Top 50 Dallas Cowboys

Often, we talk about how difficult these lists are to put together, but nowhere was this more apparent than the Dallas Cowboys. 

Formed in 1960, the Cowboys got off to a slow start, but with strong coaching and elite scouting, Dallas would become one of the best teams in Pro Football, while along the way becoming one of the most internationally franchises regardless of the sport.

They would win Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII, but while they were a good team through most of the 1980s, they were unable to win the championship and would hit rock bottom.  The '90s were a different story, as they collected three Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII & XXX), but while they have been to the playoffs many times since Super Bowl XXX, the Cowboys have not been there since.

The Cowboys is one of those teams where we had to leave so many great players off that we wish we could have extended it to 100.  Eventually, we will do that, but if it looks like we missed one, the chances are that they just missed the cut.


Note: Football lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

When you look at "America's Team," you have a team that not only had a lot of eyeballs on it but one that would generate a plethora of Hall of Famers.  Choosing the greatest Dallas Cowboy wasn't easy, but in the end, we decided on the player who was statistically speaking is the greatest Running Back of all-time.
There was serious consideration for Bob Lilly to be named number #1, but #2 is a damned good rank for a storied franchise like the Dallas Cowboys.
While a case could have been made for Roger Staubach to be at #1, #3 for this team still means you are a Hall of Fame caliber player.
Randy White was a superstar at the University of Maryland, where in 1974 he won the Lombardi Trophy and was the ACC Player of the Year.  The Cowboys took notice, and they would select him with the second overall pick.
Mel Renfro was a football and track star at the University of Oregon, Mel Renfro was a college Running Back, but Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys had other ideas for his speed.
A Heisman Finalist at UCLA, Troy Aikman was the first overall pick in 1989, and the first of the Jimmy Johnson regime.
A stud Running Back at the University of Pittsburgh, Tony Dorsett had an immediate impact with the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him second overall in the 1977 Draft.  That year, Dorsett won the Offensive Rookie of the Year with 1,007 Rushing Yards, and four post-season Touchdowns on route to a Super Bowl win.  Not a bad rookie year!
While some might think of Michael Irvin as the third “Triplet” with Quarterback, Troy Aikman, and Running Back, Emmitt Smith, it was Irvin, the Wide Receiver who was in Dallas first.
Sonoma State is no football factory, and it would take Larry Allen in 1994 to become the first player to be drafted from that institution.
Jason Witten is without question the greatest Tight End in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, and as of this writing, he is still a member of the team.

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DeMarcus Ware was an instant defensive star for the Dallas Cowboys after being drafted 11th overall in 2005 out of Troy. 
Perhaps one of the biggest snubs of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is Chuck Howley, though the beginning of his pro career did not make anyone think of greatness.  
In 1970, the National Football League’s teams all passed on drafting Cliff Harris, the Safety from Ouachita Baptist.  The Cowboys invited him to training camp, and he was so impressive that not only did he make the team, but he won the starting Free Safety role. 
Rayfield Wright came to Dallas as a seventh round pick in 1967, where in his first three seasons, he was used as an Offensive Tackle, Tight End, and occasional Defensive Tackle.  By 1970, he settled in at Right Tackle, and it was there where he became one of the best at that position of all-time.
Lee Roy Jordan would play his entire career in pro football with the Dallas Cowboys, and he came in with high expectations as the sixth overall pick in the 1962 Draft.  Jordan played at Right Linebacker for his first three years, but it was a move to Middle Linebacker in 1966, where the former member of the Crimson Tide came…
Spending the first decade of his career with the Dallas Cowboys (1965-74), Bob Hayes had a spectacular beginning, where he went to the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons and was a First Team All-Pro in his second and fourth year.  The Split End led the NFL in Touchdown Receptions in his rookie and sophomore year, and in both…
Drew Pearson went undrafted in 1973, but he would be signed by the Dallas Cowboys, and the product of the University of Tulsa would make the team.  As a rookie, Pearson had 388 Receiving Yards and was also doing double duty as the Kick Returner, but he would shed the Special Teams role the following season while emerging as one…
Darren Woodson was a second round pick from Arizona State in 1992, and the year after, he was the team's starting Strong Safety.  In those two years, he helped Dallas win the Super Bowl, but he would have a much more significant role in the team moving forward.
If you were Tony Romo, you were either loved or hated, and there were times when he played, he was arguably both.