Super Bowl 50 is a milestone for the NFL, a chance to celebrate a half-century of providing one of the biggest spectacles, inside or outside of sports, the world has ever seen. This particular milestone has the media and the league looking back at some of the greatest moments and the greatest players involved with the Big Game. Given the Dallas Cowboys participation in eight of those games, with five victories, it's only natural to hear their names come up in some of these "look back lists."
One such list is the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team announcement. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Board voted on the players with the best overall career performances in the game. You can find the full list at the bottom of the page but let's look at the Cowboys representatives.
Emmitt Smith - Of course he's on the list.
Jay Novacek - A little surprised he was the tight end chosen, but has a strong case to be made.
Larry Allen - Maybe the greatest guard to ever play the game.
Charles Haley - The final piece of the puzzle the Cowboys needed.
Randy White - The Manster, 'nuff said.
Deion Sanders - Definition: shut-down corner.
For a very interesting and informative counter-argument to the list of names that made the Golden Team, check out this article from Rick Gosselin.
Not to be outdone, ESPN has ranked its 50 Greatest Players In Super Bowl history. As you might expect, a lot of the same Cowboys show up. Here they are with a line or two from Todd Archer's write up. You might want to go over for a more complete view of the rankings and check out some videos.
#50 - Jay Novacek: He caught 17 of the 23 passes thrown his way in [Super Bowl] games for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
#48 - Larry Brown: Brown's brace of interceptions in the second half against the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX might have been more about Neil O'Donnell's poor decisions, but the Cowboys turned both takeaways into touchdowns to put the game away.
#32 - Randy White: He and Harvey Martin split the Most Valuable Player honors from that game after they combined for three sacks. It was the culmination of White's breakout year while moving from linebacker to defensive tackle.
#28 - Michael Irvin: As with Troy Aikman, Irvin's most productive Super Bowl showing was in his first appearance, when the Cowboys beat the Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII. He caught six passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
#27 - Charles Haley: In five title games, Haley put up a Super Bowl record 4.5 sacks, including 2.5 in the Cowboys' wins in Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII and XXX.
#24 - Tony Dorsett: He went from winning the Heisman Trophy and national championship at Pitt in 1976 to helping the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos with 15 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown.
#15 - Roger Staubach: He led the Cowboys to four Super Bowl appearances and won two, which helped shape the America's Team image.
#5 - Emmitt Smith: Smith's five rushing touchdowns are a Super Bowl record, and he is second to Franco Harris in carries (70) and third in yards behind Harris and Larry Csonka (289).
#2 - Troy Aikman: He won all three of his Super Bowl appearances and completed a Super Bowl-record 70 percent of his passes in those games. His best performance was his first, completing 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions, in Super Bowl XXVII to beat the Bills.
Super Bowl 50 Golden Team
TIGHT END (1)
RUNNING BACKS (2)
WIDE RECEIVERS (2)
OFFENSIVE TACKLES (2)
HEAD COACH (1)
DEFENSIVE ENDS (2)
INTERIOR LINEMEN (2)
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (2)
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (2)
RETURN SPECIALIST (1)