Legends of the Star – Michael Irvin

Michael Irvin was the greatest wide receiver ever to don the uniform of the Dallas Cowboys. The "Playmaker" as he was sometimes called started out his career playing for the University of Miami, where he was heavily recruited. While he was with the Hurricanes, he set school record for receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions. He was part of the Hurricane’s 1987 National Team.
 
In 1988 Irvin entered the NFL Draft and was selected 11th overall by the Dallas Cowboys. In his very first game, he started and caught his first touchdown pass, which was something that hadn’t been done by a Cowboy in 20 years. He immediately became one of the teams best players in his rookie year and he led all wide receivers with a 20.4 yards per catch average. He quickly became one of the most exciting receivers in the league and his ability to make the big plays made him one of the biggest stars in the game. His ability to push off a defender and surpass them with such ease, caused many opposing teams to employ new strategies to try and stop him from beating them.
 
From 1991 through 1998, he was the leagues best wide receiver, and racked up an impressive 10,265 yards in that span. He helped lead his team to four straight NFC Championship games and three Super Bowl titles. In Super Bowl XXVII, he caught 6 passes for 114 yards and 2 second quarter touchdowns that occurred in a span 18 seconds, the fastest pair of touchdowns ever scored in a Super Bowl. In 1995 he had one of the most remarkable seasons ever for a wide receiver when he set team records with 111 receptions, 1,603 yards, and 10 touchdown receptions.
 
Michael Irvin had some scuffs with the law during his playing years and also after he retired as a player, but when he was on the field, there was nobody better. For you trivia buffs out there, Irvin is the only player to play for the first four coaches of the Dallas Cowboys.
 
Irvin finished his career with 750 receptions, 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor on September 19, 2005. Two years later, he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Larry Allen

Larry Allen first gained national attention when he led little known, Sonoma State to the Senior Bowl in 1992. The two time All-American starred while playing guard, and in two seasons he only allowed one sack. He set ten different team records that still stand today.
 
In 1994, Larry Allen was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft, making him the first NFL player ever to be selected from Sonoma State. He made an immediate impact on the team and was soon considered to be the NFL’s premier offensive lineman. He is widely recognized as the one of the best offensive lineman in NFL history and is certainly the best offensive lineman the Dallas Cowboys have ever had. He was the biggest part of an offensive unit that has posted the four lowest sacks allowed totals in club history with 18 in 1995, 19 in 1996 and 1998, and 20 in 1994.
 
Allen is widely credited for the success of Emmitt Smith with his unparalleled play as his lead blocker, and played a role in eight of his eleven 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Allen, was also able to bench press 700 pounds, and is considered to be the strongest man to ever play professional football.
 
In his 12 year career, Larry Allen was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and is just the third player in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl at more than one offensive line position during his career. Only Bob Lilly had more Pro Bowl selections than Larry Allen. He is the most decorated offensive lineman in Dallas Cowboys history.

 

 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders was and still is one of the most colorful and most polarizing players in sports. He started out his career in 1988 when he was drafted by New York Yankees. He was then drafted the following year by the Atlanta Falcons with the fifth overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. He showed up wearing thousands of dollars of diamonds and gold including a flashy silk shirt embroidered with the words "Prime Time." The name stuck with him.
 
Sanders had a very successful baseball career and went on to have an even better football career. He became a rare two sport star who made headlines with his play as well as his very controversial comments. He was loved and hated by millions of fans across the country.
 
For his first five seasons in the NFL, Deion Sanders played for the Atlanta Falcons and was the best cornerback in the league and one of the best return specialists in NFL history. He was as dynamic a player as there ever was in the game. He then signed a one-year deal with San Francisco, and became the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. His four tackles and interception helped the 49ers beat San Diego 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX.
 
Soon after that, in 1995, Sanders signed a huge contract to play with the Dallas Cowboys. He was to get a $13 million dollar signing bonus, but because Jerry Jones was superstitious, he received $12,999,999.99, a penny less.His presence at cornerback helped Dallas win the Super Bowl that season. In that game, he became the only player in NFL history to catch a pass and make an interception in the Super Bowl. In 1996, Sanders started all 16 games at cornerback and eight at wide receiver to become the first two-way NFL player in 34 years. But make no mistake, with eight Pro Bowl selections as a cornerback, defense is where Sanders really shined.
 
During his 14-year NFL career, Deion Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and one of the most feared pass defenders to ever play the game. He is the only player to have appeared in a Super Bowl and a World Series.

 

 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Darren Woodson

Darren Woodson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as a converted linebacker in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft out of Arizona State University.

He played at safety for the Cowboys and was a five time Pro Bowl selection who developed a reputation as an effective run-stopper and was a feared and ferocious hitter. He was leader both on and off the field and was a mentor to many of the younger players, including Roy Williams.

Besides chasing and tackling ball carriers in the secondary, Woodson also was very relentless at chasing down and stopping kick returners on special teams. For many years, Woodson dominated at his position and was a threat to anyone carrying the ball within his range. Many of his tackles were so ferocious that he drew many fines from the NFL during his career.

However, doing all those things for all those years finally took a toll on Woodson’s body. After missing most of the season after having back surgery just before training camp, the hard-hitting safety announced his retirement in December of 2004. It was the end of an era for the Dallas Cowboys. Darren Woodson was the last player left from the 1992, 1993 and 1995 Super Bowl champions and he was also the last player drafted by Jimmy Johnson. His 1,350 tackles are the most-ever in Cowboys history. 

Just the mention of Woodson’s name can still make opposing wide receivers and kickoff returners cringe.

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.