From 1966 to 1985, the Dallas Cowboys had 20 straight winning seasons. That feat seems to have slipped into the nothing-that-happened-before-2000-is-relevant abyss -- but if you think about how incredible the accomplishment was, you realize this might be the NFL's preeminent franchise.
While the 1960s Packers, '70s Steelers, '80s 49ers and 2000s Patriots had their day, the fact remains that the Cowboys had two dynasties. There was that initial 20-year span of excellence, which featured five Super Bowl appearances. And who could forget the '90s, when Dallas became the first team to win three Super Bowls in a span of four years?
Quarterback: Roger Staubach
Often referred to as "Captain America," Staubach was arguably the best quarterback of the 1970s. He started four Super Bowls and was active for five, and he posted the best passer rating in the NFC in five different seasons. Staubach's 85-29 record as a starter is absolutely ridiculous.
Running back: Emmitt Smith
Fullback: Walt Garrison
This was the toughest choice on the roster, coming down to Garrison and Daryl "Moose" Johnston. Garrison was such an effective runner, posting seasons of 818 and 784 rushing yards from the fullback position. He also played in the 1970 NFC Championship Game with a broken collarbone, contributing 122 total yards and a touchdown catch to the Cowboys' win.
Wide receiver: Michael Irvin
No surprise here. In 12 seasons, Irvin caught 750 passes -- the most ever by a Cowboys wide receiver -- and led the league in receiving yards per game twice. He also proved himself to be one of the best postseason performers in NFL history, topping 100 yards in six of his 16 playoff games.
Wide receiver: Drew Pearson
Tight end: Jason Witten
Offensive tackle: Rayfield Wright
Wright finally got the call from Canton in his 22nd year of eligibility, and boy, was it deserved. He made six straight Pro Bowls from 1971 to 1976 and was named first-team All-Pro for the first three of those years -- and that was after beginning his career as a tight end.
Offensive tackle: Erik Williams
There was a time when Williams was the best left tackle in pro football. He could dominate anyone, whether he was facing an unnamed rookie or Reggie White. Williams' career was interrupted by a car accident in 1994 -- and he went on to make the Pro Bowl three times after that.
Offensive guard: Larry Allen
Offensive guard: Nate Newton
After being cut by the Redskins as an undrafted rookie and spending some time in the USFL, Newton landed with the Cowboys -- and he didn't make a single start in his first season. Hard work and perseverance paid off, however, as Newton went on to make six Pro Bowls and win three Super Bowl titles, all while in his 30s.
Center: Mark Stepnoski
An incredibly smart player, the undersized Stepnoski was one of the first big losses of the salary-cap era. He made three straight Pro Bowls from 1992 to 1994 before defecting to Houston, where he made two more. Stepnoski was a master at using leverage to open holes.
Defensive end: Ed "Too Tall" Jones
Defensive end: George Andrie
Who nabs the other DE spot? Harvey Martin? Jim Jeffcoat? Charles Haley? We'll go with the largely unheralded Andrie, who made five straight Pro Bowls. He was also clutch, like when he scored a touchdown in the "Ice Bowl" and picked off a pass in the 1971 NFC Championship Game.
Defensive tackle: Bob Lilly
Defensive tackle: Randy White
Outside linebacker: DeMarcus Ware
Outside linebacker: Chuck Howley
Middle linebacker: Lee Roy Jordan
One of the franchise's steadiest performers, Jordan was an outstanding middle linebacker in an era filled with greatness at the position. Though he had contemporaries like Ray Nitschke and Dick Butkus, Jordan made five Pro Bowl squads. He excelled in coverage.
Cornerback: Mel Renfro
Among all the defensive backs to have suited up in a Cowboys uniform, Renfro is second to none -- and you can count on one hand how many corners in NFL history were better. Renfro made 10 straight Pro Bowls. Even after Hall of Fame corner Herb Adderley joined the Cowboys, opposing quarterbacks still avoided throwing at Renfro.
Cornerback: Everson Walls
You were expecting Deion Sanders here? Sorry, but Sanders' run in Dallas lasted five seasons, while Walls was with the Cowboys for nine. Walls also led the league in interceptions an NFL-record three times (in 1981, 1982 and 1985) -- and he picked off Joe Montana three times, too, including twice in the 1981 NFC Championship Game.
Safety: Cliff Harris
Harris and Hall of Famer Ken Houston were the best safeties of the 1970s. Longtime Sports Illustrated writer Dr. Z once said Harris was the best cover man/hitter combo ever at the position. Harris retired after 10 seasons, having made six Pro Bowls in a row.
Safety: Darren Woodson
Kicker: Dan Bailey
We know; Bailey has kicked in Dallas for just three years. But in that time, he has missed a grand total of nine field-goal attempts. There are plenty of guys who miss that many in one year. He also has excellent range.
Punter: Mat McBriar
When it comes to statistics, no punter in Cowboys history can stand up to the Australian-born McBriar. He averaged 45.3 yards per boot during his time in Dallas; he also led the league in said category in 2006 and 2010.
Returner: Bob Hayes
"Bullet" Bob Hayes gets the nod here -- in an awfully tight decision -- over Deion Sanders and Mel Renfro. The fastest player in the NFL during his day, Hayes took three punts to the house while also averaging 25.3 yards per kick return.