Who are the Cowboys' 'one jersey' players?

May, 22, 2013
5/22/13
3:00
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IRVING, Texas – Among the reasons why Brian Urlacher decided to retire was the fact that he could say he played for the Chicago Bears and for the Chicago Bears only.

In this salary-cap age, that is a difficult thing to do. Emmitt Smith's playing career ended in Arizona. Jerry Rice's ended in Seattle.

Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin were able to be “one jersey” players, in part because of injuries. Aikman wrestled with the idea of returning not long after he stepped away but decided against it.

Jason Witten and Tony Romo are entering their 11th seasons with the Cowboys. Romo, who just turned 33, is signed through 2019. Witten is signed through 2017. So is DeMarcus Ware, who is entering his ninth season.

Of the long-term players on the Cowboys’ roster, these guys figure to be the “one jersey” types.

Witten is already the franchise’s all-time receptions leader. Only Bob Lilly, Larry Allen, Mel Renfro and Randy White have played in more Pro Bowls as Cowboys than Witten, who has eight. He is coming off a 110-catch season, the most in NFL history by a tight end. He turned 31 earlier this month.

Romo is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in touchdown passes and could surpass Aikman in passing yards in 2015. He has more 100-plus passer rating games in his career than Aikman. Romo’s 55 multi-touchdown pass games are the most in team history. His four four-touchdown games are second-most in history to Danny White.

Ware is the franchise’s official all-time sack leader with 111 for his career and needs four this season to break Harvey Martin’s unofficial sack record. He has had seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks, and only Reggie White (nine) and John Randle (eight) have more since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

If the Cowboys win a Super Bowl in the next few years, then the chances of these guys playing for another team in the future would be slim.

If the Cowboys don’t win a Super Bowl and they become salary-cap casualties later, do they chase a championship and not play for the Cowboys and the Cowboys only?

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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