I've been aboard here at Inside The Star for a couple of weeks now. I've been paying a little more attention to what the fandom has been saying on social media. Mainly to get a handle on what you all are talking about and want to hear about.
But lately, I'm seeing some insanity among the base and it needs to be addressed. Seriously, you all have my left eye twitching like Herbert Lom in the original Pink Panther movies.
I'm sorry, but no. Tony Romo and Dak Prescott are not the top quarterbacks in Dallas Cowboys' history. Stop it. Like, right now.
I get the mindset. Nothing happened before the Internet. But us dinosaurs who grew up in the before times can assure you there was history prior to 1996.
Neither Romo nor Prescott have a spot on the Cowboys' Mount Rushmore. Romo, along with Craig Morton, gets an Honorable Mention. The jury remains out on Prescott until his career is over.
So who sits among the greatest? We should look at the criteria.
RANKING THE BEST QUARTERBACKS
I know most of the Romo/Prescott faction looks at regular-season passing numbers, touchdowns, and interceptions. But we also need to look at wins and losses in both the regular season and the playoffs.
Then there is how far they have advanced in the playoffs. How they perform in the clutch with the game on the line counts for a lot as well.
And finally, we need to factor in how much different the game is today as opposed to years ago. From 1960-1977 the NFL played a 14-game regular season. From 1979-2020 it was 16 games. Since 2021 they play 17 games.
The regular season numbers for Romo and Prescott are going to be higher than say a Roger Staubach or a Don Meredith. Then there are the rule changes.
Back in the day, defensive backs committed assault and battery on receivers. The Redskins openly stated their game plan against the Cowboys was to repeatedly hit Staubach in the head. They actually succeeded in knocking him out of one game that way.
Now, referees will call pass interference if you so much as breathe on a receiver. And simply giving a quarterback a mean look draws a roughing the passer.
So simply using the numbers won't work. Taking in all of the factors we come up with the top quarterbacks in Cowboys history.
The Hail Mary in 1975 against the Vikings is the most memorable of Staubach's many comeback victories in his career. Factor in that he missed several prime years due to his Naval service commitment, cutting his career numbers.
Add in two Super Bowl wins in five appearances and you have the best quarterback ever in Dallas. No, he doesn't have the numbers of Romo and Prescott. It wasn't a pass-happy league back then.
He did lead Dallas to three Super Bowl appearances in a four-year stretch. It took a team like the Steelers to beat him in two of those games by a combined eight points.
Clearly, Roger Staubach takes the first slot on our mountain.
The California Kid
Taken No. 1 out of UCLA, Troy Aikman clearly lived up to the billing. Was he the flashiest quarterback? No.
He didn't have to be. He had Emmitt Smith in the backfield. And Aikman had the ability to make the big passes when he needed to.
He also has three Super Bowl rings on his fingers. Which gives him the second slot on our mountain.
Turn out the lights
Many only remember Don Meredith as the comic relief on Monday Night Football back in the day. But Dandy Don was the quarterback who led the Cowboys from the bumbling expansion years to a contender in the 1960s.
Unfortunately for Meredith, he ran into Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. The Ice Bowl game ring a bell? But without Meredith, the Cowboys' woes would have continued. Tom Landry might not have survived to see the success of the 1970s.
Meredith takes the third spot.
And the final spot goes to…
Romo could arguably take the fourth spot. But his big negative, also shared by Prescott, is his postseason record. Neither has made it past the divisional round.
But Danny White did. White did not become a starter until his seventh year in the league because he was behind Staubach for the first six years.
Once he did start he finished with a 62-30 record. He had one losing season, 3-6 in his next to last year in 1987 when the team was in decline. White made it to three consecutive NFC Championship games in the early 1980s.
This gives White the final slot, for now. Prescott still has time to take it away, but he has a lot of work ahead of him to do it.