Arguably the most important position in all of sports is quarterback, and the Dallas Cowboys have gotten the position right. But who are the greatest Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks ever?
Despite being rich in talent in other positions of an offense, teams can still fail if they don’t have the right play-caller lining up under center.
Dallas has seen many come-and-go, but these are the 10 best to ever lace up for the Cowboys.
10th – Quincy Carter
Carter’s career is a major ‘what if’ when looking at Dallas QBs. Drafted 53rd overall in round two of the 2001 NFL Draft, Carter wasn’t expected to lead the Cowboys to a 10-6 record and playoff berth in his third NFL season and first as a starter.
He was a bit of a gunslinger, throwing 17 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in that 2003 playoff season. But most young QBs have a tendency to force turnovers early in their career.
Unfortunately, Dallas let Carter go before the 2004 season due to a failed drug test. Carter played one more season for the New York Jet before bouncing around the Canadien Football League.
9th – Eddie LeBaron
LeBaron was Dallas’ starting QB in the team’s first two NFL seasons. His 5-22-1 record as a Cowboy certainly wasn’t impressive, but much of this can be attributed to Dallas being an expansion team in the early phases of what would become a pillar franchise in the NFL.
Nicknamed the Little General due to his 5’9, 168-pound frame, LeBaron actually came out of retirement to lead Dallas’ offense. Before the Big D, he’d spent seven seasons as a Washington Redskin.
He was a three-time pro bowler in Washington and even made a pro bowl as a Cowboy, despite the team’s 5-8-1 record in 1962.
8th – Drew Bledsoe
Bledsoe’s 14-year career brought him to three different teams, with his two seasons as a Cowboy being the shortest stop on his journey.
Despite only starting 22 games in his career, Bledsoe sits in the top 10 of many passing statistics among all-time Dallas QBs. He helped stabilize the offense after some rough seasons and was succeeded by another quarterback appearing later in the list.
7th – Craig Morton
Morton was essentially the middle child between two all-time great Dallas passers. His career as a starter lasted only three seasons, and the third only came due to an injury to the Cowboys’ true starter at the time.
His 32-14-1 record as a starter ranks among the best in franchise history based on win percentage. Morton also ranks sixth in completions, passing yards and touchdowns in Cowboys history.
6th – Don Meredith
Quarterbacking Dallas to its first winning season as an NFL franchise in 1966 is an accomplishment only Meredith can claim. After six consecutive losing seasons to start Dallas’ run in the NFL, Meredith turned the Cowboys into a winning franchise before handing the keys off to the hall of fame QB that would later take the reins.
He was also a three-time pro bowler and winner of the Bert Bell player of the year award in 1966. Meredith ranks sixth in passing yards, touchdowns and completions among all time Cowboys QBs.
Meredith also played in the legendary 1967 NFL Championship game, dubbed the Ice Bowl because of the frigid weather conditions in Lambeau Field. The Green Bay Packers went on to defeat Dallas.
5th – Danny White
Heir to the starting QB job following hall of famer Roger Staubach’s retirement after the 1979 season, White had a high standard set for him. Mix in the fact that he was also a punter and spent his first four seasons as a special teamer and he arguably had the most unique career of any player listed.
While White’s career didn’t reach the heights of Staubach’s, White does have more completions and touchdown passes.
In his 13-year career, White held a 62-30 record as a starter. But he was never able to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Dallas.
4th – Dak Prescott
Only six years into his NFL career, Prescott is already a top-five passer in many Cowboys’ all-time passing statistics. If his career continues trending upward in 2022, by season’s end he’s likely to be third in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns.
He won offensive rookie of the year honors and is a two-time pro bowler. In the postseason, he’s only made it to the divisional round in three appearances.
Unlike many players on this list who have retired from pro football, Dak still has a lot to prove. Mainly, showing he can get it done in the postseason.
If Prescott can end Dallas’ 25-year Super Bowl drought, he’s certain to jump up the all-time Cowboy QB list.
3rd – Tony Romo
Romo came from humble beginnings to start his professional career. The former Eastern Illinois Panther when undrafted in 2003 before signing with Dallas as a free agent. He then sat on the bench for three seasons, taking over as QB1 in 2006.
In Cowboys history, Romo has the most passing yards at 34,183 and the most passing touchdowns with 248. Each mark is significantly higher than the quarterback ranking first and second on this list.
But the biggest knock against the four-time pro bowler is his lack of postseason success. Romo never led Dallas past the divisional playoff round as he finished with a 2-4 playoff record in four appearances.
2nd – Roger Staubach
This Cowboys legend and NFL Hall of Famer invented the hail mary play in a quote to the media following a 1975 playoff game. This accomplishment alone deserves recognition, but Staubach’s quarterbacking certainly wasn’t overshadowed by his invention of the phrase.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Staubach didn’t play his first NFL season until the age of 27 because of his service in the Navy. Yet, the former Midshipmen still pieced together a hall of fame career.
Roger the Dodger was a two-time Super Bowl Champion and won a SB MVP, a six-time pro bowler, Bert Bell player of the year award winner, Sporting News player of the year winner and a hall of fame all-1970’s teamer.
1st – Troy Aikman
After going 1st overall in the 1989 NFL Draft, Aikman had high expectations from the moment he became a Cowboy. But there’s no question he lived up to and even surpassed those expectations.
After spending the entirety of his 13-year career in Dallas, Aikman accumulated some impressive stats. His 2,898 completions rank first in Cowboys history, 32,942 passing yards rank second, and 165 touchdowns also rank second.
But more impressive than his career passing numbers is his postseason success and accolades. Aikman helped Dallas own the early 1990s NFL, winning Super Bowls in 1992, 1993 and 1995.
In his first Super Bowl in ‘93, Aikman won MVP of the game. He threw for 273 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Cowboys’ 52-17 trouncing over the Buffalo Bills.
Aikman wrapped his career as a six-time pro bowler and earned himself a spot in the pro football hall of fame in Canton, Ohio.
Despite Romo ranking ahead of Aikman in some key all-time Cowboys passing statistics, Aikman’s postseason success can’t be denied.