22 Emmitt Smith – Running Back – 1990-2002

The Cowboys have had no shortage of legendary players and all-time NFL greats in their history, but only one of them comes to mind when you are asked to name the greatest player ever to wear the Dallas Cowboys uniform – yes, I’m talking about the legendary running back, Number 22, Emmitt Smith.

Easily one of the fiercest competitors of his era, Smith was the ultimate warrior on the gridiron. He was epic in stature and unsurpassed as a player.

The NFL’s all time leading rusher had it all and I’m not just talking about his enormous athletic ability. He was a great and charismatic leader, a passionate player who loved the game, a positive influence who made those around him better, and one of the classiest players that football has ever known.

Emmitt Smith burst onto the national scene while playing running back for the University of Florida. He set many school records as a Gator including their single game and season rushing records, and all of their scoring records. After three years at Florida he had scored 37 touchdowns, had 23 100-yard rushing games, was a NCAA All-American and still holds 58 school records. Emmitt opted not to complete his senior year and decided to enter the NFL draft.

After posting the worst record in franchise history at 1-15, the Cowboys drafted Emmitt Smith in the first round of the 1990 draft. Head coach Jimmy Johnson felt that Emmitt was the kind of player who could be the cornerstone of the team’s offense. He was right.

Over the next twelve seasons, Emmitt captured the hearts of Cowboy fans everywhere with his intensity and hard-nosed style of play. Together with Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman they formed the most lethal offensive punch that the game had ever seen. Emmitt Smith had real nose for the end zone and was nearly unstoppable inside the ten-yard line. During his career in Dallas, he was able to help lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl Championships, lead the NFL in rushing four times, was the league MVP in 1993, and MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls and was the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons.

Emmitt Smith now holds the NFL record in career rushing yards with 18,355, breaking the previous record held by his childhood idol, and former great, Walter Payton. Besides this prestigious record, Emmitt holds over a dozen other NFL records including the all time career rushing touchdown record with 166 scores. He is one of only two non-kickers to score over 1000 points in his career, the other being Jerry Rice.

On September 19, 2005, Emmitt Smith was enshrined in the Cowboys Ring of Honor along with his former teammates Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin – The triplets.

However, the ultimate honor would come five years later when Canton came calling and Emmitt Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010. His legacy and his greatness will now be etched in the annals football immortality.

48 Daryl Johnston – Fullback – 1989-1999

Mooo-ooose… That was the sound that filled a packed Texas Stadium whenever Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston got his hands on the ball or laid down a key block for Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. Johnston was built like a moose and as strong as one too.

He first gained national attention while playing for Syracuse University. He rushed for 1,830 yards and caught 46 passes during his collegiate career and once gained 138 yards rushing, the most by a Syracuse running back since Larry Csonka rushed for 154 yards in 1967. He was an All-American and All-East pick in 1988.

Johnston was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft.

On the day he arrived for his first mini camp, he was nicknamed “Moose” by former teammate Babe Laufenberg. Babe remarked, who’s that big ol’ moose over there during his first team meeting and the name stuck.

Johnston started out as a reserve, but became a full-time starter in 1991 and was a key member of the Cowboys’ three Super Bowl winning teams in 1993, 1994 and 1996. He played 12 seasons for the Cowboys before retiring in 2000. He was a fierce ball carrier but was best known for being the lead blocker for all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith.

He was also a true iron man, having never missed a game in his NFL career, playing in 143 straight games. Every time Johnston touched the ball, “Moose” chants can be heard resonating at Texas Stadium.

He finished his career catching 294 passes for 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns, as well as 232 rushes for 753 yards and eight touchdowns. He had a career-high, 50 receptions in 1993.

In 2010, when Emmitt Smith gave his Hall of Fame induction speech, he saved his highest praise for Daryl Johnston while trying to fight back the tears and the emotion of explaining just how important Johnston was to Smith’s career.

I was happy for both Emmitt and Daryl during that emotionally charged speech that tugged on our collective heart-strings. It felt like they were both being enshrined in Canton, Ohio on that very memorable and unforgettable day.

Congratulations Neon Deion!

Deion Sanders was honorably elected to the Pro Bowl Hall of Fame last night. I don’t believe there was ever a question that he wouldn’t go on the first ballot of eligibility.

Sanders played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1995-1999. One of the best cover corners the game has ever seen as well as an explosive return man and even a wide receiver, he amazed us with his skill on all sides of the ball. While we were living high in the mid 90’s, Neon Deion helped contribute to that spectacular show we looked forward to every week.

Oh what we wouldn’t do to find a modern day Cowboy with the skills and excitement of the great ‘Prime Time’ himself! They just don’t make ’em like that anymore.

Career History

  • Atlanta Falcons (1989–1993)
  • San Francisco 49ers (1994)
  • Dallas Cowboys (1995–1999)
  • Washington Redskins (2000)
  • Baltimore Ravens (2004–2005)

Career Highlights and Awards

  • 8× Pro Bowl selection (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)
  • 6× First Team All-Pro selection (1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
  • 2× Second Team All-pro selection (1991, 1999)
  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XXIX, XXX)
  • AP Defensive Player of the Year (1994)
  • 2× NFC Defensive Player of the Year (1993, 1994)
  • Pro Bowl Record in Interceptions in career (4) tied with Everson Walls
  • Jim Thorpe Award (1988)
  • NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
  • 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee

Congratulations Mr. Sanders! Enjoy being back in the spotlight as we know you will, but it’s okay you deserve it!

74 Bob Lilly – Defensive Tackle – 1961-1974

Many great players have worn the Dallas Cowboys uniform with pride and distinction during the teams glorious 50 year history. None however, can lay claim to the ultimate team nickname, “Mr. Cowboy” save one, the great Bob Lilly.

Though there are many current and former Cowboys who deserve their due recognition for helping the Dallas Cowboys become and maintain the title of “America’s Team”, a strong case can be made that if not for Bob Lilly, it may have never happened.

Bob Lilly is considered by most fans to be the best Defensive Tackle in Cowboy history. A fact that cannot be disputed.

That said, it’s only a small part of Lilly’s amazing legacy and the impact he made on a young franchise that would soon become one of the juggernauts of the NFL.

Bob Lilly was born in 1939 and went to Texas Christian University where he became a star defensive end and was named to the All-America team. As part of this honor he received a camera as one of his awards, a gift that would surely impact the rest of his life.

In 1961 Bob was drafted with first overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys, thus becoming the first ever draft pick in franchise history. He would not disappoint.

Though he was originally drafted as a defensive end, in his third year with the Cowboys, coach Tom Landry switched his position to defensive tackle where he would become one of the best at his position in the NFL for many years to come.

“The competition is what I love,” Lilly once said. “That makes me a lot more intense. Personalities don’t enter into it at all. My objective is to get the man with the ball. Nobody better get in my way.”

Lilly was a punishing defender and his tough demeanor and sheer determination made him the undisputed leader of the Cowboys’ famous “Doomsday Defense’. Lilly was so unstoppable, that he was regularly double and triple teamed for the majority of his career.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl a then record 11 times between 1962 and 1973, and Lilly was also a seven time first team All Pro selection.

During his long 14 year Hall of Fame career he was as durable as they came missing only one game to a leg injury.

Lilly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility, and was the first player who spent his entire career with the Cowboys to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He is a member of the All Century Team and in 1999 was ranked number 10 on the “100 Greatest Football Players” by the Sporting News. Sports Illustrated calls him the greatest Defensive Tackle in NFL history.

In addition to being the Cowboys’ first ever draft pick, when all was said and done, “Mr. Cowboy” would also become the first player ever to be inducted into the “Ring of Honor”. He is the only Dallas Cowboy to wear the #74, and is the only number unofficially retired by the team.

“A man like that comes along once in a lifetime,” late Cowboys head coach Tom Landry once said. “He is something a little bit more than great. Nobody is better than Bob Lilly.”

A true iron man, Lilly is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in consecutive games played at 196, is tied for second with 14 seasons played and second all-time with 194 games started. Lilly led the Cowboys in sacks three consecutive years, beginning with his rookie season. No player ever to wear the Cowboys uniform was more deserving of the name Mr. Cowboy.

Cowboys Fans Supporting Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium

Are you still mad about the 2010 Cowboys season? Well, a great friend of mine said something the other day that really stuck with me.

She said:

I am really excited for our metroplex and what hosting a Super Bowl means for the local economy. Really hoping it turns out so well we can win another SB bid. I am the biggest Cowboys Fan you can find but I am happy to host these fans of these other teams who earned their way to this game and wish them all good luck.

I would like to see other people around here thinking the same way and being grateful for what this is doing for our community and for our stadium. Let’s be good sports and welcoming hosts. We are Dallas Cowboys fans and we have class and pride. Let’s show it.

So we didn’t make it (not even close), but we still have the responsibility of hosting the biggest game in the business. We can be proud and still be respectful and show good sportsmanship.

Hey, I don’t want the Steelers to win another trophy either and I’m not saying we have to root for them to win but we can be civil and not act like our rivals up in the city of brotherly love… yeah, you know who I’m talking about.

Everyone has the right to their own opinion, this is just mine (and my buddy Tiffany’s). If you share our view on this year’s Super Bowl, here are some buttons for you to use as you please. Use them as your profile picture on your favored social network or IM, use them on your own blog, or any other way you choose.

Share and enjoy!

A New Season, A New Era

The playoffs are over, the big game is set, and honestly, I wish it was already over.  We all had big hopes for this season and although we didn’t get to see our dream come true…playing in the Super Bowl in our own house, we did finally get a few changes made that were desperately needed.  Wade is gone, Garrett is in…a new era, a new time, a new passion, and much needed discipline. 

Garrett brings in a Johnson-esque style of discipline requiring the players to be more responsible; they actually have to show up on time for practice, no more wandering in whenever they feel like it.  No more showing up or traveling in clothes that are unbefitting America’s Team, they now once again have to look the part.  Full pad practices during the regular season, and big new flashing red digital clocks installed to remind the players the importance of being on time and that there are consequences if they’re not.  Garrett has put a work ethic back into the team and let the players know that the lazy days under Wade are gone, and if they want to play for this team, they had better start earning it.

Since Garrett took over the team, also gone is the average of 20 points per game and fans wondering where their team was and when they would show up.  We all got a glimpse of the team we know and love and were able to cheer on their average of 32 points per game, giving us all hope for the future.

There are a lot of questions and rumors flying about why Garrett didn’t make some of these changes to his offense, since he was in charge of them before he was promoted to the head coach position.  You have to look at the big picture to find that answer.  Although he did call the plays and hope for the execution, he can’t do it all himself.  The players have to want to make it better, want to make it work, and care about their team again.  That has come from the culture change that has been instilled since Garrett took over.  With players showing up to actually play and wanting to make a difference and keep their job, the level of play on offense and defense goes up.  Turn overs are down, penalties are down, allowed sacks are down, and big plays are up.  Now that’s a change we needed to see.

All of this gives us hope for the new season and the future of our team, America’s Team, now and forever!  I say bring it on!!

70 Rayfield Wright – Offensive Tackle – 1967-1979

Many people never thought Rayfield Wright had any chance of making it in the NFL. For Rayfield, this was nothing new. He has been defying the odds ever since he was a child growing up in poverty in the deep south.

After lettering in basketball in high school, he went to Fort Valley State University where he was named All-American. In 1967, he was drafted by the Cowboys in the 7th round and his prospects of making the team were slim at best. However, he forced his way onto the team through his hard work and sheer determination, and for the first three years of his career, he was used in a variety of roles that included tight end, defensive lineman, and offensive tackle.

In 1969 he got his big break when he replaced an injured Ralph Neely at offensive tackle. He would never look back. For the next 11 seasons Rayfield Wright started at right tackle and became one of the best players at his position ever to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl for six straight seasons, but Cowboys fans best remember Rayfield for helping to lead the team to five Super Bowls and winning two of them. Only one other player in NFL history has appeared in more Super Bowls than Wright, and he is one of only 13 players in NFL history to have played in five Super Bowls.

While he was on the team the Cowboys led the league in offense five times. He was the co-captain of the Cowboys for seven years and helped the team win ten division titles and six conference titles.

In 2004, the Dallas Cowboys inducted Rayfield Wright into the Ring of Honor, and two years later in 2006, he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Witten Praises Romo’s Commitment

Check out what Jason Witten had to say in an ESPN Dallas radio interview last Friday regarding Tony Romo.

Do you think Tony Romo gets a little too much criticism from experts? As a person catching passes from him, what do you think makes him a good quarterback?

Well, absolutely, I feel like there’s a lot of criticism that comes his way and obviously I’m biased because I’ve played with him for a long time and is a good friend. But, first of all, regardless of where you got him ranked on your list of quarterbacks, he’s one of the most competitive guys I know. So, questioning that aspect of the game: does he want to get back? Did he check out at the end? I mean, it’s just ridiculous. He’s one the hardest working guys I know; he’s definitely the most competitive guy I know in everything that he does.

I think that’s why he has success, whether it’s playing rec league basketball or golf or a two minute drive on Thursday in an OTA in May. He wants to win and I think that’s a great attribute that you look for in your quarterback and leader. That guy is going to have a high standard and everybody else needs to jump onboard, all in. And that’s the way we need to play too and so I think he’s an elite quarterback. I think he’s more motivated now than he’s ever been and throughout this experience: getting hurt, having to watch and see us fight like we did and watching Kitna come in and play so well and just wanting to be a part of that. It’s hard when the game is taken away from you like that and I think this experience is going to make him a better quarterback because of it, and I know he’s anxious to go back out there and play and lead our team and jump back into the foxhole with us.

Just like Jason Witten, I have complete faith in Tony Romo. I hear critics and fans both criticize Romo and I still can not fathom why. Maybe it just comes with the job of being the leader of America’s Team. Were there people that didn’t like Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach in their days? Probably so, although I can’t imagine that either. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying he’s reached their stature yet, but he certainly has the talent and determination. It’s up to him and his teammates if they will become champions of the star or just another number in the reference books.

Cowboys Fan Club Spotlight: So.Cal. Dallas Cowboys Fan Club

Name: So.Cal. Dallas Cowboys Fan Club, Luis G. (President)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Website or Contact Info: http://www.dallascowboysfanclub.net and LuisG @ DallasCowboysFanClub.net

1. What encouraged you to start your Dallas Cowboys Fan Club?

The need and the demand of a Die Hard group in So.Cal made me put together this family that im so thankful for today. It was rough in the beginning but with alot of hard work that me and my staff (Robert M, Jesse J) have put in throughout these 3 years it now paid off. 500+ Die Hard Cowboys fans under one roof …. What more can I ask for :) Go Cowboys!!

2. Tell us what it’s like at one of your club meetings or watch parties?

Our Cowboys watch parties give our members a memorable experience to take home with over 500+Cowboys fans under one roof, Tailgate parties before the game, halftime performances, great Cowboys memoribilia raffles and and experience as close as possible to being in a real live Cowboys game. If your a Die Hard Cowboys fan join us.

3. How can an interested fan join your club or learn more about you?

They can find us at: http://www.dallascowboysfanclub.net/ or http://www.meetup.com/DALLAS-COWBOYS-BOOSTER-CLUB or http://www.facebook.com/SoCalDallasCowboysFanClub

4. Do you get to go to any games during the pre season / regular season?

I as well as my members make it to 3-4 games every season.

5. What is your most memorable Dallas Cowboy moment?

I will never forget Sunday October 27th 2002, Seahawks at Cowboys….. 5’10 216lbs #22 Emmitt Smith became the all time leading rusher breaking Walter Paytons record …. I still get goosebumps just thinking of that day.

6. What are your closing thoughts on the 2010 season and what are your expectations for the 2011 season?

2010 was interesting and ofcourse very dissapointing. It clearly showed that the Boys gave up on Wade… But i think of it as “Yesterday was yesterday and today is today”. Im looking for the Boys to have a good draft, and very excited with the way Garrett has brought spirit to the team, The addition of Rob Ryan will be interesting and im looking forward to it. I expect the Cowboys to have left off from 2009 and get into the playoffs with a bang to lead them to a Sixth title.

7. Who are your favorite players, past or present?

Past: Mr. Cowboy Bob “Lewis” Lilly, Emmitt Smith, The Manster Randy White, and Troy Aikman. Present: “TC” Tashard Choice, Demarcus Ware, Jason Witten and #88 Dez Bryant.

8. Do you have a Facebook page and a Twitter account you wish to share with our readers?


If you have a Dallas Cowboys fan club and would like to be featured on our website, please contact us here.

Pro Bowl Profiles 2011

The 2011 Official Pro Bowl Program is a beautifully designed magazine that contains articles and player profiles. The program is available  for online viewing as well as download.

Below are the profiles for the five Cowboys originally elected to the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl. (Miles Austin was selected as an alternate therefore doesn’t have a profile in the program.)

The game between the NFC and the AFC will take place tonight at 6 p.m. CT at Aloha Stadium.

55 Lee Roy Jordan – Linebacker – 1963-1976

Lee Roy Jordan began his amazing football career playing linebacker for the University of Alabama from 1960-1962. While he was there he led his team to winning seasons each year, including a perfect season that culminated in a National Championship in his sophomore year. During his senior year, he was a first team All-American and had his most memorable game while playing in the Orange Bowl when he made an amazing 30 tackles against the University of Oklahoma. For all of his stellar achievements, Jordan was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

In 1963, Lee Roy Jordan was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the NFL Draft and was the sixth overall pick. He became one of the key members of the Cowboys’ famed “Doomsday Defense.” He was an excellent defender against the run and the pass, and had great instincts that made him one of the best linebackers of his era. He also had a great nose for the ball and is currently second all-time in fumble recoveries for the Dallas Cowboys.

Late Cowboys head coach Tom Landry, knew he had something special in Lee Roy Jordan who he loved for his tremendous leadership on and off the field, and for his fierce competitiveness.

“He was a great competitor,” Landry once said. “He was not big for a middle linebacker, but because of his competitiveness, he was able to play the game and play it well. His leadership was there and he demanded a lot out of the people around him as he did of himself.”

Jordan played 14 seasons for the Cowboys and during that time, Jordan became a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler while playing in three Super Bowls and five NFC Championship games.
Jordan also holds the Cowboys record for career solo tackles with 743, a record that has now lasted over 35 years. He is also second in career assisted tackles with 493. His combined tackles of 1,236 is still a franchise best!

His leadership and competitiveness was legendary and in 1989 he became the seventh member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

Your 2011 Pro Bowl Cowboys

Miles Austin was added to the Pro Bowl roster in place of the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson. That brings the total of Dallas Cowboys playing in tomorrow’s game to six.

Austin joins Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Andre Gurode and Mat McBriar.

Now if you can explain how a team that went 6-10 has a 6-pack of players in the Pro Bowl…