Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Top 10 Cowboys of the decade
By Dan Graziano
The folks at ESPNDallas.com are allowing you to vote on the top 10 Cowboys of this decade. And before you start, remember that some of the top names that will come to mind -- Larry Allen and Darren Woodson -- actually peaked in the 1990s. Emmitt Smith was gone before the '03 season began and All-Pro Safety Darren Woodson suffered a back injury heading into the '04 season.
Here's the top 10 list that ESPNDallas.com compiled, which is complemented by a stunning slideshow. I was not consulted on this list and that gives me full license to poke holes in it. Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware topped the list. He's only in his fifth season, but he's emerged as one of the most dynamic pass-rushers in the league. The secret panel gave Bill Parcells the seal of approval by ranking Jason Witten, Flozell Adams and Tony Romo Nos. 2-4. Romo and Witten were in the same rookie class of '03. I guess you can reward Adams for his longevity, but I only recall him being truly dominant for one entire season ('03). He's certainly one of the most talented offensive tackles of the past two decades but there's a feeling that he's never risen to his immense potential.
I would move Romo and defensive end Greg Ellis in front of Adams. The ESPNDallas.com panel currently has Ellis at No. 7. They have Roy Williams at No. 5 and I think that's entirely too high. He was a Pro Bowl worthy safety in his rookie season in '02 and '03 but he never truly recovered from the loss of Woodson. Williams was once one of the most feared defensive players in the game, but that flame went out out pretty quickly.
This might surprise some of you, but I'd actually move T.O. up a spot to No. 5 after I dropped Williams out of the top 10. And I've already moved Jay Ratliff ahead of La'Roi Glover in terms of players of the decade. Glover was a nice player, but he was starting to wind down his career in this decade.
The fact that we're leaning toward a lot of the players Parcells drafted speaks to the fact that he didn't inherit a lot of talent. Larry Allen was obviously on the downside of his career, although he was still dominant at times. Dexter Coakley and Dat Nguyen were really solid players at linebacker but it didn't take Parcells too long to look for bigger players. The one player that ESPNDallas.com should've considered is Andre Gurode. His career nearly flamed out while playing guard but he he became a Pro Bowler at center. I think his name should've been in the mix.
Am I leaving anyone out? Terry Glenn do anything for you guys? And I could make a legitimate argument for Mat McBriar to be in the top 10. He's the best Cowboys punter since Danny White in my opinion.