Profootballtalk is running their Mt Rushmore series for each team. Take a moment to cast your vote for the four most important people in Cowboys history. I've included my post below.
Here's the link: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/07/pfts-mt-rushmore-series-launches-next-month/
Here's my vote.
Lots of interesting posts here. Having considered what everyone else has said I propose:
Leaving Landry off the list. Rumor has it that when God coaches football in heaven He wears a fedora. Landry more than deserves it, but there’s only four people that can be selected. Knowing the kind of man that Landry was, he would want it to go to the players.
So here’s my breakdown in order of importance:
1) Roger Staubach. Quarterbach (sic).
The reason anyone over 40 uses any means necessary to indoctrinate their kids into being a Cowboys fan (I told my daughter the other teams are robots trying to beat the good guys with the star on their helmets – she bought it) is Staubach.
Let’s face it, not only was he the greatest, not only did you know that when Dallas was down by 17 with 5 min left that he would somehow score 21 (while you were sneaking a glimpse of the MNF game behind your parents on a school night), he was our IDOL. Captain Comeback defined a generation of Cowboys fans.
In an era before replica jerseys, we all had the blue and silver baseball shirt with #12 on it. Admit it!
2) Troy Aikman. Quarterback. Ridiculously accurate. Worked as hard as anyone who has worn the star and did it with honor (no off field issues in a time where there were off field issues). Most importantly, the dude won three Super Bowls – most by a Cowboys QB. Anyone who says voting for Troy Aikman is for fans who don’t know the complete history of the Cowboys is wrong. The guy is the second most important player we have ever had. Maybe not second best, but definitely second most important.
3) Emmit Smith. Running Back. ALL TIME LEADING RUSHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL.
Many great running backs have come and gone. Some can be seen playing the game today – Adrian Peterson comes to mind.
However, in the final analysis there are four running backs who are known as the greatest – Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, and Barry Sanders.
The game has changed so much that Brown’s accomplishments become less relevant as the years go by (especially in a year when he opens his mouth).
So, let’s answer the Barry Sanders question once and for all.
“IF” Barry was the better pure runner, then Emmitt was the closest second in the history of close seconds.
Regardless, the fact remains that Smith was better at picking up the blitz and catching the ball out of the backfield. He was the more complete running back.
Many people argue that if Barry played on those Cowboys teams of the 90′s he would have done even better.
Well, here’s the counter-argument: Emmitt won three Super Bowls. On the same team, Barry would have only won two. Why?
On the way to one of those Super Bowls, with the playoffs on the line against the Giants, Emmitt separated his shoulder in the first half. In excruciating pain, he got back on the field and won the game for Dallas. If it had been Barry Sanders, he wouldn’t have made it back to the field (let alone played another two playoff games and then the Super Bowl with a 3rd degree separation).
When there was no way out for Barry Sanders, he quit.
When there was no way out for Emmitt Smith, he scored.
That’s the difference between the two men summed up in one of the greatest moments in the history of running backs.
Many fans still need more statistical proof that if Barry had been on a better team, he would have beaten Emmitt.
Well, here it is: The average record of both men’s teams over the course of their careers is the same. 8-8. They had the same opportunity.
18,355. Deal with it.
Emmitt’s true competition was with Walter Payton. Payton is the only other complete running back of the group – runner, a defender of the blitz, and pass catcher. As Emmitt was getting closer to breaking Walter’s record he befriended him and even agreed to look after his son once it was clear the elder was going to pass. That’s the heart of a champion and a gentleman in my book.
Bob Lilly. Defensive everything. All decade team 1960′s and 1970′s. For those of you counting at home, that’s TWO decades – ’nuff said.
Mt Rushmore Siamese twins:
Harvey Martin and Randy White.
Besides their illustrious careers, they are the only Co-MVP’s of a Super Bowl.
Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters. Safety net.
Legend has it that Cliff showed up to practice with one of those helmets with a siren on top – a testament to the menace the pair dished out on Sundays.
Chuck Howley. The original #54. He was the monster before the manster. Only Super Bowl MVP designated from the losing team.
Michael Irvin. Receiver. Off field issues, but owned up to them.
I frequented the Cowboys training camp practices in Austin back in the day. The most interesting part was watching Irvin force rookie QB Jason Garrett (now the Cowboys coach) to throw him passes for 30 min after every practice. Jerry Rice was the best, but no one did more before 9am than Michael Irvin.1 0