IRVING, Texas – When the Cowboys drafted pass-rushing specialist Randy Gregory two Fridays ago in the second round, it wasn't too long before he was given the No. 94.
Currently, the Cowboys have one player in the Ring of Honor that wore that number, but rest assured, it won't be long before another is placed up there after he retires.
Obviously, the Cowboys aren't asking Gregory to be the next Charles Haley or DeMarcus Ware, but giving him the number at least suggests they are expecting big things from the former Nebraska standout.
"I know there are some good players that wore it," Gregory said after his first practice at the rookie minicamp last weekend. "Everyone is expecting big things. I'm going to do the best I can and put the best product on the field. It's just another number. I didn't choose it. They gave it to me. I'm going to do what I can with it."
When asked if feels like he has to carry on the legacy of Haley and Ware, Gregory didn't want to take it that far.
"That just adds more pressure to it. I'm my own player. I think I'm unique," Gregory said. "I'm going to try to make a name for myself. But I'm definitely going to embrace it. I'm not going to run from it. I took it as an honor, and a challenge. I know that's what Coach (Rod) Marinelli is about, Coach (Jason) Garrett is about, Mr. (Jerry) Jones is about – it's about challenging me and that's what I wanted them to do."
Picked by the Cowboys at No. 60, Gregory was able to meet up with Haley on that Friday night in Chicago. Haley was in attendance to announce the 49ers' draft pick in the second round. But his connection with the Cowboys and Jones immediately gave them a common link. Gregory and Haley talked for a while that night, and then again this weekend at Valley Ranch.
"He's a good guy. He's already talking some trash to me," Gregory said of Haley. "But he expects big things from me by wearing that number. He obviously doesn't want anyone coming in here to mess up that legacy. I'm not here to do that. I'm here to by my own player and make my own plays and try to help the team anyway I can."
Haley, the only player in NFL history with five Super Bowl rings, will be officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. He was placed into the Ring of Honor at AT&T Stadium in 2012.
Ware, the Cowboys' all-time leader in sacks (117.0), made seven Pro Bowls with the Cowboys, and made his eighth trip last season as a member of the Broncos, donning the No. 94, of course.