ESPN Makes Right Call in Anointing '93 Team as Cowboys' Best | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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ESPN Makes Right Call in Anointing '93 Team as Cowboys' Best

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    12 Nov 2000: Quarterback Troy Aikman #8 of the Dallas Cowboys hands off to running back Emmitt Smith #22 during Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squire/ALLSPORT

    Like picking your favorite child, choosing the best Cowboys team of all-time isn’t easy. Or fair.

    But the folks at ESPN’s NFL Nation took on the task recently and – I think – came up with the right answer. The ’93 team, by a smidge, is the best in franchise history.

    I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the ’71 team that won the Cowboys’ first-ever Super Bowl. And the ’77 squad featured Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett, and a dominating defense led by Randy White and Harvey Martin that surrendered only two touchdowns and 23 points in three post-season games.

    But, in the final analysis, the ’93 squad was deeper, and better.

    That team began the defense of their ’92 Super Bowl without leading rusher Emmitt Smith. While he sat out in a contract dispute, the Cowboys started the season 0-2. After he arrived, however, Dallas rolled to 12-2 in the regular season – one of the two losses was Leon Lett’s epic gaffe on Thanksgiving in the ice – and then pummeled three playoff opponents by a combined 44 points.

    You want depth and star power?

    That team featured four Hall of Famers in Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Charles Haley, a Ring of Honor inductee in Darren Woodson and three Pro Bowl offensive linemen. And along the defensive line those Cowboys featured a rotation that would make the current team’s group obsolete.

    In the mix were Tony Tolbert, Russell Maryland, Tony Casillas, Jim Jeffcoat, Chad Hennings, Haley and Lett. Any of those seven would be Dallas’ best defensive line on the 2016 team.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.