Dallas Cowboys All-Decade Team: Offense

Cowboys All-Decade Team
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One of the most storied franchises in NFL history has been the Dallas Cowboys, but the team’s legacy has been tarnished over the last decade. The Cowboys overall record for the 2010s was a lackluster 86-74 with only three playoff appearances (2014, 16 and 18) in the decade. It’s hard to imagine that Jerry Jones and company haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1996. Still, the Cowboys have put forth an impressive all-decade team for the 2010s.

Cowboys All-Decade Team: Defense

2010s Dallas Cowboys All-Decade Team: Offense

Quarterback: Tony Romo (2010-16)

This choice will divide the city of Dallas as half would have chosen Dak Prescott as the Cowboys quarterback of the decade. But if you look at the production and the amount of wins, then the 2010s belonged to Tony Romo. He accumulated 16,620 passing yards and threw 124 touchdowns in seven seasons with the Cowboys. Granted, the offense was geared more towards throwing the football as Romo looked unstoppable at times. Especially, standing behind one of the great offensive lines in league history. His best passing season was in 2012 as Romo threw for 4,903 passing yards.

He seemed destined to join elite status as a quarterback until a back injury permanently derailed his career. He broke a bone in his back during a 2016 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Quickly, Prescott, a fourth-round draft pick out of Mississippi State, became the talk of Cowboys training camp. Immediately, the rookie established himself as the Cowboys next starting quarterback. However, Romo did make one last farewell appearance in the Cowboys season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles before joining CBS as their lead NFL game analyst.

Running Back: Ezekiel Elliott (2016-19)

Choosing Ezekiel Elliott for the running back position was a no-brainer as DeMarco Murray had only one productive (2014) season with the Cowboys. In contrast, Big Zeke won two rushing titles (2016 and 18) in his first four pro seasons. The Cowboys rushing attack has been deemed “Feed The Beast” as Elliott has shown to be a workhorse back with 5,405 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns in 56 games played.

How important is it for the Cowboys to successfully run the football? Well, their record is 22-4 when Elliott rushes for 100 or more yards in his career. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to run behind one of the best offensive lines. And let’s not forget that Elliott can catch the football coming out of the backfield. He has caught 216 passes for 1,850 yards and nine touchdowns. Not a bad resume for the top Cowboys running back of the decade.

Wide Receivers: Dez Bryant (2010-17), Cole Beasley (2012-18), Miles Austin (2010-13)

Dez Bryant was the Cowboys main playmaker for the 2010s as he caught the most touchdown (73) passes than any other receiver for the decade. Sure, Bryant was a diva with the occasional sideline meltdown directed at the offensive coaching staff, but Cowboys fans knew they could count on him to get open and make a big catch in key games. And his distractors cannot question Bryant’s production as he caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards in 113 games as a Cowboy.

Cole Beasley was Romo and Prescott’s security blanket in most third-and-long passing down situations. He never was the first option in a pass play, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones never appreciated his ability as a slot receiver to separate from a defender and make a catch that kept a drive alive. In Beasley’s career with the Cowboys, he caught 319 passes for 3,271 yards with 23 touchdowns in 103 games played. His best season came in 2016 as Beasley had 75 receptions for 833 yards with five touchdowns.

At the start of the decade, Miles Austin was one of the most productive wideouts in the NFL. Who could argue as Austin caught 178 passes for 2,567 yards with 20 touchdowns, which is pretty impressive for an undrafted player out of Monmouth University. He began his NFL career as a speedy kick-returner who earned his chance in the Cowboys passing game. Austin’s role increased after the Cowboys chose not to re-sign  Terrell Owens following the 2008 season. His productivity began to diminish once Austin had trouble staying healthy and in the Cowboys starting lineup.

Tight End: Jason Witten (2010-17, 2019)

Some Cowboys fans may argue that Jason Witten might have been the team’s most reliable receiver for the decade. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (1,215) and receiving yards (12,977). No question, Witten has been a staple in the lineup since being drafted in 2003. The lone exception was 2018 when he retired to join ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast crew before returning to the Cowboys last season. He has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls with five of those honors coming in the 2010s. When it’s all said and done, Witten will have a spot waiting for him in Canton once he hangs up his helmet.

Tackle: Tyron Smith (2011-19), Doug Free (2010-16)

The Cowboys offensive line has been affectionately known as the “Great Wall of Dallas” and the unit’s success begins with the two pillars at the tackle position in Tyron Smith and Doug Free. Smith is a high draft choice (ninth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft) whose on-field production has honored him with seven Pro Bowl selections and being a two-time All-Pro selectee for the decade.

Free was a mark of consistency from the both tackle positions as he was a fixture at right tackle before moving to left tackle when Smith was drafted in 2011. And no one was surprised when Free continued to dominate opponents off the line of scrimmage after moving from the right side. At one point in his career, Free started 64 consecutive games. Unfortunately, foot and ankle injuries ended his NFL career after the 2016 season.

Guard: Zack Martin (2014-19), Ron Leary (2012-16)

Zack Martin has been one of the most consistent players for the Cowboys in the 2010s as his play hasn’t disappoint since being selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. And Martin’s level of dominance doesn’t seem to diminishing any time soon. Despite being the one of the best guards in the NFL, he’s a very discipline player as well. Martin has been flagged for only 17 penalties in his six-year NFL career. This earned him All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in each of those seasons.

Ron Leary is an unsung member of this unit as he was known for his aggressive style of blocking that created a steam for the runner. It was effective enough to make the Cowboys running game the best in the NFL. And to his credit, Leary worked on his pass-blocking skills to become serviceable on passing downs. It was this type of effort that allowed Leary to become a vital component of the Cowboys offensive line, which was widely considered as one of the dominant units in the NFL. His talents has been sorely missed after leaving Dallas via free agency following the 2016 season.

Center: Travis Frederick (2013-19)

Travis Frederick is considered the anchor of the Cowboys offensive line as he’s a five-time Pro Bowler and one All-Pro selection. It’s sad to see Frederick’s career cut short due to contracting Guillan-Barre’ Syndrome, which attacks a person’s nervous system by weakening their extremities. In Frederick’s case, it began by losing feeling in his hands and feet. After being diagnosed, Frederick was advised to miss all of the 2018 season. It came as no surprised when he began his comeback in 2019 that it took no time for Frederick to re-establish himself as one of the league’s best centers. It’s sad to see his career end prematurely, but let’s hope Frederick has a healthy post-NFL life.

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