Harvey Martin needs to be the next player into the Cowboys Ring of Honor

I’m not sure how Jerry Jones decides on who goes into the Cowboys Ring of Honor, but the fact that Harvey Martin hasn’t been enshrined yet is a huge disloyalty to him. Martin is the best defensive end in Cowboys history and deserves to have his name displayed in Cowboys Stadium with the other great players.

Harvey Martin was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 1973 draft out of East Texas State. Martin became a full time starter at defensive end in 1975 and became one of the most feared players in the NFL. Playing besides players like Randy White, Jethro Pugh and Ed (Too Tall) Jones they formed one of the best defensive units in the league.

Although the NFL didn’t start keeping track of player sacks until 1982, the Cowboys have their own record books and show Harvey Martin having a total of 114 sacks in his eleven seasons with the Cowboys. Martin is still the Cowboys sack leader, but DeMarcus Ware is closing in fast with 99.5 sacks going into the 2012 season. Martin was the Cowboys sack leader for seven of his eleven seasons with his career high coming in 1977 when he recorded 23 sacks in only 14 games.

In his rookie season of 1973 he only played on passing downs as a pass rushing specialist. Even in his limited playing time he still led the Cowboys with nine sacks. After his record 23 sacks in 1977, he followed that with 16 sacks in 1978, 10 in 1979, 12 in 1980, 10 in 1981, 8 in the strike shortened 1982 season and he finished his career with only 2 in 1983.

Some of the honors Harvey Martin received in his career were four Pro Bowl selections in 1976-79. He was a first team All-Pro selection on 1977, as well as second team All-Pro selection in 1976, 1979 and 1982. In 1977, which was his best season with the Cowboys he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Martin was also selected to the NFL 1970’s All Decade Team.

In Super Bowl XII, Martin along with Randy White and Ed (Too Tall) Jones dominated the Broncos and harassed both Craig Morton and Norris Weese all game. Martin had two of the Cowboys four sacks in the game to go along with constant defensive pressure. For his efforts Martin was named the game’s Co-MVP along with Randy White as the Cowboys beat the Broncos 27-10 to earn the teams second Super Bowl Championship.

Twenty nine years have passed since Martin retired in 1983. That is too many years to wait to see Harvey Martin’s name in the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Unfortunately if the time ever comes that Martin is put into the Ring of Honor, he won’t be able to enjoy his enshrinement. Martin passed away on December 24, 2001at the young age of 51. By his side when he died was best friend and teammate Drew Pearson.

As I’ve said before, I don’t know how Jerry Jones determines who goes into the Cowboys Ring of Honor, but I think he needs to give special consideration to making Harvey Martin a member. No disrespect to Larry Allen and Charles Haley, but I don’t think they should have even been a thought for the Ring of Honor before Martin. Although Martin is no longer with us he deserves to be honored by the Cowboys organization, an honor that is well past due for a player who gave so much to the Cowboys. I hope that Jerry Jones does the right thing and make Harvey Martin the next player that goes into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

40 Bill Bates – Special Teams – 1983-1996

Bill Bates started his career while playing as a safety for the University of Tennessee. While he was there he was named second-team All-Southeastern Conference his junior and senior seasons, and developed a reputation as the team’s hardest hitter and quickest tackler.

Bill Bates was much smaller than other safeties in the league and for that reason he was not drafted in the NFL Draft. However, the Cowboys were so impressed with his sheer determination and heart that he displayed in college, that they decided to sign him as an undrafted free agent in 1983… Great move!

Bill immediately became a visible figure on the field with his ferocious special teams play. It was due to his amazing season as a fierce special teams player that the NFL changed the rules and added a spot on the Pro-Bowl team for a special teams coverage player. In 1984, Bill Bates became the first NFL player to be so honored.

Bill was also an inspirational leader both on and off the field, and in 1990 Head Coach Jimmy Johnson named him the Cowboy’s Special Team’s captain. He held that position for the duration of his career with Dallas Cowboys, a career that spanned from 1983-1996.

Bill was a big part of the 1992, 1993 and 1995 Super Bowl Champions team, and has been a long time favorite of Cowboys fans.

While playing linebacker, Bate’s last minute interception at Chicago’s Soldier Field preserved Dallas’ 17 – 13 win in the team’s triumphant return to the playoffs after a six year absence. That play was one of the signature moments in a new era of Dallas Cowboys NFL supremacy.

Bill was selected to the All-Madden Team for twelve years in a row, and was named the winner of the Bob Lilly Award four years in a row, from 1990 – 1994. This award is selected by a vote of the fans and annually goes to the Cowboy player who displays leadership and character on and off the field.

One of the all time great Cowboys, Bill Bates now enjoys life as a high school coach in Knoxville that won the Florida State Championship in 2005. He is also a successful motivational speaker and has released an autobiography entitled “Shoot for the Star”.

84 Jay Novacek – Tight End – 1990-1996

One of my favorite all-time Cowboys, Jay Novacek first made a name for himself playing tight end for the University of Wyoming. He was selected to the All-American football team in 1984 after setting an NCAA record for receiving yards per receptions by a tight end. He had a team record 83 career receptions for 1,536 yards and 10 touchdowns during his college career. Novacek also competed in track and field and earned All-American in the decathlon and pole vault.
He was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985, but would later join the Dallas Cowboys in 1990. Some thought he was a hired gun and for a while the name stuck. He was known for his hard-nosed style of play and his athleticism. Novacek was a hard hitter and a tremendous blocker, but it was his pass catching ability that fans will remember the most.
He was one of the best tight ends ever to wear a Dallas Cowboys uniform, and was one of the key players on a Cowboys team that went on to win three Super Bowls in 1992, 1993 and 1995. In those three games alone, he posted a combined total of 17 catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Jay Novacek’s remarkable pass catching and route running abilities gave him a total of 422 receptions for 4,620 yards and 30 touchdowns during his NFL career.

He was selected to five pro bowls and while he may not have had a long career with the Cowboys, he made each of his six seasons count, and was one of the best tight ends in the league throughout his Cowboys career.

In 2008, Jay was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his achievements as a top collegiate player. 

In February of 2010,  he suffered a great tragedy when he came home to find his wife LeeAnne had taken her own life and committed suicide. He now spends his time working with children and running a youth football camp at the University of North Texas every summer.

To me, he will always be one of the all-time great Cowboys and a big reason for our glory years in the 1990s. One day I hope to see his name among the other greats in the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

73 Larry Allen – Offensive Lineman – 1994 – 2005

This edition of my Legends series recognizes a truly great player… Great in talent, great in strength, great in passion and great in size. Of course I’m talking about a giant of a man, Larry Allen.

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.

Despite a brief two-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers at the end of his playing days, Allen played most of his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys.

When Allen finally decided to hang them up, he didn’t want to go out as a 49er so he signed a one-day contract with the team he’s loved all his life, and retired as a Dallas Cowboy. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

72 Ed “Too Tall” Jones – Defensive End – 1974 – 1989

This next Cowboys legend is a true giant. Standing six-feet, nine-inches tall, defensive lineman Ed “Too Tall” Jones was very deserving of his nickname. However, it was his skills as a football player that Cowboys fans will remember most.

In high school he played basketball and received 52 college scholarships, but he decided instead to play football for Tennessee State. It was a decision he would never regret as he led Tennessee to an almost perfect record during his 3 years with them, losing only one game in those 3 seasons.

His performance at Tennessee State caught the eye of the Dallas Cowboys’ recruiting staff, and in 1974 Jones became the number one pick in the NFL draft. Some of the experts said the Cowboys wasted their number one overall pick on him because he was too tall to play football, and the name stuck.

“Too Tall” Jones won acclaim for his role in the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive line-up during the 1970s and 1980s, playing for a franchise record 15 years.

During his first five years with Dallas, the Cowboys played in the Super Bowl three times, following the 1975, 1977, and 1978 seasons.

 He was a tenacious defender with a knack for going after the opposing quarterback causing them to rush their throws and upsetting their offense. Along the way he piled on a great deal of sacks. He reached his record high in 1985, sacking the opposition’s quarterback 13 times.

Jones shocked his coaches and teammates at the end of 1979 when he announced he would not be returning to Dallas the following season to pursue a career in boxing. He did exactly that and after one year he retired undefeated, and re-signed with the Cowboys and played with them until his retirement in 1989.

He was named All Pro in 1981 and 1982, played in the Pro Bowl three times, and was named Most Valuable Player in 1982.

28 Darren Woodson – Safety – 1992 – 2004

In this chapter of my Legends series, I take a look at one of the best safeties ever to wear a Cowboys uniform, the great Darren Woodson.

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 at the time (no the other 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. It won’t be long until he’s one day recognized in the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

54 Chuck Howley – Linebacker – 1961-1973

When you talk about Cowboys who have beaten the odds, Chuck Howley is one of the first players to come to mind. His story is a remarkable one when you consider that for a time, nobody ever thought he would be able play football again after suffering a devastating injury in only his second season as a pro.

Howley was a tremendous athlete and one of the most versatile college players in history, being able to play at every position before deciding he wanted to focus on being a guard and center for West Virginia University. He was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection and was the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 1957.

In 1958, Howley was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the NFL Draft, but after a season ending knee injury in 1959, he was forced to announce his retirement believing he would never be able to play football again. It was a sad end to what started out as very promising career… or was it?

However, in 1961 with his knee fully healed, Chuck Howley decided to make a comeback, but the Bears believing he was finished had no interest in bringing him back. Big mistake. Tom Landry was very interested and the Dallas Cowboys traded a couple of draft picks to the Chicago Bears for his rights, and thus began his remarkable career as one of the best defensive players in team history.

Chuck Howley had a punishing style of play and was known for his ability to impact a game with his deceptive speed and blistering tackles. He was one of the best outside linebackers in the league and certainly one of the best ever to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

He teamed up with Dave Edwards and Lee Roy Jordan to form one of the greatest linebacking corps in NFL history and helped form what would become the legendary “Doomsday Defense“.

He played 14 seasons for the Cowboys tying him for the second longest tenure in franchise history, and was selected to six Pro Bowls during that span.

Howley helped lead the team to five Eastern Conference Titles, two NFL Championship games and two Super Bowls. He holds the distinction of being the first defensive player ever to win a Super Bowl MVP, as well as being the first player from a losing team ever to named MVP in Super Bowl V.

In 1976, Chuck Howley was the fourth player to be inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium.

24 Larry Brown – Cornerback – 1991 – 1998

Sometimes, a great player will always be remembered because of a particular game or moment, sort of like Bobby Thomson and the Shot Heard ‘Round The World. This might be the case for this Legends of the Star, cornerback Larry Brown.

Nobody expected Larry Brown to make the team when he was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the 12th round of the 1991 NFL Draft. The smallish cornerback hailed from Texas Christian University and his numbers while in college were good, but not spectacular.

However, Larry Brown will always be remembered for his big game during Super Bowl XXX. Trailing 13-7 in the third quarter, Brown intercepted Steelers quarterback, Neil O’Donnell at the Cowboys’ 38-yard line and returned it all the way down to Pittsburgh’s 18. It was his second interception and it led to a touchdown run by Emmitt Smith.

Larry Brown’s two interceptions led to 14 second-half points and helped lift the Cowboys to their third Super Bowl victory in the last four seasons and their record-tying fifth title overall. For his efforts, he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXX and became the first cornerback ever to win the award.

Brown became a free agent immediately after his MVP performance and signed with the Oakland Raiders, but returned to Dallas for the 1998 season, which would be his last. He retired with 14 career interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 2 fumble recoveries and was named to 2 Prow Bowls.

Larry Brown is now the co-host of “Countdown to Kickoff” on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, the flagship station of the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network.

21 Deion Sanders – Cornerback – 1995-1999

When you ask any football fan to name one of the most exciting, colorful, entertaining and outspoken players ever to play in the NFL, the one name that is sure to come up is that of Deion Sanders.

Neon Deion was, and still is, one of the most brightest and entertaining personalities in the NFL, only these days he does most of his entertaining straight from the broadcast booth.

Deion was destined for stardom from day one. 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. With that contract, Sanders became the highest paid defensive player in the NFL and he earned every single penny of it. He could have signed for more money with the Eagles and the Raiders, but he chose the Cowboys because Jerry Jones promised Sanders that he would be able to play on offense as well as defense, the one thing Sanders wanted more than anything.

“Playing in the NFL is the ultimate high. When I get my hands on that football something crazy comes over me, it electrifies me. When I get on that field, I don’t ever want to come off that turf until the game is over and I scored the winning touchdown. I’m prime time, baby.”

Sanders was an immediate sensation on both sides of the ball. His speed and elusiveness was too much for opposing teams to handle. He was a game-breaker and helped the Cowboys march to another division title. His presence at cornerback helped the Cowboyss 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 still the only player to have appeared in a Super Bowl and a World Series.

On February 5, 2011, Deion Sanders reached the pinnacle of his football career and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was his first year of eligibility.

The following day, at Super Bowl XLV in Cowboys Stadium, the NFL chose Deion Sanders to perform the pre-game coin toss. Needless to say, as soon as he emerged to perform the honor, the Cowboys Stadium crowd went wild and he nearly brought the house down.

“They almost did it. They almost made old Deion cry.”

He will forever be remembered as one of the greatest athletes in all of sports, and one of the most electrifying players the NFL has ever seen. Sanders certainly lived up to his name – he was and will always be “Prime Time”.

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.

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.