The Top 10 All-Time Dallas Cowboys

Categories: Dallas Cowboys
Tom Landry - DHat.jpg
At least we can all agree on No. 1. Right?
From time to time I've been k

nown

 to construct a Top 10 list. But this one, I've got to tear apart.

You're telling me there's a list of the Top 10 All-Time greatest Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones isn't on it? Altogether now: Bull. Shit.

If NFL Network is merely trying to get the blogosphere all a Twitter via look-at-us controversy, mission accomplished. But if it's actually trying to capture the most important contributors to the almost 50-year legacy of America's Team, this is embarrassing.

Their list: 10. Drew Pearson. 9. Don Meredith. 8. Randy White. 7. Tony Dorsett. 6. Troy Aikman. 5. Emmitt Smith. 4. Bob Lilly. 3. Michael Irvin. 2. Roger Staubach. 1. Tom Landry.

After the top two, I've got issues.

What makes this so difficult - and fun - is the Cowboys' quantity of quality. The franchise has 12 Hall of Famers assuming Emmitt Smith's enshrinement next summer. The list has only 10 spots.

Irvin's a Hall of Famer with three Super Bowl rings, but you don't rank him ahead of Smith, or even Aikman for that matter. Drew Pearson made some clutch catches, but come on, he's not even in the Ring of Honor. Who was/is more important to the Dallas Cowboys: Drew Pearson or Bob Hayes? To me it's simple: Hayes.

And I know Meredith led the '60s Cowboys out of the dark ages, but I'm assuming he's on the list partially for his transcedant work on Monday Night Football. I dunno, to me that was good for Meredith, but not so much for the Cowboys. When he sang "Turn out the lights ... " Dandy Don was wearing a yellow blazer, not a star on his helmet.

Then there is Jones. Yes, he's currently overseeing the least successful stretch in franchise history, but the man has three Super Bowls and the planet's biggest, baddest sports stadium on his resume. He fired Landry, but he also hired Jimmy Johnson who, come to think of it, should also be on this list. And Tex Schramm ... and Rayfield Wright ... and Mel Renfro, the most underrated Cowboy of all-time ... and ...

With a stern dismissal of NFL Network's attempt, my Top 10 Dallas Cowboys:

10. Jimmy Johnson

9. Randy White

8. Tony Dorsett

7. Tex Schramm

6. Troy Aikman

5. Bob Lilly

4. Jerry Jones

3. Emmitt Smith

2. Roger Staubach

1. Tom Landry


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28 comments
Chipper Smith
Chipper Smith

Whoever devised these lists must be quite young. I don't know how anyone who watched the Cowboys in the 60's can leave Don Meredith off their list. He was the Dallas Cowboys. Had Meredth came along several years later when Dallas had much better personnel, his abilities on the field could have been challenged by no one. He played hurt, never quit, and coming out of SMU as an All-American, had tremendous pressure to play against each Sunday in his college hometown of Dallas. Play the later QB's behind Meredith's offensive line, and see who goe's home first. Please never overlook one of the greats of all time!

Sax
Sax

I have been a cowboys for all my life, without a dout the man with the hat was is and will be the most important cowboy all time.That person was the one that implemented the legacy and the winner mentality for the cowboys.

Thank you Mister TOM LANDRY.

Randy
Randy

What about Charles Haley (a record five superbowl rings for a single player)? How can he not be in Hall of Fame and be considered one of the top Cowboys. I realize two superbowls were with 49ers but I'm glad he became a COWBOY.

Anonymous
Anonymous

10. Chuck Howley

9. Rayfield Wright

8. Drew Pearson

7. Tony Dorsett

6. Troy Aikman

5. Michael Irvin

4. Randy White

3. Bob Lilly

2. Emmitt Smith

1. Roger Staubach

Aristotle Rhodes
Aristotle Rhodes

Great List and almost hard to think of any improvements, but one obvious omission, Michael Irvin (I agree that the NFL network placed him too high on its list), but love or hate him, he was the motivating spirit behind the ninety's dynasty. I also wish you would have found a place for the great Drew Pearson (the greatest iconic catch in Dallas Cowboy Lore). By in large a very thoughtful list. Your criticism of the NFL network's was dead on.

Here is a better list. I welcome any challenge.

Top Ten Infamous Cowboys List

1. Clint Longley got his ass kicked by Roger Staubach2. Hollywood �cocaine� Henderson3. Jackie Smith, oh Jackie say you didn�t drop that ball4. Ryan Leaf, big bust or big statue in the pocket?5. Quincy Carter, oh what could have been?6. Pac-Man Jones scuffled with the security guard hired to keep him out of trouble7. Leon Lett, drug problems and two infamous nationally televised blunders8. Barry Switzer, inherited greatness and transformed it into mediocrity9. Dave Campo, never a winning season10. Terrell Owens, self-absorbed, self-important, narcissistic, big mouth �

FACE
FACE

Dorsett deserves to be in the top 5

Angel
Angel

I agree with the list. Roger staughbach was awesome. But in the next years Tony will win a ring you will see

Neil
Neil

That's a really good list the only one that is questionable is Jimmy, but it's hard to find someone that was a clean cut better boy than him, maybe bullet or Irvin, but Jimmy is just as deserving. Great list man

Bobby B
Bobby B

Richie Witt, You are tripping just a little. I don't mind your top ten, but for my money I would keep it to players and coaches just because you get into the Gil Brandts and Clint Murchisons and not that they weren't instrumental but they're not why we watch the games. Neither is Jerry Jones. After that, and the reason why you bugged me a little, I'm glad Bullet Bob made the Hall of Fame. I am. Great player. But Hayes over Pearson is simple to you? You are simple for that statement. Drew Pearson had 489 receptions for 7822 yards and he didn't have 9.9 speed. "Made some clutch catches"? You moron, "Pearson is known around the NFL as "Mr. Clutch" for his numerous clutch catches in game-winning situations, especially the "Hail Mary" reception from Roger Staubach that sealed the victory in a 1975 playoff game, one of the most famous plays in NFL history. Caught the game-sealing touchdown in 1973 playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams. Caught the game-winning touchdown pass from reserve quarterback Clint Longley in the 1974 Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins. ALL THREE OF THOSE WERE NAMED AMONG THE TOP 75 PLAYS IN NFL HISTORY BY NFL FILMS". Did you get that, you clod? Drew was a three time all-pro and was on the NFL's All-Decade team. The fact that he's not on the Ring of Honor is an absolute crime. Dis on the network if you want to but don't dis on Drew. Drew Pearson is definitely one of the greatest Cowboys ever.

scott
scott

@bigsky

I think if you do the math and facts research I suggested, you'd be surprised at the result.

Flozell
Flozell

No OL? Larry Allen should be on this list: 7x All Pro 11x Pro Bowl?

bigsky
bigsky

Scott - I thought for sure you were going to suggest that Roy Williams would at least be #2 behind Tom.......

scott
scott

I agree, why not Murchison?

What would happen if you took ALL the prominent starters, coaches and owners and ranked them in wins/losses while they were in their roles? That would take some of the emotion out anyway and just have some facts listed.

em
em

No Rowdy?

Just Me
Just Me

The problem with having non-players on the list is this: how can you have Landry and Tex without having Brandt? How can you have Jerry without having Murchison?

Fraggy
Fraggy

i thought the nfl net's list was crazy, too! i think the nfl net's main problem was the order. i think they had the right players, just needed to be ranked differently. for instance, i love michael irvin as much as anybody, but the fact that he was #3 was just ridiculous. it's hard enough just trying to rank players, but when you throw in management and coaches it's near impossible to break it down. you have a pretty good list if you are going to include all levels. still hard to stomach seeing troy aikman as low as 6.

knottygirl
knottygirl

Richie, you've got some great ones on your list, but Cliff Harris would be on my list somewhere.

Lou
Lou

How about Clint Murchinson? He bought the team, signed Tom Landry to a 10 year contract when everyone was screaming for his head and hired a GM and let the GM run the team.

Emmit's Agent
Emmit's Agent

@Richie The fee for putting Emmit Smith on any and all list is 1 million dollars.

Bob Bland
Bob Bland

Solid list, Richie - definitely way better than the NFL Network crapfest. I'd prefer this to be a players-only list, but since it's not:

10. Crazy Ray

9. Bob Hayes

8. Tony Dorsett

7. Troy Aikman

6. Randy White

5. Emmitt Smith

4. Bob Lilly

3. Roger Staubach

1. (tie) Tom Landry/Tex Schramm (can't really have one without the other)

Jerry's shittiness as a GM taints his greatness as an owner too much for him to crack the Top 10. And despite Jimmy's success, he had too short of a tenure to qualify by my standards.

Kelly
Kelly

We've had some great owners and coaches obviously, but why fuss with non-players? By making it a players only list, you force all these talking heads and writers to make some hard choices and to really think out the reasoning for their choices. I value Landry's undeniable legacy and contributions, but it was a cop-out to have him at #1...thats like when Time Magazine made the internet the person of the year...

Jeanella Lee
Jeanella Lee

Drew Preston may not be in the Ring of Honor or even the Hall of Fame,which he should be,he still can be in the top 10. Mel Renfo also. Yes, Jerry deserves to be placed in the top 10, after all he brought Dallas to the Super Bowel 3 or 4 times,so why isn't in there?

Rooster
Rooster

Damn...Michael Irvin's gotta be on there somewhere, but I can't find anyone to bump off.

Maybe the list should have been Top 11.

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