Taylor died Nov. 27, a day after being shot at his home in
Florida. The 24-year-old safety was leading the NFL in
interceptions at the time. He was chosen the following month for
the NFC Pro Bowl team in balloting among coaches, players and fans.
Since then, the Redskins and Taylor's family have been
contemplating the best way to honor Taylor at the game. Taylor's
father, Pedro Taylor, suggested to team owner Dan Snyder that
Cooley and Samuels wear No. 21. Snyder contacted NFL commissioner
Roger Goodall, who approved the request.
Cooley and Samuels each will wear his own name on the back of
the jersey, above the No. 21. The jerseys will be auctioned after
the game, with the proceeds benefiting the Sean Taylor Memorial
Trust Fund that was established for Taylor's daughter, Jackie.
Cooley usually wears No. 47; Samuels' regular number is
Taylor made his only Pro Bowl appearance last year, when he was
voted as an alternate but was later added to the roster when
another player withdrew.
Taylor is the first player chosen posthumously for an all-star
team in a major American team sport since Philadelphia Flyers
goaltender Pelle Lindbergh topped the fan voting for the 1986 NHL
The weekend following Taylor's death, every NFL player wore a
No. 21 decal on his helmet in tribute. Many players kept the decals
on their helmets for the rest of the regular season and during the