Best of the Best

now browsing by category

 

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Defensive Line

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys have been blessed since early in their history with some great defensive linemen. The list of names that appeared at the top of the ESPN poll were hardly surprising, though there are a few notable omissions. Here were the results:

Defensive Ends

1. Too Tall Jones (76.8%)
2. Charles Haley (53.6%)
3. Harvey Martin (42.8%)
4. Jim Jeffcoat (18%)
5. George Andrie (6.8%)
6. Larry Cole (1.9%)

Defensive Tackles

1. Randy White (86.8%)
2. Bob Lilly (75.6%)
3. Leon Lett (14.8%)
4. Jay Ratliff (10.6%)
5. Russell Maryland (5.4%)
6. La’Roi Glover (2.9%)
7. Chad Hennings (1.7%)
8. Jethro Pugh (1.6%)
9. John Dutton (.6%)

Among more recent players, Greg Ellis didn’t get a single vote in the poll. Fans from the 1990s will also note the absence of Tony Tolbert, who was a very solid run-stopper and generally underrated throughout his career. George Andrie also didn’t get enough attention, given that he was a five-time Pro Bowler.

As for defensive tackles, Lett probably received a little bit too much attention, given the quality of several of the others. I would argue that Glover was more consistent in his time in Dallas, and given more years, I think that Ratliff will have a better career than Lett did.

Here is the complete AV list of defensive linemen:

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Bob Lilly 1961 1974 196 DE 175
2 Randy White 1975 1988 209 DE 156
3 Too Tall Jones 1974 1989 224 DE 133
4 Jethro Pugh 1965 1978 183 DE 107
5 Harvey Martin 1973 1983 158 DE 100
6 George Andrie 1962 1971 138 DE 95
7 Larry Cole 1968 1980 176 DE 87
8 Greg Ellis 1998 2008 162 DE 85
9 Jim Jeffcoat 1983 1994 188 DE 73
10 Tony Tolbert 1989 1997 144 DE 72
11 John Dutton 1979 1987 117 DE 51
12 La’Roi Glover 2002 2005 64 DT 49
13 Jay Ratliff 2005 2010 82 DE 46
14 Leon Lett 1992 2000 104 DE 46
15 Chad Hennings 1992 2000 119 DE 44
16 Charles Haley 1992 1996 63 DE 41
17 Russell Maryland 1991 1995 75 DT 36
18 Marcus R. Spears 2005 2010 88 DE 34
19 Tony Casillas 1991 1997 77 DT 34
20 Pat Toomay 1970 1974 70 DE 31
21 Anthony Spencer 2007 2010 60 DE 23
22 Jim Colvin 1964 1966 42 DE 23
23 Chris L. Canty 2005 2008 64 DE 23
24 Kavika Pittman 1996 1999 61 DE 21
25 Danny Noonan 1987 1992 67 DE 21
26 Ebenezer Ekuban 1999 2003 59 DE 21
27 Brandon Noble 1999 2002 64 DT 21
28 Larry Stephens 1963 1967 63 DE 19
29 Michael Myers 1998 2002 67 DE 18
30 Bill Gregory 1971 1977 96 DE 18
31 Lee Folkins 1962 1964 41 DE 18
32 John Wilbur 1966 1969 50 DE 17
33 Willie Townes 1966 1968 32 DE 17
34 Shante Carver 1994 1997 52 DE 16
35 Alonzo Spellman 1999 2000 32 DE 14
36 Jimmie Jones 1990 1993 63 DE 14
37 Kevin Brooks 1985 1988 48 DE 14
38 Peppi Zellner 1999 2002 57 DE 12
39 Igor Olshansky 2009 2010 32 DE 12
40 Guy Reese 1962 1963 28 DT 12
41 John Meyers 1962 1963 28 DT 12
42 Nate Borden 1960 1961 26 DE 11
43 Don Healy 1960 1961 26 DT 11
44 Dean Hamel 1989 1990 28 DT 11
45 Danny Stubbs 1990 1991 25 DE 10
46 Jason Ferguson 2005 2006 32 DT 10
47 Maury Youmans 1964 1965 28 DE 9
48 Dave Stalls 1977 1979 43 DE 9
49 Stephen Bowen 2007 2010 62 DE 9
50 Hurvin McCormack 1995 1998 60 DT 9
51 Broderick Thomas 1996 1997 32 DE 8
52 Jim Doran 1960 1961 26 DE 8
53 Kenyon Coleman 2003 2006 56 DE 8
54 Monte Clark 1962 1962 14 DE 8
55 Larry Bethea 1978 1983 81 DE 8
56 Leonardo Carson 2003 2004 23 DT 8
57 Jim Ray Smith 1963 1964 12 DE 7
58 Don Smerek 1982 1987 67 DE 7
59 Jason Hatcher 2006 2010 75 DE 7
60 Bill Herchman 1960 1961 25 DT 7
61 Willie Blade 2003 2003 15 DT 7
62 Marcellus Wiley 2004 2004 16 DE 6
63 Tody Smith 1971 1972 17 DE 6
64 Eric Ogbogu 2003 2004 31 DE 6
65 L.P. Ladouceur 2005 2010 88 DE 6
66 Ron East 1967 1970 56 DE 6
67 Ed Husmann 1960 1960 12 DE 5
68 John Gonzaga 1960 1960 11 DE 5
69 Gene Cronin 1960 1960 11 DE 5
70 Buzz Guy 1960 1960 12 DT 5
71 Paul Dickson 1960 1960 8 DT 5
72 Willie Broughton 1989 1989 16 DT 5
73 Antonio Anderson 1997 1997 16 DE 4
74 Mark Walen 1987 1988 24 DE 3
75 Bruce Thornton 1979 1981 41 DE 3
76 Tank Johnson 2007 2008 24 DT 3
77 Andy Stynchula 1968 1968 5 DE 2
78 Artie Smith 1998 1998 16 DE 2
79 Garry Porterfield 1965 1965 2 DE 2
80 Demetric Evans 2001 2001 16 DE 2
81 Daleroy Stewart 2003 2003 15 DT 2
82 Junior Siavii 2009 2009 16 DT 2
83 Bill Sandeman 1966 1966 8 DT 2
84 John Nix 2001 2002 30 DT 2
85 Ken Frost 1961 1962 17 DT 2
86 Mike Dwyer 1987 1987 3 DT 2
87 Randy Watts 1987 1987 5 DE 1
88 Greg Schaum 1976 1976 12 DE 1
89 Ray Perkins 1987 1987 2 DE 1
90 Tony L. Hill 1991 1991 8 DE 1
91 Byron Frisch 2001 2001 13 DE 1
92 Dimitrius Underwood 2000 2000 15 DT 1
93 Dick Klein 1960 1960 7 DT 1
94 Forrest Gregg 1971 1971 6 DT 1
95 Chad Eaton 2004 2004 6 DT 1
96 Jon Carter 1989 1989 13 DT 1
97 Darren Benson 1997 1997 6 DT 1
98 Dowe Aughtman 1984 1984 7 DT 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/18/2011.

My votes:

Defensive Ends: George Andrie and Tony Tolbert

Notes: I don’t think that Jim Jeffcoat or Greg Ellis were underappreciated while they were here. Both were solid players who were later overshadowed by better talent (Charles Haley in Jeffcoat’s situation; DeMarcus Ware in Ellis’ situation). Larry Cole was a contributor for a long time, but I don’t think he was as important during his time than Andrie was in the 1960s or Tolbert in 1990s. Thus, my votes go to Andrie and Tolbert.

Defensive Tackles: Jethro Pugh and La’Roi Glover

Notes: Pugh spent 14 seasons in Dallas, where he was overshadowed by Lilly and White. But he was a solid player throughout his career and is not remembered well enough by the fans in general. Glover may seem to be an odd choice, but many seem to forget how good he was at a time when the team simply wasn’t that good. He made the Pro Bowl in each of the four years he was in Dallas.

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Linebackers

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys have had some iconic players at the linebacker position, and the selection of Lee Roy Jordan, Chuck Howley, and DeMarcus Ware in ESPN’s poll was not surprising. The number of votes for others, though, was a bit surprising. Here is the final tally:

1. DeMarcus Ware (92.5%)
2. Chuck Howley (68.2%)
3. Lee Roy Jordan (57.8%)
4. Ken Norton (39.1%)
5. Dexter Coakley (14.3%)
6. Thomas Henderson (11.1%)
7. Dat Nguyen (8.6%)
8. D.D. Lewis (4.3%)
9. Bob Breunig (4%)

Norton was a solid player, but he was one of the first casualties of the free agent system in the 1990s. He does not rank as high as some others, several of whom did not receive votes.

Here is the list of AV ranks:

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Chuck Howley 1961 1972 164 LB 132
2 Lee Roy Jordan 1963 1976 186 LB 129
3 Dave Edwards 1963 1975 181 LB 96
4 D.D. Lewis 1968 1981 186 LB 82
5 Bob Breunig 1975 1984 135 LB 80
6 DeMarcus Ware 2005 2010 96 LB 74
7 Dexter Coakley 1997 2004 127 LB 72
8 Mike Hegman 1976 1987 170 LB 67
9 Bradie James 2003 2010 126 LB 51
10 Eugene Lockhart 1984 1990 104 LB 50
11 Ken Norton 1989 1993 76 LB 43
12 Dat Nguyen 1999 2005 90 LB 41
13 Randall Godfrey 1996 1999 64 LB 30
14 Thomas Henderson 1975 1979 67 LB 30
15 Darrin Smith 1993 1996 57 LB 27
16 Dixon Edwards 1991 1995 75 LB 25
17 Jeff Rohrer 1982 1987 83 LB 24
18 Robert Jones 1992 1995 56 LB 23
19 Fred Strickland 1996 1998 47 LB 23
20 Anthony Dickerson 1980 1984 73 LB 21
21 Jack Del Rio 1989 1991 46 LB 20
22 Alshermond Singleton 2003 2006 53 LB 18
23 Vinson Smith 1990 1997 59 LB 17
24 Guy Brown 1977 1982 85 LB 16
25 Darren Hambrick 1998 2001 51 LB 16
26 Keith Brooking 2009 2010 32 LB 14
27 Akin Ayodele 2006 2007 32 LB 12
28 Jim Schwantz 1994 1996 39 LB 11
29 Godfrey Myles 1992 1996 73 LB 10
30 Ron Burton 1987 1989 34 LB 9
31 Kevin Hardy 2002 2002 16 LB 8
32 Harold Hays 1963 1967 70 LB 8
33 Markus Steele 2001 2003 42 LB 8
34 Kevin Burnett 2005 2008 61 LB 7
35 Scott Shanle 2004 2005 31 LB 7
36 Zach Thomas 2008 2008 16 LB 7
37 Bobby Carpenter 2006 2009 58 LB 6
38 Garry Cobb 1988 1988 16 LB 6
39 Steve DeOssie 1984 1988 75 LB 6
40 Bruce Huther 1977 1983 72 LB 6
41 Scott Fujita 2005 2005 16 LB 5
42 Barron Wortham 2000 2000 16 LB 5
43 Ryan Fowler 2005 2006 30 LB 4
44 Angelo King 1981 1983 40 LB 4
45 Jesse Penn 1985 1987 42 LB 4
46 Thomas Stincic 1969 1971 35 LB 4
47 Don Talbert 1962 1971 37 LB 4
48 Keith Adams 2002 2002 6 LB 3
49 John Babinecz 1972 1973 26 LB 3
50 Victor Butler 2009 2010 31 LB 3
51 Oliver Hoyte 2007 2007 10 LB 3
52 Garth Jax 1986 1988 32 LB 3
53 Cal Peterson 1974 1975 28 LB 3
54 Brian Salonen 1984 1985 32 LB 3
55 Rodrigo Barnes 1973 1973 14 LB 2
56 Darrick Brownlow 1991 1994 32 LB 2
57 Orantes Grant 2000 2001 23 LB 2
58 David Howard 1989 1990 27 LB 2
59 Ken Hutcherson 1974 1974 14 LB 2
60 Dale Jones 1987 1987 3 LB 2
61 Steve Kiner 1970 1970 14 LB 2
62 Jack Patera 1960 1961 4 LB 2
63 Justin Rogers 2007 2008 31 LB 2
64 Randy Shannon 1989 1989 16 LB 2
65 Dave Simmons 1968 1968 13 LB 2
66 Jesse Solomon 1989 1990 20 LB 2
67 Danny Spradlin 1981 1982 25 LB 2
68 Matt Vanderbeek 1993 1994 28 LB 2
69 Russell Wayt 1965 1965 9 LB 2
70 Reggie Barnes 1995 1995 7 LB 1
71 Joe Bowden 2000 2000 16 LB 1
72 Jamal Brooks 2001 2001 16 LB 1
73 Lee Roy Caffey 1971 1971 6 LB 1
74 Alan Campos 1996 1996 15 LB 1
75 Billy Cannon Jr. 1984 1984 8 LB 1
76 Warren Capone 1975 1975 5 LB 1
77 Quinton Caver 2005 2005 8 LB 1
78 Quentin Coryatt 1999 1999 4 LB 1
79 Willis Crockett 1990 1990 13 LB 1
80 Sonny Davis 1961 1961 2 LB 1
81 Chris Duliban 1987 1987 3 LB 1
82 Anthony Fieldings 1995 1995 4 LB 1
83 Lemanski Hall 1999 1999 10 LB 1
84 Darryl Hardy 1997 1997 12 LB 1
85 Mike Keller 1972 1972 5 LB 1
86 Sean Lee 2010 2010 14 LB 1
87 Bob W. Long 1962 1962 8 LB 1
88 Louis Mackey 2002 2002 15 LB 1
89 Keith O’Neil 2003 2003 15 LB 1
90 Steve Octavien 2009 2009 14 LB 1
91 Carlos Polk 2008 2008 10 LB 1
92 Bill Roe 1980 1980 16 LB 1
93 John Roper 1993 1993 3 LB 1
94 Russ Swan 1987 1987 5 LB 1
95 Kalen Thornton 2004 2004 16 LB 1
96 Louie Walker 1974 1974 8 LB 1
97 Mike Walter 1983 1983 15 LB 1
98 Leon Williams 2010 2010 11 LB 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/7/2011.

My votes go to Bob Breunig, Ken Norton, and Dave Edwards.

Breunig was a two-time Pro Bowl selection who helped lead the Cowboys to two Super Bowl appearances after Lee Roy Jordan retired.

Norton endured the 3-13 and 1-15 seasons of 1988 and 1989 before being a key part of the team’s revival. His performance in 1993 while playing with a torn bicep muscle was vital to the team’s Super Bowl title that year.

Edwards received far less fame than Jordan and Howley, but Edwards was a starter from day one and one of the reasons why Dallas had a Doomsday Defense.

 

Several others certainly deserve consideration. One of the problems, though, is that several of the better linebackers have had relatively short careers with the team. This includes Hollywood Henderson, Darrin Smith, and Dixon Edwards. Dexter Coakley and Dat Nguyen played their hardest, but they were stars at a time when the team was short of talent in general.

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Defensive Backs

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

Finally getting back to this series, which will now focus on defense. Instead of writing about every individual position, we will focus on sets of positions, starting with defensive back. In ESPN’s poll, the results were very predictable. The two cornerbacks are in the Hall of Fame, while one of the safeties is at least in the Ring of Honor. Here are the results from the ESPN poll:

Cornerbacks

Deion Sanders (79.3%)
Mel Renfro (66%)
Everson Walls (36%)
Terence Newman (8%)
Cornell Green (5.9%)
Kevin Smith (4.7%)

Safeties

Darren Woodson (87%)
Cliff Harris (58.1%)
Charlie Waters (33.2%)
Roy Williams (16.6%)
Michael Downs (5%)

 

As for the approximate value of the defensive backs, here is a complete list:

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Mel Renfro 1964 1977 174 DB 149
2 Cornell Green 1962 1974 182 DB 126
3 Cliff Harris 1970 1979 141 DB 103
4 Darren Woodson 1992 2003 178 DB 99
5 Charlie Waters 1970 1981 160 DB 81
6 Everson Walls 1981 1989 133 DB 78
7 Deion Sanders 1995 1999 63 DB 70
8 Roy Williams 2002 2008 98 DB 65
9 Michael Downs 1981 1988 116 DB 60
10 Terence Newman 2003 2010 119 DB 58
11 Benny Barnes 1973 1982 135 DB 50
12 Mike Gaechter 1962 1969 108 DB 47
13 Bill Bates 1983 1997 212 DB 41
14 Kevin R. Smith 1992 1999 102 DB 40
15 Dennis Thurman 1978 1985 121 DB 37
16 Don Bishop 1960 1965 81 B 35
17 Warren Livingston 1961 1966 67 DB 33
18 Larry Brown 1991 1995 79 DB 31
19 James Washington 1990 1994 77 DB 28
20 Mark Washington 1970 1978 104 DB 27
21 Ray Horton 1989 1992 58 DB 26
22 Mario Edwards 2000 2003 58 DB 24
23 George Teague 1996 2001 71 DB 23
24 Ron Fellows 1981 1986 86 DB 23
25 Aaron Kyle 1976 1979 60 DB 22
26 Anthony Henry 2005 2008 57 DB 22
27 Ken Hamlin 2007 2009 44 DB 22
28 Dextor Clinkscale 1980 1985 71 DB 22
29 Herb Adderley 1970 1972 39 DB 21
30 Issiac Holt 1989 1992 55 DB 20
31 Robert Williams 1987 1992 81 DB 19
32 Brock Marion 1993 1997 71 DB 18
33 Mike Johnson 1966 1969 54 DB 18
34 Keith Davis 2002 2008 84 DB 17
35 Vince Albritton 1984 1990 80 DB 17
36 Mike Jenkins 2008 2010 46 DB 16
37 Randy Hughes 1975 1979 72 DB 15
38 Thomas Everett 1992 1993 27 DB 15
39 Manny Hendrix 1986 1991 89 DB 14
40 Gerald Sensabaugh 2009 2010 31 DB 13
41 Steve Wilson 1979 1981 48 DB 11
42 Obert Logan 1965 1966 28 DB 11
43 Ron Francis 1987 1990 54 DB 11
44 Bob Bercich 1960 1961 18 DB 11
45 Duane Hawthorne 1999 2002 53 DB 10
46 Alan Ball 2008 2010 42 DB 10
47 Charlie Williams 1995 2000 74 DB 9
48 Jimmy Ridlon 1963 1964 21 DB 9
49 Jacques Reeves 2004 2007 60 DB 9
50 Izell Reese 1998 2001 56 DB 9
51 Aaron Mitchell 1979 1980 31 DB 9
52 Tony Dixon 2001 2004 56 DB 9
53 Phil Clark 1967 1969 37 DB 9
54 Pat Watkins 2006 2009 49 DB 8
55 Lynn Scott 2001 2004 60 DB 8
56 Orlando Scandrick 2008 2010 48 DB 8
57 Kenneth Gant 1990 1994 72 DB 8
58 Omar Stoutmire 1997 1998 32 DB 7
59 Kevin Mathis 1997 1999 37 DB 7
60 Dick Daniels 1966 1968 32 DB 7
61 Derek Ross 2002 2003 22 DB 6
62 Jerry Norton 1962 1962 14 DB 6
63 Dick Nolan 1962 1962 11 DB 6
64 Dicky Moegle 1961 1961 14 DB 6
65 Ryan McNeil 2000 2000 16 DB 6
66 Tom Franckhauser 1960 1961 18 DB 6
67 Phillippi Sparks 2000 2000 16 DB 5
68 Victor Scott 1984 1987 38 DB 5
69 Walt Kowalczyk 1960 1960 12 DB 5
70 Pete Hunter 2002 2004 30 DB 5
71 Clayton Holmes 1992 1995 39 DB 5
72 Aaron Glenn 2005 2006 32 DB 5
73 Bill Butler 1960 1960 12 DB 5
74 Richmond Flowers 1969 1970 20 DB 4
75 Ike Thomas 1971 1971 7 DB 3
76 J.D. Smith 1965 1966 28 DB 3
77 Singor Mobley 1997 1999 44 DB 3
78 Kareem Larrimore 2000 2001 19 DB 3
79 Pacman Jones 2008 2008 9 DB 3
80 Nate Jones 2004 2007 47 DB 3
81 Rod Hill 1982 1983 23 DB 3
82 Glynn Gregory 1961 1962 20 DB 3
83 Lance Frazier 2004 2004 12 DB 3
84 Rolly Woolsey 1975 1975 14 DB 2
85 Kenny Wheaton 1998 1998 15 DB 2
86 Dave Thomas 1993 1994 28 DB 2
87 Mickey Pruitt 1991 1992 18 DB 2
88 Willie Pile 2005 2005 16 DB 2
89 Greg Myers 2000 2000 6 DB 2
90 Billy Lothridge 1964 1964 14 DB 2
91 Tommy Haynes 1987 1987 3 DB 2
92 Wendell Davis 1996 1997 28 DB 2
93 Bobby Joe Conrad 1969 1969 8 DB 2
94 Courtney L. Brown 2007 2008 17 DB 2
95 Alundis Brice 1995 1996 25 DB 2
96 Chris Akins 1999 2000 17 DB 2
97 Bryan McCann 2010 2010 9 1
98 Gary Wisener 1960 1960 10 DB 1
99 Tyrone Williams 2004 2004 3 DB 1
100 Roland Solomon 1980 1980 10 DB 1
101 Stan Smagala 1991 1991 8 DB 1
102 John Roach 1964 1964 9 DB 1
103 Beasley Reece 1976 1976 10 DB 1
104 Elvis Patterson 1993 1993 11 DB 1
105 Billy Owens 1988 1988 16 DB 1
106 Jerry Overton 1963 1963 10 DB 1
107 Evan Oglesby 2007 2007 8 DB 1
108 Jim Mooty 1960 1960 7 DB 1
109 Woodley Lewis 1960 1960 6 DB 1
110 Monty Hunter 1982 1982 9 DB 1
111 Carl Howard 1984 1984 10 DB 1
112 Johnny Holloway 1986 1986 16 DB 1
113 Bill Hill 1987 1987 3 DB 1
114 Jimmy Harris 1961 1961 11 DB 1
115 Roger Harper 1996 1996 14 DB 1
116 Michael Hamlin 2009 2009 6 DB 1
117 Alex Green 1987 1987 3 DB 1
118 Dwayne Goodrich 2002 2002 11 DB 1
119 Joe Fishback 1994 1994 12 DB 1
120 Abram Elam 2006 2006 15 DB 1
121 Ricky Easmon 1985 1985 8 DB 1
122 Fred Doelling 1960 1960 2 DB 1
123 Pat Dennis 2001 2001 11 DB 1
124 Barry Church 2010 2010 15 DB 1
125 Scott Case 1995 1995 16 DB 1
126 Otto Brown 1969 1969 14 DB 1
127 Greg Briggs 1995 1995 11 DB 1
128 Jason Bell 2001 2001 16 DB 1
129 Robert Bailey 1995 1995 9 DB 1
130 Jimmy Armstrong 1987 1987 2 DB 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2011.

The choices for most underappreciated are mostly obvious, except for one of the safeties. I am not going to run a poll (the plug-in is causing problems), but please feel free to concur or dissent in the comments section.

My choices for underappreciated cornerbacks: Everson Walls and Cornell Green.

Walls led the NFL in interceptions three times and picked off 44 passes in nine years. Only Mel Renfro has more.

For the other corner, I picked Green, the college basketball player who developed into an All-Pro at corner and a Pro Bowl player at safety. His accomplishments dwarf Terence Newman’s.

As for underappreciated safeties, this one is tougher. I’m going with Charlie Waters and Michael Downs.

Once he moved to safety, Waters was one of the best big-game players in team history.

Most would not know that Downs had 34 career picks in Dallas in just eight years. He was a solid replacement at free safety once Cliff Harris retired, but he is somewhat forgotten because of what happened to the Cowboys in the 1980s.

I know that we could consider Roy Williams here, but what started as such a promising career ended in disappointment. Bill Bates, on the other hand, was and is very appreciated, even though he stood out more on special teams.

Honorable mentions: Mike Gaechter, who was one of the most feared hitters in the game; James Washington, for his Super Bowl performances; Dennis Thurman, for giving us Thurman’s Thieves; Benny Barnes, for NOT interfering with Lynn Swann in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XIII; and Larry Brown, for his improbable selection as MVP of Super Bowl XXX.

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: The Offense, Final Results

Over the past month and a half, we have had a series of posts focusing on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys. Below are the results for the offense:

Quarterback

Danny White

Running Back

Calvin Hill

Fullback

Daryl Johnston

Wide Receivers

Drew Pearson

Tony Hill

Tight End

Doug Cosbie

Tackles

Ralph Neely

Mark Tuinei

Guards

John Niland

Herb Scott

Center

Tom Rafferty

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Running Back

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

The choices for greatest running back in team history in ESPN’s poll of the greatest team of the Dallas Cowboys were so obvious they are not worth mentioning.

As for the choice for the most underappreciated, that is more difficult. Below is the list of running backs sorted by approximate value.

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Emmitt Smith 1990 2002 201 RB 162
2 Tony Dorsett 1977 1987 157 RB 131
3 Calvin Hill 1969 1974 73 RB 68
4 Herschel Walker 1986 1997 81 RB 42
5 Marion Barber 2005 2010 88 RB 41
6 Preston Pearson 1975 1980 79 RB 40
7 Julius Jones 2004 2007 53 RB 31
8 Dan Reeves 1965 1971 86 RB 28
9 Duane Thomas 1970 1971 25 RB 19
10 Felix Jones 2008 2010 36 RB 17
11 Chris Warren 1998 2000 38 RB 13
12 Doug Dennison 1974 1978 52 RB 12
13 Troy Hambrick 2001 2003 48 RB 11
14 Sherman Williams 1995 1998 59 RB 11
15 Charley Young 1974 1976 37 RB 11
16 Tashard Choice 2008 2010 48 RB 10
17 Craig Baynham 1967 1969 38 HB 10
18 Jim Stiger 1963 1965 33 HB 10
19 Perry Lee Dunn 1964 1965 27 RB 7
20 Les Shy 1966 1969 52 RB 7
21 Tommie Agee 1990 1992 48 RB 6
22 Don McIlhenny 1960 1961 14 HB 6
23 James Dixon 1989 1990 31 RB 5
24 Mike Montgomery 1972 1973 21 RB 5
25 James Jones 1980 1985 48 RB 4
26 Michael Wiley 2000 2002 42 RB 4
27 Amos Bullocks 1962 1964 26 HB 4
28 L.G. Dupre 1960 1961 21 HB 4
29 Eddie George 2004 2004 13 RB 3
30 Derrick Lassic 1993 1993 10 RB 3
31 Paul Palmer 1989 1989 9 RB 3
32 Aveion Cason 2003 2003 10 RB 2
33 Darryl Clack 1988 1989 23 RB 2
34 Curvin Richards 1992 1992 9 RB 2
35 Les Strayhorn 1973 1974 24 RB 2
36 Claxton Welch 1969 1969 6 RB 2
37 Gary Allen 1983 1983 6 RB 1
38 Ricky Blake 1991 1991 2 RB 1
39 Alvin Blount 1987 1987 2 RB 1
40 Larry Brinson 1978 1978 10 RB 1
41 Woodrow Dantzler 2002 2002 5 RB 1
42 Derrick Gainer 1993 1993 11 RB 1
43 Wendell Hayes 1963 1963 1 RB 1
44 ReShard Lee 2004 2004 14 RB 1
45 Dennis Morgan 1974 1974 13 RB 1
46 Adrian Murrell 2003 2003 3 RB 1
47 Broderick Sargent 1989 1989 14 RB 1
48 Junior Tautalatasi 1989 1989 13 RB 1
49 Anthony Thomas 2005 2005 6 RB 1
50 Blair Thomas 1994 1994 2 RB 1
51 Tyson Thompson 2005 2005 15 RB 1
52 A.D. Whitfield 1965 1965 2 RB 1
53 Joe Williams 1971 1971 12 RB 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/23/2011.

From this list, here are the candidates:

Hill: When Duane Thomas finally left Dallas after two tumultuous seasons, Hill became a 1,000-yard back. Many people forget this.

Walker: Walker was a 1,500-yard rusher in his first stint with Dallas. He returned in 1996 and served as a capable backup at fullback (and a fine kick returner for two seasons).

Barber: Barber’s days in Dallas may be numbered. Most fans won’t forget him anytime soon, though he never became the dominant runner that many had hoped.

Pearson: This Pearson became the prototypical third-down back during the mid-1970s.

Thomas: Duane’s story is one of what could have been. He was vital in the Cowboys’ first Super Bowl championship.

Julius Jones: Most will remember Julius as a bust, but he was the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Emmitt Smith.

Felix Jones: In three seasons, Felix has shown flashes, but he needs to do more.

Dennison: A truly forgotten player, Dennison was a significant contributor during the mid-1970s. Once Dorsett arrived, though, Dennison seldom saw the field on offense.

Please select the most underappreciated running back in the poll below.

Who is the most underappreciated running back in team history?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Fullback

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

The ESPN poll for the Dallas Cowboys Greatest Team does not include the fullback position specifically. This explains why Daryl Johnston did not receive any votes. However, other players who were fullbacks in Tom Landry’s system earned votes, including Don Perkins and Walt Garrison.

Pro-Football-Reference must give more weight to yardage than to other considerations for its AV rating, such as blocking. Accordingly, Johnston only ranks fifth on the list of players who primarily served as fullbacks. Below is the complete list.

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Don Perkins 1961 1968 107 FB 76
2 Walt Garrison 1966 1974 119 RB 57
3 Robert Newhouse 1972 1982 136 RB 54
4 Ron Springs 1979 1984 88 RB 36
5 Daryl Johnston 1989 1998 150 RB 30
6 Timmy Newsome 1980 1988 106 RB 26
7 Amos Marsh 1961 1964 54 FB 22
8 Scott Laidlaw 1975 1979 67 RB 16
9 Mike Dowdle 1960 1962 30 FB 11
10 Richie Anderson 2003 2004 27 FB 10
11 Gene Babb 1960 1961 24 FB 9
12 Robert Thomas 1998 2002 68 FB 8
13 Sam Baker 1962 1963 28 FB 6
14 Tommie Agee 1990 1992 48 RB 6
15 J.W. Lockett 1961 1962 26 FB 5
16 Lincoln Coleman 1993 1994 18 FB 5
17 Deon Anderson 2007 2009 38 FB 4
18 Darian Barnes 2004 2004 16 FB 2
19 Jamar Martin 2003 2003 14 FB 1
20 Merrill Douglas 1961 1961 6 FB 1
21 Fred Cone 1960 1960 12 FB 1
22 Derrick Gainer 1993 1993 11 RB 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/7/2011.

For this poll, I am not going to exclude anyone for being “too” appreciated. Instead, we will focus on these players:

1. Perkins. He was the first star back on the Cowboys, earning a position in the Ring of Honor. He received .7% (that’s point-seven percent) of the ESPN votes.

2. Garrison: Still among the most popular Cowboys in history, he earned a few votes on the ESPN poll.

3. Newhouse: Newhouse was the team’s leading rusher in 1975 before taking more of a complementary role for the rest of his career.

4. Johnston: “Moose” rivals any player as the most popular in team history.  Unlike the others on this list, he served primarily as a blocker for nearly his entire career.

5. Newsome: Newsome was the last of the Landry-style fullbacks. He had only one season where he gained more yards on the ground than as a receiver.

Here were the results:

Johnston, 52%
Perkins, 16%
Garrison, 13%
Newhouse, 10%
Newsome, 6%
Springs, 3%

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Wide Receivers

The Cowboys have two Hall of Fame receivers in Michael Irvin and Bob Hayes, plus a third who should be in the Hall in Drew Pearson. A long list of others have had productive careers, giving several options for most underappreciated tight ends.

Below are the results of ESPN’s Greatest Team poll:

1. Michael Irvin (96.5%)
2. Bob Hayes (47.5%)
3. Drew Pearson (39.1%)
4. Terrell Owens (9.6%)
5. Tony Hill (4%)
6. Alvin Harper (2.1%)
7. Lance Rentzel (.7%)
8. Frank Clarke (.5%)

There were a couple of surprises here. First, Harper did not have a long career in Dallas, so it came as a surprise that he received any votes (compared with the likes of Miles Austin and Terry Glenn, who received no votes). And second, someone voted for Frank Clarke, which is refreshing given that many have forgotten about him.

Here is the P-F-R list of receivers ranked by approximate value:

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Michael Irvin 1988 1999 159 WR 128
2 Drew Pearson 1973 1983 156 WR 99
3 Bob Hayes 1965 1974 128 SE 92
4 Tony Hill 1978 1986 127 WR 82
5 Frank Clarke 1960 1967 104 E 39
6 Terrell Owens 2006 2008 47 WR 37
7 Alvin Harper 1991 1994 63 WR 31
8 Patrick Crayton 2004 2009 82 WR 30
9 Terry Glenn 2003 2006 53 WR 30
10 Kelvin Martin 1987 1996 98 WR 30
11 Lance Rentzel 1967 1970 53 FL 28
12 Butch Johnson 1976 1983 112 WR 25
13 Miles Austin 2007 2010 60 WR 24
14 Billy Howton 1960 1963 50 E 24
15 Rocket Ismail 1999 2001 39 WR 22
16 Golden Richards 1973 1977 65 WR 22
17 Mike Renfro 1984 1987 58 WR 21
18 Kevin Williams 1993 1996 57 WR 19
19 Joey Galloway 2000 2003 48 WR 17
20 Keyshawn Johnson 2004 2005 32 WR 15
21 Pete Gent 1964 1968 48 FL 15
22 Roy E. Williams 2008 2010 40 WR 12
23 Antonio Bryant 2002 2004 37 WR 10
24 James McKnight 2000 2000 16 WR 9
25 Lance Alworth 1971 1972 26 FL 9
26 Buddy Dial 1964 1966 32 FL 9
27 Ernie Mills 1998 1999 22 WR 8
28 Ron Sellers 1972 1972 14 WR 8
29 Dick Bielski 1960 1961 26 E 8
30 Dez Bryant 2010 2010 12 WR 7
31 Billy Davis 1998 1998 16 WR 7
32 Doug Donley 1983 1984 26 WR 7
33 Ray Alexander 1988 1988 16 WR 6
34 Kelvin Edwards 1987 1988 21 WR 6
35 Sam Hurd 2006 2010 62 WR 6
36 Wane McGarity 1999 2000 19 WR 6
37 Mike Sherrard 1986 1986 16 WR 6
38 Otto Stowe 1973 1973 7 WR 6
39 Jason Tucker 1999 2000 31 WR 6
40 Dennis Homan 1968 1970 31 WR 5
41 Anthony Miller 1997 1997 16 WR 5
42 Alexander Wright 1990 1991 31 WR 5
43 Tommy McDonald 1964 1964 14 FL 5
44 Fred Dugan 1960 1960 12 E 5
45 Gordon Banks 1986 1987 21 WR 4
46 Billy Parks 1972 1972 12 WR 4
47 Cornell Burbage 1987 1989 13 WR 3
48 Patrick Jeffers 1998 1998 8 WR 3
49 Reggie Rucker 1970 1970 7 WR 3
50 Reggie Swinton 2001 2002 29 WR 3
51 Rod Barksdale 1987 1987 12 WR 2
52 Everett Gay 1988 1988 16 WR 2
53 Dave McDaniels 1968 1968 4 WR 2
54 Quincy Morgan 2004 2004 9 WR 2
55 Jeff Ogden 1998 1999 32 WR 2
56 Karl Powe 1985 1985 15 WR 2
57 Derrick Shepard 1989 1989 11 WR 2
58 Stepfret Williams 1997 1997 16 WR 2
59 Gloster Richardson 1971 1971 11 FL 2
60 Sonny Randle 1968 1968 6 E 2
61 Margene Adkins 1971 1971 3 WR 1
62 Gary Barnes 1963 1963 12 WR 1
63 Chris Brazzell 1999 1999 5 WR 1
64 Darrin Chiaverini 2001 2001 16 WR 1
65 Terrance Copper 2004 2004 10 WR 1
66 Cory Fleming 1995 1995 16 WR 1
67 Damon Hodge 2000 2000 8 WR 1
68 Bill Houston 1974 1974 13 WR 1
69 Dennis McKinnon 1990 1990 9 WR 1
70 Lee Murchison 1961 1961 14 WR 1
71 Kevin Ogletree 2009 2009 11 WR 1
72 Peerless Price 2005 2005 7 WR 1
73 Ken-Yon Rambo 2002 2002 16 WR 1
74 Darnay Scott 2002 2002 15 WR 1
75 Sims Stokes 1967 1967 3 WR 1
76 Randal Williams 2003 2003 15 WR 1
77 Tom Braatz 1960 1960 12 E 1
78 Ray Mathews 1960 1960 6 E 1
79 Dave Sherer 1960 1960 11 E 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/3/2011.

Plenty of options, but I’m going to limit the poll to the following:

1. Pearson: He is the only player on the first team of the 1970s All-Decade team who is not in the Hall. Now that is underappreciated.

2. Hill: He quietly led the team in receiving for eight consecutive years.

3. Harper: More playoff success than overall success, but those playoff catches won’t be forgotten.

4. Rentzel: Many forget that Rentzel was a 1,000-yard receiver at one point. Moreover, in 1969, he averaged more than 22 yards per reception and scored 12 touchdowns in only 14 games. Then again, it’s also hard to forget why Dallas had to let him go.

5. Clarke: He was the team’s first 1,000-yard receiver and also set a record with 14 touchdowns.

I left several off this list, such as Terrell Owens (who simply cannot be considered underappreciated by any standard), Miles Austin, Butch Johnson, Terry Glenn, and Kevin Williams.

Here are the results:

Pearson, 38%
Hill, 26%
Clarke, 18%
Rentzel, 12%
Harper, 6%

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Quarterback

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

There was most certainly no doubt that the battle for the QB of the Dallas Cowboys Greatest Team would come down to Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. In a slight surprise, Aikman received more than 56% of the votes. Here is the summary:

1. Troy Aikman (56.5%)
2. Roger Staubach (41.4%)
3. Tony Romo (1.4%)
4. Don Meredith (.4%)
5. Danny White (.3%)

It was not surprising that Romo received some votes, but I expected him to receive a few more given that many younger fans probably never saw Aikman (let alone Staubach) play. As for approximate value, Staubach had a slight edge over Aikman. Romo, on the other hand, trails Danny White and Don Meredith but is ahead of Craig Morton. Here is the list:

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Roger Staubach 1969 1979 131 QB 127
2 Troy Aikman 1989 2000 165 QB 121
3 Danny White 1976 1988 152 QB/P 83
4 Don Meredith 1960 1968 104 QB 73
5 Tony Romo 2006 2010 67 QB 59
6 Craig Morton 1965 1973 95 QB 42
7 Eddie LeBaron 1960 1963 52 QB 28
8 Steve Pelluer 1986 1988 44 QB 23
9 Drew Bledsoe 2005 2006 22 QB 15
10 Quincy Carter 2001 2003 31 QB 15
11 Vinny Testaverde 2004 2004 16 QB 10
12 Gary Hogeboom 1983 1985 38 QB 9
13 Jon Kitna 2010 2010 10 QB 8
14 Jason Garrett 1994 1999 15 QB 7
15 Jerry Rhome 1965 1968 33 QB 6
16 Steve Beuerlein 1991 1992 24 QB 4
17 Randall Cunningham 2000 2000 6 QB 3
18 Chad Hutchinson 2002 2002 9 QB 3
19 Anthony Wright 2000 2001 8 QB 3
20 Bernie Kosar 1993 1993 4 QB 2
21 Rodney Peete 1994 1994 7 QB 2
22 Kevin Sweeney 1987 1988 6 QB 2
23 Steve Walsh 1989 1989 8 QB 2
24 Wade Wilson 1995 1995 7 QB 2
25 Glenn Carano 1981 1981 5 QB 1
26 Reggie Collier 1986 1986 4 QB 1
27 Don Heinrich 1960 1960 12 QB 1
28 Buddy Humphrey 1961 1961 2 QB 1
29 Brad Johnson 2008 2008 16 QB 1
30 Babe Laufenberg 1990 1990 4 QB 1
31 Ryan Leaf 2001 2001 4 QB 1
32 Clint Longley 1974 1974 2 QB 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/26/2011.

As for the poll, we are not going to consider either Aikman or Staubach for the most underappreciated. Here are the contenders, listed in chronological order of their playing days:

1. Eddie LeBaron: He was the first starter in team history and posted some impressive yardage numbers on teams that lacked talent.

2. Don Meredith: The team’s first player was gutsy in more ways than one. He took a beating on the field and a beating from the fans, but he finally earned some appreciation after his playing days ended.

3. Craig Morton: Morton was the full-time starter for two years, and he led the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl appearance.

4. Danny White: White led the Cowboys to three consecutive championship game appearances, but he never matched Staubach’s feats. The Cowboys took a nose dive when he was injured in 1986.

5. Tony Romo: Romo has put up huge numbers as the starter for most of the past five years, but the team has had no playoff success with him at QB.

Who is the most underappreciated quarterback in team history?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Tight Ends

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

There should be little doubt that Jason Witten is the greatest tight end in team history. He currently ranks second in team history in receptions, and he is within 1,000 yards of moving into second place in receiving yards. Even the most vocal fans of Jay Novacek need to give Witten the credit.

In the ESPN poll, Witten received 78.5% of the vote. Here were the totals:

1. Jason Witten (78.5%)
2. Jay Novacek (18.3%)
3. Billy Joe Dupree (2.6%)
4. Doug Cosbie (.6%)

This mostly mirrors the approximate value rankings from Pro-Football-Reference. Here’s a look at all of the tight ends:

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Jason Witten 2003 2010 127 TE 80
2 Billy Joe DuPree 1973 1983 159 TE 71
3 Doug Cosbie 1979 1988 144 TE 55
4 Jay Novacek 1990 1995 95 TE 55
5 Pettis Norman 1962 1970 121 SE 43
6 Eric Bjornson 1995 1999 74 TE 19
7 Mike Ditka 1969 1972 54 TE 17
8 Jean Fugett 1972 1975 52 TE 16
9 Jay Saldi 1976 1982 80 TE 16
10 David LaFleur 1997 2000 60 TE 14
11 Martellus Bennett 2008 2010 46 TE 11
12 Jackie Harris 2000 2001 29 TE 7
13 Billy Truax 1971 1972 18 TE 7
14 Thornton Chandler 1986 1988 43 TE 6
15 Anthony Fasano 2006 2007 32 TE 6
16 Steve Folsom 1987 1989 41 TE 6
17 Daniel Campbell 2003 2005 32 TE 5
18 Todd Fowler 1985 1988 52 TE 5
19 Alfredo Roberts 1991 1992 32 TE 5
20 Robert Awalt 1990 1991 25 TE 4
21 Scott Galbraith 1993 1997 38 TE 4
22 Mike Lucky 1999 2002 46 TE 4
23 Fred Cornwell 1984 1985 30 TE 3
24 Tony Curtis 2007 2008 32 TE 3
25 Tony McGee 2002 2002 16 TE 3
26 Donnie Davis 1962 1962 11 TE 2
27 Ron Howard 1974 1975 22 TE 2
28 John Phillips 2009 2009 16 TE 2
29 Brett Pierce 2004 2005 18 TE 2
30 Jeff Robinson 2003 2004 32 TE 2
31 James Whalen 2002 2002 16 TE 2
32 Tyji Armstrong 1996 1996 16 TE 1
33 Scott Chandler 2010 2010 9 TE 1
34 Hayward Clay 1998 1998 3 TE 1
35 Johnny Huggins 2001 2001 10 TE 1
36 Keith Jennings 1989 1989 10 TE 1
37 O.J. Santiago 2000 2000 11 TE 1
38 Cleo Simmons 1983 1983 11 TE 1
39 Jackie Smith 1978 1978 12 TE 1
40 Kendell Watkins 1995 1995 16 TE 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/22/2011.

Fans of the 1980s remember Doug Cosbie well, and he was one of the most dependent receivers of his era. However, he had 40 or more receptions in only three seasons (during each of which he made the Pro Bowl).

Fans of the 1990s remember Jay Novacek, who was the perfect complement to the other offensive weapons. He made five consecutive Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro once. One of his most productive seasons (62 receptions for 705 yards in 1995) was also his last, though.

The first of the two most forgotten of the tights ends featured here is DuPree. He did not have impressive stats by today’s standards, but he developed into one of the league’s best by 1976. He was especially effective in the red zone. His 41 TDs are the most by a Dallas tight end.

The other forgotten tight end didn’t even make my own list when I first posted this survey (he’s listed by his original position of split end on Pro Football Reference). Pettis Norman played nine years in Dallas and stood out as a very dependable blocker.

I am leaving a few others off the list, though you are free to add them. The most notable is Mike Ditka, who had his most productive years with the Bears.

Here are the poll results:

Cosbie, 31%
DuPree, 28%
Novacek, 28%
Pettis Norman, 6%
Anthony Fasano, 3%
Mike Lucky, 3%

Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys: Tackles

This is part of the series on the All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys have one tackle in the Hall of Fame (as well as the Ring of Honor), so the clear-cut choice as the greatest tackle in team history is Rayfield Wright.

As for the other tackle, there are some good choices. On ESPN’s poll, Erik Williams took the second spot by receiving 58.1% of the votes.

That leaves several other quality tackles for our All-Time Team of Underappreciated Dallas Cowboys.

Here are the ESPN poll results.

1. Rayfield Wright (68.9%)
2. Erik Williams (58.1%)
3. Flozell Adams (44.1%)
4. Mark Tuinei (19.6%)
5. Pat Donovan (5.6%)
6. Ralph Neely (3.6%)

Rather surprisingly, Wright does have the highest approximate value of the tackles according to Pro Football Reference. Here is the list:

Rk From To G Pos AV ?
1 Ralph Neely 1965 1977 172 T 124
2 Rayfield Wright 1967 1979 164 T 104
3 Flozell Adams 1998 2009 182 T 94
4 Erik Williams 1991 2000 141 T 86
5 Mark
Tuinei
1983 1997 195 T 80
6 Pat Donovan 1975 1983 129 T 73
7 Marc Colombo 2006 2010 72 T 36
8 Phil Pozderac 1982 1987 70 T 20
9 Jim Boeke 1964 1967 52 T 15
10 Doug Free 2009 2010 32 T 12
11 Andy Frederick 1977 1981 77 T 10
12 Rob Petitti 2005 2005 16 T 8
13 Ed Nutting 1963 1963 14 T 6
14 Daryle Smith 1987 1988 23 T 6
15 Charley Granger 1961 1961 8 T 5
16 Kurt Vollers 2003 2004 26 T 5
17 George Hegamin 1996 1997 29 G 5
18 Chris Schultz 1985 1985 16 T 4
19 Clyde Brock 1962 1963 18 T 3
20 Ryan Young 2003 2003 11 T 3
21 Byron Bradfute 1960 1961 17 T 2
22 Sal Cesario 1987 1987 3 T 2
23 Steve Cisowski 1987 1987 3 T 2
24 Pat McQuistan 2007 2008 32 T 2
25 Alex Barron 2010 2010 11 T 1
26 Javier Collins 2002 2002 9 T 1
27 Char-ron Dorsey 2001 2001 8 T 1
28 Jason Fabini 2006 2006 15 T 1
29 Bill Frank 1964 1964 4 T 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/18/2011.

From this, four candidates emerge:

1. Ralph Neely: 2-time Pro Bowler & 3-time First-Team All-Pro. Neely was the starter at left tackle for both Super Bowl championships of the 1970s.

2. Flozell Adams: 5-time Pro Bowler. Adams took over at left tackle in 1999 and lasted there for a decade.

3. Mark Tuinei: 2-time Pro Bowler. Tuinei was originally a defensive tackle but became a starter at left tackle by 1989.

4. Pat Donovan: 4-time Pro Bowler. Donovan was a starter when the Cowboys reached three NFC championship games in a row in the early 1980s.

We’ll also throw in Marc Columbo, who has been a starter for five years but who has not made a Pro Bowl.

Here are the results:

Neely, 30%
Tuinei, 30%
Adams, 21%
Donovan, 14%
Columbo, 2%
Other (nonsense), 2%