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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Round One: Rayfield Wright vs. Dexter Coakley

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 three seed Rayfield Wright facing off against fourteen seed Dexter Coakley

There are only a handful of first round match-ups still to go. While this is a good thing, in that the second round will presumably provide us with closer contests, it will also be more psychologically devastating, in that we will have to start kicking all-time greats off the island. So, enjoy the relative emotional calm of these last first round games while you can, folks. Today's face-off, for example, featuring third-seeded Rayfield Wright, the best offensive tackle in Cowboys history, against Dexter Coakley, a super productive, undersized, speedy outside linebacker. Who will emerge victorious? Read the bios and hit the poll, fine 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: Rayfield Wright

Position: offensive tackle

Seed: 3


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Larry Rayfield Wright

Bio: Wright was drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 1967 draft as a tight end; during the first three years of his career, he shuttled between tight end, defensive lineman, and offensive tackle. However, in 1969, he had to sub in for injured starter Ralph Neely, against the Rams' Deacon Jones. Wright performed so impressively that the Cowboys named him the starter before the first training camp practice in 1970, a position he held for the remainder of his career - in an era in which right tackle was the most important spot on the offensive line, and was usually paired against the opponent's best pass rusher.

From 1970-'76, he anchored the line for an offense that finished in the top 10 in scoring every year while helping to pave the way for the first five 1,000-yard rushers in Cowboys history. Over the course of his thirteen year career, Wright started in six NFC Championship games, and played in five Super Bowls, winning two of them (VI and XII). He was named to the Pro Bowl every season from 1971-'76, and was a first- or second-team All-Pro each season in that span (he was a first-teamer on three occasions). Wright was a member of the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1970s and, in 1972, was voted the NFLPA NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year. He was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2004 and the Hall of Fame in 2006.

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: Dexter Coakley

Position: outside linebacker

Seed: 14


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
William Dexter Coakley

Bio: Coakley was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 1997 draft. As a rookie, he immediately became the starter at weakside linebacker, logged the first of seven straight 100+ tackle seasons, and was elected to the All_rookie team. Coakely played all but one game over his eight year career in Dallas. 1999 was the high-water mark of his career; Coakley made 131 tackles and intercepted four passes, becoming the first Cowboys linebacker to go to the Pro Bowl since Ken Norton Jr. in 1993. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl in 2001 and '03.

Coakley's best attributes were speed and athleticism, which allowed him to become a playmaker in Cowboys defenses that were built around speed and pursuit. His string of seven consecutive 100-tackle seasons is a franchise record, and he reached double figures in tackles 37 times in 95 career regular season games. Coakley is tied with Dennis Thurman for the club record for defensive touchdowns with four, coming on fumble (one) and interception (three) returns. He is the fourth leading tackler in Cowboys history with 1,046.

Coakley's AV with the Cowboys was 74; his career AV (two teams) was 80.

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

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