It’s not unusual for Dallas Cowboys fans to disagree with each other. In fact, it might be the norm for such a passionate fan base. However, this time around, it’s an uncommon debate. Instead of your usual Tony Romo vs Dak Prescott talk, for instance, it’s one that’s all about jersey numbers, Jaylon Smith, and Romo.
As you might know by now, the Kansas City Chiefs proposed to loosen the NFL’s restrictions on jersey numbers for each position. For example, linebackers, wide receivers, and defensive backs aren’t allowed to wear single-digit jerseys. If the proposal is approved, that would change.
The rule is expected to pass, according to Peter King’s Football Morning in America column. If it does, here are the number ranges that’d be allowed per position:
- QB, punter, kicker: 1-19.
- RB, TE, WR: 1-49, 80-89.
- DB: 1-49.
- LB: 1-59, 90-99.
- OL: 50-79.
- DL: 50-79, 90-99
If it passes, there would be a lot of NFL players interested in changing their numbers. For the Dallas Cowboys, the most interesting one would be Jaylon Smith. Already, Smith has taken to social media to suggest he’d like to take #9.
Here’s where the controversy starts among Cowboys fans. Some hate the idea of Jaylon Smith wearing #9 and some simply either don’t care or would like him to do it. And I dare say such controversy is due mainly to three reasons.
- Some fans care a lot about jersey numbers. Others simply don’t.
- Some fans love Tony Romo. Others simply don’t.
- Some fans are done with Jaylon Smith. Others simply are not.
While some appear to be shocked by the fact that fans care a lot about jersey numbers, I can’t say I’m surprised. As sports fans, we can be very irrational. If you ask me, that’s part of the beauty of it all. Non-sports fans might think it’s silly to yell at the TV or even care so much about any given team. But being passionate about the jersey numbers comes as a surprise? It shouldn’t if you ask me.
I will say I’m intrigued to see what the Jones would say if Jaylon ends up asking for #9. We know Jerry Jones always had a great relationship with Romo and one has to wonder whether he’d dismiss the notion or not.
Keep in mind, this isn’t Jaylon Smith fighting for #9 just because. He wore it in college in Notre Dame but he also used it before that. In a recent Instagram post, Smith wrote about how Louis Nix III, who passed away earlier in the year, handed him the number after Jaylon told him how much it meant to him. Wearing it with the Cowboys wasn’t even a possibility, though. Now it could be.
While I understand that Roger Staubach’s #12 and Troy Aikman’s #8 should be untouchable, Romo’s #9 is at least up for debate. I say this as someone who believes Romo has a legit case to end up in Canton.
However, the Cowboys didn’t sustain a period of domination during Romo’s time. Retiring a number isn’t just about winning a Super Bowl or failing to do so. It’s about the legend, it’s about the team and what that number means for the entire fan base. As much as I respect Romo’s time as the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, I understand why #9 might be up for grabs.
Of course, another reason why some don’t want Jaylon Smith to wear #9 is his recent performance. After the 2020 season, his future with the team was in question. Handing down important numbers within a franchise usually happens when a promising player arrives at the team.
Like CeeDee Lamb, who wore #88 on his rookie season. By the way, he’s already shared an IG story with a photo edit of him wearing a #2 on a Dallas Cowboys uniform. Could he also consider a number change after being given the legendary Cowboys’ 88?
Whatever happens, I’m excited about seeing plenty of NFL stars considering a number change ahead of the 2021 season.