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Legends of the Star – Troy Aikman

As we get close to the end of our Legends of the Star feature, I finally get to profile one of my personal all time favorite Cowboys, Troy Aikman.
 
Troy was almost a legend even before he started playing professional football. As a college player, he played for both UCLA and the school he first enrolled with, the University of Oklahoma. While at Oklahoma he played for future Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer. Aikman was the teams biggest star, but because their offense wasn’t suited to his style of play, he transferred to UCLA a year later, where he gained national attention. He set over a dozen team records that still stand today and led the Bruins to the Aloha Bowl in 1987 where he compiled a 10-2 record. A year later as a senior, he won the Davey O’Brien Award which is given each year to the nations top quarterback. He was a consensus All-American, West Coast Player of the Year, and finished third for the 1988 Heisman Trophy.
 
In 1989, the Cowboys had a new owner in Jerry Jones, and a new head coach in Jimmy Johnson. That year the two of them drafted Troy Aikman with their first round pick in the NFL Draft. It was a move that would change the destiny of the franchise for the next decade.
 
Although Troy finished his first year with a disappointing 0-11 record, everyone could see that he was bursting with talent, and that he was a natural born leader. All he would need is a supporting cast, and the following season the Cowboys provided Aikman with everything he would need to lead the team into greatness.
 
In 1990, Aikman completed 226 of 399 passes for 2,579 yards and 11 touchdowns and the team improved to 7-9, but the following year he completed an NFC-best 65.3 percent of his passes, and the Cowboys improved again to 11-5 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
In 1992, everything started to come together for Aikman and the rest of the Cowboys as they were about to unleash their new high powered offense to the rest of the league. That year, the Cowboys rocketed to the Super Bowl with an explosive display of offensive power coupled with a bruising defense. The Cowboys finished the season with a 13-3 record, and Troy Aikman was named Super Bowl MVP.

For the next three seasons, the Cowboys compiled a 36-9 record, and snatched two more Super Bowl titles. Together with running back, Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver, Michael Irvin, the "Triplets" were football’s biggest stars. They were unstoppable and punished opposing defenses with a hard-hitting, lightning fast attack, that had not been seen in the game before, or since.

With 90 wins in the 1990s, Aikman became the winningest starting quarterback of any decade in NFL history. Unfortunately, during his final two seasons, injuries began to take a toll on him, and after sustaining ten concussions, the Cowboys’ six-time Pro Bowl selection announced his retirement from football.

His career statistics included a team record 32,942 yards and an amazing 165 touchdowns for a passer rating of 81.6. On September 19, 2005, during a broadcast on Monday Night Football, Troy Aikman was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor with his longtime teammates Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith. The following year, Troy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio and gave a teary eyed acceptance speech that no Cowboy fan can ever forget. He is forever, a true Legend of the Star.

 

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 – Daryl Johnston

 

Daryl Johnston 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.
 

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.