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
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
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.