Let's clear about one thing when it comes to jersey numbers for the Dallas Cowboys:
Not one of them are officially retired. That's just not something the organization has ever done and probably won't.
You won't find any list in the Cowboys' media guide that identifies jersey numbers that have been retired, regardless of the players, or player, that donned them.
However, don't think for a second the Cowboys aren't the least bit mindful in which numbers are getting issued each year, and which ones will probably never get handed out again.
This week, the jersey number dilemma was sparked by the expected announcement from the NFL that will allow more skill players – on both sides of the ball – to have expanded jersey numbers. If passed, players such as running backs, receivers and even linebackers and defensive backs could wear any number from 1-49. Receivers and tight ends would still get to wear numbers in the 80s as well.
That led to many players suggesting a few changes, including Jaylon Smith, who has shown interest in wearing No. 9, his college number at Notre Dame.
That number hasn't been given to any Cowboys player since Tony Romo retired at the end of the 2016 season.
Could Jaylon actually wear Romo's number? Is it even Romo's number still?
This week, longtime Cowboys equipment manager Mike McCord reiterated the team's stance of "unofficially retiring" jersey numbers in some special cases.
There are a few jersey numbers that will never get worn again – at least in the regular season. There are a handful of others that might get issued, but for players that play different positions. And then there are some special cases, for instance with No. 88, where the legacy of the number can be passed down, but only to those who join the team with those lofty expectations.
So we identified 14 Cowboys jersey numbers that won't exactly get passed around like Halloween candy – and some that might not get passed out at all.
The Cowboys do not retire jersey numbers – never have and probably never will. But that being said, here's a list of jersey numbers that don't get issued to just anyone.