I recently got into a conversation about breakfast cereals. Let’s be honest here there are some that you love and some that you hate. Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Excellent. Honey Combs? Not so much. Ultimately we decided that Apple Jacks are pretty universally well liked and if you disagree well then you are obviously wrong.
Hopefully we can all agree on who the Greatest 54 in Dallas Cowboys History is. The list is a little shorter than most, but there are two here who we all know and love.
The Following Players Have All Worn 54 For The Dallas Cowboys:
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
This might be our most loaded list yet, and I’m just talking about two guys: Chuck Howley and Randy White. Between these two Cowboys we’ve got:
- 27 seasons played for the Dallas Cowboys
- 137.5 Sacks
- 15 Pro Bowl Selections
- 14 First-Team All-Pro Selections
- 5 NFC Championships
- 2 Super Bowl Victories
- 2 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Awards
- 2 Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor Memberships
- 1 Bust at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH
1959 was not kind to Chuck Howley of the Chicago Bears. He suffered what appeared to be a career-ending knee injury and he thought his football days were over. Howley decided to make a comeback in 1961 and Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys thought he’d be a perfect fit for his “Doomsday Defense”.
It wasn’t until 1963 when Chuck moved to the weakside linebacker spot. It was here that his incredible speed, since healed from his injury, allowed him to shine. Howley had a knack for being around the ball and became quite the interception artist.
Super Bowl MVP
Howley’s finest hour perhaps came on the Sunday of Super Bowl V. This #54 had two interceptions AND recovered a fumble…all in a losing effort as the Baltimore Colts outlasted the Dallas Cowboys. In response to his incredible performance, Chuck Howley was named the MVP of Super Bowl V…despite playing for the losing team. This was the first time in the Super Bowl era that a defensive player was graced with the award and is still the only time in NFL History that a member of the losing team received it.
Chuck Howley and the Dallas Cowboys showed extreme resilience the following season and made it back to play in Super Bowl VI. Howley of course played brilliantly, recovering a fumble and returning, surprise, another interception 41 yards.
Chuck Howley: Cowboy Legend
All in all the Cowboys had 13 wonderful seasons with Chuck Howley on the roster. He gave them an extreme defensive effort and was a ball hawk in an era where passing wasn’t done at the volume that it is today. He was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1977 (the year the Cowboys won their second Super Bowl) and has yet to receive his well-deserved Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket.
In 1975 Gil Brandt and the Dallas Cowboy group had a lot of thoughts regarding the second overall pick in the draft. It essentially boiled down to two options, Jackson State’s Walter Payton or Maryland’s Randy White. The Cowboys went with Randy (and ended up with Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett in 1977 so it all worked out) and never looked back.
Randy White started his Cowboy Career backing up the Greatest 55 in Dallas Cowboys History, Lee Roy Jordan, at middle linebacker. Randy hadn’t necessarily lived up to expectations and Tom Landry decided to put his hand in the dirt and move him to defensive tackle in his third season.
Half Man-Half Monster: The Manster
Holy all things football did Randy White belong at defensive tackle. Nicknamed “The Manster” Randy White was indeed half man and half monster. The Manster was fully on showcase in 1977…he was named to his first All-Pro Team, took a trip to the Pro Bowl, AND won Super Bowl XII. Randy’s performance in the Super Bowl was so incredible that, on his 25th birthday, he was named Co-MVP with teammate, the Greatest 79 in Dallas Cowboys History, Harvey Martin. This is the only time in NFL History that two people have shared the Super Bowl MVP award, which adds another sense of uniqueness to Randy’s career.
Randy White: Cowboy Legend
White would go on to continue to flourish in the blue and silver. In 14 seasons he missed only one game and accumulated over 1,100 tackles (701 solo). The Manster retired after the 1988 season, which ultimately also proved to be Tom Landry’s last, and rode off into the NFL sunset. In 1994 Randy White joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame and his legacy was immortalized.
The Greatest 54 In Dallas Cowboys History
It’s very obvious that there is a lot to consider here. Both of these gentlemen gave the Dallas Cowboys all that they had and earned an enormous amount of accolades along the way. Well here’s one more.
Chuck Howley and Randy White are BOTH the Greatest 54 in Dallas Cowboys History
The number 54 is arguably, save for 88, the greatest number to ever be worn in Dallas Cowboys History. Chuck Howley and Randy White each established their own legacies in the number and both put it on the level of greatness that it resides. Like Randy White’s Super Bowl MVP it only felt right to have Co-54s as Chuck Howley has his own MVP. They each have unique circumstances regarding those awards with Randy sharing his and Chuck being the only player to receive it on a losing team. Let’s add one more level of unique and have these two share the number for all of time.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 53 in Dallas Cowboys History is!
Robert Quinn’s Return Important For Struggling Cowboys Pass Rush
Cowboys Nation spent much of the offseason praising the depth of their team as a whole. In particular, though, everyone felt good about what the Cowboys had across their defensive front.
By drafting well in recent years, and acquiring some lesser known players who have turned into solid contributors on the defensive line, the Cowboys have put together a really good group on paper. Despite this perceived depth, however, Dallas' defensive line has not created the pressure through their pass rush which was expected of them through the first two weeks.
After two games the Cowboys have just two sacks, bringing down each opposing quarterback once in each victory. Of course, each sack came at a big moment, as Tyrone Crawford got to Case Keenum on third down early in Sunday's win and DeMarcus Lawrence stripped Eli Manning on a red zone attempt during the season opener. Still, though, the lack of sack production is concerning. Especially considering how often the Cowboys have played with leads so far in 2019.
Star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has shouldered much of the criticism from fans the past two weeks, despite playing the best of any of the pass rushers on the team. Lawrence created a couple key pressures against Washington, and is also fresh off recovering from serious injury. He'll be fine.
The major reason for Lawrence's lack of eye-popping sack production, though, is the lack of help he's received from the rest of his rush-mates. For the most part, Crawford has looked like a guy who missed an entire preseason, and while Dorance Armstrong and Joe Jackson are promising young players, they can't be completely counted on just yet.
Insert Robert Quinn.
The former Pro Bowl defensive end could not be returning at a better time for the Cowboys. Not only should Quinn help to alleviate some of the pressure from Lawrence right away, but he gives the team a rusher who can beat one-on-one blocking more consistently than the rest of the ends currently on this roster.
Robert Quinn's return is also perfect due to the opponent. Quinn came to Dallas via trade from the Miami Dolphins this offseason, and he should be motivated to get after the tanking Dolphins this Sunday.
We should be fair in our expectations of Robert Quinn this week, but don't be surprised if this Cowboys pass rush wakes up quickly Sunday, as he provides a spark on the opposite end of DeMarcus Lawrence.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Should Be Rid of all Rust
The Dallas Cowboys were engaged in a very eventful and sometimes nauseating holdout with All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott this summer. After all the speculation and jabs through the media, the two sides finally agreed on a six-year 90 million dollar extension with 50 million in guarantees just prior to the season opener. With his financial future secured it was time for Elliott to get whatever fieldwork he could before playing the New York Giants. With limited practice time, Elliott had a slow start to the season with a 53-yard performance on 13 carries. However, after watching the Cowboys win against the Redskins it's clear that he's slowly but surely getting back to form.
Elliott came into Sunday's game averaging just under 89 yards per game on the road against the Redskins, including one of his best career rushing performances in 2017 with 150 yards. His 484 yards and 6 touchdowns against Washington prior to Sunday's game were both career highs for Elliott versus a single opponent.
This wouldn't be your typical Elliott game of consistent ten-yard runs and leaping over would-be defenders. Instead, it was a steady dose of Elliott as his workload from week one increased from 14 touches to 25. By halftime, he had 48 yards on 11 carries as the Cowboys held a 14-7 lead.
The Cowboys held a 24-14 lead late in the second half until Elliott capped off a ten-play 54-yard drive that put them up 17, and the game essentially out of reach. In the second half, he had just 36 yards on 11 carries until a 27-yard run late in the fourth quarter gave him 111 yards on 23 carries for the game. Now, Elliott averages 94.3 yards a game on the road for his career against the Redskins, and an amazing 99.2 yards overall.
Going into week three Elliott has almost 40 real game carries under his belt. What this means is now he's gotten the necessary reps and taken the necessary hits needed to get him in football shape, which is something he couldn't fully simulate working out in Cabo. Even with a reduced role in the season opener Elliott is currently on a 1,300-yard 16 touchdown pace as we speak. Those are the kind of numbers that get you the NFL's highest paycheck for running backs, an honor Elliott took over recently, and rightfully so.
Elliott himself can feel things coming back to form with a couple of games out of the way. He spoke about where he was postgame after this past Sunday's win over the Redskins.
“I think slowly and surely, I’m getting back in my rhythm, knocking that rust off,” Elliott told Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “I feel good about the game. I feel good about where I am right now. I feel good about everything going forward.”
The Cowboys are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2015, and more importantly, they have their All-Pro running back in football shape and fully confident coming off a 100-yard performance. Next up is the Miami Dolphins at home who have a defense that has given up 102 points and 391 yards rushing in the first two weeks. Another opportunity for Elliott to get his legs under him even more and produce at a high level as the Cowboys look for their first 3-0 start since 2008.
Dak Prescott not Only one to Roast CB Josh Norman on Sunday
Thanks to Cornerback Josh Norman the Dallas Cowboys 31-21 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday was a little extra sweet for Quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott's goal of course entering this Week 2 matchup was to seal the win for the Cowboys, but doing that and being able to make Norman eat his words had to make the moment a little extra special for him.
You may have forgotten, but Josh Norman pretty much said he wasn't all that impressed with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys performance in the season opener against the New York Giants. Prescott of course had a career day completing 25 and 32 passes 405 yards and four touchdowns, but to that Norman replied "anybody can do that".
Josh Norman has since said those comments about Prescott were misconstrued and taken out of context, but that could just be him crawfishing and trying to save face after the Cowboys QB roasted him on more than one occasion Sunday afternoon.
Almost fittingly, some of Prescott's best plays against the Redskins were to Josh Norman's side of the field. The first was the 51 yard bomb to WR Devin Smith that resulted in a touchdown. And then Dak was able to get a little physical with a stiff arm to No. 24's face on his long run. It could have even been a little worse for Norman if Michael Gallup could've corralled the deep pass down the sideline from his QB. Anyway you slice it though the Redskins mouthy CB got roasted.
As much as I liked Dak Prescott's roasting of Josh Norman, it fails in comparison to how he's getting slammed on social media. It's downright demoralizing, but comical at the same time.
Here are a few examples:
Can you find Josh Norman?
TOAST! LOL Food humor for the win! @Pseudo_RGIII wasn't the only one roasting Josh Norman on social media though.
What type of coverage does Josh Norman calls this? https://t.co/P74jkY3ut5
Someone got caught looking in the backfield. That's gotta be embarrassing. That's not all though, there's more…
Had enough yet!? No… How about one more just from the beautiful Jane Slater for fun?
Dak with a stiff arm to Josh Norman and a 42 yard run. Michael Gallup helping block. Think he heard Norman say "anybody can do that" https://t.co/3JARYX5cII
Out of the numerous tweets I went through roasting Josh Norman, Jane Slater's is probably my favorite. That is exactly the kind of face I made on Prescott's long run that ended in him stiff arming Norman.
It's not a very day you get the opportunity to make someone eat their words, but I'm truly happy Dak Prescott was able to make Josh Norman eat his. The social media roasting was just icing on the cake. All in all, Norman probably got what he deserved and made think twice about what he says when he opens his mouth in the future.
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