A Few Surprises on the Cowboys’ 50th Anniversary Team

The Golden Anniversary Team is featured in America's Team: The Official History of the Dallas Cowboys.

Over the weekend, I am going to post a review of Jeff Sullivan’s America’s Team: The Official History of the Dallas Cowboys. Among the book’s great features is the unveiling of the Cowboys’ Golden Anniversary Team.

In January 2009, I posted a list of those who made the 25th Anniversary Team, along with the names of several of those who have played since 1984 and who might make the Golden Anniversary Team. There were a few mild surprises. Here are some highlights:

1. Dandy Don Didn’t Make It

Don Meredith is the only player in the Ring of Honor who did not make the 50th team. It won’t take much guessing to figure out who did.

2. Moose Lost Out to Don Perkins

Many younger fans would expect Daryl Johnston to make the team as the fullback. However, that honor went to Don Perkins.

3. Irvin Is the #88 on the 50-Year Team

Drew Pearson has been left out of not only the Hall of Fame, but also the Ring of Honor. Now he hasn’t even made the 50th team. The other #88 did, as Michael Irvin joined the list.

4. Erik Williams Instead of Ralph Neely?

Erik Williams was a good offensive tackle for the Cowboys from 1991 to 2000. He dominated Reggie White few others. However, was he really better than Ralph Neely? Neely was named All-Pro three times compared with Williams’ two selections.

5. Darren Woodson over Charlie Waters

Charlie Waters made three Pro Bowls and had some of the great playoff games among any defensive player in team history. But this one had to go to Woodson, who made five Pro Bowls and was dominant at a time when Dallas was at the top of the league.

6. Danny White Doesn’t Make It as a QB or Punter

No surprise at all that Danny White didn’t make the list as a quarterback. But it was a bit of a surprise that he didn’t make the list as a punter. That honor went to Mat McBriar.

7. Deion Made It. And So Did Bill Bates!

The 50th team had more slots for special teams players. Bill Bates made the team under the label “Special Teams.” As for Deion, he did not make it as a cornerback, but he did make it as the best punt returner in team history.

The rest of the list is interesting, but the details will need to wait a couple of days. The team is pretty well balanced between the 1970s Cowboys and the 1990s Cowboys, with a few from the 1960s and 1980s throw in. Only two current Cowboys made the team—Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware.

  • fgoodwin

    I’m glad Perk made the team — he’s my all-time favorite Cowboy. rnrnI haven’t received my copy yet, so I’ll have to wait to learn the other positions. E.g., we’ve had so many great TEs, I don’t know how you name just one: Billy Joe, Paycheck, Witten, Cosbie? I’m thinking Witten probably gets the nod due to his stats, but it does sound like Perk was the exception. I’m guessing modern players (90s forward) probably got the nod over their Landy-era counterparts in general.rnrnHopefully Sullivan found a spot for Bob Lilly, Randy White, Mel Renfro, Chuck Howley and Lee Roy Jordan.rnrnThanx for the teaser.

  • Anonymous

    Witten earned the nod over Billy Joe, Novacek, and Cosbie. Witten’s receiving stats are far better than Cosbie or Dupree, and he is a better blocker than any of the others. I think Novacek came up bigger in the big games, but overall, I don’t think this was much of a contest.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding the others selections, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the balance between Landry’s Cowboys and the ’90s team. The majority of the defensive players are from Landry’s era. nnOverall, the only selection I disagree with is Erik Williams. He was on pace to become one of the true greats, but he was never quite the same after the wreck in 1994. I would have kept Neely on this list.