(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Henry Melton
Okay, we can fret over new Cowboy Henry Melton’s knee or spend all deciphering his contract or … we can simply predict that he’ll be the best player in the history of the franchise.
To wear No. 69, that is.
Melton, who signed an incentive-laden, one-year deal and will be counted on as the anchor to Dallas’ re-built defensive line in the wake of losing DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher in free agency, will keep the No. 69 he wore with the Bears. That’s news, only because the history of the number is about as lousy as it gets with America’s Team.
To be the best Cowboy to ever wear No. 69, Melton has to be better than … George Hegamin?
For a storied 55-year-old franchise that gave us No. 22s like Emmitt Smith and Bob Hayes and 88s such as Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant, No. 69 may be the most underwhelming jersey number of all. Melton will be only the sixth player to wear 69 and the first since the very forgettable Duke Preston in 2009.
The legacy of 69: Preston, Jason Fabini (2006), Ross Tucker (2002), Ben Fricke (2001) and Hegamin, who was a third-round draft pick in 1994 that won a Super Bowl ring in Dallas but made only nine starts in the 1997 season.
So, see, if Melton isn’t the best No. 69 in Cowboys’ history then this free-agent season will be an absolute disaster. The bar is set that low.
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 writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.