The Cowboys are one of the more storied franchises in NFL history, and as such they’ve had a lot of exceptional players throughout the years. Their 24 Hall of Famers are ninth most among NFL teams, for example. Because of this, it can be hard to pick who the best player in franchise history is at each position. On Tuesday, Bobby Belt tweeted the following:
Guys I feel are generally considered the best in franchise history...— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) July 2, 2019
QB - Staubach
RB - Emmitt
WR - Irvin
OT - Wright
OG - Allen
OC - Gurode
EDGE - Ware
DT - Lilly
LB - Howley
CB - Renfro
SAF - Woodson/Harris
This got me thinking about who fans think is the best player at each position. In the weeks leading up to training camp (it’s almost here!), we’ll look at each position and try to get an idea of who is the best. Since the quarterback position is the most important one on the field, let’s start there.
There are two obvious names that jump out right away: Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. They stand out for good reason, too; they’re responsible for five Super Bowl rings between them. They’ve both won Super Bowl MVP once and are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Cowboys have plenty of other great quarterbacks who haven’t been fortunate enough to win a ring though. There’s Eddie LeBaron, who threw the first touchdown pass in franchise history, though he’s known more for his days as a Redskin. Craig Morton also holds a special place in Cowboys history, as he once looked like the guy before injuries limited him and Staubach took over. After all, Morton led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 1970.
Then there’s “Dandy” Don Meredith. While Bob Lilly is known as Mr. Cowboy for being the franchise’s first draft selection, Meredith was technically with the team long before then. Meredith took over from LeBaron and helped bring the Cowboys their first few winning seasons, but his failure to win in the playoffs led to intense criticism from fans and prompted an early retirement from the Fine and Dandy quarterback. Still, Meredith ranks fifth in Cowboys history in both passing yards and touchdowns.
The man right ahead of him int hose categories followed a similar career path. Danny White had a successful college career at my alma mater, Arizona State, and then spent his time waiting to replace Staubach. In addition to being the backup quarterback for four years, he was also the punter, something no other quarterback for this franchise can claim.
After taking over for Staubach, White played incredibly well and kept the Cowboys as one of the NFL’s best. However, he was unable to reach the Super Bowl despite making the conference championship game three times in his eight years as a starter. Nevertheless, White put up consistently great performances in his career, and his 1983 season saw him throw for more yards than the likes of Joe Montana and Joe Theismann. If White had been able to win a Super Bowl, he’d likely be mentioned alongside Staubach and Aikman.
That’s also true for Tony Romo, who rewrote just about every record Staubach and Aikman ever set in his nine years as the starting quarterback. Romo is undoubtedly one of the best undrafted players in NFL history, which makes his story that much more compelling. Like Meredith, Romo was often underappreciated during his career, specifically because of his inability to advance in the postseason. Also like Meredith, Romo has seen a rejuvenation of his reputation due to a broadcasting career.
And similar to White, Romo consistently won games and looked really, really good while doing so. He helped end the franchise’s 13-year playoff-win drought in 2009, and did I mention he’s atop virtually all the franchise’s passing records? In the end, injuries slowed him down and forced an early retirement. Romo was always just a Super Bowl win away from being considered one of the NFL’s best at the time, and the same probably applies to his standing in franchise history.
And then there’s Dak Prescott, the current starter. Only three years into his career, it’s too early to tell if Prescott will be able to one day challenge for a spot in this conversation. However, despite only being three years in the league, he’s already sixth all time in franchise history for passing yards and tied for fourth in franchise history for most game winning drives. If the hype around Kellen Moore is real, and the Cowboys offense really does take a big step forward, Prescott could climb up these records lists quickly.
But for now, we’ll exclude him from our poll because it’s just too early to compare him to venerable greats of the past. Without further ado, we ask the question:
Which quarterback is the best in Cowboys history?
This poll is closed