Top Defenders to Play for the Dallas Cowboys

Bob Lilly

The Dallas Cowboys defense was one of the most feared units in the NFL under their original head coach Tom Landry. Some of the most notable names could be found playing for the Cowboys in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Here is my top five list of the best defensive players in Dallas Cowboy history.  I have also put together a list of best quarterbacks to suit up for America’s team too.

1. Bob Lily

When I think of the Cowboy defense from the 60’s and into the 70’s, I think of Bob Lily. Bob Lily was nicknamed “Mr. Cowboy”, and rightly so. He was elected to the Pro Bowl 11 times of which he had a Pro Bowl streak of 10. He has a litany of achievements playing for the Cowboys, including playing in two Super Bowls. His sack of Bob Griese was one the best moments in Dallas history.  A force on defense who was double and triple-teamed.  Blogging the Boys agrees with me.

2. Randy White

Randy White was a “monster” for the Cowboys. He was drafted out of Maryland, and made the Pro Bowl nine times in a row. White was a co-MVP in 1977 with Harvey Martin. He played in 209 games for the Cowboys, and he missed only one of them. He was nicknamed “The Manster”, because he really was. He is my No. 2 Cowboy defensive player.

3. Mel Renfro

Leaving the D-line and heading to the secondary, I find Mel Renfro. Mel Renfro was the cornerstone for the Dallas secondary for years. He played for the Cowboys for 13 years and in his first 10 years he was voted to the Pro Bowl 10 times. An excellent defender for the Cowboys and one of the most respected.

4. Ed “Too Tall” Jones

I head back to the D-line and find Ed “Too Tall” Jones. At 6’8″, Jones was the tallest on the Cowboys squad. He played for 15 years, the longest ever by a Cowboy defender. He did give the sport of boxing a try as he amassed a record of 5-0. His career was so long that he played with Bob Lily and Troy Aikman. One of the most durable Cowboy defenders of all time.

5. Lee Roy Jordan

Last in my top 5 defenders for the Dallas Cowboys is Lee Roy Jordan. Nicknamed “Killer”, Jordan was one of the Cowboy’s most feared defenders. He was a Pro Bowler 5 times, and played from 1963-1976. He is 2nd on the Cowboy’s solo tackle list. At one time, in order to study film of opponents, Jordan demanded he be given a film projector. He got it.

You won’t see any of today’s players on the list, and that’s a big reason my season predictions for the team have us falling short of a Super Bowl title.


Huge Dallas Cowboys fans from way back!