Brought to you exclusively by Silver and BlueBlood: The Greatest Dallas Cowboys of All-Time poll.
The poll is now in the semi-final round. Only four remain. You might argue that if there were a Mount Rushmore of Dallas Cowboys, these would be the four whose faces should be on it. They are, in order of original seeding: Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Emmitt Smith, and Troy Aikman.
Each of these, in his own way, has been “the face of the franchise.”
Tom Landry, for 29 years, was the stoic “man in the funny hat,” heralded as a football genius, inventor of the Flex Defense and resurrector of the Shotgun offense. He guided his team to 20 straight winning seasons, five Super Bowls, and two world championships.
Roger Staubach was Captain America, the quarterback of America’s Team. He was the kind of guy you hoped your daughter might some day find and marry. Wholesome, honest, intense, successful. He and Landry personified the NFL’s most-loved and most-hated team. Roger lead Dallas to five Super Bowls and won two of them. He was the Super Bowl MVP in 1971.
Emmitt Smith was supposed to be a step slow. He was not perceived to be a talent destined for greatness. But he had a goal to become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Some would say that was a dream or fantasy. Not for Emmitt. He set his sights on it and put in the dirty work to achieve it. Before he was done, he helped his team to three Super Bowl wins in four years and was named MVP of one of those games. He also surpassed the late, great, legendary Walter Payton to become the all-time leading rusher in NFL history.
Troy Aikman was the first overall pick by the Cowboys in 1989 draft. The fact that the Cowboys were picking first ought to tell you something about the state of the team. Aikman started 11 games his rookie season and lost all of them. An injury ended the season. The next year, he would go 7-8 in games started. The following year he was 7-5. In 1992, just his fourth year in the league, he guided the team to a 13-3 record. Aikman won three Super Bowls in four years as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. He was the Super Bowl MVP in 1992.
Hard to argue against any of these finalists.
Here is how they got to this round:
- Landry defeated Bob Hayes in Round One (100%-0%)and Bob Lilly in Round Two (82%-18%)
- Staubach defeated Larry Allen and Randy White, winning each round with 100% of the vote
- Smith beat out Lee Roy Jordan in Round One (69-31) and Tony Dorsett in Round Two (82-18)
- Aikman took down Rayfield Wright (77-23) and Jimmy Johnson (70-30)
The question we now must answer is which of these deserves to be in the finals? As of this writing, Landry and Staubach are in the lead, but both are being challenged. Landry leads Smith, 60-40. Staubach has Aikman, 80-20, but the votes are few and the results can swing greatly with each vote cast.
So, when the final results are in, if you did not vote, don’t complain to me about the outcome. This is your ballgame. Vote, player.
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Copyright 2013 Silver and BlueBlood
Actually Roger led the Cowboys to four Super Bowls, not five.
Craig Morton was the QB of the Cowboys during the 1970 season, when he led the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl, SB V, which they lost to the Colts in the "Blunder Bowl". I'm not downplaying Roger's accomplishments or importance to the team. I'm just setting the record straight.
Leading the Cowboys to four Super Bowls is not bad, but let's not get carried away.