Dallas Cowboys: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)
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Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys
7 May 1998: Quarterback Troy Aikman and guard Steve Scifres of the Dallas Cowboys in action during Mini-Camp in Valley Ranch, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport /

. Quarterback. (1989-2000). Troy Aikman. 6. player. 123

UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman was the first overall selection in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Aikman came to Dallas as the third highest-rated passer in NCAA history, and the first draft pick for both new Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson.

Unfortunately, Aikman’s first year under center for Dallas resulted in an embarrassing 1-15 record. But the turnaround for the Cowboys would be swift. Combined with wide receiver Michael Irvin and running back Emmitt Smith, Aikman and the Triplets would lead a resurgence of football excellence in Dallas, resulting in a Super Bowl victory just three years later.

By the end of his 12-year career with the Cowboys, Aikman would be a three-time Super Bowl champion earning himself a Super Bowl MVP award in 1993. He would also be considered one of the most accurate quarterbacks in NFL history.

During his time under center for America’s Team, Aikman would earn six-straight Pro Bowl nominations and be named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1997. He posted 32,942 passing yards and 165 touchdowns in his pro career. Aikman is second all-time in both categories in Dallas.

In 2005, Troy Aikman was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. The following year, he was welcomed into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.