5. Michael Irvin, WR, 1988
When Dallas took Michael Irvin with the 11th overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft, former general manager Tex Schramm said he would be the one to help the team “return to the living.” While he was absolutely right about the Miami product, he might not have realized Irvin would be the last first-round selection made by him and former head coach Tom Landry.
Both were out in 1989 when Jerry Jones bought the team, and brought in Jimmy Johnson as the head coach while he assumed the GM duties himself. For Irvin, the move was no problem at all since he was familiar with Johnson, who was his head coach with the Hurricanes.
Still, it took a few seasons for him to go from a promising young player to a superstar in the NFL. He had 654 yards as a rookie but then missed much of the 1989 season. After this, he recorded just 413 yards in 1990.
1991 saw a different player though as Irvin led the NFL with 1,523 yards receiving on 93 receptions. He added eight touchdowns as well while being named to his first of five consecutive Pro Bowls.
Nicknamed “The Playmaker” due to his knack for coming up in the big games, Irvin finished his career with 750 receptions for 11,904 yards with 65 touchdowns. That places him second behind Jason Witten for receptions and yards in the team’s history, and he’s also fourth in receiving touchdowns.