PFT’s “Mt. Rushmore” series launches next month

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As we slide into the slow time of the NFL calendar, it’s time to start manufacturing topics for discussion and debate.

For the TV version of this specific web destination, which airs every weekday at 5:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, we’ll be unveiling next month the “Mt. Rushmore” for every NFL franchise.

Basically, we’ll name the four persons whose heads would appear on a very large stone sculpture depicting the organization.  Players, coaches, administrators, owners, whoever.

The talking heads on Pro Football Talk will have our own opinions on the four stone heads, and we’ll also unveil the four persons per franchise on which you have voted.

Before we can identify the finalists on which you’ll vote, we need nominees.  And we invite you to make your nominations below.

First up:  The Dallas Cowboys.

Go.

122 responses to “PFT’s “Mt. Rushmore” series launches next month

  1. Roger Staubach
    Tom Landry
    Jimmy Johnson
    Tony Dorsett
    Bob Lilly

    And I’m a Steelers fan, fer cryin’ out loud! hehe

  2. Hate the Cowboys but you would be hard-pressed to narrow it down to 6, let alone 4.

  3. Landry, Staubach, Emmitt, Dorsett

    Jerry has presided over the worst performance history of the organization… nope!

    Armen Terzian (look it up — hail mary 1974)?

  4. Landry and Staubach for sure. I think Gil Brandt deserves a place too. He had some revolutionary ideas that are now common practices as far as personnel goes. Not sure on the fourth one.

  5. Clint Murchison
    Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Jimmy Johnson

    Troy Aikman is first runner-up.

  6. Landry on the positive side and Jones on the negative.

    Fill in two people in between.

  7. To fill more time until training camp, you could also do the mt rushmore of the nfl overall, and/or position by position.

  8. All 4 heads should be Jerry Jones. One as owner, one as GM, with the other two Jerry heads congratulating them on the great job that they have done.

  9. Guys, it’s just 4 heads, not 5. Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Jimmy Johnson & Emmit Smith.

  10. I nominate North Texas Football Cathedral Jumbotron. After all, it’s already roughly the right size to put on Mt Rushmore, no sculpting necessary.

  11. Michael Irvin’s drug dealer
    Troy Aikman’s beard
    Jerry’s plastic surgeon
    Leon Lett

    OK…that was just the Eagles fan in me coming out.

    Seriously:

    Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Tony Dorsett
    Emmitt Smith

  12. You have to start with Landry and Staubach….Cowboy fans would tear the mountain down before it was finished if they weren’t included.

    Considering he has the all time rushing record Smith goes up well before Aikman should ever be considered.

    And finally….Bill Bates.

  13. Anyone that mentions Aikman or Irvin must not be much of a historian…

    While great players in their time, they certainly don’t rank among the top 5 of Cowboy history.

    I could understand a vote for Emmitt Smith based on numbers, but Aikman wasn’t even the best at his position in Cowboy history.

    Just because they were the latest doesn’t automatically mean they were the greatest…

  14. Starting off with the Dallas Cowboys? I suppose, might as well start from the bottom with America’s Joke.

    Speaking of joke, I can see picture Alvin Harper basically sitting on top of Terrell Buckley’s head catching a pass in the endzone for a score. Good times … good … times.

  15. Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Bob Lilly would be a good list.

    An alternative: A three-sided face of Jerry Jones with Walt Garrison above, spitting out his chew.

  16. Tom Landry
    Bob Lilly
    Roger Staubach
    Michael Irvin

    I know the Irvin choice is a little odd over the other two triplets, but he was the heart and soul of those three championship teams.

  17. Tom Landry, Emmitt Smith, Randy White and Roger Staubach. As much as I hate the cowgirls, they have been a historically great franchise with historically great players and coaches.

  18. I got 250,000 miles on a car before I was an adult going to Cowboys games cause I couldn’t afford airfare under Reagan,Bush I mostly; I seen it all: LANDRY, STAUBACH, EMMITT, AIKMAN. To many to list, and alot of guys I still talk about to people to this day from Herschel, the Manster, To Tall, Don Meridith, Bob Lilly to Walls, Fellows, Bates, and Downs as a secondary unit. Trail of Glory leading to/thru the east coast, sl,louis, chicago, florida, midwest and west coast; America’s Team on Tour. Need a VIETNAM size wall for this team! By the way I still have the car as a static display model restored, won’t run!!!

  19. No love for Randy White?

    Staubach, Emmitt, and Landry for the other three.

    Jerry’s influence (good and bad) is undeniable, but he’s too polarizing to go up there.

  20. Tom Landry
    Bob Lilly
    Jimmy Johnson
    Emmitt Smith

    Honorable mention–Staubach, Larry Allen, Gil Brandt, Tex Schramm, maybe the severely overrated Randy White and Troy Aikman

    I can hardly wait to see the four for such franchises as the Cardinals, Jaguars, and Bagels.

  21. Mount Rushmore has four of the most influential presidents in the first half of this country’s history. Arguably, we would still be the United States without them. For Dallas, I’d put

    Landry,
    Shramm,
    Staubach,
    Lilly

    You don’t have today’s Cowboys without these four men.

  22. I would have to go with:

    Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Emmit Smith
    Tony Dorsett

    …but Leon Lett is still my favorite Cowboy of all time.

    Tex Schramm, Bob Lilly, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson all get honorable mentions.

  23. Jerry Jones, the stadium, the Jumbo-tron, and the Victoria’s Secret Store. Runner-up… His wifes art collection that NBC insists on showing us everytime they have a Sunday night game.

  24. John Wayne
    The Lone Ranger
    “The naked cowboy”
    The Marlboro Man

    Honorable mention to Garth Brooks, the cast of City Slickers and Kid Rock

  25. Tom Landry (got em to all those Super Bowls)
    Jerry Jones (got em to all those other Super Bowls)
    Roger Staubach (face of the Cowboys back in the day)
    Emmitt Smith (best player on the 2nd wave of Dallas teams and held NFL rushing title)

  26. Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Randy White
    Jimmy Johnson

    Honorable Mentions:

    Bob Lilly
    Bob Hayes
    Ed “Too Tall” Jones
    Emmit Smith
    Tony Dorsett
    Herschel Walker
    Tex Shramm
    Don Meredith
    Michael Irvin
    Troy Aikman
    Jason Witten
    Larry Allen

  27. How did my post get deleted from this one! Seriously!!

    I’ll try again:

    Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Emmit Smith
    Randy White

    Tough to leave off, but honorable mentions to:

    Harvy Martin
    Ed “Too Tall” Jones
    Bob Lily
    Tony Dorsett
    Jimmy Johnson

  28. I just can’t put Jerry up there, even though he is sadly the face of the franchise right now. So here’s who I vote for:

    Tom Landry – He has to be there
    Roger Staubach
    Tony Dorsett
    Emmitt Smith

    It was hard to decide between Emmitt and Troy, but Emmitt is the All Time leading rusher, and he was NFL MVP, and SB MVP. So hard to narrow it down to only 4.

  29. funny it’s easier to make the all shame list:

    Rafeal Septien, Duane Thomas, Quincy Carter and ….. Hollywood Henderson? Coach knuckhead, guy after Jimmy Johnson is close, 4get his name at the moment….

  30. Tony Romo (for holding placekick in Seattle, and his own throat so many other times)
    Leon Lett (showboating turnover in Superbowl, touching blocked kick on Thanksgiving day)
    Jerry Jones (multiple GM moves, like Galloway and Roy Williams trades)
    Jason Garrett (outstanding playcalling)

  31. Tom Laundry
    Roger Staubach
    Emmitt Smith
    Bob Lilly

    No Jimmy Johnson…he wanted to leave
    No Jerry Jones….he helped Jimmy and Emmitt to leave.
    Troy Aikman…honorable mention
    Tex Schramm…honorable mention
    Randy White.. honorable mention
    Rayfield Wright…honorable mention

  32. Staubach, Lilly, Emmitt Smith, and Landry. I don’t know if you can make a list without Landry on it.

  33. Just thought of this as well . . . Tom Landry cannot be on the list. That hat brim is impossible to carve out of rock and maintain a safe environment for visitors . . .

  34. Redskins fan here, listing the Cowboys I most admired (grudgingly, after they retired, of course):

    Tom Landry
    Roger Dodger
    Bob Lilly
    Emmitt Smith

    Highest possible honorable mention for Randy White, both for being unstoppable in his heyday, and for being man enough to help get Russ Grimm into the Hall of Fame.

    To those listing Jerry Jones or Michael Irvin, don’t make me laugh.

    For anyone listing Harvey “Funeral Wreath” Martin, don’t get me started.

  35. Tom Landry
    Troy Aikman
    Bob Lilly
    Emmitt Smith

    Honorable Mention:
    Randy White
    Jason Witten
    Larry Allen
    Michael Irvin
    Rober Staubach
    Gil Brandt

  36. Giant fan showing respect for the Star.

    Tom Landry
    (MUST include the fedora or it’s not Coach Landry)
    Roger Staubach
    Emmitt Smith
    Randy White

    Aikman was very close to being there, he’s a close 5th. But Emmitt to me represents the great Cowboy teams of the 90’s more than Aikman. Too Tall Jones was also on my radar, as was Dorsett. White was more consistently dominant that Jones. And Emmitt did it better and longer than Dorsett. Tex Schramm did a lot for this franchise, but I couldn’t bump any of those 4 for him.

    Cowboys were, by far, the most challenging team to pick for. A lot of NFL history has happened in Dallas.

  37. Roger Staubach
    Emmitt Smith
    Jerry Jones
    Randy White

    HM:
    Rayfield Wright
    Troy Aikman
    Michael Irvin

  38. scratch my previous answer. it SHOULD be:

    Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Emmitt Smith
    Jimmy Johnson

    being that the Cowboys have had so many stars through the years, the best method is to take the Head Coach behind their 2 greatest eras and couple them with the most iconic player from each era.

  39. I think that, because the subject line does not include Dallas Cowboys, there are half the posts here.

    That said,

    Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Emmitt Smith
    Bob Lilly

  40. Duane Thomas
    Bob Hayes
    Dan Reeves
    Drew Pearson
    Chuck Howley
    Ed Jones
    Walt Garrison
    Don Perkins
    Preston Pearson
    Don Meredith
    Bob Lily

  41. Landry, Staubach, Emmitt are locks……. I think the fourth should be Aikman. Many think his stats do not warrant inclusion but he was a leader and did win 3 rings. Without Emmitt he would have had much better stats. When he needed to throw to win he did. Cannot fault him for stats when he has something no other Cowboy QB has, 3 Super Bowl victories. Plus he is the best commentator for the NFL now hands down.

  42. Anyone who doesn’t mention Mr. Cowboy should be automatically disqualified. Should be:

    Bob Lily
    Emmitt Smith
    Mel Renfro
    Roger Staubach

  43. Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Honorable Mention- Bob Lilly, Tony Dorsett, Randy White

  44. Lots of interesting posts here. Having considered what everyone else has said I propose:

    Leaving Landry off the list. Rumor has it that when God coaches football in heaven He wears a fedora. Landry more than deserves it, but there’s only four people that can be selected. Knowing the kind of man that Landry was, he would want it to go to the players.

    So here’s my breakdown in order of importance:

    1) Roger Staubach. Quarterbach (sic).

    The reason anyone over 40 uses any means necessary to indoctrinate their kids into being a Cowboys fan (I told my daughter the other teams are robots trying to beat the good guys with the star on their helmets – she bought it) is Staubach.

    Let’s face it, not only was he the greatest, not only did you know that when Dallas was down by 17 with 5 min left that he would somehow score 21 (while you were sneaking a glimpse of the MNF game behind your parents on a school night), he was our IDOL. Captain Comeback defined a generation of Cowboys fans.

    In an era before replica jerseys, we all had the blue and silver baseball shirt with #12 on it. Admit it!

    2) Troy Aikman. Quarterback. Ridiculously accurate. Worked as hard as anyone who has worn the star and did it with honor (no off field issues in a time where there were off field issues). Most importantly, the dude won three Super Bowls – most by a Cowboys QB. Anyone who says voting for Troy Aikman is for fans who don’t know the complete history of the Cowboys is wrong. The guy is the second most important player we have ever had. Maybe not second best, but definitely second most important.

    3) Emmit Smith. Running Back. ALL TIME LEADING RUSHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL.

    Many great running backs have come and gone. Some can be seen playing the game today – Adrian Peterson comes to mind.

    However, in the final analysis there are four running backs who are known as the greatest – Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, and Barry Sanders.

    The game has changed so much that Brown’s accomplishments become less relevant as the years go by (especially in a year when he opens his mouth).

    So, let’s answer the Barry Sanders question once and for all.

    “IF” Barry was the better pure runner, then Emmitt was the closest second in the history of close seconds.

    Regardless, the fact remains that Smith was better at picking up the blitz and catching the ball out of the backfield. He was the more complete running back.

    Many people argue that if Barry played on those Cowboys teams of the 90’s he would have done even better.

    Well, here’s the counter-argument: Emmitt won three Super Bowls. On the same team, Barry would have only won two. Why?

    On the way to one of those Super Bowls, with the playoffs on the line against the Giants, Emmitt separated his shoulder in the first half. In excruciating pain, he got back on the field and won the game for Dallas. If it had been Barry Sanders, he wouldn’t have made it back to the field (let alone played another two playoff games and then the Super Bowl with a 3rd degree separation).

    When there was no way out for Barry Sanders, he quit.

    When there was no way out for Emmitt Smith, he scored.

    That’s the difference between the two men summed up in one of the greatest moments in the history of running backs.

    Many fans still need more statistical proof that if Barry had been on a better team, he would have beaten Emmitt.

    Well, here it is: The average record of both men’s teams over the course of their careers is the same. 8-8. They had the same opportunity.

    18,355. Deal with it.

    Emmitt’s true competition was with Walter Payton. Payton is the only other complete running back of the group – runner, a defender of the blitz, and pass catcher. As Emmitt was getting closer to breaking Walter’s record he befriended him and even agreed to look after his son once it was clear the elder was going to pass. That’s the heart of a champion and a gentleman in my book.

    Bob Lilly. Defensive everything. All decade team 1960’s and 1970’s. For those of you counting at home, that’s TWO decades – ’nuff said.

    Honorable mentions:

    Mt Rushmore Siamese twins:

    Harvey Martin and Randy White.

    Besides their illustrious careers, they are the only Co-MVP’s of a Super Bowl.

    Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters. Safety net.

    Legend has it that Cliff showed up to practice with one of those helmets with a siren on top – a testament to the menace the pair dished out on Sundays.

    Never Forgotten.

    Chuck Howley. The original #54. He was the monster before the manster. Only Super Bowl MVP designated from the losing team.

    Runner Up:

    Michael Irvin. Receiver. Off field issues, but owned up to them.

    I frequented the Cowboys training camp practices in Austin back in the day. The most interesting part was watching Irvin force rookie QB Jason Garrett (now the Cowboys coach) to throw him passes for 30 min after every practice. Jerry Rice was the best, but no one did more before 9am than Michael Irvin.

  45. I’ve ALWAYS hated the cowboys, but they have a long, terrific history.

    From a cowboy-hater, here’s the list (a serious one):

    Landry, Staubach, Aikman, Emmitt Smith

    Many other honorable mentions, but those are who I think about when Cowboys come to mind.

  46. Roger Staubach (established Cowboys)
    Tom Landry (legendary iconic coach)
    Troy Aikman (3-time SB champ)
    Emmitt Smith (all-time rusher)

  47. I think Tom Landry, Emmitt Smith, and Roger Staubach are mortal locks (how do so many people leave Smith off?). Tough call for #4…suppose I have to agree with the many Bob Lilly nominations out there.

    Plenty of honorable mentions…Aikman, White, Allen, Woodson, Irvin, Dorsett…shocked that few if anyone nominated DeMarcus Ware, though. As acclaimed as he is, he’s somehow managed to be underrated.

  48. Tom Landry
    Gil Brandt
    Roger Staubach
    Jimmy Johnson

    Honorable Mention
    Troy Aikman
    Michael Irvin
    Bob Lilly
    Emmit Smith
    Randy White
    Ed “Too Tall” Jones
    Charlie Waters
    Mel Renfro
    Tony Dorsett
    Drew Pearson
    Jason Witten

  49. start with Landry…Staubach was the leader of the Cowboy’s in his era and Emmitt in the next dynasty but the 4th is a toughie. No Jerry, bad enough we need to see his face now but for eternity? maybe Jimmy but that would only be to stick it to Jerry so spite shouldn’t be the reason, Irvin had too many off field transgressions and the original 88 Drew was good but not as good as he remembers…if a 88 goes up I’d rather see Dez but it’s too early for him…So the no brainers are Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Emmitt Smith and for the 4th? Whatever owner brought the Cowboys to Dallas would be a good one to add..was it Clint Murchinson?

  50. I’d say we ought to include some names from those earlier years should be part of the initial 12 nominations
    Tom Landry
    Gil Brandt
    Roger Staubach
    Don Meredith
    Troy Aikman
    Eddie La Barron
    Randy White
    Ed “Too Tall” Jones
    Charlie Waters
    Mel Renfro
    Tony Dorsett
    Mike Ditka

  51. 1st team All-Mount Rushmore
    Tom Landry
    Roger Staubach
    Emmitt Smith
    Michael Irvin (Great team in the 90’s, but I believe there is zero Super Bowls without him)

    2nd All-Mount Rushmore
    Troy Aikman (1st Alternate)
    Jerry Jones
    Bob Lilly
    Larry Allen

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