What’s in the Number 88?

The Dallas Cowboys have a new young stud WR in town by the name of Cedarian “CeeDee” Lamb. He was drafted by the Cowboys with their 17th pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Jerry Jones immediately gave him the number 88. Throughout Dallas Cowboy history, the number 88 has been worn by some great and not so great players. Today we are only going to take a look at the players who played the Wide Receiver position and wore this number.

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For me the number 88 has significant meaning in the fact that it was the first jersey I ever owned. Granted it was from the flea market and wasn’t an “official” jersey, the product remains near and dear to me till this day. But for the Cowboys, the number has meant a lot more to their history. Without further adieu, let’s get started.

Sonny Randle – 1968

Yep, probably never heard of him I’m sure. If you are a true historian of the Cowboys then you know Sonny Randle is the first ever Wide Receiver to wear the number 88 for the Dallas Cowboys. His impact was minimal as he was on the team for less than one season.

Reggie Rucker (1970-1971)

Who was Reggie? Well, he was a slightly impact-full player during his time with the team. He made a few plays but had a short stint due to the Cowboys bringing in Lance Alworth.

Ron Sellers (1972)

Sellers teamed with Craig Morton to provide some impact to the Cowboys and even became a leading receiver. His time was cut short due to being traded.

Drew Pearson (1973-1983)

Here’s a name I’m sure you recognize. To young Cowboys fans he’s the old man who went at the Eagles a few years back during the NFL draft. For more seasoned fans he is the original 88. Not only a Super Bowl champion, Drew Pearson set the standard for what the number stands for today. He was the receiver during the legendary “Hail Mary” by Roger Staubach. Drew was a third of the first 3,000 yard combination of two 1,000 yard wide receivers and 1 1,000 yard running back in a season. A 3x Pro Bowler and first team All Pro. Pearson was an excellent receiver and set a high standard for the next 88.

Michael Irvin (1988-1999)

The gap is real based on the research I conducted. Nobody wore the number 88 from the time Drew Pearson retired till the Cowboys drafted the “Playmaker”. Michael Irvin pushed the standard to a far greater level at the Wide Receiver position for the Cowboys. He had 5 straight 1,000 yard seasons, finished with over 10,000 yards receiving, is a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and much much more. Oh, and did I forget that until Jason Witten broke his record, he was the all-time receiving yardage leader for the Cowboys. Yes he did have his off the field issues, but on the field he raised the bar for what wearing the number 88 meant for America’s Team.

Antonio Bryant (2002-2004)

From 2000-2001 Jackie Harris actually wore the number 88 but played Tight End. The next Wide Receiver up is Antonio Bryant. Jerry Jones felt that with Bryant becoming the first rookie Wide Receiver starter since Irvin, he should get the double 8’s. But boy was Jerry off on that one (he usually is). If you remember Bryant, the guy had talent but we didn’t know what to expect off the field. Unfortunately his character issues caught up to him, and although he had a few productive years in the league (neither of which were with the Cowboys), he was out and forgotten quickly.

Dez Bryant (2010-2017)

Certainly the best player since Michael to wear this number. Dez brought the flair, the excitement, and the drama that came with the double 8’s. He leads the team in all-time receiving touchdowns. Bryant posted 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons along with becoming a 3x Pro Bowler. It’s unfortunate he couldn’t last a few more years longer to even possibly elevate 88 status.

I hope that you enjoyed this article. If you look forward to representing our new 88, there is a link below for team apparel. Also, if you want to check out some more unheralded 88’s in team history like Colin Ridgway or Jackie Harris there is a link below for that as well. I’ve also shared what I used to find any gaps as well. Overall, I believe CeeDee is in a very ideal position to become a threat for the Cowboys. His development could be enhanced with Cooper and Gallup ahead of him.

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Sources: WFAA.com, Pro-Football Reference, DallasCowboys.com

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