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Falcons Uniform History: #38 has a clear Byas

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There's a short list of quality players who have worn #38.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As we've seen on our journey through the Falcons' uniform history, not every number comes attached to a great player. Such is the case with #38, a veritable desert landscape featuring a lone tumbleweed.

That's not to say that Rick Byas was a bad player, because by all accounts he was a fine one. Byas spent his entire six year career in Atlanta, starting 44 games at cornerback and chipping in on special teams. He managed six interceptions, three defensive touchdowns and 10 fumble recoveries in all, and Byas also averaged 22.6 yards on kickoffs over the course of his career. He was a tremendous athlete, as evinced by his 193 yards on those six interception returns.

So Byas had a fine career, right? Yes, but the reason I bemoan #38 is that there's so little competition for him. Keith Jones is arguably the next best player to wear the number, and from 1989-1992 with the Falcons the former 3rd round running back averaged 3.7 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns. He did cobble together 72 receptions for 651 yards over that four year span without scoring, though, so he's got that going for him.

After that, it's Ronnie Heard, who played a single season and started five games for the Falcons at safety and cornerback in 2005. Slim pickings, indeed.

Either way, give Byas his due for being the best player to wear #38. We'll have the similarly depressing #39 tomorrow.