By: David Connors @DConBlitz
In this article, I reveal the next group of the greatest Dallas Cowboys of All-Time. For a recap of 101-81 click the links below:
And without further ado, here are the next 10 Greatest Cowboys of All-Time.
80. Walt Garrison, FB
Player Number: 32
Tenure with Dallas: 1966-1974
The toughest S.O.B. to put on the Cowboys star! Walt Garrison played through a cracked collarbone, 16-fresh stitches, and a gash in his face from STEER WRESTLING! He was a regular contributor to the Cowboys 3 headed rushing attack, and a brick house when blocking. Though, defenders tend to be less intimidating when you are used to wrestling steer on your days off. He proved to be a reliable target out of the backfield in 1971 with 40 receptions leading Dallas to a Super Bowl Victory. This real-life Cowboy is also a Cowboys Great.
79. Leonard Davis, G
Player Number: 70
Tenure with Dallas: 2007-2010
Leonard Davis stood at 6’6” and was weighed in at 381 lbs! Dallas brought him in 2007, and he was a stud for 4 straight seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 3 of those 4 seasons. He started every single game during his tenure with Dallas and was an immovable force. He showed incredible burst for 381 lbs during the run game as well. There is not much to be said about Davis except he was a big big man.
78. Franke Clarke, WR/TE
Player Number: 82
Tenure with Dallas: 1960-1967
He was the first deep-threat specialist in Dallas history. Another player on this list, Bob Hayes, credits Clarke for teaching him how to catch “The Bomb.” He used great speed, quickness, and precision at the top of his routes to get open deep. In 1962, he opened against the Redskins with 10 catches and 241 yards which is still the most yards in an opening game in the NFL. In 1965, transitioned him to Tight End to utilize his precise route in the middle of the field to convert 3rd downs. Clarke was a prolific touchdown receiver. He is tied with two other players for the most consecutive games with a touchdown catch (7). He led the team in yards and touchdowns from 1961-1964. His 14 touchdowns catches in 1962 stood alone as the Cowboys record until 2007. He is second in franchise history with the most games with 2 or more touchdowns. He is 7th in Dallas in career receiving yards and 6th in receiving touchdowns.
77. Alvin Harper, WR
Player Number: 80, 82
Tenure with Dallas: 1991-1994, 1999
Alvin Harper was a 1st round pick brought in to complement Michae Irvin. He developed into a deep threat for Dallas. He averaged 18.2 yards per reception as a Cowboys and was over 20 yards in 1993 and 1994. Alvin Harper will be remembered for his playoff heroics. In 1992, he caught a slant from Aikman that he broke free for 70 yards which set up a 4th quarter go-ahead touchdown along with a 45-yard TD in the Super Bowl. In 1993, after Aikman left the game due to concussion, he caught a 42-yard touchdown from the backup to send Dallas to their second straight Super Bowl. He might not have racked up the stats during his time, but Harper was an instrumental piece of the championship teams in 92 and 93. His presence forced teams to keep a Safety back. That allowed more space for the run game and underneath routes.
76. Kevin Smith, CB
Player Number: 26
Tenure with Dallas: 1992-2000
Kevin Smith was the starting Cornerback for the Cowboys during their dominant run in the early ’90s. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 1992 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. He paired with Larry Brown to make the youngest corner duo in the NFL. During his time, he led the team in pass deflections every season except his rookie season and 1995 when he tore his Achilles. Kevin was consistent in pass coverage and could blanket almost any Receiver in the league. He was known as a physical corner and even forced 5 fumbles. Kevin Smith was named an All-Pro in 1996. Smith's reliability earns him a spot in the Cowboys top 101.
75. Billy Joe DuPree, TE
Player Number: 89
Tenure with Dallas: 1973-1983
The Cowboys have a long history of incredible tight end play, and the first to make an appearance on this list is Billy Joe DuPree. DuPree was a superb blocker, and one of the first great receiving tight ends. DuPree finished his career with 3,565 receiving yards which is 12th in Cowboys history. He was a Pro-Bowler 3 years in a row and was the leading receiver in Super Bowl XII helping Dallas bring home the Lombardi trophy. DuPree caught 41 touchdowns, which was a franchise record for Tight Ends until another Cowboys Tight End to be named later broke the record in 2012. Dupree never missed a game in his 11 seasons in Dallas.
74. Marion Barber III, RB
Player Number: 24
Tenure in Dallas: 2005-2010
Marion Barber is probably a player I am way too high on, but as an adolescent watching Marion Barber run the ball was watching a superhero. Defenders just bounced off him. Even though he spent most of his career as the “backup” running back, from 2007-2009 Barber averaged 930 yards on the ground and 307 yards through the air. He was a Pro Bowler in 2007 as well and had a nose for the end zone averaging 11 touchdowns a year from 2006-2009. He was a key component for the Cowboys during some of their most productive offenses in Dallas history. This running back coined the phrase “ hit or get hit” and was called the hardest back in the NFL to bring down by former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Barber was undoubtedly going to land a spot as an All-Time great Cowboy.
73. Doug Cosbie, TE
Player Number: 84
Tenure with Dallas: 1979-1988
Doug Crosbie was selected in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. The Cowboys were between Crosbie and Joe Montana, however, ultimately decided to take the Tight End with Staubach and Danny White already in place at the QB position. Although Cosbie was a decent blocker, he was one of many great receiving Tight Ends in Cowboys history. He set the team record for most receptions by Tight End for 3 straight years from 1983-1985 with 46, 60, and 64 receptions respectively. He was a 3-time Pro-Bowler and an All-Pro in 1985. He has the 11th most receptions in franchise history and the 9th in receiving yards.
72. DeMarco Murray, RB
Player Number: 29
Tenure with Dallas: 2011-2014
DeMarco Murray may have benefited by having one of the best offensive lines during his time in Dallas, but he was a top tier running back in his own right. His ability to make a cut and burst through the hole turned him into a focal point in the Cowboys offense. Murray burst on the scene in his first real action against the Rams in 2011. He was listed as Tashard Choice’s backup, but he ripped off 253 yards in 25 carries. In this game, he broke the Cowboys record for most rushing yards in a single game. It was also the second-most yards rushing in a single game for a rookie. His 10.1 yards per carry is the highest ever for a player with 20 or more rushes. And finally, his 91-yard touchdown run was the 2nd longest run for a player’s first touchdown and the 2nd longest touchdown run in Cowboys history. He followed that game up with another 200+ rushing yard game. He was on a ridiculous pace that season before being derailed by a high ankle sprain. Murray's 2012 season was also lost to injury. Murray solidifies his spot in the All-Time Dallas Cowboys Top 101 with a record-breaking 2014 season. He broke the NFL record for most 100-rushing games to start a season, and he broke Dallas Cowboy great Emmitt Smith’s record for most rushing yards in a single season with 1,845 yards. Unfortunately, due to a combination of fumbling issues, injury concerns, the team’s salary situation, and the devaluation of the position, Murray was not re-signed to a second contract.
71. Dat Nguyen, MLB/Assistant Linebackers Coach
Player Number: 59
Tenure with Dallas: 1999-2005, 2007-2009
Dat Nguyen was a stud at Texas A&M. He won the Lombardi trophy, Jack Lambert Award, and the Chuck Bednarik Award his senior year. This College Football Hall of Famer and member of the All-Time Big 12 team was solid LB for Dallas for years as well. Nguyen was the first Vietnamese-American to be drafted to the NFL. He was small and considered slower, but his positioning and ability to diagnose a play helped him make a few mistakes on the field. His leadership and play recognition helped benefit four players to be named later on the list. He even caught the eye of Bill Parcells when he took over who traditionally preferred taller linebackers. Parcells was on record saying “you could fit the 10 linebackers on this team in a clown car” to express his displeasure of the Cowboys undersized Linebacker room when taking over the Dallas Cowboys, although he also said Nguyen could play on any team he coached. Nguyen's career was cut short due to repeated neck injuries, but he did find a way to make an impact later as an Assistant Linebackers coach and Defensive Quality Control Coach from 2007-2009.