Dallas Cowboys: 15 best draft-day steals of all-time

Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Best draft-day steals by the Dallas Cowboys of all-time: 11. Harvey Martin

1973 NFL Draft: Round 3, Pick No. 53

During the 1973 NFL Draft, the Cowboys went with a local kid to be their third round pick, selecting Harvey Martin from East Texas State. Born in Dallas and playing his high school ball at South Oak Cliff High School, Martin was born to play for America’s Team. He certainly was outstanding during his NFL career with them.

Martin played his entire NFL career with Dallas, a time that spanned 11 seasons. During that time, Martin was named to the Pro Bowl four times. He is still regarded as one of the best players in  team history at getting after the quarterback. It would be his prowess at doing just that which would lead him to a historical season wearing the Cowboys uniform.

In the history of the NFL, few men have put together the kind of season that Martin did in 1977.  During that magical year, Martin racked up an incredible amount of sacks, 23 to be exact, which is actually more than Michael Strahan’s official record of 22.5. You seen, sacks were not an official stat back then, but the Cowboys kept track of them.

To cap off the 1977 season, Martin led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, where he would receive Most Valuable Player honors alongside Randy White. An All-Pro that season, Martin finished his career with 114 sacks, unofficially. He was a key member of the Cowboys’ “Doomsday Defense.”

A member of the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, Martin passed away young at the age of 51 due to pancreatic cancer, but his memory lives on within Cowboys history.