Legends of the Star: Mr. Cowboy, Bob Lilly

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”. However, a strong case can be made that if not for Bob Lilly, it may have never happened.

Many of the newer and younger Cowboy fans have all heard of the great  Bob Lilly at one time or another. They may have even heard that he is considered by most 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.

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.

Aside from football, Bob Lilly went on to become a noted photographer, a career that stemmed back to the day he began using the camera he won as an All-American. His interests included photographs of magnificent sunsets, majestic mountain ranges and scenic landscapes that captured all the natural beauty of the Midwest. He has launched a successful business where people can buy some of his most famous photographs.

Cowboys Cannot Afford to Release T.O.

Ok we have been talking about T.O. being released since the day the season was over; well here are my thoughts on the subject

T.O. is a solid number one superstar at wide receiver, and there are not many guys in the league that have his skills and that command so much attention from defenses. Just his presence on the field makes everyone he plays with better. It takes that one guy, that FREE safety away from say, Witten running down the seam or keeps him from coming up to help contain Barber from breaking a big run. It basically puts everyone man on man which I would take everytime. His attitude is what it is, we all know what happened in San Francisco and Philadelphia. But I have seen a more mature Terrell Owens the last couple of years, he wants the ball and wants to win! We see him barking on the sideline frustrated with the way things are going, let me ask you this, if that was Tony barking would he be called a cancer? Or would we all be happy that he is finally trying to lead his team? It is not a coincidence that the Cowboys scoring offense was ranked 25th and 15th the two years prior to T.O., then it jumped up to 5th and 2nd his first two years, it is real simple he makes the team better ! 

I think releasing Terrell would be one of the biggest mistakes in Dallas Cowboy history.  If you thought Galloway for two first round picks was dumb, that was absolute peanuts compared to this if they were to let him go, unless it was a trade for suitable replacement its just crazy talk.  Some of the wide receivers that are on the trading block are Plaxico, Ocho Cinco, and Anquan Boldin , the only one that would make any sense is obviously Boldin, but that is highly unlikely. You think T.O. gets bad press playing for Americas team, can you imagine what it would be like for Plaxico and Ocho Cinco.  

Roy Williams in my opinion is at best right now a 1a wideout.  He has the skills he just doesn’t command the same attention that Terrell does, now if Jerry made the mistake of letting him go and moved Roy to the one spot who’s our two?? Crayton? I think he has proved the last two years he is nothing more than a 3rd slot receiver at best. Are Austin or Hurd ready to jump up to two?? Don’t think they are just yet… The deep playmaking threat would be gone and we would have just a good offense, not a deadly one.

So where do we get his replacement, probably not a trade or within the team how about free agency? Well after T.J. Houshmanzadah the cupboard is bare, he is the only guy that could come close to filling T.O.’s shoes. The Bengals just franchised Scott Graham so this pretty much assures he will hit the market. I won’t even mention the draft because with our first pick being in the middle of the second round it is more likely that I will root for Tom Brady (which will never ever happen) than us finding Michael Crabtree or Percy Harvin in the mid second round.

So there we are. We let T.O. go and it would be one of the biggest mistakes in Cowboy history!

P.S Did I mention if Terrell was released it would cost the Cowboys over 9 million dollars against next years salary cap YIKES!!!!!!