We're back with another Countdown to Week One post, and in today's piece, we're going to be crowing the Best #77 ever.
If you missed my most recent piece, it crowned Erik “Big E” Williams as the Best #79.
Although Williams was the best in my eyes and had credentials to back up his case, fans thought otherwise and left me with many comments about why DE/DT Harvey Martin should have been the choice.
I admit DE/DT Harvey Martin did have an accomplished career (Co-Super Bowl MVP, one of the franchise's leading sack leaders)– but I went with Williams because of his multiple rings and impact on the field.
And while some fans told me my “young bias is showing,” I did mention I am learning new players every time I make these posts, and after some in-depth research over the possible candidates–I make my choice.
Shifting back to today's post, I was stuck deciding between two players who are household names for the franchise, but after some debate–I went with DE Jim Jeffcoat over Tackle Tyron Smith.
Smith, arguably one of the best linemen to play for the franchise, was a close second for me, but because of Jeffcoat's hardware, Smith got overlapped a bit.
Here are all the other players who came through the Dallas Cowboys and donned the #77:
- Byron Bradfute
- Clyde Brock
- Steve Cisowski
- Jim Colvin
- Ron East
- Bill Gregory
- Pat McQuistan
- Solomon Page
- Steve Scifres
- Larry Stephens
- Bruce Thornton
- Torrin Tucker
Jim Jeffcoat's NFL Career
Drafted in the 1983 NFL Draft (23rd overall), Jeffcoat didn't see much of the field in his first year, and it wasn't until his sophomore year that he became an impactful player for the franchise.
During his second year, Jeffcoat replaced (Harvey) Martin and recorded 82 tackles and 11.5 sacks, which ranked second on the team and Top 15 in the league.
He would follow up the next year with 77 tackles and 12 sacks, as his high level of play would be the theme of his career during the late 80s.
Statistically, Jeffcoat's best year was in 1989. His stat line that year was 100 tackles, 42 QB pressures, 11 sacks, and three fumble recoveries.
Once the 90s began, Jeffcoat's numbers would slowly decline with limited opportunities as the Cowboys converted him into a situational pass-rusher.
But his impact was still felt on the field as he helped the franchise capture two Super Bowl Titles.
Jeffcoat would leave in 1995 via free agency to the Buffalo Bills and eventually retire in 1997. He would leave the Cowboys as one of the franchise's all-time sack leaders and finish his career with 102.5 sacks, 745 tackles, 194 quarterback pressures, two interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns.
As mentioned, although Smith is a highly-accomplished tackle the Cowboys ever had, Jeffcoat's hardware and accomplishments put him over the hump, but Smith does have a chance to surpass him.
But in the meantime, here's to Jeffcoat getting his flowers as the Best #77, and I hope everyone has a great Sunday.