Dallas Cowboys primed to flood the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Demarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Demarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Cowboys, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin
Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys and Zack Martin #70 guard against Dawuane Smoot #91 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at TIAA Bank Field on December 18, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) /

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Some players have a Hall of Fame-worthy career despite not yet being eligible to be inducted. While the team hasn’t had much success (specifically in the playoffs), the Cowboys fielded and are fielding legends.

The first name to come to most people’s minds is the tight end, Jason Witten. Retirees must wait five years to be enshrined. He last played in 2020, making him a first-ballot candidate for the Class of 2026.

Witten is one of the best tight ends and one of the most consistent players in NFL history. He is also one of the greatest Cowboys to ever step on the field.

The Tennessee product was a quarterback’s best friend and sits fourth overall for catches among all players.  He tops all tight ends for games played, second for receiving yards, and third for receiving touchdowns. With 11 Pro Bowl selections, Tony Gonzalez is the only tight end with more.

It’s not easy to be good in the NFL, never mind doing that for 15 years. The six-foot-six-inch tight end is one of only four at his position to have four 1,000-yard seasons.  That contributed to being a Pro Bowler each season from 2004 to 2015, except for 2011. That’s 10 of 11 selections.

Most tight ends dominate as receivers or blockers, but Witten is one of the few to excel as both over a long time. He is truly one of a kind.

Now, we get to a player currently playing for the Cowboys. Tyron Smith has been a premier left tackle since his rookie season in 2011. Seven of his eight Pro Bowl nods came in consecutive seasons from 2013 to 2019. That’s despite missing three games in four of those seasons.

When on the field, the big-bodied former Trojan keeps his quarterbacks safe. That’s why he got put on the 2010’s All-Decade Team. Besides his first two seasons in the NFL, Smith received an award for each season he played 10+ games.

Edge rushers struggle to get by the two-time First-Team All-Pro. That’s because you’re stuck once he gets his hands on you. Oh, and if you see him running downfield leading a back, it’s either you run away or get buried.

Tyron’s linemate Zack Martin will be right behind him. Martin took after Smith regarding consistency, but he took it one step further. Tyron has been one of the best at his position, but Martin unanimously holds that spot for guards.

Eight Pro Bowl nods and five First-Team All-Pro honors in nine seasons is a near-impossible record to beat. With that on the Notre Dame product’s resume, he earned a spot on the 2010’s All-Decade team. How he wasn’t a unanimous selection despite being the most decorated guard is beyond me.

Martin is not the strongest lineman, but he has the best technique and footwork. That enables him to match up against power and speed rushers. He is one of the only offensive linemen you would be comfortable lining up one-on-one with any player in the NFL.

Jason Witten deserves a respectable amount of consideration to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but it would be a slap in Zack Martin’s face if he doesn’t get it. Tyron Smith should get in, but it may take a couple of years.

A total of ten Cowboys were named to this list, adding to the four finalists in the Class of 2023. With the likelihood of Tyron and Martin retiring within the next five seasons, the number of Cowboys in the Hall of Fame can increase to 37 over the next ten years.