Chuck came up with an impressive merit list for his chosen champion, SYSCO (NYSE:SYY), and I'm more than happy to show you how Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) in fact meets or exceeds SYSCO on each point presented. Time is money, so let's dive right into it.

You want to talk market share? Cisco's trailing-12-month revenue of $28.4 billion is 8.3 times more than the combined sales of the four largest networking companies after Cisco: Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR), 3Com (NASDAQ:COMS), Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR), and Sycamore Networks (NASDAQ:SCMR). That's not a market share -- it's a market unto itself.

Just as SYSCO will always find people buying food, the Internet will hardly shut down when the next recession hits, and both companies have thousands of customers, with very few representing any significant part of total revenues.

That list of bullet points could just as well apply to Cisco.

  • Leader in its industry? Check.
  • Essential to customer success? Check.
  • Expanding to meet future needs? Check, as detailed in my original Cisco case.
  • Financially solid? Are you kidding? Check!
  • Committed to shareholders? This one could use some discussion.

SYSCO pays out a nice, reliable dividend to the tune of about 44% of its free cash flow. Now Cisco CFO Dennis Powell is saying that his company eventually will do the same, and if it decided to divert the same 44% of FCF to dividends, that would have been $2.4 billion of dividend expenses, using last year's financials as an example. That's $0.39 per share, or a 1.7% yield -- not far from Sysco's 2.2%. And the company has steadily reduced its share count over the past three years through aggressive buybacks. So yes, that's another check.

So much in common, yet Cisco stands head and shoulders above its phonetic twin on almost every count. If you still need a tiebreaker, consider that SYSCO just hired a former Enron spokesman to head up its corporate communications. I smell something fishy there, but maybe it's just an old shipment of canned tuna.

Think you're done with the Duel? You're not! Go back and read the other three arguments, and then vote for a winner.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, but tuna can be very tasty if prepared correctly. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is a model of clarity.