While it’s not a popular choice in the league, No. 48 has particular veneration in Dallas. When Jack Ferguson started his career with the Cowboys, he didn’t need any reminders about his number selection.
“Moose and (No.) 48,” Ferguson said. Via the team website. “Some people were like, ‘Oh, he (wears) 48.’ I was like, ‘You guys don’t know who wore a size 48.'”
certainly, Daryl “Moose” Johnston Is the beloved Cowboys guard who wore No. 48 for 11 consecutive seasons. Johnston was a standout during the franchise’s dynasty in the 1990s, winning three Super Bowls and paving the way for the NFL’s all-time charge leader, Emmett Smith.
Ferguson’s grandfather, who happens to be former Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez, was quick to remind him of the number’s standards.
“He actually texted me and said, ‘You better not be secretive at 48,'” Ferguson said with a laugh.
The Cowboys are one of the few teams to not have officially retired jersey numbers, but there’s an unspoken implication that a few venerable numbers on a historic franchise aren’t something anyone can take lightly. acquired. In recent years, starting with Dez Bryant, Michael Irvin’s No. 88 has been used as a symbol of the next great Cowboys wide receiver. CeeDee Lamb currently holds that title, and Ferguson won’t be the only rookie in Dallas to wear a respected number on a first-round pick this season Taylor Smith put on Larry AllenThe old number 73.
Ferguson is in a different position than Johnston, but blocking is an important responsibility of the NFL tight end. The Wisconsin product admits he doesn’t like the blocking aspect of his job, but he ended up taking dirty jobs in college.
“Going to Wisconsin, it’s number one, number two, almost number three that we block. If it’s six yards, we think we can put it on the ground, and we’re going to go for it,” Ferguson said. “Finally spending these five years in Wisconsin, which is what I love to do. That’s what it’s all about — mentality in the trenches. You have to love it.”
As a catcher, Ferguson had a career-high 46 catches during his senior season, averaging 11.2 yards per catch during his four years at Wisconsin. With the Cowboys parting ways with Blake Javin this offseason, Ferguson has a chance to see significant playing time as a rookie behind Dalton Schultz.
“Just looking at him, especially all the other tight ends, they’re smooth,” Ferguson said of Schultz. “They’re not the fastest guys, they’re not the strongest guys, but they’re smooth, Smooth is fast, fast is smooth. You look at those guys, they’re smart, they know where the holes are to defend, they know what to do in the trenches, their skills are there. So being able to try to perfect my craft and get to that Levels are something I’m really proud of and really strive to achieve.
“I have to try to get to those points and even think about it with the guys who have been through here – Dalton Schultz, I look up to those guys, Jason Witten – some of those absolute players.”
It remains to be seen whether the Cowboys’ home crowd will have a knee-jerk reaction to Ferguson getting the ball into his hands by shouting “moose” in unison. Whatever the case may be, the Cowboys believe Ferguson will find a way to make an impact on the team in 2022.
“The style of play we’ve built here, and he definitely fits that,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “But the versatility of playing with and without the ball, we talked a little bit about[last week]. He’s already had the experience (on special teams) to play in a pro punt formation, it’s just little things like that, Just because of the way Paul (Chris) played in Wisconsin. It’s definitely we need more and I think Jack is a great fit for us.