Over the offseason, thousands of fans voted in our "Team For the Ages" contest to construct the best imaginable 50-man roster from the NFL’s modern era, which began in 1967. The votes have been counted, and we’re unveiling one player each weekday between now and the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season.
The entire Team For the Ages roster will be unveiled at "Football Legends LIVE!" Sept. 8 in Crystal Lake, Ill. Tickets are on sale now: https://shawmediaevents.com/e/pfw50
Cowboys DE Bob Lilly
He was the first-ever draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys and earned the nickname “Mr. Cowboy,” while being selected to 11 Pro Bowls in 14 seasons and making All-Pro first team seven times, including six straight from 1964-69.
They said it
“A man has to figure out what has to be done and how to do it. You have to be able to spin out of a block, recognize a play immediately and then react accordingly. I figure I’m as strong as anyone else, so getting the job done becomes a matter of pride and determination.”
The Cowboys technically don't retire numbers, but no Dallas player has worn Lilly’s No. 74 in the 44 years since he retired in 1974. QB Troy Aikman's No. 8 and RB Emmitt Smith's No. 22 have not been worn either, but they’ve only been retired 18 and 14 years, respectively.
Lilly started every regular-season game in each of his 14 seasons and recovered 18 fumbles, three of which he returned for touchdowns.
Did you know?
Lilly was the first player inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor in 1975. He was also the first player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after spending his entire career with Dallas.
After his retirement, Lilly owned a lucrative beverage distribution business. But after he saw the aftermath of a traffic accident fueled by drunken driving, he gave up that business. A whole bunch of Coors cans had fallen out on the highway, and Lilly thought, “Those young boys were drinking my product.”
In Super Bowl VI, the Cowboys dominated the Dolphins 24-3 and Lilly had a 29-yard sack of Dolphins QB Bob Griese that still stands as the longest negative play in Super Bowl history.
Previous "Team for the Ages" player announcements