Cowboys Well Represented in the Hall (for a 50-Year-Old Franchise)

Emmitt Smith is the 12th Dallas Cowboy to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame

With the induction of Emmitt Smith into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night, the Cowboys are now represented in Canton by 12 players, coaches, and executives who made their principal mark in Dallas. Six other players in the Hall of Fame also played with the Cowboys. Here is the list:

Played Principally in Dallas

Troy Aikman (1989-2000)
Tony Dorsett (1977-1987)
Bob Hayes (1965-1974)
Michael Irvin (1988-1999)
Tom Landry (1960-1988)
Bob Lilly (1961-1974)
Mel Renfro (1964-1977)
Tex Schramm (1960-1989)
Emmitt Smith (1990-2002)
Roger Staubach (1969-1979)
Randy White (1975-1988)
Rayfield Wright (1967-1979)

Other Players

Herb Adderley (1970-1972)
Lance Alworth (1971-1972)
Mike Ditka (1969-1972)
Forrest Gregg (1971)
Tommy McDonald (1964)
Jackie Smith (1978)

The Cowboys don’t rank especially high on the list of teams with the most Hall-of-Famers, but most of the franchises ahead of Dallas existed long before the Cowboys were born in 1960. The Bears have a total of 26 members, though 19 of them played before the Cowboys even existed. Other franchises with more members likewise existed for decades before the Cowboys birth, including Green Bay (21), N.Y. Giants (18), Pittsburgh (18), and Washington (18). The Cardinals are the league’s oldest team, yet the Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona franchise can claim only 11 members.

As for teams formed near the time of the Cowboys, only the Raiders have more Hall of Fame members with 13. The Vikings have 10 with the induction of John Randle.

Although there will be a push to see Drew Pearson inducted, the next Cowboy with the best chance of making it to Canton is Larry Allen, who will be eligible in 2013.

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  • krl97a

    I disagree. The Cowboys are still way under represented considering the success they’ve had over the years. There’s no excuse for the Raiders to have more HoFers when they’ve only won 3 SBs. The Steelers have 13 players and 4 championships (excluding recent years, which will eventually add more HoFers), and virtually every team has more primary HoF players per championship than the Cowboys, even the Giants (again, excluding their last SB) and modern era Packers. It’s sad that the Vikings, with 0 titles, are keeping pace with Dallas in Canton.

    SBs aside, the Cowboys have the highest all time winning percentage, the most conference wins, and they should have at least another 3 or 4 guys in the Hall of Fame already just to be around the league average for their titles. Given their sustained success, they should actually be above the league average.

  • krl97a

    Of course the Cowboys just have 10 PLAYERS in the HoF, and 2 per championship is an atrocious ratio compared to the other established teams in the league, especially when you also consider winning pct., playoff appearances, and other metrics of sustained success.

    Larry Allen and Deion Sanders are locks, but Canton will be adding guys from those other teams too over the next few years, so to catch up and atone for decades of anti-Cowboys bias Dallas players will have to go in at a faster rate.