Best Cowboys Players: Top 5 Dallas Cowboys, According To Experts

The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most highly decorated NFL teams, with five championship titles since 1967. Americans love football, but in Texas, football is even more deeply ingrained into daily life as compared to the rest of the nation. Our list of the top five best Dallas Cowboys players contains some of the greatest players to ever hit the field.

The team has been graced by the presence of numerous legendary players who have left an indelible mark on the sport. At the forefront is Roger Staubach, the Hall of Fame quarterback known for his precision passing and leadership, leading the Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories in the 1970s. Accompanying him in that era was Tony Dorsett, an electrifying running back whose explosive speed and agility made him a football sensation.

In the 1990s, the Cowboys dominated the NFL with a roster that featured the “Triplets,” which included Troy Aikman, a three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, and Michael Irvin, a flamboyant wide receiver known for his exceptional catch-making ability. More recently, the era of the offensive line has been epitomized by Tyron Smith, an exceptional left tackle who has been a cornerstone of the Cowboys’ offense.

Among all of the greats to ever walk through AT&T Stadium, which stand out above the rest? We turned to the experts to determine the top five best Cowboys players of all time. Let us know your favorite players in the comments below!

AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium (Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash)

The List: Best Dallas Cowboys, According to Fans

1. Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach is easily in the number one spot according to our sources. Staubach’s speed and agility made him an exciting player to watch on the field. Pro Football Network details, “Staubach hasn’t taken an NFL snap since 1979, but he is still one of the most recognizable faces and names in NFL history. A Vietnam veteran quarterbacked America’s Team to two Super Bowl victories. ‘Captain Comeback’ did it time and time again, bringing the Cowboys back from the depths of despair all the way to victory.”

Dallas Cowboys own website has this to say about their veteran player, “The Heisman Trophy winner from the Naval Academy couldn’t join the Cowboys for another five years after being drafted, his military commitment taking him to Vietnam for a stretch with the Cowboys sending him footballs every few months to toss around. When the 1971 campaign then kicked off, Staubach was less than six months away from turning 30 years old, the same age at which fellow Ring of Honor quarterback Don Meredith retired.”

“Roger Staubach joined the Cowboys and worked into a starting role… The decision paid off, considering Dallas went 10-0 in his starts and won a Super Bowl in 1971. ‘You knew someone special was on the field’ when watching Staubach, Chicago Bears great Sid Luckman said, per Mark Kreidler of ESPN.com. Staubach, the Super Bowl VI MVP, achieved six Pro Bowl nods and received a Hall of Fame spot in 1985,” according to B/R.

2. Emmit Smith

Emmit Smith is another superstar of the gridiron. Smith’s Cowboy’s tenure was a series of spectacular plays and amazing game-winning highlights. AS details, “The all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith no doubt belongs in the top three. Smith was unstoppable. He wasn’t a showy running back, but he always broke through and got those yards. And he was tough. Remember when he dislocated his shoulder during a game against the Giants in 1993 and then went on to basically beat them all on his own, with 32 runs for 170 yards, 10 catches for 62 yards, and all of that done with one arm?”

No doubt Smith often left it all on the field, “Being a four-time All-Pro, eight-time pro bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion were all achieved by Smith thanks to the longevity of his career. In Smith’s 13 years as a Cowboy, he averaged 311 carries per season. In three seasons, Smith even led the league in touches, with his highest mark coming in 1995 when he carried the ball 377 times. Sustaining a 15 year career as a running back is unheard of, especially considering how high his usage was,” according to How Bout Them.

“In today’s NFL, it would be insane to put a running back ahead of a quarterback on a dynasty. But in the 1990s, that was the case. The Cowboys were the team to beat for most of that decade and while Aikman rightfully deserves his credit for their success, this was a run-first team led by Smith,” adds The Landry Hat.

3. Bob Lilly

Bob Lilly is an iconic player in the Cowboy’s franchise history. Lilly’s defensive tackle abilities excited fans of his era. AS writes, “Mr. Cowboy! He took the Cowboys from nothing to something. He never missed a single regular season game and he played in 11 Pro Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Cowboys. He was dominant, he was unstoppable, and he was solid. Sometimes he’d have three players on him and they STILL couldn’t block him. In 1971, the Cowboys went to the Super Bowl and won it over the Miami Dolphins 24-3 and it was Lilly’s 29-yard sack of Bob Griese that is still remembered today.”

“Lilly was born and raised in Texas. He played college football at Texas Christian University (TCU). The Hall of Fame defensive tackle shut down the other team’s plays in the backfield on a regular basis. The 11-time Pro Bowler helped Dallas win its first Super Bowl in 1971,” says Yard Barker of this hometown hero.

“The very first player ever taken in franchise history was none other than defensive lineman Bob Lilly, which earned him the fitting nickname ‘Mr. Cowboy.’ As if being the very first member of America’s Team wasn’t enough of an honor, Lilly also turned out to be the first member of the organization to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” tells The Landry Hat.

4. Troy Aikman

The 1990s were an exciting time in the NFL. Many football heroes became household names and Troy Aikman was one of them. Pro Sports Outlook explains, “Being the leader of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s, Troy Aikman helped the franchise win three of their five Super Bowls. Aikman’s 1997 Man of the Year award shows the legacy he left on and off the field, which has translated into a highly successful broadcasting career during his post-playing days.”

“Troy Aikman helped establish the dynasty that the Cowboys earned in the 1990s. Aikman was the team’s first overall draft pick in 1989 and quickly became one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks. His stats are not on par with other quarterbacks of his era, but he won more Super Bowls as QB in the 90s than any other quarterback,” adds The Sportster.

“From 1991-1996, he was the most successful quarterback in the game if we overvalue team success, which we do. As a passer, he led the league with a 69.1% completion percentage in 1993 and adjusted net yards per attempt in 1995. Despite being the quarterback of those Super Bowl-winning Cowboys teams, he was not the focal point of the offense. That was Emmitt Smith,” explains Pro Football Network.

5. Tony Dorsett

Tony Dorsett was an offensive line star. Dorsett earned a slew of early career accolades. Not In Hall of Fame exclaims, “A stud Running Back at the University of Pittsburgh, Tony Dorsett had an immediate impact with the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him second overall in the 1977 Draft. That year, Dorsett won the Offensive Rookie of the Year with 1,007 Rushing Yards, and four post-season Touchdowns on route to a Super Bowl win. Not a bad rookie year!”

Bleacher Report raves, “Tony Dorsett wasted no time making an impact for Dallas. As a rookie in 1977, the Pitt product scampered for 1,007 yards and what would be a career-high 12 touchdowns. Dorsett garnered Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, also rushing for 66 yards and a score in the team’s Super Bowl XII victory.”

“Dorsett made a name for himself at the University of Pittsburgh when he won the Heisman Trophy in 1976. The Cowboys took notice and drafted him. He made an immediate impact, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. His running helped the Cowboys win the Super Bowl in 1977. He ran for 1,000 yards or more in eight seasons with the Cowboys. Dorsett and Derrick Henry are the only players in NFL history to run for a 99-yard rushing touchdown,” states Yard Barker.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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