The 88 Legacy Lineage of the Dallas Cowboys explained

Men Lie, Women Lie, But Numbers Don’t

First of all, if you came here looking for NFL Hall of Fame numbers you’re in the right place. During the month of February, our Facebook group wanted to create the “88 Legacy Lineage” of the Dallas Cowboys. Not only setting a trend for the “Other 31” to follow and learn from, but also understand them all by the numbers. As well as our delusional side of the Cowboy family, and the haters.

Why does the Dallas Cowboys have so many 88s? Research and networking matters. Our Facebook group boast’s over 17k diehard fans connected around the world. Instead of boring you with statistical numbers, we will highlight players to an extent. In addition, 3 fan experiences with a few of the #88s. To kind of be the glue that holds this “Built Different” concept together in our “New Normal” as NFL fans.


Dallas Cowboys 88 legacy lineage
How the Dallas Cowboys actually became known as America’s Team


The ‘Cookie Cutter” approach in business terms is intended to create growth by duplication. This legacy was created by celebrating the “Original 88” Drew Pearson’s recent news. Receiving word there’s a gold jacket waiting for him in Canton. Lastly my favorite Cowboys player of all time. Here’s my case scenario of how Jerry Jones understands the power of marketing with numbers. When it comes to a billion-dollar brand.

With two of the 88s actually golden now let’s take a look at the entire 88 Legacy Lineage portfolio of the Dallas Cowboys. You might be surprised that there are more than four. We are actually at twelve. In the words of Cowboys fan himself Sean Carter “Men Lie, Women Lie, But Numbers Don’t.”

The “Other 88” Bryant 2002

In no particular order on the cover photo let’s look at a rather not well-known Bryant who also wore the 88 for the Dallas Cowboys. Antonio Bryant born in Miami and played college for Pittsburgh may not be known by the newer generation of fans to date. Bryant was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round (63rd overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft, after dropping because of character concerns in hopes of replicating “The Playmakers” success.

He was given number 88 with the expectation of developing into a great player and was the first rookie wide receiver to start in a season opener since Michael Irvin. Although the expectation didn’t last long with Bryant. Especially when you throw your own jersey back at Bill Parcells. His off-the-field behavior going back to college was a movie all too familiar with Cowboys fans when it came to #88.

After the success of both Drew, and Michael respectively prior to Bryant’s arrival to America’s Team the Jones number strategy could not be duplicated a third time. Just yet. But before we get to the obvious let’s take a look at various other lesser-known #88s from America’s Team. It’s a seller’s market it seems.

88 legacy lineage Antonio Bryant
Antonio Bryant won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the best college wide receiver in America in 2000; he was the second sophomore to win the award (after Randy Moss).

Jerry Jones in a 1971 Seller’s market

There must be something in the Florida water when it comes to the #88? Meet Ron “Jingle Joints” Sellers born in Jacksonville, FL who is currently 74 years old. Sellers was selected by the Boston Patriots in the first round (6th overall) of the 1969 NFL Draft. A prime example of being ready when your number gets called.

In 1971, the team changed its name to the New England Patriots after relocating to Foxborough. During that season he missed four games due to injuries and lost his starting position. On July 13, 1972, he was traded to the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys. In 1972 he was a backup until the seventh game when he was promoted to replace “Bullet” Bob Hayes in the starting lineup.

Only playing 1 season with America’s Team it was obviously clear that a “Sellers Market” was in play. Maybe because of this small window in the Dallas Cowboys portfolio this lesser know 88 legacy lineage story must also be included for the record. The name “Jingle Joints” had me laughing. Maybe because he was 6’4 and only 200 lbs. Either way, he relocated to Miami and then faded out of the NFL picture altogether.


The fact Ron Sellers was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988 says it all when it comes to numbers. Photo Credit Screen Grab from Dallas Cowboys official site.

Jerry created a Little Lamb

As we jump ship from the past back into the future this next #88 has a unique story of its own. Especially when it comes to that duplication business thing mentioned earlier. Cedarian Lamb was drafted 17th in the first round of the first-ever virtual NFL draft in 2020. Mr. Jones actually made the historic call from his yacht, Bravo Eugenia. His new war room thanks to the pandemic.

Your phones in good hands thanks to this powerhouse University of Oklahoma product. Located in Norman, OK. He was born in Opelousas, Louisiana where his family in 2005 had to evacuate The Boot 4 H-town thanks to Hurricane Katrina. His 21.4 yards average per reception, was the most ever in a single-season by an OU player with at least 50 receptions. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award for best college football receiver.

88 legacy lineage
Even ESPN crowned him “the unofficial king of virtual drafting.”

This young #88 is beginning to write his story with America’s Team with the 88 legacy lineage. Initially, Cedarian had his sights set on another number altogether initially for the NFL. Then that duplication thing we talked about in business kicked in. Jones, though, wants Lamb to wear #88 for a WHOLE other reason.

“But then I recently lost a great friend. One of my very best, might have been my best. I played ball with him at Arkansas. He was number 88. His name was Jerry Lamb, he was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. We couldn’t have won a national championship without him. And he was a wonderful player.” via The Spun.

The X-Factor “Other Bryant”  2010

While residing in Moore, OK in 2011 I traveled an hour north on I-35 to Stillwater monthly.  My office was literally down the street from Boones Pickens Stadium where Dez Bryant played with the OSU Cowboys from 07-09. Born Desmond Demond Bryant in the year 1988 it was DEZtiny for this passionate player to suit up with America’s Team. Eventually retiring as a Cowboy. Well, hopefully.

On November 5, 2009, Bryant announced his intentions to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Currently the all-time leader in touchdown receptions for the Cowboys at 75. A remarkable number with the help from the beautiful mind of Tony Romo. The second Bryant and his passion & fire were also misunderstood on, and off the field. Similar to Antonio. Partially thanks to Amazon. You be the judge.

The Cowboys released Bryant on April 13, 2018, after eight seasons with the team. To get a clearer picture be sure to watch All or Nothing on Amazon. Watch the route the Cowboys ultimately send him on. His legacy with the Cowboys will forever be permanently inked into our minds. Every time you hear “Throw Up The X” you know what time it is.

West Coast Cowboy has been blogging the Cowboys with the BDG Network since 2016. During his travels, he has built relationships with players from the team. Experiencing the entire Bryant legacy from the “Dez Rules” to becoming the all-time touchdown leader. Creators like WC are who the BDG Network ultimately wants to connect with those “Other 31” teams. Similar to an X-Society.

88 legacy lineage, Dez Bryant, West Coast Cowboy, Dallas Cowboys, X Societyy
Meet “West Coast” the most traveled Cowboys fan base media influencer in the world Craig.

The Power “Playmaker” of the 88 legacy lineage

The beautiful thing about connecting with Cowboys fans on social media is the stories you learn in the process. Let’s take Julio Batres from Houston, TX for example. After following each other on social media we finally met at the home opener in 2020. Julio is a collector of all things Cowboys with Pro Shop experience for fun, and a True Blue Crew brand representative on Facebook around the clock.

Including him in this story was a no-brainer after he shared a picture in our group with 3 of the 88s. In addition, he shared a story about his daughter Lauren who was almost 2 years old when she first met Michael Irvin and collected his autograph. The “Playmaker” is his favorite all-time 88 and Cowboy.

Thanks to Julio’s power-play I learned more about the 88 legacy lineage to share with you. He’s been a member of OAT for over a year now. During our chat, he shared 7 additional 88’s. Including “Jingle Joints” up top. Talk about phoning a friend, right? Julio and his True Blue Crew page do things differently too.

Be sure to follow True Blue Crew on Facebook. He dedicates 2 hours daily to research and post’s 4 times daily. From Cowboy’s birthdays to how to attend the meet and greets with players. Old school creators still making power plays in these Facebook streets.

88 legacy lineage, Julio Batres, Dallas Cowboys, Michael Irvin
The Six Degrees of Star Separation among Dallas Cowboys fans.

Sonny Davis 1961

88 legacy lineage, Sonny Davis, Dallas Cowboys
Sonny Davis born in Corpus Christi went to Baylor University and was drafted 4th in the 1961 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. He played 2 games and disappeared from the NFL.

Colin Ridgway 1965

88 legacy lineage, Colin Ridgeway
Colin Ridgeway was an American football punter distinguished as being the first Australian to play in the NFL. He was discovered by the Dallas Cowboys and signed as an undrafted free agent to their 1965 team. He was murdered in his home on May 13, 1993; he was 56. The crime remains unsolved.

Sonny Randle 1968

88 legacy lineage, Sonny Randle
On October 16, 1968, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys for depth purposes. He appeared in 6 games as a reserve and had one reception for 12 yards. On July 16, 1969, he was traded to the Washington Redskins.

Reggie Rucker 1969

Rucker was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 1969 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he spent the season in the taxi squad until being activated for the Playoff Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams.

Jackie Harris 00-01

88 legacy lineage, Jackie Davis
Harris signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent on March 17, 2000. He was given Michael Irvin’s old number #88. After completing two years of a four-year contract, Harris was released by the team on February 28, 2002, to “create salary cap room”, effectively ending his NFL career.

Brett Pierce 2004

On October 3, 2004, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys from the Ravens practice squad. On July 30, 2006, during a training camp practice, he tore again the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was placed on injured reserve. He was not resigned due to injury.

When life throws an orange at you catch a “Hail Mary”

Once I discovered the many 88s of the Dallas Cowboys I knew this would become a topic for discussion. To put it in context I will share my thoughts on what it really means to be “The Original 88” even though Pearson was not the first to actually wear it. Once I began putting this story together it donned on me this would become a thing for Cowboys fans. Oh, and those haters.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Drew Pearson (@drewpearson88)

Despite being the 6th player according to my research to wear the #88. Undrafted. What does it really mean to be “The Original 88” who did it his way like Frank Sinatra? Baseball was his first love and why he ultimately chose Tulsa to play 2 college sports. Simply put, he pioneered this number into relevance for the Dallas Cowboys. Especially thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles. Duplication now begins.

In addition, Mr. Clutch answered the call of putting a “Ring” on it for fans’ mobile phones. Oh, and he did that thing called the “Hail Mary” catch thrown from Captain America who’s a Navy veteran. The true definition of ‘Boots on Ground” with fans. Will it ever be the same?

88 legacy lineage, Drew Pearson, Sherri Montano
Sherri Montano and Drew Pearson at Dave and Busters in November 2015. Stay tuned in March as we highlight Women’s History Month. Real women love football. Smart women love the Cowboys.
Wrapping up the 88 legacy lineage

Since 2016 I’ve seen with my own eyes Pearson mingle with fans like Sherri at events.  His “Boots On Ground” mentality in my mind is what sets him apart from the rest. For Sherri though, it was truly his-torical. Both she and her husband DJ Kai of One Star One Family had a golden opportunity to meet Pearson. It was 2015 in Arlington for her first-ever game at AT&T Stadium. At a Drew Pearson Live event!

The inside story is Pearson encourages Sherri to put his ring on. Not the middle finger, and show him the ring! While Kai was taking the shot. Let’s just say Pearson’s candid spirit and way with people is effective. Just ask the Eagles fan base at the 2017 NFL Draft. This was her and husband Kai’s first game at AT&T Stadium. Many Cowboys fans know his-story.  Kiss the ring haters.

NFL off-season, 88 legacy lineage
WTF is an NFL “Off-Season” anyway?

Join us all in Canton this fall to witness not only Drew, but Jimmy Johnson enter the Pro Football HOF. Cowboys fans around the nation are planning despite all the uncertainty in the world. We’re optimistic, not delusional. There are quite a few listicles on Google about the 88’s, but you see how this one is built, it’s different.

Let’s recap the chronological order of the Cowboys 88 legacy lineage for creators like Boss Cowboy who literally does numbers. Sonny Davis, Colin Ridgway, Sonny Randle, Reggie Rucker, Ron Sellers, Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin, Jackie Harris, Antonio Bryant, Brett Pierce, Dez Bryant, and currently CD Lamb. Did we miss anyone?

There are 3 types of Cowboys fans in the world. Which one are you? Learn how you can help the BDG Network create more content like this for Cowboys fans who don’t believe in this thing called an NFL “Off-Season.” We’re built differently here.

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Cowboys Unifier

Barry Gipson AKA "Cowboys Unifier" is just a Blue-Sky thinker on a mission to connect America*s Team, and it's fan base globally with the first ever Cowboys fan website "Built By Fans For Fans!" OAT- Official America*s Team!

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