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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Regional Semifinals: Bob Lilly vs. Lee Roy Jordan

The Midsummer Madness regional semifinal round is underway! Today’s Sweet Sixteen match-up features top seed Bob Lilly facing off against four seed Lee Roy Jordan. Who will survive and advance to the Elite Eight?

Our regional semifinal round now at the halfway mark, we move to the Pete Rozelle Regional, and a match-up between two men who were defensive teammates for more than a decade, forming the beating heart of the original Doomsday defense. Top-seeded Bob Lilly, "Mr. Cowboy," the greatest defensive lineman in team history, faces off against the man who player right behind him for so many games, fourth-seeded Lee Roy Jordan, a tough, rangy throwback middle linebacker. Which of the original Doomsdayers will survive and advance to the regional final? Read the bios and comments and cast your vote, faithful Cowboys historians!

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

How he got here: defeated Mark Tuinei, 683-20; defeated Danny White 710-67


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.

Member comments:

Member Comment
Old Frog

Bob Lilly

Watched him play at TCU before he was a Cowboy. Fear the Frog!

Didn't need to read any of the article or statistics.

Went directly to the vote button and pressed Bob Lilly.

Bob Lilly for longest helmet toss in Super Bowl V


Player: Lee Roy Jordan

Position: middle linebacker

Seed: 4

How he got here: defeated Flozell Adams, 681-123; defeated Jerry Jones, 419-378


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Lee Roy Jordan 1963-76

Bio: Jordan was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 1963 Draft and was quickly named the team's weakside linebacker, becoming the first rookie linebacker to start a season-opener in team history. The following season, he moved to the middle 'backer spot, teaming up with Chuck Howley and Dave Edwards to form arguably the finest linebacking corps of that era. He served as team captain for the rest of his career.

At 6'1" and 215 pounds, Jordan was never physically dominant interior thumper; however, his competitiveness and indomitable will more than made up for his lack of size. He prepared meticulously, watching hours of game film (he had a projector at his house that was always on, and ran Tom Landry's "Flex" defense on the field with complete control. Jordan was equally devastating against the run and pass, and was always around the ball; he remains tied for second in club history with 16 career fumble recoveries and intercepted 32 passes over the course of his career.

Jordan accumulated many honors over the course of his storied career. He was a two-time All-Pro (once as second-team) and a five-time Pro Bowler who helped the Cowboys to three Super Bowls and five NFC Championship games. Jordan was the 1973 NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and retired as the franchise's all-time leader in solo tackles - and remains second all-time, trailing only Darren Woodson. Perhaps more impressive is Jordan's still-standing record for consecutive starts by a middle linebacker, with 154. In 1985, he was selected to Cowboys Silver Season All-Time Team; in 1989, he became the seventh inductee to the Ring of Honor.

Member comments:

Member Comment
krl97a Lee Roy Jordan was an extremely tough, hard hitting, athletic player who flew from sideline to sideline making plays, and anchored the most important position on the original Doomsday defense. He still ranks 3rd in career interceptions among NFL LBs, held the team career tackle record for decades, and is the greatest MLB in Cowboys history.

Next to Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan was arguably the most recognized of the Doomsday...

He’s easily the best MLB the Cowboys have ever had.
RKO Leroy "Killer" Jordan

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the Elite Eight?

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