There are officially 77 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.
It wouldn’t be Sunday Funday if we weren’t thinking about Dallas Cowboys football. In exactly Cole Beasley, aka 11, weeks you’ll be firing up the grill and tweeting about how we’re going 16-0 all the way to Super Bowl 50. It’ll commemorate 38 years ago since the 1977 Dallas Cowboys went to, and won, Super Bowl XII. Today we focus on a different 77, the best one to ever wear it for the Dallas Cowboys.
The following players have all worn 77 for the Dallas Cowboys:
- Byron Bradfute, OT
- Clyde Brock, OT
- Steve Cisowski, OT
- Jim Colvin, DT
- Ron East, DT
- Bill Gregory, DT
- Jim Jeffcoat, DE
- Pat McQuistan, OT
- Solomon Page, OT
- Steve Scifres, OG
- Tyron Smith*, OT
- Larry Stephens, DE
- Bruce Thornton, DE
- Torrin Tucker, OT
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
There is plenty of 77 to go around for Cowboys fans of all ages. Fans of the 1990s will remember the legendary Jim Jeffcoat while today’s fans are very excited about 24-year-old Tyron Smith.
Taken with the 9th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft (at the ripe age of 20 mind you) out of USC…it was the hope of everyone that Tyron would be our future. After a rookie year spent at right tackle, the coaching staff thought it best to establish Tyron at the all-valuable left tackle spot in 2012. He began to prosper and deliver on his draft day hype. Tyron’s true emergence came in the 2013 season as he allowed only one sack in all 16 regular season games. Tyron went into 2014 with high expectations and delivered yet again, helping fellow young o-linemen Travis Frederick and Zack Martin lead the way for the NFL’s rushing champion, DeMarco Murray.
Tyron Smith received an 8-year, $109 million contract last summer and is without question a huge, no pun intended, part of our franchise’s future. He is the leader of the offensive line (again…he is only 24 years old now to put in perspective how amazing that is) and arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. Tyron has a very legitimate shot at one day becoming our greatest 77, but as of today that honor belongs to someone else.
The 1983 NFL Draft is remembered for all of its famous quarterbacks (John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, etc.), Eric Dickerson, and various other parts. It was a draft that shaped the NFL landscape through the end of the twentieth century; however, people tend to overlook the 23rd overall pick of that draft, Jim Jeffcoat.
Jeffcoat landed on a Cowboys team that had traveled to the previous three NFC Championship Games. He helped the Cowboys transition to a new era of talent as most of the members of the famed Doomsday Defense retired shortly after Jim’s career began. Jim took over the starting defensive end spot in 1984, but really found his form in 1985. In a November 10th game at the legendary RFK Stadium Jeffcoat tallied 5 sacks on Redskin quarterback Joe Theisman. Jeffcoat would follow that year up with a team-leading 14 sacks in 1986.
Part of Jim Jeffcoat’s true greatness was his leadership on the young Cowboys dynasty in the early 90s. When he was replaced by Tony Tolbert in 1992 and was reduced to a situational pass-rusher role (the trading for Charles Haley pushed Jim even further down the depth chart), Jim found new ways to flourish…and still led the team in sacks with 10.5. He was an integral part of the defensive line rotation that Butch Johnson led that helped the Cowboys win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993.
Jeffcoat finished his NFL career with 102.5 sacks. This makes him part of the prestigious “100 sack” club that features only two other Cowboys: Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Member Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware (who currently plays for the Denver Broncos). There are only 31 total members of this club, 11 of which that are already enshrined in Canton, OH. Jim Jeffcoat has an elite place in NFL History, and while Tyron Smith may one day unseat him…Jim Jeffcoat is the Greatest 77 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 76 in Dallas Cowboys History is!