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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Round One: Deion Sanders vs. Calvin Hill

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 eight seed Deion Sanders facing off against nine seed Calvin Hill

Today's contest features two men who were like comets in the Cowboys' firmament, burning brightly and then quickly fading from view. We have eighth-seeded "Neon" Deion Sanders, perhaps the best cornerback ever to play the game, who wore a Cowboys uniform for five season in the late 90s, and ninth-seeded Calvin Hill, who had a six-year stint in Dallas and, when healthy, was one of the league's very best ballcarriers. Who will advance to face Tom Landry in round two? Read the bios and cast your ballots, BTBers!

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: Deion Sanders

Position: cornerback, punt returner, wide receiver

Seed: 8


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Deion Luwynn Sanders

Bio: The Cowboys signed Sanders, then a free agent, in week two of the 1995 NFL season, after starting cornerback Kevin Smith suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the opener. He was sidelined by a baseball season and a knee injury until midseason, but started the Cowboys' final nine games, helping them to win Super Bowl XXX. In the 1995 playoffs, he became essentially a three-way player; in addition to his cornerback duties (one postseason pick), he rushed three times for 23 yards and a score, added three receptions for 95 yards, returned four punts (9.5 average).

Sanders played four more years in Dallas, earning Pro Bowl berths in all four, as well as All-Pro nods from 1996-98. Deion's ability to take the receiver on his side of the field out of the game allowed the Dallas defensive coordinator Dave Campo to only have to worry about covering half the field. Sanders joined Darren Woodson, Kevin Smith, and Brock Marion to form what was commonly held to be the league's best defensive backfield.

In his time with the Cowboys, Deion was a scoring machine; he scored a rushing touchdown, a receiving TD, returned four punts for scores, had a fumble return TD and two pick-sixes. He is thus one of only two players in NFL history to score a touchdown six different ways (interception return, punt return, kickoff return, receiving, rushing, and a fumble recovery). Sanders was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011.

*Sanders's AV while playing for Dallas was 70; his career AV (with five teams) was 147.

**Sanders was selected to four Pro Bowls as a Cowboy, and eight total in his career.

***Sanders was an All-Pro three times with Dallas and six times in his career.

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: Calvin Hill

Position: running back

Seed: 9


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Calvin G. Hill

Bio: Hill was selected in the first round of the 1969 Draft, becoming the first Ivy Leaguer drafted in the first round. After initially trying him out at linebacker and tight end, the Cowboys moved Hill to running back. Once ensconced there, Hill was simply terrific; despite playing the last month of the season with a broken toe, he He finished with 942 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns, enough to garner NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. In 1970-'71, Hill failed to build on this success, suffering through two injury-plagued seasons, missing twelve games.

He bounced back in 1972, becoming the first back in franchise history to break the 1,000 yard barrier, rushing for 1,045 yards and 6 scores. The following campaign, he topped that, scampering for 1,142 yards and six TDs. For his career in Dallas, Hill ran for 5,009 yards and 39 touchdowns, adding 1,359 receiving yards and six more scores. In Hill's six seasons in Dallas, the Cowboys won two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl (VI). In addition, he made four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.

*Hill's AV as a Cowboy was 64; his career AV (three teams) is 88.

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

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