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The Ultimate 53


/Click here to view the Ultimate 53-man depth chart.

The most important part of each season may be the daily practice grind in July and August, when a team is truly built. As a countdown to this year's training camp, we celebrate the 53rd year of Cowboys football by constructing the team's all-time 53-man roster, picking one player from each season.

Not selecting the 53 best players in club history, has constructed the ultimate team, filling out the depth chart and making room for contributors at every position, including special teams, while at the same time looking ahead to how this year's 53-man roster might shake out.

The series continues today with 1982 and running back Tony Dorsett:

Name:Tony Dorsett
Position: Running Back
College: Pittsburgh
Height/Weight: 5-11/190
Cowboys Tenure: 1977-87

Why Him? Dorsett isn't just one of the best players in Cowboys history. By the end of his 12-year career – he played his final season in 1988 with the Denver Broncos – he trailed only Walter Payton in all-time rushing yards with 12,739. (Some guy named Emmitt Smith eventually passed both, and Dorsett now ranks fifth behind Smith, Payton, Barry Sanders and Eric Dickerson). Dorsett earned a Super Bowl ring as a rookie in 1977 and went on to make four Pro Bowls with the Cowboys, including the strike-shortened 1982 season. He topped 1,000 yards eight times and ran for 77 career touchdowns, including a league-record 99-yard score on Monday Night Football against the Vikings in the final regular-season game of the 1982 campaign.

The Role: Dorsett is probably the featured rusher on just about any all-time NFL roster. Running back just happens to be another ridiculously deep position in this franchise's history, so we've slotted Tony D. as the No. 2 running back in our Ultimate 53. His game-breaking speed would be a valued change of pace for our lead rusher, who will be named later. Oh, the suspense.

Back To The Future: Once again, it's unfair to compare anyone to a Pro Football Hall of Fame and Cowboys Ring of Honor inductee like Dorsett, but of the Cowboys' current rushers, Felix Jones' build, vision and breakaway speed probably compares best. Jones is also projected as this year's No. 2 back behind DeMarco Murray.

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