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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Michael Irvin, Dallas Cowboys
Michael Irvin #88, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys kneels on the sideline watching the action during the National Football Conference East game against the New York Giants on 5 October 1997 at the Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States. Giants won 17 – 20 . (Photo by Al Bello/Allsport/Getty Images) /

player. 123. . Wide Receiver. (1988-1999). Michael Irvin. 7

The first of The Triplets to be ranked on this list, many remember wide receiver Michael Irvin as the emotional leader of the Dallas Cowboys’ Super Bowl squads of the 1990s. His sideline passion and insatiable work ethic are now the stuff of legend.

Originally drafted by head coach Tom Landry in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft out of Miami, Irvin would end up playing his best football under his college coach, Jimmy Johnson. The Hurricane’s Johnson would replace the legendary Landry in Dallas the following year.

Under Johnson, Irvin would reach his potential. Along with fellow Triplets in quarterback Troy Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith, the talented trio would lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories in four years.

Irvin lived up to his moniker, “The Playmaker”, recording 1,000 or more receiving yards seven times during his 12-year career. He would earn himself five Pro Bowl nominations and three All-Pro nods during that span. Irvin was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s.

After suffering a career-ending neck injury in the fifth game of the 1999 regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles, Irvin was forced to retire. He would end his pro career recording 750 receptions for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns.

Irving sits second on the Dallas Cowboys all-time list for both career catches and receiving yardage. He is fourth all-time in receiving touchdowns. In 2007, Irvin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.