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Lett Me Love You: Leon Is Greatest #78 In Cowboys History

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Blog - Lett Me Love You: Leon Is Greatest #78 In Cowboys History 2

There are officially 78 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.

Happy Saturday! I hope that you are reading this in the comfort of your own home with your feet propped up, relaxing and living the good life. In order to make your life as easy as possible, we’re going to keep this one short and simple. Let’s figure out who the Greatest 78 in Dallas Cowboys History is.

The following players have all worn 78 for the Dallas Cowboys:

  • Bob Asher, OT
  • John Dutton, DT
  • Dean Hamel, DT
  • Don Healy, DT
  • Leon Lett, DT
  • John Meyers, DT
  • Jermey Parnell, OT
  • Greg Schaum, DE
  • Junior Siavii, DT
  • Kurt Vollers, OT
  • Bruce Walton, OT
  • Dave Widell, OT
  • Maury Youmans, DE

I promised you short and simple! 78 boils down to two down linemen: Leon Lett and John Dutton.

Cowboys Blog - Lett Me Love You: Leon Is Greatest #78 In Cowboys History

John Dutton was a defensive animal. Obtained by trade with the Baltimore Colts in 1979, Dutton came into a defensive line rotation that found itself without Jethro Pugh and Ed “Too Tall” Jones. He gets lost in the shuffle of defensive greatness considering that he put his hand in the ground next to Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy White, but Dutton may be the most underrated Cowboys down lineman in history. Dutton, White, and our Greatest 79 in Dallas Cowboys History Harvey Martin all helped anchor the 1985 Dallas Cowboys that hold the team record for most sacks in a season with 62. Dutton was a part of a Cowboys squad that went to three straight NFC Championship games in 1980, 1981, and 1982…losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion 49ers and Redskins in ’81 and ’82 respectively. While Dutton was great, 78 belongs to another Cowboy.

Cowboys Blog - Lett Me Love You: Leon Is Greatest #78 In Cowboys History 1

Leon Lett was a 7th round draft selection in 1991 that was, honestly, lucky just to make the team. After an injury plagued rookie year, Lett found himself as a big cog in the defensive line rotation in 1992. Known for his quickness and agility his teammates affectionately nicknamed him “The Big Cat” (we might see this nickname again on this countdown soon!). Lett and the fleet of pass rushers that Butch Davis put together helped the Cowboys on the defensive side of the ball throughout the run of their dynasty in the 1990s.

Lett is sometimes remembered for two iconic plays:

  • Late in Super Bowl XXVII, with the game already in hand, Leon picked up a fumble and raced towards the end zone. As he reached the 10-yard line Leon held the ball out to his side, similar to the touchdown celebration of teammate Michael Irvin but did not see a racing Don Beebe. Beebe’s never-give-up speed allowed him to force a fumble with the ball falling out of the end zone, resulting in a touchback giving the ball back to the Buffalo Bills.
  • It snowed on Thanksgiving Day 1993 in Texas Stadium. Neither the Cowboys or the Miami Dolphins were too thrilled about this. With the Cowboys leading the Dolphins 14-13, with 15 seconds on the clock, Miami set up for a go-ahead field goal. Dallas blocked the kick and only needed to allow the ball to come to a complete stop without touching it. Lett slid in on the snow, touched the ball, making it live and a free-for-all. Miami recovered and had another shot at victory, which they took and made.

Leon Lett should be remembered for his 217 tackles, 22.5 sacks, and 3 Super Bowl rings. He was an iconic face on the teams that we remember so fondly and is the Greatest 78 in Dallas Cowboys History. Lett is looking to continue the tradition of Cowboys excellence as he currently serves on the coaching staff as Assistant Defensive Line Coach. Right on, Leon!

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 77 in Dallas Cowboys History is!

Tell us what you think about "Lett Me Love You: Leon Is Greatest #78 In Cowboys History" 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

Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

En una agencia libre muy callada de parte de los Dallas Cowboys, como es costumbre, lo más interesante hasta ahora se revuelve alrededor de un talento increíble en la línea defensiva: David Irving. El joven de la línea defensiva de Dallas recibió un tender de segunda ronda (con un costo de casi tres millones de dólares) de parte de los Cowboys, lo cual significa que vestirá la Estrella Solitaria un año más... ¿o no?

No, no es tan sencillo.

A diferencia de la etiqueta franquicia que recibió DeMarcus Lawrence hace unas semanas, un tender permite a un jugador recibir ofertas de otros equipos. Si Irving llega a recibir una oferta externa, sin embargo, los Cowboys tienen la oportunidad de igualarla.

Pero no sólo eso, sino que si no quieren igualar la oferta, pueden dejar ir al jugador y en cambio, el otro equipo tiene que compensar a los Cowboys con una selección de segunda ronda. Así como el tender de segunda ronda que se le otorgó a David Irving, hay tender de primera ronda o tender de "selección original."

Sin embargo, Irving no fue seleccionado en el NFL Draft, así que esta última opción hubiera tenido poco sentido.

David Irving, Redskins

Dallas Cowboys DL David Irving

Ahora, pensando en el 2018 y una temporada ya incierta, nos sentamos preguntando: ¿No valía la pena cubrir a Irving con un tender de primera ronda? Al final de cuentas, sólo hay aproximadamente un millón de diferencia entre ambos. Irving es un jugador lleno de talento, y podría llegar a estar entre los mejores en su posición próximamente.

Sin embargo, si somos honestos, es una buena decisión de la administración. Irving ha tenido sus cuantos problemas y quizá este tender ayude a definir su valor en el mercado. Si ningún equipo alrededor de la liga se atreve a ofrecerle un contrato, los Cowboys mejoran su posición en las negociaciones y quien sabe, quizá consigan un acuerdo más amigable para el equipo.

Además, si un equipo decide llevárselo... ¿qué tan malo sería?

Con el pick #19 en la primera ronda del Draft de la NFL, no están en una posición muy cómoda. Como bien algún jugador talentoso como el DT Vita Vea o el WR Calvin Ridley pueden caer a las manos de Stephen Jones, Will McClay y compañía, bien puede estar vacía la tabla.

Con jugadores como el S de Florida State Derwin James o el LB de Georgia Roquan Smith, deberían considerar realizar un trade para subir algunas selecciones y llevarse a uno de estos talentos que no estarán disponibles en el #19.

Con las selecciones globales 19, 50 y una segunda ronda extra que conseguirían por Irving, es fácil visualizar a este equipo dispuesto a hacer un movimiento así el día del Draft.

A pesar de una mala temporada en el 2017, los Dallas Cowboys son un equipo que están cerca de ser contendientes.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Star Blog

Cowboys Free Agency: FB Keith Smith Signing with Raiders

Jess Haynie



Keith Smith: Will The Cowboys Carry A Fullback In 2017?

The Cowboys have lost an important role player from the offense as fullback Keith Smith is reportedly signing with the Oakland Raiders.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Raiders and FB Keith Smith have agreed to terms on a 2-year worth $4.2million, source said.

Smith, who has been with Dallas for four seasons, was the team's fullback the last two seasons. He started as a linebacker after going undrafted in 2014.

Whether on offense or defense, Keith has been a regular part of the special teams units. The Cowboys' previous special teams coach, Rich Bisaccia, just left this offseason to join the coaching staff in Oakland. That is a likely cause for Smith heading to the Raiders.

Dallas elected not to give Smith a restricted free agent tender, which made sense given his position. Even the lowest tender of $1.9 million would have been too rich for a part-time player.

Even with Keith gone, Dallas may not need to sign a new fullback. Backup RB Rod Smith has experience in that role. They could also use tight ends James Hanna or Geoff Swaim.

Fullback is obviously not the position it used to be in the days of Daryl Johnston, but there are still times you need that lead blocker out of the backfield. Given their reliance on the run game and the success that Ezekiel Elliott had with Keith Smith, Dallas will have to find a solid replacement plan.

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Star Blog

Will Another Team Snag David Irving Away From Cowboys?

Brian Martin



Cowboys' Pass Rush: Who Will Be QB Sack Leader In 2017?
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It was somewhat surprising to learn that the Dallas Cowboys only placed a second-round tender on David Irving. A first-round tender would have likely dissuaded any other team from signing him to a contract and giving up a first-round draft pick, but signing Irving to a contract and giving up a second-draft pick is much more plausible.

I can almost guarantee there are teams around the league right now who are discussing the pros and cons of trying to acquire David Irving. The Dallas Cowboys likely know this which means one of two things:

  1. The Cowboys are hoping someone sets David Irving's market value with the hopes of matching.
  2. The Cowboys are willing to part ways with Irving for a second-round draft pick.

There are teams out there who have more salary-cap space than the Dallas Cowboys who could easily sign him to a contract the Cowboys can't match. And, giving up a second-round draft pick for a dominating, yet inconsistent, defensive tackle is probably better than anyone they can draft.

It's not completely out of the realm of possibility Cowboys fans have seen the last of David Irving with a star on his helmet. But, it seems like a risk Dallas is willing to take, whether fans agree or not.

David Irving

Dallas Cowboys DL David Irving

In 2017, David Irving recorded 22 tackles, seven quarterback sacks, six passes defensed, and one forced fumble. He did this after missing the first four games of the season due to a suspension and the last four due to a concussion. That's pretty impressive!

There is no denying Irving's impact when he's on the field, but it's all the other stuff that makes Dallas hesitant to commit fully to the 24-year-old DT.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I know what kind of person David Irving is in the locker room or off the field, but his past behavior and inconsistencies are concerning. Yes, he has immense upside, but that doesn't look as if it's enough for the Dallas Cowboys, at least not yet.

I think this ultimately comes down to the Cowboys not fully trusting David Irving just yet. Placing the second-round tender on him is more of a "prove it" kind of deal, if another team doesn't sign him away. The Cowboys probably want to see he has his head on straight and more consistency before fully committing. It's completely understandable.

It just doesn't seem as if David Irving is in the long-term plans for the Dallas Cowboys right now. I think they would be perfectly content receiving a second-round draft pick, but that decision might not sit well with a lot of Cowboys fans.

There is really no way of knowing if another NFL team will snag David Irving away, but I think the possibility of that happening is pretty high.

Will David Irving remain in Dallas in 2018?

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