Lamb to Join the Famed Cowboys No. 88 Club

David Fernandez
A freelance writer with more than 10 years experience, David is based in sunny Miami, FL. He holds a master's degree in English and Creative Writing, and teaches Journalism. As a freelance writer, David concentrates on sports, health, education and entertainment.
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Cowboys No. 88 Club

Dallas first-round draft pick WR CeeDee Lamb will be wearing the famed Cowboys No. 88 when he takes the field in Big D. Although Lamb expressed a desire to wear the No. 10 as a pro, but he was given the number from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who was adamant that his team’s newest star don the 88. 

Lamb will be the 11th member of the franchise to wear No. 88, and first since WR Dez Bryant’s final season with the club in 2017.

Dallas Doesn’t Retire Jerseys

Longtime Dallas Cowboys public relations director Rich Dalrymple explained in an interview with the Fort Worth Star Telegram that the Cowboys are one of the few teams in professional sports that doesn’t “retire” jerseys. They elect, instead, to have a Ring of Honor and to have some numbers pulled from circulation.

“Hence, you wound up with great players sharing great numbers that crossed over into different eras; 54 was Chuck Howley and Randy White; 88 was Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin; 22 was Bob Hayes and Emmitt Smith; 94 was Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware. The numbers that you don’t see any more are 8, 12, 22 and 74.”

Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Emmitt Smith and Bob Lilly no longer see their jersey numbers given to new Cowboys, but 88 is still amongst those distributed.

“The reason that you continued to see 88 in circulation through the years is because of jersey number restrictions,” Dalrymple explained. The team carried too many tight ends and receivers, so the number remained available.

The first player to ever wear the number for Dallas was a linebacker, Sonny Davis, in 1961. A punter, Colin Ridgway, took the number in 1965. From there, 88 became the exclusive rights to pass-catchers.

Sonny Randle was the first WR to wear the number (1968), then it went to Reggie Rucker (1970-1971) and Ron Sellers (1972). Those three players combined to catch 42 passes for 884 yards and seven touchdowns over four seasons.

Then, the number passed to Drew Pearson.

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Cowboys No. 88 Club

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