The 10 Best Dallas Cowboys Players of All Time
The Dallas Cowboys, nicknamed “America’s Team,” may be the most popular NFL franchise in the world. They have made 30 playoff appearances, won eight NFC titles and been Super Bowl champions five times. Founded in 1960, the Cowboys have had 11 players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
During a media conference call back on October 8, 2014, current Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suggested that his long-time favorite target, tight end Jason Witten, might be the “best Dallas Cowboy of all time.” This statement has been laughed off and hotly debated ever since Romo made it, and it got us thinking: Does Witten even crack the top 10 players in Cowboys history?
To make a top 10 greatest Dallas Cowboys of all time list, you already have to leave off at least one Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. When you throw Witten and other current players into the mix, things get even more convoluted. In compiling this list, we considered statistics, All-Pro selections, team success, and longevity (sorry, Deion Sanders). Here is a look at the top 10 players in Dallas Cowboys history.
- Jason Witten
This spot came down to Witten and DeMarcus Ware. Had Ware finished his career with the Cowboys, he may have gotten the nod here. With that being said, you simply cannot ignore Witten’s statistics (1,020 receptions, 11,215 yards, 60 touchdown catches), longevity (13 seasons) with the franchise and overall consistency throughout his career. Witten remains one of the premier tight ends in today’s game, and unlike some of the other elite tight ends in the NFL today, he takes great pride in his blocking ability.
- Tony Dorsett
The Cowboys selected Dorsett with the second overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft and proved to be a great selection. Dorsett played 11 years in Dallas (and one season in Denver), rushing for a total of 12,739 yards and 72 touchdowns, and catching 382 passes for 3,432 yards and 13 touchdowns for his career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, selected to four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams, won the 1977 Offensive Rookie of the Year award and helped lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XII.
- Michael Irvin
Irvin earned his nickname the “Playmaker” for good reason during his 12 seasons as a Cowboy. During the Cowboys’ dominant run of the 1990s, Irvin was arguably the best wide receiver in pro football. During that time, the Cowboys won three Super Bowl titles and Irvin racked up three All-Pro selections while catching 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns. The “Playmaker” is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Troy Aikman
Aikman’s statistics do not justify his place on this list, but his contributions and role in possibly the most dominant dynasty of the last 25 years certainly do. The number one overall selection in the 1989 NFL Draft played 12 seasons for the Cowboys and retired as the franchise leader in passing yardage with 32,942 yards. More importantly, Aikman quarterbacked the Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships earning six Pro Bowl Selections and 1993 All-Pro honors along the way. In 2006, Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Larry Allen
Allen is among the best interior offensive linemen to ever play the game of football. He opened holes for the running back with the most rushing yards in NFL history and protected a Hall of Fame quarterback. The 2013 Hall of Fame inductee was a part of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl XXX winning team and was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro teams.