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By RanterX

15 Athletes Who Have Made The State of Texas Proud

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The state of Texas has a long and storied tradition of excellence in sports, with both college and professional teams from the state having racked up numerous accolades over the years. Along the way, a number of athletes have stood out from the pack, and these are the 15 athletes who have represented Texas the best.

15. Johnny Manziel

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15. Johnny Manziel

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Manziel lifted Texas A&M from a struggling football program to one of the best in the nation during his three-year spell at College Station. Manziel won one Heisman Trophy, and made Texas proud of its college football teams.

14. Vince Young

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14. Vince Young

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Young may have washed out in the NFL, but Texas sports fans will never forget his days as quarterback of the Longhorns. Young led the Texas Longhorns to victories at the 2005 and 2006 Rose Bowls, and was the pivotal player as the team brought home the 2005 NCAA National Championship.

13. Ivan Rodriguez

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13. Ivan Rodriguez

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Rodriguez became known as one of the best catchers in MLB history during his time with the Texas Rangers. He won 10 Gold Glove Awards, one AL MVP Award, six Silver Slugger Awards and made 10 All-Star Game appearances.

12. Craig Biggio

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12. Craig Biggio

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Biggio was not the most flashy player in MLB history, but he was the type of gritty and effective player that all teams need, and he represented the Houston Astros incredibly well. Between 1988 and 2007, Biggio compiled seven All-Star Game appearances and 3,060 hits, and it seems only a matter of time before he is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

11. Mike Modano

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11. Mike Modano

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Modano helped turn a lot of Texans into rabid hockey fans. He led the Dallas Stars to victory in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, and generally represented the organization with class.

10. Dirk Nowitzki

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10. Dirk Nowitzki

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Nowitzki may not be abrasive and outspoken, but Texas sports fans have learned to love the Dallas Mavericks star for his quiet grace and killer instinct on the court. The 36-year-old brought the Mavericks their first NBA Title in 2011, and he is a lock for the Basketball Hall of Fame after retiring.

9. Warren Moon

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9. Warren Moon

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Moon became the first black quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, although there Texas sports fans were proud of him long before that moment. Moon played for the Houston Oilers between 1984-1993, becoming known as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

8. David Robinson

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8. David Robinson

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"The Admiral" was the face of the San Antonio Spurs from 1989 to 2003, winning two NBA titles and building the foundation of the organization for years to come.

7. Earl Campbell

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7. Earl Campbell

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Campbell represented both the Texas Longhorns and Houston Oilers with class, winning one Heisman Trophy, two NFL MVP awards and ultimately gaining induction into both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

6. Emmitt Smith

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6. Emmitt Smith

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Smith became the NFL's all-time rushing leader during his stint with the Dallas Cowboys. He also helped the team win three Super Bowl titles and gained the admiration of Texans for his toughness.

5. Hakeem Olajuwon

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5. Hakeem Olajuwon

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Olajuwon played with the Houston Rockets from 1984-2001, during which he led the team to two NBA titles, and became known as "The Dream" for his graceful playing style on the court and great reputation off of it.

4. Roger Staubach

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4. Roger Staubach

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Staubach helped make the Dallas Cowboys a model organization of the NFL during the 1970s. He made six Pro Bowl appearances and helped the team win two Super Bowl titles.

3. Troy Aikman

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3. Troy Aikman

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Aikman built upon the excellence of Staubach's Cowboys in the 1990s, leading the team to three Super Bowl titles and firmly establishing the organization as "America's Team."

2. Tim Duncan

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2. Tim Duncan

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Duncan took the mantle as the leader of the Spurs from David Robinson, and the organization has won five NBA titles under his guidance. Although Duncan may not excite like some other NBA stars, few can doubt his excellence on the court.

1. Nolan Ryan

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1. Nolan Ryan

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"The Ryan Express" rolled through Texas from 1980-1993 as Nolan Ryan starred for both the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. He exemplified the high-tempo, in-your-face style that Texans are known for, and the state has never stopped loving him.

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