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2015 NFL Countdown: The History of Arizona Cardinals Jersey Number 90

Only 90 days remain until the kickoff to the 2015 season and the last of the 90's jersey numbers today. And it turns out that maybe it was really the Cardinals who first deflated footballs.

Al Bello/Getty Images

Today marks the last day of saluting players who wore jersey numbers in the 90's for the Big Red and not surprisingly they were all defensive players.  But that changes starting tomorrow when things really open up on the offensive side of the ball with many more players too (there weren't that many players who wore numbers in the 90's in comparison to any other number range).

We wrap up the 90's (jersey numbers that is) with notable exceptions and that's because our first two honorees played for the Chicago Cardinals (of three total we know of — the other being Marshall Goldberg).  Those two players who wore red jerseys with the No. 90 and white helmets devoid of Cardinals logos and facemasks would be Vic Schwall (1947-1950) and Billy Cross (1951).

Robert Stallings (1986) was also one of only three former Cardinals that wore a number in the 90's for the St. Louis Football Cardinals, the other two also being One-Hit-Wonders that same year we met in previous stories.

Speaking of One-Hit-Wonders, Karl Wilson (1989) and Eldonta Osborne (1990) join the club for players who held a job with the Cardinals for one year or less when they played for the Phoenix Cardinals.

None of the above players made much of any impact but that changed for the better with the arrival of linebacker Tyronne Stowe (1991-1993).  In his last year in the desert Tyronne added a very impressive 119 tackles to his NFL permanent record.

The first season for Keith McCants (1994-1995) also marked the first season of the 'Arizona Cardinals' but strangely enough Keith was the second player to wear No. 94 that year.  Michael Brandon (1994) was here and gone after one game played because it was 'my way or the highway' with Buddy Ryan.

Mark Campbell (1997) racked up 4 tackles in his NFL career — all with the Cardinals.

Now's when things get interesting because in spring of 1998 one of the worst draft moves in NFL history occurred when San Diego swapped their 3rd overall pick for Arizona's 2nd overall pick in order to select future super-star Ryan Leaf (who the Cardinals had no interest in to begin with). The Cardinals then proceeded to get their man in Andre Wadsworth minutes later along with a bonus from the ChargersEric Metcalf (son of Terry); linebacker Patrick Sapp; and San Diego's 1st round draft pick the following year (David Boston, 8th overall). The Cardinals might have thought about setting up a special hotline with speed-dial to San Diego.

But the strangeness wasn't over when Wadsworth (1998-2000) held out over the summer and finally became acquainted with his teammates in Dallas (of all places) the night before the regular season opener.  And we can see above that Andre was an expert when it came to deflating a football.

Andre was also back in Dallas for the first round of the playoffs that year contributing two big sacks when the Cardinals shocked the world by thumping the Cowboys on their home turf 20-7.  The Cowboys had been riding high but have still yet to overcome that humiliating defeat (one the biggest victories in Cardinals' history).

Unfortunately, Andre played in only 30 games over 3 years before having to retire due injuries.

The last player to wear the BIG NINE-O for the Cardinals was Darnell Dockett (pictured above) who missed only two games in his first 10 seasons before before missing the entire 2014 season due to injury.  Darnell was a force on defense and racked up 40 1/2 sacks, 349 tackles, 4 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles and 14 fumble recoveries.  Dockett was also a key member of the Arizona Cardinals Conference Championship team of 2008.

Cory Redding now carries the torch as the new player to wear No. 90 for the Cardinals going into his 13th season in the NFL with his 5th team.  Let's wish Cory luck wearing his new jersey.

As always, we need your participation in the comments below to help us fill in the gaps.

For a listing of the entire collection of stories in the Countdown to the Season series, all you have to do is click here.