Dallas Cowboys: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)
Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
IRVING, TX – NOVEMBER 23: Dallas Cowboy helmets sit on the goal line before the NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas on November 23, 1995. The Cowboys defeated the Chiefs 24-12. (Photo by Brian Bahr /Getty Images) /

Linebacker. (1961-1973). Chuck Howley. 14. player. 123.

For some, Chuck Howley is the answer to a tricky trivia question. Who was the only player ever to be named Super Bowl MVP on the losing team?

But there was a lot more than that one shining moment for Howley. He was also one of the greatest Dallas Cowboys players of all-time.

If you don’t believe me, legendary head coach Tom Landry once said: “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anybody better at linebacker than Chuck Howley.” Landry also believed Howley had the speed to play running back as well.

Originally selected in the first round of the 1958 NFL Draft out of West Virginia by the Chicago Bears, Howley’s career appeared to be over after only two years due to him suffering a devastating knee injury.

When Howley decided to attempt a professional comeback after playing well in an alumni game, the Cowboys traded second and ninth-round draft picks to the Bears for him. It was a risk that paid big dividends.

Following his stellar performance in Super Bowl V, in which he recorded two interceptions and a forced fumble against the Baltimore Colts, Howley would end up getting his championship victory the following year. And he was nearly named MVP for that Super Bowl performance as well.

By the end of his 13-year career in Dallas, Howley had received numerous accolades. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, six-time All-Pro, a member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor as well as the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Howley was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and there remains hope he will be inducted from the Senior Pool at some point.