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Fireworks on The Fourth: Ultimate Cowboys' Fantasy Roster

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Fireworks on The Fourth: Ultimate Cowboys' Fantasy Roster

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CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 21: A helmet of the Dallas Cowboys during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Meat on the grill? Check.

Bikinis by the pool? Check.

Cold beverages in the ice chest? Check.

Fireworks in the night sky? Check.

All we need is a good debate. Because, especially on the Fourth of July, what’s more American than a good ol’ sports argument between friends?

So here’s my holiday gift: The Ultimate Cowboys’ Fantasy Roster, from uniform numbers 1-99.

It ain’t perfect, but it’s mine. Yours will likely have a tweak or two, or perhaps even a complete overhaul.

I grew up with Drew Pearson, covered Michael Irvin and have the highest hopes for Dez Bryant. Sorry, for all his potential and flashes of brilliance the youngest 88 just doesn’t compare. Yet.

The Cowboys revere uniform numbers, but they don't retire them. Should they? You don't see No. 8 or 12 or 74 running around at training camp, so why is 88 so readily given out? Even Antonio Bryant got a chance to scar the number.

Drew will always be 88 to me (Hail Mary anyone?), but I concede that for a generation it's Irvin.

But does No. 22 belong to the NFL's all-time leading rusher (Emmitt Smith) or a Hall-of-Fame receiver (Bob Hayes)? Is No. 54 a Super Bowl MVP (Chuck Howley), or a Super Bowl co-MVP (Randy White)? Does No. 80 conjure up images of a complimentary Super Bowl receiver in the '70s (Tony Hill) or '90s (Alvin Harper)?

There's really only one number above debate. Only one player has ever worn No. 74 – Bob Lilly.

Some new Cowboys - Henry Melton at No. 69 and George Selvie at No. 99 - own those jerseys by default. DeMarco Murray (29) has done enough to supplant Kenny Gant, and the same with Dan Bailey over Clint Stoerner at No. 5. Sean Lee can't stay healthy enough to challenge D.D. Lewis for No. 50.

It's far from a settled, undisputed roster, so let the fireworks commence. Which Cowboy owns what uniform number?

1. Rafael Septien

2. Anthony Wright

3. Eddie Murray

4. Mike Saxon

5. Dan Bailey

6. Nick Folk

7. Steve Beuerlein

8. Troy Aikman

9. Tony Romo

10. Ron Widby

11. Danny White

12. Roger Staubach

13. Jerry Rhome

14. Craig Morton

15. Toni Fritsch

16. Steve Pelluer

17. Don Meredith

18. Chris Boniol

19. Clint Longley

20. Mel Renfro

21. Deion Sanders

22. Emmitt Smith

23. Dwayne Goodrich

24. Everson Walls

25. Rod Hill

26. Kevin Smith

27. Thomas Everett

28. Darren Woodson

29. DeMarco Murray

30. Dan Reeves

31. Roy Williams

32. Walt Garrison

33. Tony Dorsett

34. Cornell Green

35. Calvin Hill

36. Larry Brinson

37. James Washington

38. Ron Francis

39. Brandon Carr

40. Bill Bates

41. Charlie Waters

42. Randy Hughes

43. Don Perkins

44. Robert Newhouse

45. Manny Hendrix

46. Mark Washington

47. Dextor Clinkscale

48. Daryl Johnston

49. Brett Pierce

50. D.D. Lewis

51. Ken Norton

52. Dave Edwards

53. Mark Stepnoski

54. Randy White

55. Lee Roy Jordan

56. Thomas Henderson

57. Bruce Huther

58. Mike Hegman

59. Darrin Smith

60. Don Smerek

61. Nate Newton

62. John Fitzgerald

63. Larry Cole

64. Tom Rafferty

65. Andre Gurode

66. George Andrie

67. Russell Maryland

68. Herb Scott

69. Henry Melton

70. Rayfield Wright

71. Mark Tuinei

72. Ed Jones

73. Larry Allen

74. Bob Lilly

75. Jethro Pugh

76. Flozell Adams

77. Tyron Smith

78. Leon Lett

79. Harvey Martin

80. Tony Hill

81. Terrell Owens

82. Jason Witten

83. Kelvin Martin

84. Jay Novacek

85. Kevin Williams

86. Butch Johnson

87. Jay Saldi

88. Michael Irvin

89. Billy Joe Dupree

90. Jay Ratliff

91. Matt Vanderbeek

92. Tony Tolbert

93. Anthony Spencer

94. Charles Haley

95. Chad Hennings

96. Marcus Spears

97. La'Roi Glover

98. Greg Ellis

99. George Selvie

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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