It's Taco TUESDAYYYYYYYYYYY.
And while you all are munching on your delicious tacos, I thought it would only be appropriate to give you something to read to go along with it. So, here's where my story comes in handy.
During my last three countdown posts, I told you all that there weren't many players that stood out to me quickly, but with today's post, holy guacamole.
But before I spill the beans about who was “El Jefe” of #61, let's check out all of the players who have worn the number:
- Jim Cooper, Tackle (1977-1986)
- Kelvin Garmon, Guard (2001-2002)
- Allen Green, Kicker/Punter (1961-1961)
- Marcus Henry, Center (2019-2019)
- Bill Nagy, Guard (2011-2011)
- Nate Newton, Guard (1987-1998)
- Blaine Nye, Guard (1968-1976)
- Duane Putnam, Guard (1960-1960)
- Adam Redmond, Guard (2018-2019)
As I said, I was going frijoles over the number of guys who were potential options in today's crowning, but only one guy could stand.
So without further ado, here are the three guys who all deserved today's honor, and check out who the winner is at the end.
Because of the move, Nye was the anchor to those early-day Cowboy offensive lines, as he also was a huge factor in leading the squad to three Super Bowl appearances.
I mean, it did also help he lined up next to HOF OT Rayfield Wright, but you get my gist.
Nye would win a Lombardi with the team in 1972, but the most memorable thing he's known is his creation of the “Zero Club,” which prided itself on performing behind the scenes and staying out of the limelight.
Although I never witnessed him live, Nye felt like he was just one of those guys you would love on your team since you could always rely on him to get the job done.
While he did fall short of today's crowning, that shouldn't take away from his contributions and how talented he was.
Just like Nye, Jim Cooper was another one of those guys who switched to the other side of the line, and their career flourished because of it.
One of the most versatile linemen in Cowboys history, Cooper was a part of the “Four Irishmen and Scott” offensive line–which Center John Fitzgerald nicknamed.
His most famous play was arguably being one of the blockers to HOF Cowboys RB Tony Dorsett's 99-yard run versus the Minnesota Vikings in 1983.
Add in he was a Super Bowl Champion–there was some high praise for him during my selection process, but one other player was higher on the list.
Let's move on to the winner.
If you never would've guessed who today's winner was just by looking at the title, then you're just silly.
While hopefully, I kept you all entertained as you finished your tacos (hopefully some real, authentic tacos), Newton was “El Jefe” of #61 because of his longevity and accomplished resume.
Newton's career wouldn't begin with the Cowboys until his third year of professional football (1986), as he had stints with the formerly-known Washington Redskins in 1983 and Tampa Bay Bandits in the USFL (United States Football League) in 1984-1985.
He started as a reserve offensive lineman and didn't become a full-time starter until 1987.
However, because of weight issues, he almost lost his job.
Apart of the offensive line unit known as “The Great Wall of Dallas,” Newton maintained a high level of play for several seasons, as some called him the best guard of the decade.
Nicknamed “The Kitchen” for his massive frame, I can only imagine how demoralizing opposing defenders felt when they had to rush against the elite offensive unit Dallas had, but especially against him and Guard Larry Allen, who was just another massive human.
Power is a lot easier to hit down the chute when you have Nate Newton and Larry Allen absolutely mauling guys in the middle pic.twitter.com/zoHAkQSuyn
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) September 11, 2020
He will forever be known as one of the best offensive linemen the franchise has ever had, but shoutout to Mr.Newton for being the Greatest #61 in Cowboys History.