Sunday Poll: Who is Your Favorite Triplet?

The Triplets. The famed trio of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith will forever be celebrated for what they accomplished together as Dallas Cowboys.

Three Lombardi Trophies. Numerous league and team records broken. The glory returned to a storied franchise that, since the 1970s, had been begging for a return trip to the NFL's championship. Aikman, Irvin, and Smith did all they could for Dallas and more.

Now, I am going to ask you to make one of the toughest football choices you've ever made on a Sunday Poll: Choose your favorite Triplet. But before you do, let's run through the wonderful memories we Cowboys fans have of the 1990s.

Troy Aikman

Quarterback 1989-2000

Six Straight Pro Bowl Appearances

Super Bowl XXVII MVP

Troy Aikman, the quarterback with the most wins (90) of the 1990s --of any decade, for that matter--is remembered best by his accuracy and his toughness. His arm led the turnaround that took a 1-15 Cowboys team his rookie year in '89 to one of the greatest dynasties in pro football.

By the time of his retirement in 2000, Aikman finished his career by completing 61.5% of his passes for 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns. Aikman, though, was not known as a player who put up gaudy numbers. He was known and appreciated for excelling with the one intangible that every NFL quarterback must have: leadership.

Today, Aikman is still very much affiliated with the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas area, serving as the vice-chair on the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.

Aikman's Career Numbers

Year Team
G
Att
Comp
Yards
TDs
Int
Rating
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
F
 1989 Dallas
11
293
155
1749
9
18
55.7
38
302
7.9
0
6
 1990 Dallas
15
399
226
2579
11
18
66.6
40
172
4.3
1
5
 1991 Dallas
12
363
237
2754
11
10
86.7
16
5
0.3
1
4
 1992 Dallas
16
473
302
3445
23
14
89.5
37
105
2.8
1
4
 1993 Dallas
14
392
271
3100
15
6
99
32
125
3.9
0
7
 1994 Dallas
14
361
233
2676
13
12
84.9
30
62
2.1
1
2
 1995 Dallas
16
432
280
3304
16
7
93.6
21
32
1.5
1
5
 1996 Dallas
15
465
296
3126
12
13
80.1
35
42
1.2
1
6
 1997 Dallas
16
518
292
3283
19
12
78
25
79
3.2
0
6
 1998 Dallas
11
315
187
2330
12
5
88.5
22
69
3.1
2
3
 1999 Dallas
14
442
263
2964
17
12
81.1
21
10
0.5
1
8
 2000 Dallas
11
262
156
1632
7
14
64.3
10
13
1.3
0
2
 Career Totals 
165
4,715
2,898
32,942
165
141
81.6
327
1,016
3.1
9
58
 
Additional Career Statistics: Receiving: 2-(-19)

 


Michael Irvin

Wide Receiver 1988-1999

Five Pro Bowl Appearances

"The Playmaker"

Michael Irvin, owner of 20 Cowboys receiving records, is remembered best by his competitive bravado and his ability to live up to his moniker and make plays. It is widely believed that Irvin was the hardest working member of the Dallas teams in the 1990s. Teammates said he never took a play off--neither in games nor in practice.

Irvin was a clutch receiver for Aikman and the Cowboys, finishing his career with 750 catches for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns.

Today, Irvin maintains his connection with the Cowboys and often makes his presence known to young wide receivers during training camp. He also gave one of the most memorable Hall of Fame induction speeches ever: "Look up, get up, and don't ever give up."

Irvin's Career Numbers

Year Team
G
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1988 Dallas
14
32
654
20. 4
5
1989 Dallas
6
26
378
14. 5
2
1990 Dallas
12
20
413
20. 7
5
1991 Dallas
16
93
1523
16. 4
8
1992 Dallas
16
78
1396
17. 9
7
1993 Dallas
16
88
1330
15. 1
7
1994 Dallas
16
79
1241
15. 7
6
1995 Dallas
16
111
1603
14. 4
10
1996 Dallas
11
64
962
15. 0
2
1997 Dallas
16
75
1180
15. 7
9
1998 Dallas
16
74
1057
14. 3
1
1999 Dallas
4
10
167
16. 7
3
Career Total
159
750
11,904
15. 9
65
 
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 6-6; Two-Point Conversions: 1

 

Emmitt Smith

Running Back 1990-2002

Eight Pro Bowls

All-Time NFL Rushing Champion

Last week, BTB members debated whether any running back could ever replicate what Emmitt Smith accomplished during his career. For many reasons, it's hard to imagine one doing so.

Smith is remembered for his heart. He led by example and repeatedly put all on the line for the team. On many memorable drives, he was the Cowboys offense. The four-time NFL single-season rushing champion is the first player to run for more than 1,000 years 11 seasons in a row. His 18,355 rushing yards is one of many career highlights that also include the Super Bowl XXVIII MVP and league MVP honors for the 1993 season.

Today, Smith remains a charitable figure in the Dallas area and is preparing to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 7.

Smith's Career Numbers

Year Team G No. Yds. Avg. TD No. Yds. Avg. TD
1990 Dallas 16 241 937 3.9 11 24 228 9.5 0
1991 Dallas 16 365 1563 4.3 12 49 258 5.3 1
1992 Dallas 16 373 1713 4.6 18 59 335 5.7 1
1993 Dallas 14 283 1486 5.3 9 57 414 7.3 1
1994 Dallas 15 368 1484 4.0 21 50 341 6.8 1
1995 Dallas 16 377 1773 4.7 25 62 375 6.0 0
1996 Dallas 15 327 1204 3.7 12 47 249 5.3 3
1997 Dallas 16 261 1074 4.1 4 40 234 5.9 0
1998 Dallas 16 319 1332 4.2 13 27 175 6.5 2
1999 Dallas 15 329 1397 4.2 11 27 119 4.4 2
2000 Dallas 16 294 1203 4.1 9 11 79 7.2 0
2001 Dallas 14 261 1021 3.9 3 17 116 6.8 0
2002 Dallas 16 254 975 3.8 5 16 89 5.6 0
2003 Arizona 10 90 256 2.8 2 14 107 7.6 0
2004 Arizona 15 267 937 3.5 9 15 105 7.0 0
Career Total 226 4,409 18,355 4.2 164 515 3224 6.3 11
Additional Career Statistics: Passing: 1-1-21, 1 TD; Two-Point Conversions: 1

 


It's only natural to change your mind a couple of times before making that ultimate vote. Just take a deep breath, commit to one, and defend your choice with statistical analysis, unwavering devotion, persuasive anecdotes, or whatever you tend to use best in these comment boards.

No tricks, buts, or what-ifs here. No conditionals whatsoever. Just, of the Triplets, who is your favorite?

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