Big 12: Vernand Morency
The Cowboys have done it with a star-studded array of top players who have dotted their rosters over the last few years, most notably at wide receiver and running back. I was left with a tough choice between Adarius Bowman or Dez Bryant as the second wide receiver behind Rashaun Woods. And at running back, I went over and over as I tried to decide between Kendall Hunter, Keith Toston or Vernand Morency to go along with Tatum Bell.
After some careful deliberation, here are my choices for the Cowboys' top players of the last decade.
QB: Zac Robinson
RB: Kendall Hunter
RB: Tatum Bell
WR: Rashaun Woods
WR: Dez Bryant
TE: Brandon Pettigrew
OL: Russell Okung
OL: Corey Hilliard
OL: Sam Mayes
OL: Charlie Johnson
C: David Washington
DL: Kevin Williams
DL: LaWaylon Brown
DL: Juqua Thomas
DL: Greg Richmond
LB: Terrence Robinson
LB: Dwayne Levels
LB: Patrick Lavine
DB: Perrish Cox
DB: Vernon Grant
DB: Elbert Craig
DB: Darrent Williams
K: Luke Phillips
P: Matt Fodge
Ret: Perrish Cox
Offensive player of the decade: WR Rashaun Woods. His emergence in the early part of the decade foreshadowed the Big 12’s development into the most pass-happy conference in the nation. Despite facing constant double-coverage, he produced 293 catches and was the first receiver in Big 12 history to reach 4,000 career receiving yards.
Defensive player of the decade: DT Kevin Williams. Excelled as a mainstay in the Cowboys’ defensive front, making 42 starts in his career. He helped transform the Cowboys’ defense into a tough run-stuffing unit, making 160 tackles and 18.5 sacks over his career.
Coach of the decade: Mike Gundy. His coaching career is no longer dominated by sound bites of eruptions at press conferences. Gundy has directed the Cowboys to four straight bowl trips and back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time in 21 seasons.
Moment of the decade: Josh Fields directs 2001 comeback victory at Oklahoma. Fields came off the bench to rifle a 14-yard touchdown pass to Rashaun Woods with 1:36 left, and the Cowboys held on for a 16-13 victory. The Oklahoma State defense notched three interceptions and seven sacks of Nate Hybl and gave Bob Stoops his first home loss.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are a few factoids about Oklahoma State's bowl history heading into the Cowboys' game tonight in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against Oregon.
Bowl record: 12-6
Current bowl streak: Won 2.
Most memorable bowl victory: Then known as Oklahoma A&M, the Cowboys blitzed St. Mary's (Calif.) in the 1946 Sugar Bowl with a 33-13 victory that capped a 9-0 season. All-American tailback Bob "The Blonde Bomber" Fenimore ran for two scores and passed for another score as the Cowboys finished No. 5 in the final AP poll after the victory -- the best ranking in school history.
Worst bowl loss: Les Miles was negotiating with LSU officials as his team prepared for the 2004 Alamo Bowl and it showed. Ohio State played without starting quarterback Troy Smith, but didn't miss him in the Buckeyes' 33-7 triumph. Backup Justin Zwick passed for 189 yards and a touchdown despite struggling with a hamstring pull to lead Ohio State's victory. Leading Oklahoma State rusher Vernand Morency was limited to 24 yards as the Cowboys didn't score until late in the game.
Best individual/team performance: Oklahoma State rolled up 698 yards after being paced by three highlight efforts in their 62-14 victory over Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. Barry Sanders set Holiday Bowl records with 222 rushing yards and five touchdowns to pace an offensive attack that also included a 315-yard passing effort by quarterback Mike Gundy and a 10-catch, 163-yard outing by wide receiver Hart Lee Dykes.
Record against Oregon: The teams have never played.
Common 2008 opponents: Washington State. The Cowboys defeated Washington State on Aug. 30 at Seattle, 39-13. Oregon won on Sept. 27 at Washington State, 63-14.
The number: 9. That is how many Big 12 teams have won at least 10 games in a season since Oklahoma State last achieved the feat in 1988. The only Big 12 teams not to win 10 games in a season since then are Baylor and Iowa State.