These are the men who played the games, prompting generations of fans to emulate, to spectate, to live and to die. This is our Mount Sportsmore:

10. Tatu—While Doak Walker and Bob Lilly and Michael Johnson and Carly Patterson are sterling, identifiable stars, remember this: The reason Dallas is one of the world's biggest hubs of youth soccer—Dallas Cup, anyone?— is because of the feisty little Brazilian with a penchant for taking off his shirt. As the leader of the Dallas Sidekicks in the 1980s and '90s, No. 9 encouraged generations of children to take up soccer. Look at it this way: Dallas would still have the Cowboys without Lilly, but there wouldn't be a Dallas Cup without Tatu.

9. Lance Armstrong—Before he was winning seven Tours de France and kicking cancer's ass, the Plano East High School prodigy was winning tiny triathlons at Lake Lavon.

Whether he stays with the Mavs or not, Dirk Nowitzki leaves an indelible mark on Dallas.
Whether he stays with the Mavs or not, Dirk Nowitzki leaves an indelible mark on Dallas.

8. Dirk Nowitzki—Before he arrived, they were the laughable losers known as the Dallas Mavwrecks. All that's missing from his résumé is—gulp—a championship.

7. Pudge Rodriguez—He is the best player and one of the most popular people in Texas Rangers' history.

6. Mike Modano—For 17 years he made the boys cheer and the girls swoon. Even better, he introduced us all to hockey.

5. Byron Nelson—Fort Worth's Ben Hogan may have been his equal inside the ropes, but no one promoted and cherished golf in this community like Lord Byron.

4. Emmitt Smith—He may not be the NFL's all-time best running back, but he is the most productive.

3. Troy Aikman—It wasn't just that he led the Cowboys to three Super Bowls, it's that he did it with unprecedented accuracy as a quarterback and impeccable accountability as a leader.

2. Nolan Ryan—As a player he gave the Rangers history; as a president he restored their credibility.

1. Roger Staubach—One thing we can all agree on, Captain America knows no peer.

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