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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Round One: Cornell Green vs. Jay Novacek

As we head into the summer doldrums, BTB introduces its own form of March Madness to get you through the slow period until training camp: a 64-player "Best Cowboy of all time" tournament! Today’s first round match-up features six seed Cornell Green facing off against eleven seed Jay Novacek

It is midweek, and we find ourselves in the middle of another bracket, the Paul Tagliabue regional. The middle of the bracket, of course, is where we find a run of contests between high and low seeds. The 5-12 and 4-13 showdowns are over for the time being, and we can get to some face-offs that are expected to be a bit closer. Indeed, today, we have a match-up between two men who were stellar athletes in other sports before settling on the gridiron: sixth-seeded Cornell Green, an All-American basketball player and Jay Novacek, who received his All-American laurels on the track, as an WAC decathlon champion. Which versatile athlete will emerge as today's winner? Read the bios and hit the poll, people!

Wondering where we are in the tourney? Here's a link to the (as yet unfilled) bracket, courtesy of BTB member osa111.


Player: Cornell Green

Position: cornerback, safety

Seed: 6


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Cornell M. Green

Bio: Green was a highly-decorated basketball player who had never played a down of college football until the Cowboys brought him to training camp in 1962, thanks to a tip from his college b-ball coach. Although he only expected to last a week, Green ended up making the team, starting three games and being selected to the NFL All-Rookie team. The next season, Green became a full-time starter at left cornerback, where he played for eight seasons, leading the team in interceptions 4 times, and being named to 5 Pro Bowls and 4 All-Pro teams.

In 1970, a defensive backfield reshuffle landed Green at strong safety, where he continued to excel, earning Pro Bowl bids in 1971-72, which put his Pro Bowl total at five. Perhaps more impressive was the fact that, in his thirteen seasons, Green never missed a game; he played in 168 games, including 145 consecutive starts. Green is tied with Michael Downs for fifth in career interceptions n Cowboys history, with 34. In 1985, he was named to the Cowboys 25th Anniversary Team.

Selected by Dallas in first round (17th player overall), 1990 … Won rushing crowns in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 … Led NFL in rushing touchdowns three times … Major contributor to Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, XXX victories … Named first-team All-Pro 1992-95 … In 1993, named NFL’s MVP and MVP in Super Bowl XXVIII … 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons … Became NFL’s all-time rushing leader in 2002 … Career totals: 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns rushing; also had 515 receptions … Born May 15, 1969 in Pensacola, Florida. - See more at:


Player: Jay Novacek

Position: tight end

Seed: 11


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Jay McKinley Novacek

Bio: The Cowboys acquired Novacek as a "Plan B" free agent in 1990, and he became a key contributor right away, grabbing 59 passes in his first season in Dallas. Novacek had remarkable hands and soon became Troy Aikman's safety blanket, especially on third downs. He was also a deceptively good route runner and blocker. Novacek's Cowboys career was short but sweet; he played in five straight Pro Bowls from 1991-95, helping the Cowboys make the playoffs each of those years and winning the Super Bowl three times in four of them (in fact, his last game was the Cowboys win in Super Bowl XXX, in January, 1996). In his six seasons in Dallas, Novacek recorded 339 receptions for 3,576 yards and 22 touchdowns.

*Novacek's AV with Dallas is 43; his Career AV (two teams) is 53

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the next round?

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