I spent a recent evening, as I inexplicably often do, watching some old games of the Campo era Cowboys.
This particular night it was Cowboys @ Redskins, Week 3, 2000.
Under center for the Cowboys was longtime Eagle and Viking great Randall Cunningham. Upon seeing him in the silver and blue, I instantly remembered that he did indeed play for America’s Team for a short stint. However, previous to cutting on that 20-year-old game, I had forgotten entirely.
Thousands of players have worn the Cowboy uniform in the team’s 60-year history. I attempted to jog my own memory, digging up some Cowboys that most fans have surely forgotten ever played for the franchise.
Do you remember any of these guys?
DB Dick Nolan // 1962
Dick Nolan played just one season for the Cowboys, starting 11 games in 1962. Drafted 41st overall by the New York Giants, Nolan was traded to the Cowboys in a three-way deal also involving the Green Bay Packers in 1962.
Nolan closed out his career as a player in 1962 and remained with the Cowboys as an assistant coach for 6 seasons after. In 1968 he was named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, a position he would hold until 1975. He would become a head coach once again with the New Orleans Saints (1978-1980.)
What makes Nolan particularly significant today is that as you may have guessed, he was the father of current Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Dick Nolan passed on in 2007 at the age of 75.
G Jake Kupp // 1964-1965
Fox color commentator and Hall of Fame Cowboys QB Troy Aikman almost mockingly resurrected the name Craig Kupp during an LA Rams game last October. Upon being informed that LA Rams WR Cooper Kupp was the son of Craig Kupp, Aikman let the world know that he had “forgotten” that Craig had been his backup in Dallas in 1991.
Well, Granddaddy (Jake) Kupp was also a Cowboy, a guard, who made the All-Rookie team in 1964. Kupp left the Cowboys after the 1965 season and bounced around a few years before finding a home in New Orleans. Kupp made the Pro Bowl in 1969 and was a three-time team captain. Kupp was also named to the Saints 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
WR Lance Alworth // 1971-1972
We all remember Hall of Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth for his glory as a San Diego Charger. What is easy to forget is that Alworth wrote his final chapters in Dallas. Alworth played his 10th and 11th NFL seasons with the Cowboys, amassing a pedestrian 49 receptions and 682 yards with the team.
Past his prime, Alworth was able to place the cherry on top of his career, winning Super Bowl VI as a member of the Cowboys, and recording a TD reception in the victory.
WR Ron Sellers // 1972
Adjusting for the era, Ron Sellers was probably the greatest Florida State Seminole of All-Time, and one of the greatest wideouts in college football history. Sellers, a two-time All American, had a clean sweep of the FSU receiving record books until Rashad Greene finally chased him down, playing with the advantage of a much more wide-open game in 2014.
Sellers never quite lived up to his college pedigree, Sellers finished his six-year NFL career with just 112 receptions for 2,184 yards and 18 TDs. Nonetheless, rocking the storied #88 jersey one season before Drew Pearson arrived, Sellers hauled in 31 catches for 653 yards and 5 TDs as a Dallas Cowboys in 1972.
QB Glen Carano // 1978-1983
As a reserve QB, Glen Carano made just one start and attempted just 57 passes in his time with the Cowboys. The hope of each parent is that they live to see their child best their own accomplishments, and Carano’s famous child gives him significance on this list of likely forgotten Cowboys.
Glen’s daughter Gina Carano, as many fight fans may remember really got the ball rolling in the popularization of women’s mixed martial arts. Carano never fought under the UFC umbrella, but in the late 2000s, her perfect combination of beauty and brutal skill really brought eyes to women’s MMA for the first time. Gina’s last fight, her 2009 TKO loss to Brazilian legend Cris Cyborg is still one of the most-watched matches of all time, any gender.
Since walking away from the fight game, Gina has transitioned into the world of action films, appearing in such titles as ‘Deadpool 2,’ ‘The Mandolorian,’ and multiple installments of the ‘Fast & the Furious’ franchise.
WR Harold Carmichael // 1984
Okay, who remembers this? Harold Carmichael is one of the most recognizable players of all time, if for nothing else, for his extremely long 6’8″ frame. Carmichael played 13 seasons for the rival Philadelphia Eagles, making four Pro Bowls and still is an all-time Eagle great.
I’m certain that very few people remember this, but after nearly a decade and a half of terrorizing Dallas with his jump ball prowess, Harold Carmichael joined the Cowboys in 1984. At age 35, the Carmichael project only lasted two games. Carmichael only recorded a single reception, a 7 yarder for the Cowboys. However, the record will forever state that Eagles‘ great Harold Carmichael made his last NFL reception wearing silver and blue.
OL Brian Baldinger // 1982-1987
Who doesn’t love “Baldy?” The NFL Network analyst just gives off a laid back, football-loving vibe that makes you wish he was your uncle. Baldy is especially fun on Twitter, just kicking back with a beverage, breaking down the mechanics of some of his favorite plays each week. Unbeknownst to myself, and I’m sure many others, Brian Baldinger appeared in 55 games (4 starts) along the Cowboys offensive line in the mid-’80s.
Always knew he was an extremely enjoyable broadcaster and analyst, but never knew that he blocked for Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker in Dallas.
LB Randy Shannon // 1989-1990
Randy Shannon is a legend in Miami. A prominent member of the glorious, bad-boy Miami Hurricane teams of the 1980s, Randy Shannon also eventually became the school’s first-ever African American head coach in 2006. Shannon also coached at the NFL level as LB coach of the Miami Dolphins and served shortly as interim coach at the University of Florida on the heels of the school’s firing of Jim McElwain in 2017.
Shannon’s only experience as an NFL player came with the Cowboys. Shannon appeared in 17 games as a reserve LB and special teams player in 1989 and 1990.
WR Jimmy Smith // 1992
What a wild story, and what a “what if” for Jimmy Smith and the Cowboys. The Cowboys selected Jackson State University WR Jimmy Smith with the 36th overall selection. A broken leg in Smith’s inaugural training camp threw a wrench into his season, as Smith was unable to get onto the field until late October, appearing in just 7 games and making zero receptions on the season.
In 1993, Smith was tearing up the preseason, only to be taken down by appendicitis. Smith’s appendicitis leads to an appendectomy. Smith’s appendectomy leads to post-surgical infections, multiple subsequent surgeries, and the complete loss of his 1993 season. Smith and Dallas had a messy divorce, centered around injury settlement arbitration, and the young WR tried to catch on with Philadelphia in 1994. The Eagles released Smith in the final cut-down after just 41 days with the team. He did not play a down in 1994.
Finally, in 1995 Smith signed with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, and finally began to embark on the career path he was always supposed to have. By 1996, Smith was Jacksonville’s leading wideout. He would go on to post nine 1,000 yard seasons and finished his career with 862 receptions for 12,287 yards and 67 TD.
RB Eddie George // 2004
Former Heisman Trophy winner and 10,000-yard rusher Eddie George is an all-timer for the Oilers/Titans franchise. The bruising workhorse eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark 7 times in his 8 seasons in Houston/Tennessee and played in the franchise’s only ever Super Bowl appearance. As head coach Jeff Fisher began to reboot the organization, big-name stars like Steve McNair, Samari Rolle, and Eddie George were shown the door.
Well, known lover of workhorse runners, then Cowboys HC Bill Parcells signed George and looked to work him in tandem with rookie runner Julius Jones. Jones was hurt early in the year, leaving George to tote the mail, and the veteran was no longer up for the task. George carried the ball 132 times for just 432 yards (3.27 per attempt) on the season. Jones returned in Week 10, and George saw just 10 carries the rest of the year.
S Andrew Sendejo // 2010
Only a decade ago, and not a major star, but I still can’t help but wonder what the Cowboys didn’t see to make them want to keep Andrew Sendejo around after signing him as a UDFA, and seeing him appear in 2 games in 2010. Sendejo was brought back for training camp in 2011 and was unable to beat out any of the 6 safeties (Alan Ball, Gerald Sensabaugh, Danny McCray, Mike Hamlin, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, and Barry Church) the Cowboys kept on the 53 that season.
Sendejo latched on with Minnesota and started 60 games for them between 2013 and 2018 as a more than a serviceable starter. Given Dallas’ history at the safety position, Sendejo could have had a lot of success in a Cowboys uniform, considering the team hasn’t found two good players at once at the position in almost two decades.
Tell me, what forgotten Cowboys did we forget?
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