Fort Worth Star Telegram sportswriter Ray Buck used the occasion of the Dallas Cowboys' bye week Sunday to compile a list of the Top 50 Cowboys of All-time. No surprises (Tony Romo is NOT on the list, which is where he should be) but a few omissions of players who likely would be in the Next 50 list (Robert Newhouse, Butch Johnson, Tony Hill for starters) are notable.
I won't give away the entire list, but you can read it here ...
The Star-Telegram's Top 10 is:
10. Bob Hayes
9. Randy White
8. Rayfield Wright
7. Mel Renfro
6. Don Meredith
5. Emmitt Smith
4. Tony Dorsett
3. Troy Aikman
2. Bob Lilly
1. Roger Staubach
The only quibble I would have would be ranking Dorsett ahead of Emmitt. The romance and nostalgia of the 1970s Cowboy teams led me to refuse to consider that Smith was in fact the better back when he was playing but in hindsight, Emmitt clearly deserves to be ahead of T.D., as good as the latter was.
And was Staubach better than Aikman? Read the stats and probably no, Aikman is better. But those huge intangibles that Staubach possessed -- including being the Face of the Franchise -- will maybe forever put him at the top of any all-time Cowboy list.
Seems odd, too, that Danny Villanueva, a three-year placekicker in the 1960s, is No. 50 on the list.
Looking at the list it is obvious that the 1970s-era Cowboys are the teams by which all others should be measured. Twenty-three of the 50 players on the list enjoyed their best years during the Cowboys' decade of the 1970s. Seven on the list were at the height of their careers during the 1980s and seven more gained their famed during the 1990s.
DeMarcus Ware (No. 22) and Jason Witten (No. 32) are the only current members on the all-time team. Will anyone else ultimately be on the list that is on the current roster? At the rate we're going now, it seems unlikely.