Top 90-81 Dallas Cowboys of All-Time


Photo by Robert Hanashiro, USA Today Sports

By: David Connors @DConBlitz


Overview


Last week we introduced the 101-91 greatest Cowboys of all-time and now we kick back off with 90. This list includes 3 offensive linemen, a few underrated defensive players, and another punter. Without further ado, allow us to continue our countdown of the greatest players, coaches, and front office personnel to player for one of the most storied franchises in the NFL...


90. Jason Garrett, QB/HC


Player Number: 17

Tenure with Dallas: 1993-1999, 2007-2019


Many Dallas fans may scoff at Garrett on the list, but he deserves a place in the top 101. As a player he was primarily a backup to Troy Aikman, however, due to his longevity in that role, he is still 15th in passing yards in Dallas history. His most notable moment as a player was Thanksgiving in 1994 where he came in at halftime to lead a comeback against team rivals Washington Redskins. He went 15 for 26 with 311 yards and 2 touchdowns. Garrett returned to Dallas as an offensive coordinator in 2007 but was given the Head Coach job in 2010 when Wade Phillips was let go after week 8. Since becoming an HC, Garrett has only had one losing season. Which could be more accredited to Romo getting injured early and relying on Matt Cassel at QB. Garrett has accumulated 77 wins as HC which makes him 13th among active coaches, but the 12 coaches ahead of him have been coaching longer than Garrett. Garrett also has a .566 winning percentage which is good enough for the 50th best in the history of the NFL. He was also named HC of the Year in 2016 when he took a 4th round rookie QB who was thrust into action all the way to the Divisional Round in Playoffs. Unfortunately, Garrett was not able to get the Cowboys to the promise land, but he has been an inspirational HC. Every time you think the team is done, he has found a way to rally them.


89. James Washington, S


Player Number: 37

Tenure with Dallas: 1990-1994


James Washington's value came in his versatility. When he first signed with Dallas he played Strong Safety, but transitioned to Free Safety seamlessly when Darren Woodson emerged as a worldly talent. James Washington led Dallas in interceptions 3 of the 5 years he played for the Cowboys. He was also a leader on defense. He was the defensive signal-caller for Dallas including two separate seasons when Dallas led the league in yards allowed. However, what solidified Washington’s spot on this list was his incredible performance in Super Bowl XXVIII where he recovered a fumble and took it to the house and forced a fumble, securing the Cowboys their 4th Lombardi trophy.


88. Pat Donovan, OT


Player Number: 67

Tenure with Dallas: 1975-1983


Pat Donovan is probably a player I am criminally too low on. He was a longtime starter for Dallas and a 4 Time All-Pro. He protected Roger Staubach’s blindside during the end of his career as well as Danny White’s as a young QB. Pat Donovan was a vicious run blocker who took pleasure in moving men back against their will. He was also named the 4th greatest athlete from Montana in the 20th century.


87. Marc Columbo, OT


Player Number: 75

Tenure with Dallas: 2005-2010


After 3 injury-plagued seasons with the Chicago Bears, they waived him on September 13, 2005. Then, after spending 7 weeks unsigned, the Cowboys brought Columbo in. He spent the remainder of that season as a special teams player but won the starting RT job out of camp in 2006. His technique made him a force on the right side, and his technique also rubbed off on the other 4 starting offensive linemen. He was a leader in the trenches for Dallas for two of their most offensively productive seasons in team history. He continues to be a contributor to the Cowboys as their Offensive Line Coach after taking over for Paul Alexander in the middle of the 2018 season. The line went from an abomination under Coach Alexander, to the top tier standard that Cowboys fans have become accustomed too with this unit once Columbo took over.


86. Chris Jones, P


Player Number: 6

Tenure with Dallas: 2011-present


Who is the top punter in Dallas history? It certainly is a toss-up between Jones and the aforementioned Matt McBriar. Chris Jones' ability to flip the field for Dallas while they play slow-paced football the past few seasons has been a key component to their success. He has a team-record 164 punts inside the 20-yard line. He really put his name on notice in 2014 and 2015 when he had a net-average of 39.8 and 42.5 respectively. Not only can he flip the field, but Jones can pin opposing teams deep. He is the only punter in Dallas history to recover a fumble after his own punt showing hustle. He also has a highlight hit on Lions returner Andre Robert. Chris Jones' role in Dallas these past few seasons cannot go understated, rendering him a spot on the Top 101.


85. Byron Jones, CB


Player Number: 31

Tenure with Dallas: 2015-2019


Coming into the 2015 NFL Draft, Byron Jones was considering a late day 2 pick at best before the Combine. Then, his stock soared when he put his otherworldly athleticism on display with a stellar performance including a record-shattering standing-broad jump at 12-feet, 3-inches. He beat the previous record by 8-inches. The Cowboys took Jones with the 27th pick in that year’s draft. Jones initially played a safety/corner hybrid role in his rookie season. Byron Jones was able to turn some heads week 5 against the Patriots by playing their Tight End Rob Gronkowski physically and limiting him when it seemed like no player could. The following season Jones started games at safety where he was serviceable, however, it was not until Dallas Coverage Coordinator Kris Richard moved him to a full-time cornerback that Jones blossomed as a player. Although Jones has never shown exceptional ball skills, he was unbelievable in coverage. He seemingly would erase a target from the field on passing plays. Jones was both a Pro-Bowler and All-Pro in 2018. Jones was a key contributor to the Cowboys Defense during his time in Dallas.


84. Robert Newhouse, FB


Player Number: 44

Tenure in Dallas: 1972-1983


Robert Newhouse was drafted in 1972. Though he was an established ball carrier in his own right, he was willing to step into the fullback role in favor of Calvin Hill. He was considered undersized for the position at only 5’10” and 210 pounds, but he used his leverage when blocking for Hill and Dallas legend Tony Dorsett. In 1975, he got a chance to be the lead running back for Dallas after they let Hill go. He ran for 930 yards and tacted on 34 catches for 274 yards for Dallas on their way to the Super Bowl. In 1980, he found paydirt 10 times. His most notable highlight was actually a touchdown throw to Golden Richards to help Dallas win Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos. His leverage and balance made him a nightmare for other teams whether he was blocking or running. It was like tackling a fire hydrant. It was his versatility that makes The Human Bowling Ball a Top 101 Cowboy of All-Time


83. Kyle Kosier, G


Player Number: 63

Tenure in Dallas: 2006-2011


Kosier was a Guard during the years in which Dallas had their most productive season on offense in team history. Week in and week out Kosier was a consistent contributor. His leadership and locker room presence was a major part of the team’s comradery through those seasons. He was as tough as they come, playing almost every game with the exception of 2008 when he suffered a fracture in his right foot. In 2011, he utilized his versatility by flipping him Left Guard to Right Guard to help transition rookie Tackle Tyron Smith to the NFL. That season he still managed to start 16 games with a plantar fascia injury. It is not just his toughness that landed him on this list. If you do not remember Kosier, go watch his tape. Once he got his vice grips and anchored defenders, they were not moving which was great because Marion Barber needed a lot of time to get through the hole.


82. Tony Tolbert, DE


Player Number: 92

Tenure with Dallas: 1989-1997


Tony was considered way too small at only 230 lbs to be a defensive end but too big to be a linebacker so Dallas got a steal by snagging Tolbert in the 4th round of the 1989 NFL Draft. He was a stalwart on the Cowboys 3 Super Bowl championship runs in the ’90s. He and Chuck Hawley became one of the scariest pass rushing duos in the league during the time. He got named to the Pro Bowl in 1996 with 12 sacks and even managed to lead the team in tackles in his final season while struggling with chronic knee pain. He was a key component to one of the greatest dynasties in Dallas history and an easy selection for the Top 101 Dallas Cowboys.


81. Bradie James, ILB


Player Number: 56

Tenure with Dallas: 2003-2011


Bradie James started out as a standout special teams player, but when Wade Phillips switched Dallas to a 3-4 he became a force in the middle of the field. He is 7th All-Time in Solo Tackles and 2nd All-Time in Tackle Assist in Dallas history according to Pro-Football-Reference. James is the only Cowboy to lead the team in tackles for 3 straight seasons and he actually did for 6. He eclipsed 100 tackles for 5 straight seasons. James was a leader on defense for many years and an underrated contributor. He is 7th in franchise history in solo tackles with 526.


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