The Four Most Influential Dallas Cowboys of My Generation

ESPN posted a picture two days ago that showcased rapper/actor Ice Cube and his picks for his personal MT. Rushmore of athletes. In order to increase interaction they polled the Facebook community to see who they would carve into stone if they were given the chance to have their own athlete MT Rushmore. Since I’m gullible and answer any sports question ESPN posts on Facebook, I replied with my own version. As I tried to figure out the exact four athletes I would carve into the side of a mountain, I came to realize the majority of the people I would put up there would be Cowboys. So instead of having to pick four players from different sports, I want to share with you the four most influential Dallas Cowboys of my generation.

It’s hard for me to fully know the impact some of the older players had on the Cowboys’ landscape. I didn’t make it onto this rock until the early 80’s, so players like Bob Lilly and Danny White for example are harder for me to judge fairly. I wasn’t alive to see the offseasons or news reports from these players’s time. That’s where you come in. Comment, respond, and give your picks so we as a Cowboy Nation can produce a well rounded list of the four most influential Cowboys.

4. Tony Romo

Very few players have had as much success and hardships simultaneously as Tony Romo has. He can be lights out or lights off depending on the circumstances. There are even times where he is both in a single game; for better or worse.

The reason he makes this list is the fact he is the only real quarterback Dallas has had since Troy Aikman. There have been so many stop-gaps and temporary fixes between Aikman and Romo that it makes my head spin. Like it or not, Romo gives the Cowboys the best chance to win now. That, along with the fact Romo discussions breed controversy, puts him on my list.

3. Troy Aikman

Jan 31, 1993; Pasadena, CA, USA: FILE PHOTO; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman (8) throws the ball against the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl. The Cowboys defeated the Bills 52-17. Mandatory Credit: Long Photography-US PRESSWIRE

Leading the Dallas Cowboys to three super bowl victories is something to brag about in and of itself, but add in a spot in the Hall of Fame, and Troy Aikman becomes an iconic figure. As I grew up watching Aikman run the Cowboys offense with the likes of Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin, I became hooked to everything the Cowboys were and what they could possibly be.

He was a hope to a franchise that struggled in the mid-to-late 80’s after being successful during the 70’s. Because of this and his many accomplishments I classify him as a influential Cowboy.

2. Daryl “Moose” Johnston

Where do I even start with Daryl “Moose” Johnston? He was the engine that could in the Dallas Cowboys’ backfield during the 90’s. Whenever I saw a big run broken off by Emmitt Smith, there was Moose. And when the Cowboys needed that few extra yards for a crucial first down, nine times out of ten you’d see Moose get the ball.

Moose Johnston made Emmitt Smith the player he was. He single-handedly blocked Emmitt into the Hall of Fame. Don’t take my word for it though. Listen to what Emmitt had to say.

1. Emmitt Smith

Jan 28, 1996; Tempe, AZ, USA; FILE PHOTO; Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith (22) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Darren Perry (39) during Super Bowl XXX at Sun Devil Stadium. Dallas defeated Pittsburgh 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

How could the league’s leading rusher not be on this list? Emmitt Smith was a staple of everything a Dallas Cowboy should be in my mind. He was tough, he’s a good guy, and he produced. Where would Dallas be without a back like Emmitt? They defiantly wouldn’t have as many super bowls as they did during the 90’s that’s for sure.

Emmitt was always a player I gravitated to as I grew up. He was never the fastest guy in the league, but speed isn’t the only determining factor when it comes to being a good running back. He never gave up and being lower to the ground than most defenders, he was a hard guy to get on the ground. This, added with the fact he was smart and knew how to use the blockers in front of him, and you’ll see why he tops my list of most influential Cowboys of my generation.

Like I stated earlier, this is purely my top four Dallas Cowboys for my time as a Cowboys fan. It is in no way a look at the entire spectrum of top-notch players throughout the years. Feel free to get on the comment boards and tell the world who you would carve into stone in your own personal Dallas Cowboys Mt. Rushmore.

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Topics: Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys, Daryl Johnston, Daryl Moose Johnston, Emmitt Smith, Hall Of Fame, Ice Cube, NFL, Super Bowl, Tony Romo, Troy Aikman

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  • Mark Lane

    I find it interesting you added Romo yet left off Irvin. What’s up with that?

  • Tootsie

    Lets leave TO were ever he is…we already have some drama we don’t need anymore.

  • californy

    My choice would be the tripletes and Darren Woodson. I think Woodson is the Cowboys leading tackler of all time. All the other players lead in the team statistics also. I would like to Add Jimmy Johnson to that list somewhere. Maybe Hershal Walker on a lower mountain side, lol.

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