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Harvey Martin Is Greatest #79 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Blog - Harvey Martin Is Greatest #79 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had 2

There are officially 79 days until the toe meets the ball at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Giants on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

The number 79 isn’t sexy like 88 or 21, but I have been very excited to begin this phase of our countdown here at Inside The Star. For the most part all players to wear numbers in the 90s or 80s play the same position; therefore it’s a little bit easier to evaluate one against the other. Both offensive and defensive linemen have worn the 70s, and if you have thought ahead there’s one of each that are going to make today’s decision lots of fun.

The following players have all worn 79 for the Dallas Cowboys:

  • Ben Bass, DE
  • Kenneth Boatright*, DE
  • Willie Broughton, DT
  • Sal Cesario, OT
  • Char-ron Dorsey, OT
  • Ron East, DT
  • Ken Frost, DT
  • Forrest Gregg, OT
  • John Hunt, OT
  • Dick Klein, OT
  • Pepa Letuli, OG
  • Harvey Martin, DE
  • Marques McFadden, OT
  • Rob Petitti, OT
  • Jacob Rogers, OT
  • Daryle Smith, OT
  • Larry Stephens, DE
  • Erik Williams, OT

*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster

This whole sha-bang comes down to two guys who played completely opposite positions: Harvey Martin and Erik Williams.

Cowboys Blog - Harvey Martin Is Greatest #79 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had

Cowboys Blog - Harvey Martin Is Greatest #79 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had 1

Erik Williams, aka Big E, was taken by the Cowboys in the 3rd round of the 1991 NFL Draft (via the Steve Walsh trade for all you know-it-alls out there!). His rookie year was spent mostly behind Nate Newton, but when that sophomore season hit in 1992 Erik really took off. Big E gained national notoriety that season after not allowing a single Reggie White sack on November 1st, 1992 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He (along with fellow linemen of that era Mark Tuinei, Mark Stepnoski, Kevin Gogan, and the aforementioned Nate Newton) began to really find their way as a unit, which propelled the Cowboys to their 90s dynasty. E had a very physical and aggressive play style and disposition that was rarely seen at his position. He put fear into opponents on a regular basis, enough that Michael Strahan credited him during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech a year ago. Many believe that if not for a serious car accident that caused Williams to miss a majority of the 1994 season he would have gone on to become one of the greatest offensive linemen to ever play the game. Erik is still one of the greatest as he has 3 Super Bowls victories, 4 Pro Bowl Selections, and 2 First-Team All-Pro Selections to his name. Most impressive of all Williams' and his teammates accomplishments is that Emmitt Smith, the main man that they blocked for, became the NFL’s all-time leading rusher under their watch.

As incredible as Erik Williams was and as much as he meant to the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s, #79 belongs to one player…and his name is Harvey Martin. Martin was also a third round selection, although in the 1973 NFL Draft, and from jump street was coached to be the player that the staff wanted him to be. Landry and Co. wanted to instill a sense of aggressiveness and tenacity in Harvey, and he began to embrace this persona…in fact one of Harvey’s eventual nicknames was “Too Mean.”

While quarterback sacks did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982, there are unofficial records that we can somewhat base production off of in the time before then. “The Beautiful” (as he was also known) has the following unofficial accolades:

  • 114 career sacks
  • Martin led the team in sacks 7 times in a 9 year period
  • Martin had 23 sacks in 1977 (which is more than Michael Strahan’s official 22.5 in 2001)
  • Martin has the most sacks as a Cowboys rookie with 9

These stats are unofficial as sacks were not officially counted in the NFL until 1982

Perhaps most impressive of all of Harvey Martin’s accomplishments was his 1977 season. You already read how he had an unofficial 23 sacks, but it was so much more than that. Keep in mind that while 23 sacks is a monstrous accomplishment in today’s NFL (noted by the fact that it has never happened officially) Harvey did it in only 14 games. His play was noticed by all of those around him as he was announced as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and he helped the Cowboys reach Super Bowl XII. Not only did Harvey help the Cowboys reach the promised land in 1977, but he was an instrumental part in securing the Cowboys’ second Super Bowl Victory. Martin’s contribution was so large that he was named co-MVP (the only time in Super Bowl History that there have been two MVPs) with defensive tackle Randy “The Manster” White.

Harvey Martin was a defensive monster and a part of the famed Doomsday Defense. Interestingly Harvey played his high school (Dallas South Oak Cliff High School), collegiate (East Texas State University which is now Texas A&M University Commerce), and professional football (obviously the Dallas Cowboys) careers all within the confines of the Dallas, Texas area. In his football life he never once played a home game on any level outside of there. The Dallas king is the Greatest 79 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 78 in Dallas Cowboys History is!

Tell us what you think about "Harvey Martin Is Greatest #79 Dallas Cowboys Have Ever Had" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!


Star Blog

WR Tavon Austin Named Veteran “Most Likely To Be Cut”

Kevin Brady



Who Will be Cowboys' Main Punt Returner in 2019, Tavon Austin?

The Dallas Cowboys spent the 2019 offseason looking to add new dimensions to their offense.

They went out and signed Randall Cobb, the veteran receiver who made his name in the slot for the Green Bay Packers. They then drafted Memphis running back Tony Pollard in the fourth round to add a versatile weapon to their offensive backfield.

They also promoted quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore to offensive coordinator, hoping he can bring a fresh perspective to an offense many labeled stale over the course of 2018.

All of these changes could leave members of that "stale" 2018 offense in the dust, and Todd Archer believes wide receiver Tavon Austin could be one of those casualties.

Veterans who could be cut by each of the NFL's 32 teams

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Terrelle Pryor and Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Richie Incognito are new to their teams, but will they still be there on opening day? Can Pittsburgh Steelers corner Artie Burns stay out of the doghouse and fight his way back up the depth chart?

Archer named Tavon Austin the veteran most likely to be cut by the Cowboys, and roster math does somewhat point to this prediction coming true. If the Cowboys were to only take 5 receivers, as ESPN is suggesting in their latest roster projection, then it's hard to see a perfect spot for Austin.

Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are complete locks. Randall Cobb is about as close to a lock as you can imagine. That leaves two spots for a lot of talented players, including Austin, Noah Brown, Allen Hurns, Lance Lenoir, and Cedrick Wilson.

It's certainly possible, and more than likely, that the Cowboys go with more than just 5 receivers however. This way they can keep a young hopeful like Wilson around while still maintaining the explosiveness that Tavon Austin can bring them in 2019.

Of course, the Cowboys are not afraid to cut veterans. Just last year we saw Dan Bailey get the axe after training camp, and Dez Bryant get released prior to any offseason activity even began. Tavon Austin is still of cheap value to Dallas, however, and when healthy he was an impressive weapon both on offense and special teams in 2018.

I actually do expect Tavon Austin to survive final cuts in Dallas, mostly because I anticipate they keep more than just 5 receivers on the roster.

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Star Blog

Cowboys Twitter Tuesday: Addressing the 2019 53-Man Roster

John Williams



Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster?

For the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL, and the NFL fanbase, the waiting game for the start of training camp has begun. As Tom Petty says, "the waiting is the hardest part." The Dallas Cowboys go open training camp in about five weeks. The first preseason game is 53 days away and week one is less than three months away at this point. It's so close we can taste it.

Each week, I'll gather questions from you the Cowboys Nation community. Each week, we'll hone in on a specific topic based on your questions. So whether it's roster related, salary cap focused, or you have a fantasy football question, don't hesitate to send it to me on Twitter.

This week, we're going to take a look at the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster.

jesus flores on Twitter

@john9williams Who contributed to last year's team that won't make this year's team?

The 53-man roster will be one of the more debated topics over the next couple of months as the Dallas Cowboys get ready for training camp and the preseason. Every year there are surprises and we should expect the same this year. The Dallas Cowboys have incredible depth through the roster and so there will be at least one name that doesn't make the final 53-man roster who had an impact in 2018.

To answer Jesus' question, I think the easy answer is one of the wide receivers be it Noah Brown, Allen Hurns, or Tavon Austin. This might be a hot take, but I'm going to go a different direction and say guard Xavier Su'a-Filo.

In 2018, Su'a-Filo started eight games for the Dallas Cowboys and though he started out strong for them midseason, his play tailed off before he was injured allowing Connor Williams to regain his starting spot at left guard. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff loves position flexibility, especially along the offensive line. Su'a-Filo, though he's a solid backup guard option, doesn't have the ability to play multiple positions along the line like his teammates.

Connor Williams can play guard and tackle. Connor McGovern will get snaps at guard and center, and to hear him talk, he can play tackle as well, though that's probably a bit of a stretch. Joe Looney, the Dallas Cowboys starting center for 2018, has the ability to flex out to guard if you need him to.

Because the Dallas Cowboys will have difficult decisions to make at wide receiver and defensive line, they can afford to go light along the offensive line because of the flexibility of players like Williams, Looney, and McGovern.

Tommy on Twitter

@john9williams #CowboysQuestions do we extend Dak before game #1? How many WRs on 53?

I'm gonna leave the Dak Prescott question for another day and address the wide receiver question as several people asked about that position group in particular.

The wide receiver group is a really deep group. With Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, and Allen Hurns, it features three guys who've had at least one 1,000 yard season in their career. Michael Gallup is an ascending player. Tavon Austin is a really nice punt returner and offensive puzzle piece that can take the top off the defense with his downfield speed. I think four of those five are locks to make the roster.

According to Jeff Cavanaugh from 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, the team really likes Allen Hurns and his ability to play inside and outside in the formation. He's solid veteran depth at a low cost.

Then if you include Noah Brown's ability as a receiver and as a blocker, I think you have a very versatile and dangerous group in the passing game. Though the coaches really like Brown's ability to block in the run game, if they don't use him in the passing game, it tips their hand to the defense that the team is going to run. If they're going to keep him on the roster, they have to use him. It's a waste otherwise.

Brown and Hurns to me are on the roster bubble at wide receiver. Talented players like Cedric Wilson, Devin Smith, Jon'vea Johnson, Jalen Guyton, and Reggie Davis have all stood out at one point in time or another during OTAs and minicamp and will make the decision difficult for the coaching staff.

In my most recent roster projection, I had the Dallas Cowboys keeping six wide receivers; Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Being a team on the verge of contending for a Super Bowl, I think they go with veterans who can help them win now.

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That'll do it for this week's edition. Make sure to get your questions in via Twitter, or you can leave them in the comment section for next week's post. Also, don't forget to check out Inside The Star's newest podcast, Cowboys Weekly featuring Managing Editor Bryson Treece and Senior Writer Jess Haynie.

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Star Blog

Does Darius Jackson Have A “Puncher’s Chance” Of Landing On Final Roster?

Kevin Brady



Darius Jackson, Bengals

Remember Darius Jackson?

The sixth round running back was an instant fan favorite of Cowboys Nation, as the fanbase hoped Dallas had found the explosive RB2 behind Ezekiel Elliott they needed in the very same draft. Jackson, however, had an up-and-down preseason in 2016 and ended up being waived from the team to make room for Darren McFadden later in the year.

Jackson has bounced around the league a bit since then, joining both the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers at different points. He's back with the Cowboys, however, looking to fight his way onto the team's final roster.

But does the fourth year running back have more than a puncher's chance to do so?

The Cowboys spent much of the 2019 NFL Draft rebuilding their running back depth. First, they drafted Memphis back Tony Pollard hoping to find a versatile and dynamic threat to compliment the workhorse that is Ezekiel Elliott. Then, in the seventh round, Dallas took another Ohio State running back in Mike Weber who fits more of the "traditional" running back form.

So with two new touted rookies behind the veteran Elliott, and fullback Jamize Olawale more than likely having a roster spot as well, there doesn't seem to be room for Darius Jackson on the Dallas Cowboys.

That didn't stop him from competing at OTAs, however. named Darius Jackson one of their top ten "head turners" from the OTA practices, and considering that Mike Weber is banged up at the moment, Jackson will certainly have his opportunities to fight for that spot.

Still, the odds suggest that Darius Jackson will not be with the Cowboys come the Fall of 2019. Though he entered the league with some fanfare for a day three pick, his production has been more fitting of his draft grade than of his fan hype.

Jackson hasn't been the explosive player/receiving back that they're hoping Tony Pollard will be, nor has he been the every-down type backup runner that they seem to hope Mike Weber will be.

In the end, the Cowboys-Darius Jackson story is likely to close during this year's training camp.

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