The Dallas Cowboys have always been a team with all eyes on them. The five-time Super Bowl champs produced 19 Hall of Famers and some of the most entertaining athletes. What if there was an all-time team established? To start off, let’s list the best offensive Dallas players by position.
In order to qualify for the all-time offense, the player must spend the majority of his career with Dallas. The player can be a current or former Cowboy and must have Pro Bowls and All-Pros in his career. They do not have to be Hall of Famers. Let’s dive into the all-time offense!
Quarterback: Roger Staubach (1969-1979)
When you share the same nickname as a superhero, it is no question who is taking snaps for the all-time offense. Roger Staubach was drafted in the 10th round out of the Navy, where he won a Heisman trophy in his college tenure.
“Captain America” started his career at the age of 27, due to his four-year commitment to the Navy. Staubach was the centerpiece of the first dynasty for the Dallas Cowboys, winning the first two Super Bowls for the franchise. The 1971 Super Bowl MVP finished in the top five in yards in six seasons and the top five in touchdowns and completions in four years.
The six-time Pro Bowler finished his career throwing for 22,700 yards, 153 TDs, and completed 57% of his passes. Staubach was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Of course, we cannot forget this is the man who threw the first Hail Mary.
Running Back One: Emmitt Smith (1990-2002)
The NFL’s all-time rushing leader deserves the RB One spot for Dallas’ all-time squad. The Cowboys traded up to select Emmitt Smith with the 17th pick in the 1990 NFL Draft.
Smith collected all sorts of accolades during his career. Right out of the gate, he was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Fast forward to 1993, he won league MVP. Smith helped the Cowboys build a fearful dynasty in the 1990s, which included three Super Bowl championships. He won the Super Bowl XXVIII MVP.
Over his career, he ran for over 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons, including leading the league four times in the category. He topped the NFL in rush attempts and touchdowns three times, and yards from scrimmage twice. Smith was named to eight Pro Bowls and four-time All-Pro honors.
Smith’s totals with the Cowboys include a franchise record of 17,162 yards and 164 total touchdowns (153 on the ground). He’s debatably not only the greatest running back of all time, but the most durable the NFL has ever witnessed. Smith entered the Hall of Fame in 2010.
Running Back Two: Tony Dorsett (1977-1987)
Tony Dorsett pairs with Emmitt Smith to round up the running back duo for the Cowboys. He caught attention at the University of Pittsburgh, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1976. Dorsett was the second overall pick by Dallas in the 1977 Draft and was the Offensive Rookie of the Year that season.
The four-time Pro Bowler became the first player to win the college football championship and the Super Bowl in back-to-back years. He appeared in another Super Bowl, but the Cowboys fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 1982, he set a league record with a 99-yard rushing touchdown (only Derrick Henry has achieved this feat since).
Playing with Dallas for 11 years, he ran for over 1,000 yards eight times, totaling 12,036 yards and 72 TDs with the organization.
Wide Receiver One: Michael Irvin (1988-1999)
Troy Aikman’s main target in the 1990s earns the No. 1 wide receiver spot. After spending his college career with a dynasty, he gets drafted to another in 1988. Irvin first displayed dominance in his fourth season, leading the league with 1,523 receiving yards. He totaled six 1,000+ yard campaigns.
He spent all 12 years with Dallas, gathering three Super Bowl titles, five straight Pro-Bowls, and one All-Pro in 1991. Irvin finished with the most receptions and receiving yards as a wide receiver (second by any position) and fourth-highest Tds (65).
No. 88 gave a reputation to the jersey number. Any receiver worthy enough to don the number proves that player is next in line to be a Cowboys legend and earned the respect of Michael Irvin. However, Irvin was not the original 88.
Wide Receiver Two: Drew Pearson (1973-1983)
Before Irvin, Drew Pearson repped No. 88 for the first Cowboys empire in the 1970s. Before developing as Staubach’s top target, he signed as an undrafted free agent. Pearson made the team because of his effort on special teams. Little did Dallas know what they were going to get.
The three-time Pro Bowler had two 1,000-yard seasons and led the league in 1977 with 870. Pearson won a Super Bowl XII with the Cowboys and earned three All-Pro honors.
Playing all 11 years for Dallas, he caught 489 passes for 7,822 yards (fourth-most in franchise history) and 48 touchdowns. After waiting over 30 years, the man who caught the first Hail Mary pass was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021.
Wide Receiver Three: Bob Hayes (1965-1974)
The final receiver is none other than Bob Hayes. Before the NFL, he won a gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics for the 100m and the 4x100m. His Olympic success led to his nickname “Bullet” because he was the fastest player in the NFL.
Drafted in the seventh round by Dallas, he became one of the biggest deep-ball threats in NFL history. He led the league in receiving yards per reception and touchdowns twice. Hayes won Super Bowl VI with the Cowboys.
He made the Pro-Bowl in three seasons and two All-Pro teams. In 10 seasons with the team, he finished with 7,295 yards and 71 TDs. Hayes was a member of the 2009 Hall of Fame class but passed away before his induction.
Tight End: Jason Witten (2003-2017, 2019)
It is an obvious choice for this position when Jason Witten leads the franchise in roughly every receiving statistic possible. Whenever he is eligible, there is no doubt he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Witten was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. An 11-time Pro Bowler, the TE is fourth in NFL history in receptions with 1,228 (second among all-time TEs), and his 13,046 yards are 20th all-time (second among all-time TEs).
After 15 years, Witten retired for a year but came back to play one season with Dallas and one with the Las Vegas Raiders. He earned All-Pro honors twice and won the 2012 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Offensive Tackle: Rayfield Wright (1967-1979)
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Hall of Famer was drafted by Dallas in the seventh round of the draft. After playing three different positions in his first three seasons, Rayfield Wright found his home at right tackle.
He became the leader of the offensive line in the 1970s, playing in over 160 games in his 13-year career. Wright made six consecutive Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams. He won Super Bowls VI and XII with the Cowboys and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Offensive Guard: Larry Allen (1994-2005)
Not just one of the greatest offensive linemen in Dallas, but in NFL history, Larry Allen dominated the 1990s and early 2000s. After becoming a full-time starter, he played every game in all but three seasons.
Manning the left guard position for the majority of his career, Allen was a 10-time Pro Bowler and a member of six All-Pro First Teams. Debatably the strongest player of all time, he once benched 705 pounds. He won Super Bowl XXX with the Cowboys.
Allen was a part of the 2013 Hall of Fame class.
Center: Mark Stepnoski (1989-1994, 1999-2001)
At 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, Mark Stepnoski was criticized for being undersized as a center. Pro Bowl centers in his era weighed over 280. Stepnoski had flawless blocking technique, understanding the proper leverage and angles to open holes for Emmitt Smith.
Drafted in the third round out of Pittsburgh, he learned the center position from Tom Rafferty in his rookie season. Once Stepnoski became the starter in 1990, he was the anchor to the “Great Wall of Dallas.” He won two Super Bowls and was named to three Pro Bowls in his Cowboys tenure.
Although Stepnoski is not a Hall of Famer, he earned All-1990s honors.
Offensive Guard: Zack Martin (2014-Present)
Currently, the right guard for Dallas, Zach Martin’s resumé proves there is a clear path for him in Canton. The Notre Dame product has started all 120 games he’s suited up, along with six full seasons.
In eight years, he has collected seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pros and earned a spot on the 2010 All-Decade team. The future Hall of Famer seems to not be showing any signs of slowing down and looks to add more success to his playing career.
Offensive Tackle: Tyron Smith (2011-Present)
Wrapping up the all-time offense, Tyron Smith is at tackle. Currently playing for Dallas, he’s manned the left tackle position incredibly, when he is healthy. Injuries have limited Smith to four full seasons in 11 years in the NFL.
Since entering the league in 2011, Smith is an eight-time Pro Bowler and made two All-Pro teams. He’s established himself as one of the most superior tackles in his era, earning 2010 All-Decade honors.
If the 6-foot-5 O-lineman can stay healthy, he helps Dallas create breathing room for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott on offense. Also, the Cowboys would not need to burn their offensive line depth losing Smith for a long period of time during the season. When he is on the gridiron, Smith is a difference-maker.
With all the Cowboy greats, there are solid names left on the all-time offense, so it is only right to provide recognition for them
QB: Troy Aikman
RB: Herschel Walker
RB: Walt Garrison
WR: Dez Bryant
WR: Frank Clarke
TE: Jay Novacek
OT: Erik Williams
OG: Nate Newton
C: Travis Frederick
OG: John Niland
OT: Ralph Neely
How’s the all-time offense look? Dallas possessed incredible talents at every position when the organization ruled the league. Agree with this list? Any snubs/disagreements?