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Top Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks in history: Ranking the QBs by wins, TDs, passing yards...




Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has become the new Tony Romo. That’s both a compliment and a bit of a curse.

Both quarterbacks have had incredible regular-season success and both have had a disappointing lack of success in the playoffs. Both have set team records, made it to several Pro Bowls, and become staples on the team. And neither has won a Super Bowl or more than two playoff Games.

So of the greatest quarterbacks in Cowboys history, where do they rank? These stats do come into play, but they definitely would get bumped up with a championship to their name. Let’s take a look then at the greatest Cowboy quarterbacks of all time (and where Prescott and Romo rank).

Top Cowboys quarterbacks in history

1. Roger Staubach

This one, to me, is not debatable. Indeed, I have ranked Staubach as the number one Cowboys player of all time . Roger Staubach, aka Captain America, was the Cowboys quarterback from 1969-1979. He was so good that the Cowboys waited five years to get him. Drafted by Dallas in the 1964 NFL Draft, Staubach left to attend the Naval Academy for four years, finally joining the team at the age of 27. And boy, was he worth the wait.

In 1971, he became the true starting quarterback after splitting time with Craig Morton the first two years. That same year, he went 10-0 and took the Cowboys to Super Bowl victory, beating the Miami Dolphins 24-3.

In his 11-year career with the Cowboys, Staubach finished 85-29, leading the team to five Super Bowls, two Super Bowl victories, earned one Super Bowl MVP, and six Pro Bowls. He was also a member of the 1970s All-Decade Team and now holds a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Completion %57
Passing Yards22,700
Passing TDs153
QB Rating83.4

2. Troy Aikman

Troy Aikman was the leader of the triplets (Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith) who started the Cowboys dynasty in the 1990s. Playing with the Cowboys from 1989-2000, the team has never been the same since he left. He brought the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories (even more than Staubach) in four years, in 1992, 1993, and 1995.

He took a little warming up before reaching that level though, going 0-11 and throwing nine touchdown passes to 18 interceptions in his first 11 starts. By 1991, though, Aikman was a Prow Bowler, and stayed one for the next six consecutive seasons.

By the end of his 12-year career with the Cowboys, Aikman went 94-71, ranks second in the Cowboys’ all-time passing list with 32,942 yards, took the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories, won one Super Bowl MVP, won Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1997, and is now a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Completion %61.5
Passing Yards32,942
Passing TDs165
QB Rating81.6

3. Tony Romo

It’s actually a little tough to decide whether Tony Romo or Dak Prescott should be third on the list considering how similar they both are and the fact that both have kept the Cowboys relevant for several seasons. Remember how we just told you that Aikman ranks second in Cowboys’ all-time passing yards? Well, Romo ranks first. He finished his 13-year career with 34,183 yards.

Romo is a controversial quarterback for the fact that he retired without bringing the Cowboys to a single Super Bowl victory. He did, however, put up record numbers - even better than Aikman. Romo, who was working with players significantly less talented than Irvin and Smith around him, had a better regular-season win percentage than Aikman (61.4% to Aikman’s 57%). Keeping him below him on the list, however, is his postseason record of 2-4.

Still, his impact on the team was huge. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and knew how to keep drives alive. Despite his lack of playoff success, Romo belongs in the list of top Cowboys quarterbacks in franchise history.

Seasons 1313
Completion %65.3
Passing Yards34,183
Passing TDs248
QB Rating97.1

4. Dak Prescott

Prescott has been the Cowboys’ starter since he took over for injured Romo in 2016. And like Romo, he’s putting up crazy numbers and has an incredible regular season record, but can’t seem to get over the postseason hump. He certainly has room to move up ahead of Romo on the list as he continues on the team, but to move ahead of Aikman, he’d definitely need at least a Super Bowl win, and even then…It’s unlikely.

Even still, Prescott shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler, was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season, and finished last season as the runner-up for NFL MVP. He’s never had a losing season when he was healthy, has broken several Cowboys quarterback records, and in just eight seasons is only five wins short of Romo’s 78 with some good years still left in him. He could end up surpassing Romo in passing yards and touchdown passes as well, as those stats are currently on the cusp at 29,459 and 202, respectively.

A 2-5 postseason record is really what keeps even great quarterbacks off the list of true greats though.

Completion %67
Passing Yards29,459
Passing TDs202
QB Rating99

Danny White

Danny White actually started as the Cowboys’ punter when Staubach was quarterback in the 1970s. When he retired in 1980 though, White stepped up as the starting quarterback. That year, he went 12-4 and threw for 3,287 yards and 28 touchdowns. He wasn’t the quarterback Staubach was, but his impact was felt when he was off the field. After suffering a wrist injury in 1986, the Cowboys went from 6-2 with White under center to 7-9 with him out.

He ended his 13-year stint with the Cowboys with a 62-30 record as the starting QB, finished fourth in all-time touchdown passes with 155 and fifth on all-time passing yards with 21, 959, and was selected to one Pro Bowl.

Completion %59.7
Passing Yards21,959
Passing TDs155
QB Rating81.7