By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Troy Aikman—The California kid with the Oklahoma roots won more games (90) in the 1990s than any NFL quarterback in any other decade. After a sluggish Cowboys start that saw him go winless in his rookie season in 1989 and get sacked 11 times in a memorable 1991 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Aikman's cool in the pocket and strong, accurate arm led him to 47 team passing records and three Super Bowl rings. A reluctant superstar with a modest ego, Aikman nonetheless ascended to fame in Dallas during the 1992 season after throwing four touchdown passes and being named MVP of Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl. He remains a popular figure locally with several endorsements and media appearances and nationally as Fox's lead NFL analyst.
Roger Staubach—The rare player to have won a Heisman Trophy (1963) and NFL MVP (1971), his performance as a player is rivaled only by his sparkling persona off the field. He became Captain America, a flawless, peerless leader who steered the Cowboys to Super Bowl wins in 1971 and 1977. On the field, he was a fearless scrambler and a stubborn competitor who rallied Dallas from seemingly impossible late-game deficits countless times. Off the field he still remains one of the most visible names in Dallas, with a prominent real-estate company and a leading role during Super Bowl XLV as North Texas Host Committee Chairman.
Jerry Jones—Eternally despised by some as the man who fired Landry, Jones has constructed a Pro Football Hall of Fame career nationally with his ownership innovations and restored his reputation in the metroplex by managing the Cowboys to three Super Bowls in four years in the mid-'90s. Despite the dismissal of a coaching legend, the 1-15 inaugural season start and—currently—the longest drought between Super Bowls in franchise history, Jones these days is more synonymous with the three Lombardi trophies, the construction of the shining sports jewel that is the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium and being the grandiose host of Super Bowl XLV.