Published: July 14th, 2010 | Tags: Bill Bates, Bob Hayes, Bob Lilly, Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson, Emmitt Smith, Gil Brandt, Michael Irvin, Randy White, Roger Staubach, Tom Landry, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman
Michael Irvin is awesome. Anybody who has spent any time with Irvin around the offices of NFL Network (or otherwise) will likely tell you the same thing. Irvin is a great guy.
But he is not the No. 3 Cowboys player of all time.
Irvin is a top 10 Cowboy for sure, but he does not rank ahead of guys such as Troy Aikman or Tony Dorsett. He even topped the NFL’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith. And there are even those who would argue that Irvin should not be ahead of other Cowboys great wide receivers such as Bob Hayes or Drew Pearson — one of those great receivers did not even make NFL Network’s list.
Lists like this are always tough to come up with. Trust me, I found out last week when I ranked the top five greatest teams to never win a Super Bowl.
But I am a glutton for punishment and I love to have you guys abuse me on Facebook, so I will take a stab at a top 10 list of all-time Cowboys. I will leave out Tom Landry and Gil Brandt, so I am limiting this list to players only.
10. Bill Bates — Captain Cowboy. Bridged the gap from the woeful 1980s Cowboys, and the Jimmy Johnson-dynasty Cowboys.
9. Drew Pearson — Should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
8. Michael Irvin — I might have some explaining to do if I run into him at the office.
7. Tony Dorsett — One of the greatest of all-time.
6. Bob Hayes — Spend time with Gil, and you will agree with this.
5. Randy White — Half man, half monster.
4. Troy Aikman — Three Super Bowl rings, best QB of his era.
3. Bob Lilly — The original Mr. Cowboy.
2. Emmitt Smith — Again, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.
1. Roger Staubach — Embodied everything about the Cowboys.