Cowboys hope Randy Gregory is worth the number

IRVING, Texas -- Certain numbers in Dallas Cowboys' history mean something. Nobody has worn No. 12 since Roger Staubach retired in 1979. The only person to wear No. 74 in the regular season in team history is Bob Lilly.

Nobody has worn No. 8 or No. 22 since Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith retired.

Some numbers mean a lot because of the legacy that has been passed down from generations. No. 88 has gone from Drew Pearson to Michael Irvin and now to Dez Bryant.

The Cowboys are hoping the magic of No. 94 rubs off on second-round pick Randy Gregory as he tries to follow what Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware did while wearing the number.

"It's just another number," Gregory said. "I didn't choose it. They gave it to me. But I'm going to do what I can with it. There's a few good players that wore it. So everyone's expecting a lot of big things. I'm going to try to do the best I can to put the best product out there on the field."

Haley has long been considered the missing piece of the Cowboys' Super Bowl teams of the 1990s. He was named the NFL's defensive player of the year in 1994. He was named to the Pro Bowl twice as a Cowboy. This summer he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for in part what he did in Dallas but also what he did with the San Francisco 49ers.

Ware, a first-round pick in 2005, was named to the Pro Bowl seven straight years (2006-12) with the Cowboys before he was cut last year in a salary-cap move. He was named All Pro seven times. He is the franchise's all-time leader in sacks with 117.

In between Haley and Ware, Michael Myers and Chris Cooper wore No. 94.

"That just adds pressure to it," Gregory said. "I'm my own player. I think I'm unique. I'm going to go out there and make a name for myself. I'm going to definitely embrace it. I'm not going to run away from it while I'm still wearing the number. I took it as an honor. I took it as a challenge. I think that's what coach [Rod] Marinelli's about, what coach Garrett's about, what Mr. Jerry Jones is about. It's about challenging you. That's one of the things I wanted them to do."