Dallas Cowboys: Franchise player

August, 18, 2008
8/18/08
1:00
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
 
 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
 Emmitt Smith was voted the greatest player in Cowboys history.

Readers' pick: Emmitt Smith, RB

I'm not surprised that our SportsNation friends selected Smith as the greatest player in Cowboys history. But the fact that it was such a landslide caught me off-guard. Smith won with more than half of the votes, and Roger Staubach was a distant second. Staubach is the most iconic member of the organization, so I thought it would be a lot closer.

It's also surprising that Troy Aikman only finished with a small percentage of the vote. I watched pretty much every game during the Super Bowl years of the early '90s and you always had the feeling that the Triplets (Aikman, Smith and Michael Irvin) were all about equal in terms of their importance to the team.

My biggest gripe about the fan voting is that defensive tackle Bob Lilly finished sixth, behind offensive lineman Larry Allen. This tells me that we didn't have a lot of the 50-and-over crowd rockin' the vote. I'm not old enough to have watched Lilly in his prime, but they call him "Mr. Cowboy" for a reason.

Putting him sixth on a list of all-time Cowboys is way low. On my list, he would be fighting for the top spot. Allen was a great player, but I have a hard time putting him ahead of Randy White, Rayfield Wright, Michael Irvin and Mel Renfro. Honestly, I'd have a hard time putting him ahead of Lee Roy Jordan and Cliff Harris, but I'll save those arguments for another day.

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