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Top 10 Dallas Cowboys of All Time
Here are my top 10 Dallas Cowboys of all time, in no particular order. My list has nothing to do with talent; that’s just how I felt about those guys. Yes, it’s full of guys from the 60s and 70s.
1. Don Meredith
Dandy Don, Jeff & Hazel’s little boy from Mount Vernon, Texas, has always been the life of any caucus. I’m sure you heard him when they mic him for games, when he complained about how fussy the referee was, etc. He was just great fun. And who cared about Monday Night Football since Don left? I mean come on! Sure, he never won “the big game,” but we all forgive him for that, and we even forgive him for his untimely interception against the Packers in the championship game, because it could happen to anyone.
2. George Andrie
My brother and I used to send autographs to the Dallas Cowboys, and sometimes we would go where certain players were signing in order to build goodwill on the team. We had George Andrie come by mail. He sent back a shot of himself, all 6-6 to 6-7 of him, as if pressing the setter, but without his helmet. Anyway, what’s cool is that he signed, “Regards, George Andrie.” As an eight or nine year old, I found this to be an impressive and elegant way to sign: “Personal best regards”, indeed; I often close my own letters this way today.
3. Garrison Walt
The burly Walt Garrison often needed nine or more men to finally bring him down. It was the rodeo in him that shone through; football was probably child’s play compared to the rodeo circuit. I remember he used to dabble and do Skoal snuff commercials; I was a Copenhagen man myself, and it sickens me when I think of all the money I wasted on this potentially deadly junk. I still hear the radio presenters at the time: “The gift to Garrison…”; then you knew Walt was about to carry a load of defenders on his back halfway down the field.
4. Tony Liscio
I’ve always admired this tough guy because he came to the rescue of the team, and came out of retirement to replace Ralph Neely, who broke his leg in a stupid motorcycle accident. Tom Landry just called him on the phone, and Tony was there within two days. My kind of team player.
5. Bob Hayes
No one could stop a game like Bob Hayes could, based on speed alone, which could put him behind all defensive backs. He is one of those players who changed the game, forcing defenders to respond to Don Meredith’s vertical strikes. It was such a beautiful thing to see him running in the open field, as one could stop on the side of the road to watch a beautiful horse galloping in a rural setting.
6. Lance Alworth
What can you say about “Bambi”? He gave 100% not just on every game, but every moment of every game. If you don’t believe me, look him up on YouTube back in the Arkansas days. I was able to meet him, shake his hand and get his autographed picture when I was about nine years old. Who is my favorite footballer of all time? An acrobat: Lance Alworth.
7. Dan Reeves
Dan Reeves was fun to watch because he was so versatile. You never knew when he might throw a halfback pass (like the 50-yard touchdown pass to Lance Rentzel in the Ice Bowl), roll as a starter and pass a fake field goal. You had to watch this guy closely with the slow southern drag. Plus, it was as stable as you could want on your attack.
8. Chuck Howley
Please remind me why this guy isn’t in the hall of fame. I remember those classic high-low tackles that he and Lee Roy Jordan could stand up to any guy with. Was Super Bowl MVP in a losing effort against the Colts.
9. John Niland
Have you ever seen the images of John & Buck Buchanan after an exhibition match? Buck vehemently insulted John, alleging that John held him down throughout the match, swearing up and down. John Niland, not backing down from the mountainous Buck, assured him that he was not holding. “We stand,” John said, meaning the Cowboys as a team overall, “but I don’t hold up.” Buck seemed to have taken him at his word. Great stuff from that rare bird Niland.
10. Lee Roy Jordan
Just because Lee Roy was always there, always, as a middle linebacker, backing up the line, always. A real tough guy from Alabama. Small for a center linebacker, Lee Roy could really rock a running back. And he was there still, from 1963 to 1976, in the middle. He has received five Pro Bowl honors!
Well, those are my top ten Dallas Cowboys. Feel free to leave comments about anyone you think should be on this list.
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