Greatest Dallas Cowboys All-Time Rosters In History
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the…
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference East division.
Greatest Dallas Cowboys All-Time Rosters In History
1 / 25
Quarterback – Roger Staubach
Often referred to as “Captain America,” Staubach was arguably the best quarterback of the 1970s. He started four Super Bowls and was active for five, and he posted the best passer rating in the NFC in five different seasons. Staubach’s 85-29 record as a starter is absolutely ridiculous.
2 / 25
Running back – Emmitt Smith
Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards, and it’s doubtful anyone else is going to even approach that number. Smith led the league in rushing in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1995; he also won an NFL MVP award (in 1993) and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII. Sorry, Tony.
3 / 25
Fullback – Walt Garrison
This was the toughest choice on the roster, coming down to Garrison and Daryl “Moose” Johnston. Garrison was such an effective runner, posting seasons of 818 and 784 rushing yards from the fullback position. He also played in the 1970 NFC Championship Game with a broken collarbone, contributing 122 total yards and a touchdown catch to the Cowboys’ win.
4 / 25
Wide receiver – Michael Irvin
No surprise here. In 12 seasons, Irvin caught 750 passes — the most ever by a Cowboys wide receiver — and led the league in receiving yards per game twice. He also proved himself to be one of the best postseason performers in NFL history, topping 100 yards in six of his 16 playoff games.
5 / 25
Wide receiver – Drew Pearson
Deciding between Pearson and Bob Hayes was not easy. Although Hayes is in the Hall of Fame and Pearson is not, most Cowboys fans would take Pearson, who had 118 more catches. Pearson made the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s and contributed some very clutch catches.
6 / 25
Tight end – Jason Witten
The Cowboys have had some phenomenal tight ends over the years, from Mike Ditka to Billy Joe DuPree, Doug Cosbie and Jay Novacek. Yet, with 943 career receptions and 10 Pro Bowls, Witten takes the cake. Only Tony Gonzalez was better in the Y2K era.
7 / 25
Offensive tackle – Rayfield Wright
Wright finally got the call from Canton in his 22nd year of eligibility, and boy, was it deserved. He made six straight Pro Bowls from 1971 to 1976 and was named first-team All-Pro for the first three of those years — and that was after beginning his career as a tight end.
8 / 25
Offensive tackle – Erik Williams
There was a time when Williams was the best left tackle in pro football. He could dominate anyone, whether he was facing an unnamed rookie or Reggie White. Williams’ career was interrupted by a car accident in 1994 — and he went on to make the Pro Bowl three times after that.
9 / 25
Offensive guard – Larry Allen
Next to John Hannah, Allen was probably the most dominant guard in NFL history — and he might have been the strongest player ever, having once benched 700 pounds. Allen made the Pro Bowl 11 times and is in the Hall of Fame.
10 / 25
Offensive guard – Nate Newton
After being cut by the Redskins as an undrafted rookie and spending some time in the USFL, Newton landed with the Cowboys — and he didn’t make a single start in his first season. Hard work and perseverance paid off, however, as Newton went on to make six Pro Bowls and win three Super Bowl titles, all while in his 30s.
11 / 25
Center – Mark Stepnoski
An incredibly smart player, the undersized Stepnoski was one of the first big losses of the salary-cap era. He made three straight Pro Bowls from 1992 to 1994 before defecting to Houston, where he made two more. Stepnoski was a master at using leverage to open holes.
12 / 25
Defensive end – Ed “Too Tall” Jones
Defensive end might have been the most stacked position on the Cowboys. With 15 seasons of service and three Pro Bowl appearances, Jones gets the nod here. He was the best in NFL history at batting away passes at the line, knocking down 16 in two different seasons.
13 / 25
Defensive end – George Andrie
Who nabs the other DE spot? Harvey Martin? Jim Jeffcoat? Charles Haley? We’ll go with the largely unheralded Andrie, who made five straight Pro Bowls. He was also clutch, like when he scored a touchdown in the “Ice Bowl” and picked off a pass in the 1971 NFC Championship Game.
14 / 25
Defensive tackle – Bob Lilly
Outside of Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White and Deacon Jones, Lilly was the best front-seven player in league history. Former 49ers coach Bill Walsh ranked him as the third-best player he ever saw. Lilly made 11 Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team.
15 / 25
Defensive tackle – Randy White
Unbelievably quick for a defensive tackle, White once ran down an Eagles wide receiver in 1979. He was the dominant defensive tackle of his era, making nine straight Pro Bowls from 1977 to 1985. “The Manster” was a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
16 / 25
Outside linebacker – DeMarcus Ware
This was maybe the most obvious choice on the list, although almost all outside linebackers in Cowboys history have been 4-3 OLBs. Ware has been the best 3-4 OLB — league-wide — of the Y2K era. In his nine years with the Cowboys, he posted 117 sacks in 141 games and made seven Pro Bowls.
17 / 25
Outside linebacker – Chuck Howley
This guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, plain and simple. Howley earned first-team All-Pro honors in five straight seasons and played at a high level into his late 30s. He’s also the only Super Bowl MVP thus far to come from the losing team (in Super Bowl V).
18 / 25
Middle linebacker – Lee Roy Jordan
One of the franchise’s steadiest performers, Jordan was an outstanding middle linebacker in an era filled with greatness at the position. Though he had contemporaries like Ray Nitschke and Dick Butkus, Jordan made five Pro Bowl squads. He excelled in coverage.
19 / 25
Cornerback – Mel Renfro
Among all the cornerbacks to have suited up in a Cowboys uniform, Renfro is second to none — and you can count on one hand how many corners in NFL history were better. Renfro made 10 straight Pro Bowls. Even after Hall of Fame corner Herb Adderley joined the Cowboys, opposing quarterbacks still avoided throwing at Renfro.
20 / 25
Cornerback – Everson Walls
You were expecting Deion Sanders here? Sorry, but Sanders’ run in Dallas lasted five seasons, while Walls was with the Cowboys for nine. Walls also led the league in interceptions an NFL-record three times (in 1981, 1982 and 1985) — and he picked off Joe Montana three times, too, including twice in the 1981 NFC Championship Game.
21 / 25
Safety – Cliff Harris
Harris and Hall of Famer Ken Houston were the best safeties of the 1970s. Longtime Sports Illustrated writer Dr. Z once said Harris was the best cover man/hitter combo ever at the position. Harris retired after 10 seasons, having made six Pro Bowls in a row.
22 / 25
Safety – Darren Woodson
As the franchise’s all-time top tackler, the consistent Woodson was a leader and a fierce competitor. He never accepted losing and was, essentially, a coach on the field. Woodson won three Super Bowls in Dallas and made five Pro Bowls.
23 / 25
Kicker – Dan Bailey
We know; Bailey has kicked in Dallas for just four years. But in that time, he has missed a grand total of 13 field-goal attempts. There are plenty of guys who miss almost that many in one year. He also has excellent range.
24 / 25
Punter – Mat McBriar
When it comes to statistics, no punter in Cowboys history can stand up to the Australian-born McBriar. He averaged 45.3 yards per boot during his time in Dallas; he also led the league in said category in 2006 and 2010.
25 / 25
Returner – Bob Hayes
“Bullet” Bob Hayes gets the nod here — in an awfully tight decision — over Deion Sanders and Mel Renfro. The fastest player in the NFL during his day, Hayes took three punts to the house while also averaging 25.3 yards per kick return.
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