Everyone loves accomplishments. Everyone wants to be immortalized in history. When building a professional sports resume, of course the ultimate goal is a team championship. That’s what everyone strives for. However, in the real world, only coaches and quarterbacks are primarily judged by their post-season success.
So while Jason Garrett and Tony Romo are burdened with the responsibility of proving it during the playoffs, the rest of the team is more or less going to be remembered based on their statistical prowess. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the major franchise landmarks and milestones that are within reach of several Cowboys offensive players going into the 2014 season.
Career Passing Yards (currently at 29,565)
Romo is 3,378 yards away from passing Troy Aikman for the most passing yards in club history. Aikman of course spent 12 years behind center for the team in an era with less passing and a team with the NFL’s career leader in rush yards. So while Romo set to surpass him in his 9th year is amazing, context is necessary. Romo has passed for this many yards every season where he’s played more than 10 games.
Career Game Winning Drives (currently at 23)
Tony needs just one more game winning drive to break the tie with Captain Comeback himself, Roger Staubach. A game-winning drive is defined as a a 4th quarter or overtime offensive drive that puts the team in the lead for the last time. Tony might make some late-game mistakes, but late-game heroics are definitely his thing, too.
Career Receiving Yards (currently at 9,799)
Witten needs just 201 yards to reach 10,000 for his career. He is currently in second place on the team behind Michael Irvin’s 11,904. Witten is already the club’s all-time leader in receptions with 879.
Career Receiving Touchdowns (currently at 40)
Bryant’s touchdown total already ranks him as 8th most in Cowboys history, just one behind Billy Joy DuPree. If Dez can score 10 times on the season, that would move him into a tie for 5th place with Frank Clarke, 11 would tie him with Tony Hill and rank only behind Witten (52 and counting), Irvin (65) and “Bullet” Bob Hayes (71).
Bryant also has 293 career catches, good for 12th all-time, and could move past Tony Dorsett into 6th place with a 90 catch season. 1,110 yards on top of his current total of 4,104, would move him into 6th place on career receiving list as well. The divide between the current top five in each category is still at least 2-3 years off for Dez.
Career Rushing Yards (currently 2,681)
Murray would need to turn in slightly better than a 1,200 season to move into 7th place and pass names such as Felix and Julius Jones, Herschel Walker and Walt Garrison in Cowboys history. A dynamic year of over 1,600 yards would put him within reach of Marion Barber’s 4,358 career total and sixth place. As far as career rushing touchdowns, getting 10 in 2014 would only get Murray into a tie for 10th place with Dan Reeves at 25.
Career Scoring (currently 390)
“Split’Em”, as I’ve affectionately called the most accurate kicker I’ve ever seen, is on pace to move up from his current spot as the 6th highest scoring player in Cowboys history. Just one field goal (or three extra points) in the opening game will move him past Michael Irvin (392) and into fifth place. An average season will get him past Bob Hayes and Tony Dorsett and into third place all time. He has a long, long way to go to pass the greatest kicker in Dallas history, Rafael Septien, 874 career points. Then the only man left would be Emmitt Smith and his 986 career points.