Wearing the star in this league has meaning and many legendary men have left lasting legacies in the annals of time with the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have accomplished quite a bit as an organization reaching the pinnacle five times while having 21 men in their Ring of Honor and 20+ in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
So, we ask the question, if building the All-Time 53-man roster out of any Cowboys alum to ever play, who would make your cut? We encourage you to consider everyone including great players on bad teams, there’s almost 60 years of history to comb through here and everyone has their personal favorites. I’ll get us started with my personal final 53, followed by some brief analysis:
No arguments needed for the first two names here. There will be some folks out there that would put Don Meredith in there seeing as he is a Ring of Honor member but Tony Romo is headed there himself one day. Romo is the Cowboys all-time passing leader and numbers don’t lie.
Running Backs (4)
Again, who’s going to argue with the NFL’s all-time rushing leader? Tony Dorsett is an obvious pick too and Calvin Hill is fourth on the franchise’s all-time rushing list. Elliott is such a special talent with over 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns in 26 games played.
Daryl “Moose” Johnston
Most folks would go with Don Perkins, who is a Ring of Honor inductee, but Moose will always be my personal favorite.
Wide Receiver (6)
You start here with the “88” club because each of them have contributed so much to the Cowboys organization in their eras. You got three Hall of Famers on this list with Terrell Owens going in this year. Bob Hayes is your speed demon and Tony Hill is third in franchise history in receiving.
Tight End (4)
Billy Joe DuPree
This list is comprised of the four best tight ends in franchise history. Obviously Witten being second all-time at his position in almost every category makes him the clear #1. Some will try and argue that Mike Ditka deserves to be here but his numbers weren’t as impressive as these guys.
Offensive Line (8)
Talent-wise, the three current players on this list have been some of the best to ever play for the Cowboys. No Cowboys offensive line list can be taken seriously if Larry Allen and Rayfield Wright aren’t mentioned. Ralph Neely and John Niland were stalwarts of the 1970’s teams. There’s arguments to be made for quite a few guys missing from the 90’s dynasty but Nate Newton is a personal favorite.
Defensive Line (9)
Ed “Too Tall” Jones
The first four names here would be an absolutely terrifying group for offensive coordinators to prepare for. I went heavier on the edge defenders but there’s a little versatility in this group. The sacks you would rack up with this group would be incredible. Unofficially, there are over 800 career sacks between these nine guys, five of them have over 100 sacks each.
Lee Roy Jordan
Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson
The fact that the top two are both Ring of Honor members makes them super worthy. It’s a shame that the Hall of Fame voters disagree. They were both part of the Cowboys first Super Bowl championship team with 11 Pro Bowls and six All-Pro selections between them. Sean Lee has had issues staying healthy but you can’t deny the talent he has or how important he is to the current Cowboys team. Pure speed and athleticism is why Henderson is on this list. He was a special player for the brief time he could be tolerated but winning a Super Bowl is something that can never be taken from him. Watching Coakley was one of the lone fond memories on some bad teams, he’s also fifth in franchise history with 545 tackles.
Renfro and Walls are one and two in franchise history with 96 interceptions between them. Deion may never be known as a “Cowboy for life” but he was awfully good and worth every penny. Cornell Green is sixth in franchise history with 34 interceptions and he was a three-time All-Pro. Terence Newman gets the last spot because he leads the Cowboys by a mile in passes defensed at 122.
When looking at the safety position, you start with the two Ring of Honor members and hopeful Hall of Famers one day. Woody was the ultimate package in a leader, player, and person. The Cowboys have been trying to replace him ever since but you can’t easily replace the franchise leader in tackles at a whopping 813. Harris was the perfect free safety for the 1970’s championship squads making three All-Pro teams and six Pro Bowls. Charlie Waters is third all-time in interceptions for the Cowboys and was Tom Landry’s favorite player ever. For all his issues in coverage, nobody hit guys like Roy Williams, he also racked up 19 interceptions, nine forced fumbles, and was both an All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler.
Special Teams (4)
K Dan Bailey
LS L.P. Ladouceur
P Matt McBriar
KR Kevin Williams
Dan Bailey is the second most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL. L.P. Ladouceur has never fumbled a single snap in 14 years. Matt McBriar, a two-time Pro Bowler, is the Cowboys leader in punting average at 45.3 yards though Chris Jones is lurking around at 45 yards. Kevin Williams only played in 57 games with the Cowboys but his combined kick/punt return yardage is 4,329 yards, more than any Cowboys player ever.
There’s one opinion but there’s plenty more to share, who makes the cut in your Cowboys All-Time 53-man roster?