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Dallas Cowboys All-Time Super Bowl MVPs

The Dallas Cowboys are one of the storied franchises in the NFL, entering the league as an expansion team back in 1960. With a passionate fan base that’s considered as loyal as any in the league, “America’s Team” is a tough ticket at home, with its fans also accompanying the team in droves on the road. There have been eight appearances in the Super Bowl, winning five titles (but no championship-game appearances since after the 1996 season).

What has made the Cowboys a marquee team are, obviously, the players, and here we rank the best Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl MVPs in history.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman - Chris Wilkins/AFP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman - Chris Wilkins/AFP

No. 5 – Roger Staubach, Super Bowl VI

January 16, 1972, Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA

Roger Staubach was more than a quarterback, graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and winner of the 1963 Heisman Trophy. Fulfilling his commitment to the Navy (including Vietnam), he did sign with Dallas in1969. Staubach was a Cowboy over his entire, 11-season career. During his tenure, there were five Super Bowls, four with him as the starter.

Roger the Dodger saw the game differently than other quarterbacks, adding an approach that was cerebral. He and coach Tom Landry utilized game and player management to gain an edge. In Super Bowl VI against the Miami Dolphins, it was his leadership once again on display. Averaging just 6.3 yards per pass attempt (longest completion of just 21 yards), those weren’t spectacular numbers. He didn’t commit a single turnover, however, as the Dallas offense compiled 352 yards, That was nearly double the Dolphins’ output on the afternoon. The Cowboys were faultless, winning by a score of 24-3, Staubach ended as MVP.

No. 4 – Larry Brown, Super Bowl XXX

January 28th, 1996, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ

Do not remind the Dallas Cowboys or their fans that this was/is their last title. Larry Brown, a 12th-round draft pick out of TCU, became the first cornerback to earn the Super Bowl MVP trophy. With two (telegraphed by Neil O’Donnell) interceptions in the second half, Brown was a big reason the ‘Boys were able to come away with the win. The final of 27-17 turned Brown into a household name, with a payday to match. Brown departed Dallas, joining the Oakland Raiders and a five-year $12.5 million pact, His Silver and Black stint was forgettable, but not his award.

No. 3 – Emmitt Smith, Super Bowl XXVIII

January 30th, 1994, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

We can’t argue with the best running back at the time. Smith’s unwillingness to play (contract dispute) saw him sit out the first two games of the regular season, Dallas losing both. Once in the fold, he went absolutely ballistic. The backstory of Smith and owner/GM Jerry Jones eventually coming to terms involved defensive end Charles Haley, so frustrated early in the season (including a regular-season loss to Buffalo), he slammed his helmet at a locker-room wall. “We’ll never win with a f’n rookie running back (Derrick Lassic), and we have the greatest one ever sitting at home watching TV”, he screamed. Helmet missed Jerry Jones by about two feet, but the message was sent.

Buffalo had a 13-6 lead after 30 minutes before the Cowboys took control in the second half. With two touchdowns by Smith (immediately after Dallas safety James Washington scored on a fumble return to tie the game), the former Florida Gator became the best player in the world. Smith carried seven times in an eight-play sequence (61 of the team’s 64 yards on that drive). He finished with a 15\-yard touchdown run, longest of the game. With two dozen unanswered points after halftime, Dallas stomped the Bills in a rematch of the previous season’s game.

Pro Football Hall of Fame member Emmitt Smith - David Becker/AFP
Pro Football Hall of Fame member Emmitt Smith – David Becker/AFP

No. 2 – Randy White/Harvey Martin, Super Bowl XII

January 15th, 1978, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Statistics don’t tell the true story of this 27-10 Dallas Cowboys rout of the Denver Broncos. Defensive linemen Randy White and Harvey Martin shared the award (first and only time), harassing both Broncos quarterbacks (ex-Cowboy Craig Morton and Norris Weese) in what could well be the best defensive effort in the history of this game.

Dallas forced eight turnovers (seven on defense, one on special teams), eventually smothering Morton and Weese to a combined 8-of-25 (61 yards). Morton was intercepted four times, and Weese fumbled once. It wasn’t pretty.

No. 1 – Troy Aikman, Super Bowl XXVII,

January 31st, 1993, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

This wasn’t a fair fight by any measure. In what is supposed to be a battle between the two best teams during the season, Dallas didn’t give Buffalo a shot in a whooping by a score of 52-17.

Quarterback Troy Aikman led the Cowboys in this one-sided affair, throwing his first touchdown pass to tight end Jay Novacek in the opening quarter before connecting with wide receiver Michael Irvin on a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. There was more to come, as in Alvin Harper’s touchdown reception of 45 yards (longest play of the game) early in the final quarter. Aiman ended 22-of-30 (273 yards, four touchdowns), adding 28 rushing yards to secure his place in the annals of this game.

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