Dallas Cowboys Nation is a site dedicated to the fans. We care what you think and we want to you to have a platform to voice what you have to say. This installment of "Voice of the Nation" asks who fans view as the top-5 current Dallas Cowboys.
Here are their responses:
Kyle Dubose (Twitter: @KDuBy21)
5. Randy "The Manster" White
This beast missed only 1 game in his 14 year career and is a 9 time Pro Bowler. White is the only DT to be named Super Bowl MVP. 1,104 Tackles and 52 sacks sums up his lock at #5.
4. Emmitt Smith
I am sure most will squawk at my ranking of Smith being too low. This Cowboy holds NFL records in rushing yards over a career, Rushing TDs in a career, and most 100yd games. To add to the already impressive resume, tack on 8 Pro Bowls, 4 time rushing champ and a 3 time Super Bowl Champion with a Super Bowl MVP to be the cherry on top. My reason for docking him two spots, is that he left Cowboy Nation to be a Cardinal. Emmitt will always be THE Cowboy running back.
3. Troy Aikman
My biased love growing up with this Cowboy urges me to put him higher, but we are being real here so his spot is at #3. Aikman finished top 2 in Completion % 5 times and is widely regarded as one of, if not the most accurate passer in NFL history of all time. Aikman’s class on and off the field epitomizes why Dallas is America's Team.
2. Bob Lilly
"Mr. Cowboy" should be enough to seal the deal, but this True Blue player was so much more than a nickname. This first ever draft pick by Dallas was an 11 time Pro Bowler, 94.5 sacks and the first inductee into the Ring of Honor. Lily should almost have his bust on every Cowboy souvenir.
1. Roger Staubach
"The Greatest Cowboy" doesn't even say enough to what this man meant to Cowboy Nation. Staubach was the first player ever to win the Heisman and Super Bowl MVP. He appeared in 6 Pro Bowls and threw for 22,700 Yds, 153 Passing TDs, 2,264 rushing Yds, and 21 Rushing TDs. Staubach managed to achieve all of these accolades after serving a full term in the US Navy part of which was in Vietnam. If this players career on and off the field doesn't represent America and its team in your eyes; then I suggest you reevaluate your view on America and her true pastime Football.
Jarded Bodkin (Twitter: @JaredBodkin)
5. Tom Landry
A lot of people won't like this vote because he is not a player which is why I put him at number 5. You can't very well make a list of the best Cowboys while leaving this man off. Name the all-time greatest coaches and try to leave his name off . . . you can't do it. He's in.
4. Jason Witten
Jason Witten is the true example of a work horse. He is the best TE in Cowboys history and will be in the Hall of Fame and go down as one of the best and most prolific TE that ever played this game. It's his unfortunate luck that throughout his career the best of all time, Tony Gonzales, also played. So Witten makes my list based upon not only being one of the best but also because of his fantastic statistics. He holds the Cowboys record for both career receptions and most receptions in a single game while holding multiple NFL records as well. Not to mention the kind of example he is as a person.
3. Bob Lilly
You can't be called Mr. Cowboy and not make this list. The first player ever drafted by the Cowboys who went on to be ROY and made 10 consecutive Pro Bowls. An integral part of a defense that won Super Bowl VI and was an Iron Man playing in 196 straight games.
2. Deion Sanders
This one is tricky because Deion is tied to the Falcons and the 49ers (I don't count his time with the Redskins or Ravens) but he was here for a Super Bowl victory so he's in as he would be in on my list if it were for either of those teams as well. Deion shut his side of the field down like very few in history and not only was he the best CB in any given year of his career he is considered by many to be the very best of all time. Again, if you dominate your era or are considered to be one of the best of all time you have to make this list and he has both going for him.
1. Emmitt Smith
While you can make an argument that Barry Sanders was as good if not better and was on a team with less talent at the end of the day Smith holds the record and you can't deny the all-time leading rusher. There is only one.
We thank everyone for their submissions. Please take a moment to follow these guys on Twitter and tell them what you think!
Tony Pollard, Supporting Cast or a Co-lead with Ezekiel Elliott?
Since the Dallas Cowboys drafted Running Back Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft he's been the star of the show. Any of their other offensive weapons have been nothing more than supporting cast the past three years, but rookie RB/WR Tony Pollard could prove to be more than just supporting cast and become more of a co-lead in Zeke's show.
Suggesting Tony Pollard has a chance to be more than just supporting cast with Ezekiel Elliott is a lot to put on a rookies shoulders, but that's the kind of hype he's receiving already. He hasn't even put on the pads yet with the Dallas Cowboys, but he's already receiving Alvin Kamara type comparisons due to the versatility he's expected to bring with him to the NFL.
Living up to those Alvin Kamara comparisons might be even more difficult than becoming anything more than just an extra behind Zeke anytime soon, but it's doable. After all, Kamara immediately stepped in as a rookie and became a costar with Mark Ingram in New Orleans. It's certainly feasible to think Pollard can do the same.
There's of course only one problem with this way of thinking. Mark Ingram is no Ezekiel Elliott. And, no RB on the depth chart behind Zeke the last three years has been good enough to cut into #21's heavy workload. Is the hype surrounding Tony Pollard justified? Is he talented enough to cut into Zeke's playing time?
Those are some really big questions we don't have an answer to as of yet. Training camp could help determine the type of role Tony Pollard will have with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and beyond, but even that can be thrown out the window once games start to matter in the regular season.
Personally, I think Tony Pollard will be part of a supporting cast behind Ezekiel Elliott this year. I just don't think he's ready to step in and costar with Zeke just yet. I think he will be more of a comedic relief that will be used from time to time to keep things interesting. That's not necessarily a bad thing though considering his versatility to contribute in the running or passing game.
In time though, Pollard could prove worthy of an increase in playing time and become more of a co-lead with No. 21. It may very well be in his rookie season, but he's really going to have to prove himself and that will need to start this week when the Dallas Cowboys kick off their training camp in Oxnard, California.
What do you think? Is Tony Pollard supporting cast or a co-lead with Zeke?
Randy Gregory can Make the Perimeter Pass Rush Extremely Formidable
Randy Gregory showed flashes last season of the potential he has as a pass rusher. Even though he only managed one start he did see action in 14 games. Had registered 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 7 tackles for loss and 15 hits on the quarterback. That's very good production with limited opportunities. Now, this sets up the Dallas Cowboys on the edge getting to the quarterback, and here's how.
The Cowboys acquired Defensive End Robert Quinn via trade from the Dolphins back in March. He is set to start at right defensive end opposite All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence. Gregory, who lines up on the right side as well, can potentially make said side a huge problem for offenses on 2019.
Let's just take a typical season from Quinn which is between 8-9 sacks. If Gregory can give at minimum what he did last season, that's around 15 sacks just between the two of them alone. Now, as we all know, Lawrence can be penciled in for double-digit sacks routinely at this point. So given this information that's a potential 25-30 sacks just from these three players. This is without including guys such as Taco Charlton, Dorance Armstrong, Kerry Hyder, and rookies Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks (assuming they make the final roster).
Why is Gregory's potential impact so important? For me, it's simply where he lines up at defensive end, on the right side. Most quarterbacks are right-handed, which means when they drop back to pass they face left side defensive ends, with their backs to defensive ends coming off the right side. If you can consistently pressure a quarterback from his blindside the opportunities for sacks and fumbles increase. Regardless of how skilled a quarterback is you can't avoid what you can't see.
Of course, this all depends on what the NFL does regarding the reinstatement of Gregory. He was suspended indefinitely in February for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, a situation he is all too familiar with. My guess is Gregory and the Cowboys will ask for a conditional reinstatement like he was given by the NFL in 2018. What this would do is allow Gregory to participate in meetings and condition work until he's a full participant. He is set to apply for that reinstatement within the next few days.
The only thing Randy Gregory can do now is play the waiting game. The league is currently considering the possibility of softening their stance on marijuana use. If they are serious about it I can see Gregory getting reinstated even if it's on a conditional basis. If this is granted the Cowboys will be getting big-time pressure off the edge with Lawrence, Quinn, and Gregory in 2019.
CB Jourdan Lewis Getting Ready For Bounce-Back 2019 Season
For a third round pick, cornerback Jourdan Lewis sure did come to Dallas with his fair share of hype.
In fact, much of Cowboys Nation was more excited about Lewis joining the Cowboys than they were about either of the team's first two selections in that same draft, Taco Charlton and Chidobe Awuzie. But while Awuzie has soared to starting cornerback levels with Dallas during his first two seasons, Jourdan Lewis has been forced to take a back seat.
After a promising rookie season, Jourdan Lewis didn't get much playing time at cornerback in 2018. Anthony Brown took over as the starting slot corner, while Byron Jones and Awuzie manned the outside. This left Lewis as the odd man out, despite what many consider to be impressive cover skills.
Lewis is not allowing this down season to eat away at him too much, though. While speaking with the media last week at SportsCon in Dallas, Lewis gave his thoughts on how his year spent behind the other young Cowboys corners is only fueling him for the future.
"As a competitor it's always tough, especially as a rookie and you're playing all of the time. It's definitely when you take a step back it humbles you. Sometimes you gotta understand that you have to wait your turn and work on your craft. Understand that you always have to stay a professional no matter your situation. And that's what I learned last year."
Considered undersized by the standards typically used by Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard, some have argued that Lewis was never given a fair shot to earn playing time once Richard took over in 2018. Whether or not this is true can't ever be said for sure, and the level of play Anthony Brown exhibited from the slot in 2018 didn't leave much room for substitutions either.
Still, Jourdan Lewis says he appreciates that time he spent on the bench, and he hopes that it will only drive him towards bigger and better things down the road.
"I appreciate the time that I sat last year honestly...Because it made me a better player, maybe a better person honestly."
The Cowboys cornerback situation didn't get any less crowded this offseason. Not only is Dallas bringing back all three of the aforementioned starters from a year ago, but they also drafted Miami's Michael Jackson in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.
That cornerback room is full of talent. Not only does this create a luxury for the Cowboys at one of the league's most important positions, but it also breeds immense competition between the corners come training camp.
Which, if you didn't know, begins on July 26th.
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