clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Round One: Bob Lilly vs. Mark Tuinei

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 top seed Bob Lilly facing off against sixteen seed Mark Tuinei

With the first round contests for two of our four regionals in the books, we proceed to the Pete Rozelle Regional, and another match-up featuring a prohibitive favorite: top-seeded Bob Lilly, "Mr. Cowboy" himself, goes up against sixteenth-seeded Mark Tuinei, the most under-rated member of the great 90s offensive line. Does Tuinei have what it takes to pull of the upset? Heck, will Tuinei garner more than five percent of the vote? Read the bios and hit the poll, people!

Wanna keep tabs on the state of the bracket or look ahead to future contests? All the Midsummer Madness info you could ever want can be found right here.


Player: Bob Lilly

Position: defensive end, tackle

Seed: 1


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Robert Lewis Lilly

Bio: The Cowboys selected Lilly in the first round of the 1961 draft; he was the franchise's first ever draft pick. Lilly began his career as a defensive end in 1961, but moved to defensive tackle midway though the 1963 season, whereupon he immediately began to flourish. As a tackle, Lilly was earned first-team All-NFL laurels six of the next seven seasons. In total, Lilly was named All-Pro seven times (and twice netted Second Team All-Pro honors), and was selected to play in 11 Pro Bowls. Lilly was an ironman, playing in 196 consecutive regular-season games and missing only one game in his entire career, the 1973 NFC Championship Game.

Lilly used a stunning combination of strength, agility, speed and toughness to make plays. From his distinctive four-point stance, he would explode at the snap, knifing between gaps or, alternatively, rag-dolling opposing linemen. These traits allowed him to score four defensive touchdowns and were in evidence in the signature play of his career, Lilly's NFL record 29-yard sack of Dolphin quarterback Bob Griese in Super Bowl VI. Because he was unstoppable one-on-one, Lilly was regularly double and triple teamed for the majority of his career.

Lilly boasts a long list of all-timer honors. He was selected to the NFL All-Decade teams for both the 1960s and 1970s as well as the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time team. The Sporting News named him a member of the All-Century NFL Team, deeming him "the greatest defensive tackle in NFL history," and later ranked him tenth (where he was the the highest-ranking defensive lineman) on their "100 Greatest Football Players" list. Although the Cowboys don't officially retire jerseys, he is the only player in team history to ever have worn #74 in a regular season game. In 1975, his name was the first to be inscribed in the Ring of Honor. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility.

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: Mark Tuinei

Position: defensive tackle, offensive tackle

Seed: 16


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Mark Pulemau Tuinei

Bio: Tuinei, a collegiate defensive tackle, was signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1983, where he beat long odds to make the team as Randy White's backup. In 1985, the Cowboys offensive needed reinforcements, and Tuinei was moved to the other side of the ball. He bounced around the O-line for two years before finally settling in at left tackle, where he was starter for the next decade, helping to pave the way for Emmitt Smith's three rushing titles and being instrumental in the Cowboys three Lombardis from 1992-95.

Although he spent much of his career being unsung, the steady Tuinei was one of the best left tackles in Cowboys history. In Super Bowls XXVII and XXXVIII, he was tasked with keeping Hall of Famer Bruce Smith off of Troy Aikman. In the two games Tuinei, often isolated one-on-one versus Smith, held the Bills' legend to four tackles and a garbage time sack. After 11 years at offensive tackle, Tuinei made the Pro Bowl in 1994, and then went back again in 1995. He retired after the 1997 season, tied with Ed "Too Tall" Jones and Bill Bates for the most seasons in a Cowboy uniform, with 15.

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

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys