The Greatest Quarterbacks in Dallas Cowboys History
The Dallas Cowboys have had a long history of great football teams, appearing in eight Super Bowls and winning five of them. One of the reasons for the Cowboy’s success is the great quarterbacks they have had over the years. During the 1960s they had Don Meredith. During the 1970s they had Craig Morton and Roger Staubach. The 1980s featured Danny White. In the 1990s they had Troy Aikman. After Aikman retired the Cowboys had a hard time finding another franchise quarterback. The team tried Anothony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Chad Huchison, Ryan Leaf, Vinny Testerverde, Drew Henson, Quincy Carter, and Drew Bledsoe before finding Tony Romo.
I don’t believe a player should be judged until their career is over, so I won’t consider Tony Romo for this article. I will rate the quarterbacks based on their accomplishments on the field, their passing statistics, winning percentage, and playoff success. When judging quarterbacks the most important thing to consider is how they perform in the post season, and particularly in the Super Bowl.
1. Troy Aikman (1989-2001)
Troy Aikman was drafted as the number one overall pick in the 1989 draft. Aikman suffered through a miserable 1-15 season as a rookie. The beating he took during his rookie season probably led to his injury problems later in his career. He holds the record for the most win in a decade, winning 90 games during the 1990s. He led the Cowboys to three Super Bowls in a four year period, winning all three of them. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XXVII. Aikman has the highest completion percentage in the history of the Super Bowl, completing 70% of his passes. Aikman’s overall post season record is 11-5.
I know many people would pick Roger Staubach as the better quarterback. Staubach was known as “Captain Comeback” for leading the Cowboys to 23 come from behind victories in the fourth quarter. Aikman didn’t need to lead many fourth quarter comebacks because he took care of business during the first three quarters of the game. And his 3-0 record in the Super Bowl also gives him the edge over Staubach.
2. Roger Staubach (1969-1979)
Roger Staubach was drafted in the tenth round in the 1964 draft. He had a five year commitment to the Navy after leaving the Naval Academy and most teams didn’t want to wait five years so the Cowboys were able to get him in the tenth round. Staubach led the Cowboys to four Super Bowls, winning two of them. During Staubach’s career he led the Cowboys to six NFC championship games, winning four of them. Staubach’s career record in the post season was 11-6, including 2-2 in the Super Bowl. He was the MVP of Super Bowl VI when the Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-3. Staubach was the highest rated passer in the NFL four times. When he retired he was the highest rated passer of all time.
3. Don Meredith (1960-1968)
Meredith is probably best known for his work on Monday Night Football. Like Aikman, he started his career playing on some bad Cowboy teams. By the mid-1960s the Cowboys were winning. Meredith never led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl. He was the Cowboys quarterback during the “Ice Bowl” in 1967, losing 21-17 to the Packers for the right to go to Super Bowl II. The Cowboys also lost the previous year to the Packers for the right to go to the first Super Bowl.
4. Danny White (1976-1988)
Danny White had the misfortune of following Roger Staubach. He could never escape from the shadow of “Captain Comeback”. He did lead the Cowboys to three consecutive NFC championship games during the 1980-1982 seasons, losing all three games. He holds the team record for most touchdown passes in a season (29) and most passing yards in a season (3980). He was benched and replaced with Gary Hogeboom in 1984. He regained the starting job but lost it again to Steve Pelleur in 1987 and never regained the starting job again. He was cut shortly after the Cowboys drafted Troy Aikman.
5. Craig Morton (1965-1974)
Craig Morton led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl after the 1970, losing to the Colts 16-13 on a last second field goal. He threw two fourth quarter interceptions that many believe are largely responsible for the Cowboys losing the game. He was replaced by Roger Staubach in 1971. He was later traded after the 1974 season. He lost the Super Bowl again, this time throwing four interceptions against the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXII.
Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts on the greatest Dallas Cowboy quarterback. Also be sure to vote in the poll below.
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