Ranking the greatest players in Dallas Cowboys history

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4. Dallas CowboysXxx Great Emmitt Smith Super Bowl Xxx Sd5981 Jpg S Fbn /
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Dallas Cowboys
Sep 30, 1984; Chicago, IL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett (33) in action against Chicago Bears linebacker Wilber Marshall (58) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK /

Pick Analysis. 1977-1987. TonyDorsett. player. 123. Scouting Report. RB. 7

At 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds, Tony Dorsett was considered a smaller running back but that didn’t prevent him from having a phenomenal career with the Cowboys. A star for the Pittsburgh Panthers, Dorsett was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft and had an immediate impact.

As a rookie, Dorsett had 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns. He topped the 1,000-yard mark in each of the next four seasons, then did it three more times after having 745 yards and five touchdowns in 1982.

That year, he played in just nine games thanks to the season being shortened by a strike. He didn’t allow the limited games to keep him from making it a memorable season though.

In the Cowboys’ final game, which was on January 3 of 1983, he ripped off the longest run in NFL history. Dorsett went 99-yards to the house, and while Derrick Henry has since tied the run, the Dallas back accomplished the feat with just 10 men on the field.


Dorsett continued to put up solid numbers but when Herschel Walker arrived in 1986, his carries and yardage went down. He left in 1988 and had a decent final season with the Denver Broncos but he’s still known for what he did with America’s Team.

In 11 seasons, Dorsett had 12,036 yards rushing and 72 touchdowns — both of which were franchise records when he retired. Now, he’s second only to Emmitt Smith in each category.