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Three Cowboys Who Should Wear No. Zero in 2020

Who will be the first Poke to don No. 0 in the modern era?



Somehow this bit of news sailed right over my quarantine-fogged head last week. The NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a set of rules changes that will make a significant impact upon the college football that we consume — whenever it is that there will be college football to be consumed.

Chief amongst the tweaks will be a revamping of the way targeting penalties are enforced (for the better), additional time for instant replays to be reviewed (which I’m also on board with) and — in the category of righting atrocities I didn’t realize existed — lifting the ban on the coolest number that could ever be stitched to nylon.

Starting in 2020 — again, whenever it is that 2020 starts — college football players will be allowed to bare the number zero.

This comes with an amendment that no more than two players on the same team can wear the same number. The previous rule stated that multiple players with the same number must play different positions and can’t occupy the field at the same time. Oklahoma State, it seems, was ahead of the curve and does not have more than two players with any single numeral. But that doesn’t mean someone can’t make the switch to nil.

From my limited Google research it appears it’s been since the 1970s that football players have been allowed to don a number less than 1. So which Cowboy should get the honor of being the first to sport null in four decades? I have some suggestions.

Rodarius Williams: Zero Chance I Get Beat

Despite “Lee Lee” taking first-team reps at cornerback for the last three seasons, No. 8 has never quite got his due. A.J. Green has been considered by most to be the CB1 since the duo took over cover man duties in 2016. But Williams has been the more productive, numbers-wise, at least over the last two seasons, and he has plenty more to prove heading into his senior season.

No. 8 is a solid look, so why the number change? Simple: Trash-talk fodder, the native tongue of a CB1.

“You have zero chance of scoring on me.”

“How many TDs are you throwing to this side of the field? Zero.”

Williams has one more year to bolster his draft stock and is the team’s most experienced leader. How many of his 36 career games has Rodarius come off of the bench? You guessed it. Zero.

Braydon Johnson: Zero Chance to Catch Me

The speedy wideout showed just how dangerous he can be on a go route early last season. Now, as he eyes his junior season with the knowledge that he’ll be lining up opposite No. 2, Braydon Johnson could put up absolutely huge numbers as the Cowboys’ WR2.

Also, think about how slick Braydon would look racing down the sideline a la prime Russell Westbrook running out on a fastbreak.

Note: Both Rodarius and Braydon came to mind before I even considered that they both currently wear 8.

Trace Ford: Zero In on Opposing QBs

This one might be my favorite. As Trace Ford wreaks havoc on the Big 12’s backfields, why not switch to a menacing single-digit look?

With as much as we expect Jim Knowles to move his most versatile weapon around the Cowboys’ defensive front, why not make it that more confusing for Spencer Rattler to keep his eyes on Ford?

“Zero chance for QBs to escape.”

“Ford will zero in on Big 12 passers.”

Other than Ford, how many true freshmen started a game for the Cowboys in 2019? Zero.




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