season was an interesting one for many reasons. The Cowboys were 7-1 at home, but just 1-7 on the road, finishing 8-8. The lone road win was one of the most exciting games in Cowboys history as they rallied from 21 down in the fourth quarter to force overtime against the Redskins on opening day. Rocket Ismail made a splash in his Cowboys debut, catching a game-winning touchdown from Troy Aikman to escape D.C. with a 41-35 overtime win.
  • The '99 season marks the only time in franchise history that the Cowboys made the playoffs without a winning record. It also marked the final season of Chan Gailey's short stint as head coach.
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