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Countdown: Erik Williams Slightly Edges Harvey Martin as the Greatest #79

We're officially 79 days until kickoff, and for those who have been keeping up with my countdown posts that crown the best player who corresponds with the number of days left until Week 1, I want to say thank you. 

While I did miss publishing a piece for the Best #80 in , my choice would have been WR .

And before anyone gets flustered about the pick (because I know there is another WR who arguably deserves his flowers,)–leave a comment below if you want to learn why I chose Harper.

With that said, in today's post, you know the drill. We're 79 days away, and while that may seem like a long-time till we see any Cowboys action, is next month. 

When I first looked at all the players who have worn #79, I admit it was easy to narrow down the list quickly to two players. But before I disclose which two, here are all of the players who wore the number below:

After some research, debate (with myself), and good coffee to keep my energy up, I chose Erik Williams over Harvey Martin. 

While Martin did have a highly-productive career defensively and snagged a DPOY award along his ride, Williams was the player for me because of his accomplishments. 

Also, he and his teammates were the driving force behind Cowboys RB becoming the NFL's All-Time rushing leader. So, he's a big deal.

Known as “Big E,” William's career began in 1991 after getting drafted by the Boys in the . Williams wouldn't smell the field until his sophomore year, and from there–he would become a household name. 

Week in and week out, Williams brought a nasty, aggressive style of play to the Cowboy's , and he was a critical piece that propelled the franchise to three Victories.

Additionally, he was a part of an offensive line nicknamed “The Great Wall of Dallas.” 

Although his success, Williams's career was short-lived, as he got into a severe car accident that made him miss the entire season in 1994, and he essentially was not the same player. 

Nonetheless, Williams was one of many great offensive linemen that have donned the silver and blue, and because of that, he was my Best #79 Ever in Dallas .

Plus, HOF DE Michael Strahan credited Williams in his HOF speech as one of the toughest opponents he's ever faced, so how couldn't he be the best if a great defensive end like Strahan praised him? 

Rocky Garza Jr
Rocky Garza Jr
Rolling with the Boyz since 96'. Chop up sports with me on Twitter @rockssjr.

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Jim Gurney

Oops! Definitely Martin!!! Top 4 D-lineman in Cowboys history. Williams . . . Top 3 of the O-line for the Cowboys in his era. Agree or disagree?

Jorge R Young

Your right who making these selections? People not even born when Harvey Martin played

Jorge R Young

Nah hell no this is for # 80 Alvin Harper doesn’t beat Tony Hill are you nuts?


Harvey Martin put the fear of God into his opponents. Your youth bias is showing.


Tony Hill was better as well!


Doomsday doesn’t ring a bell for you? Harvey Martin against some of best quarterbacks in NFL history plus numerous HOF. Should have been in the Hall years ago along with Too Tall Jones. I doubt if you really are a Cowboys fan I love Big E but Harvey coming around the edge was dealt of don’t forget he was Super Bowl MVP with Randy White the manster and HOF.

Saw it Myself

Harvey Martin was Co-Super Bowl MVP 77-78 season. And before the NFL kept records of sacks had 21 in a season, which would still be a record or close to it. Tony Hill was the No. 1 receiver for the Cowboys when he came and Drew Pearson was still playing. You’re too young to try to compare players from the 60s and 70s from a few stats and videosI bet you think Kobe and Lebron are better than Jordan!

Cowboy Fan Ed

This is like comparing apples to oranges Big E is the best OT the Cowboys have ever had Harvey was also very good in his role but don’t think he was the best DT the Cowboys have ever had but he ranks high!


Good chance that Williams would be considered the greatest OT in Cowboys history, possibly even NFL history, if he hadn’t gotten into his accident in ‘94. However as it stands he sits third behind Tyron Smith & Rayfield Wright.


Also Martin was a DE not a DT. Considering he held the Cowboys sack record for 30 years he’s at least in the conversation for best DE in team history.


Seriously!?! All respect to Erik Williams because he probably should be in the Hall in his own right and all but certainly would be if he hadn’t gotten into his accident in ‘94.
However it’s much more egregious that Martin, who held the Cowboys record for sacks for 30 years, isn’t in the Hall. Also if sacks were recognized as an official stat in ‘77 he would still hold the single season record with 23.

To say that Harper is better than Hill is just flat out stupid no matter how look at it.
Hill clearly took over the number 1 receiver role while Pearson was still on the team. Hill had multiple 1,000 yard receiving seasons while Harper failed to ever even crack 850 yards, Hill had 5+ TDs in a season six times compared to Harper doing so just twice.
For his career Harper 191 receptions, 3,473 yards, & 21 TDs (124, 2,486, 18 respectively as a Cowboy).
Hill had 479 receptions, 7,988 yards, 51 TDs & was a 3x pro bowler an honor that Harper never received.
For comparisons sake Pearson, someone who rightly was finally put in Hall, had 489 receptions, 7,822 yards, 48 TDs, & was a 3x pro bowler.
Proving that not only is Hill the greatest #80 to play for the Cowboys but deserves to be in the Hall as well.

Stephen Gregory Abel

Those are the facts. You are correct.

Cowboys fan

How can you pick any of these players over Chaz Green?? That’s just crazy!! There has never been a better player in the NFL to wear the number…. Chaz Green is the best to ever do it!!

Ok….. I’m joking obviously!! Lol


Big E was a great OT , but he didn’t have the overall accomplishments that Harvey had . Co Super bowl MVP in SB12 , 23 sacks in 1977 league leader, DPOY in 77 , member of all decade team of the 70’s , 114 career sacks,and 4 x pro bowler . Also ,Harvey was a DE not a DT… Harvey Martin in my opinion is second behind D-Ware as one of the greatest pass
rushers in Cowboy history !
And there is no way Alvin Harper is the greatest # 80 in Cowboy history ! That is clearly
Tony “ Thrill Hill “ Hill , and I don’t even have to pull up stats … it’s not even close ! Irvin,Pearson,Hayes,( Hill )and Dez Bryant top 5 all time …. Harper isn’t even top 10 !

Stephen Gregory Abel

Well, I watched both players play during their careers. Harvey Martin and the Doomsday Defense for me. Williams was aggressive, nasty and a true technician. But, Emmit Smith had the rest of that Pro Bowl and All Pro line blocking for him and, with a lot of help, of Moose Johnston lead blocking him into the record books. Martin was a force of nature that not many will ever come close to.

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