© 2022 The Authors. Crop Science © 2022 Crop Science Society of America.Both intraspecific and interspecific crosses are a well-known breeding strategies to generate variations or assemble desirable traits in economically important plants. Interspecific crosses have been mined to improve resistance to (a)biotic stresses in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) in a limited number of research studies but have never been crosschecked for yield and yield criteria in intraspecific versus interspecific crosses. Comparison of superior progeny or superior recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and better progeny than their best parent for yield, yield criteria, and resistance to (a)biotic stresses in intraspecific versus interspecific crosses was the objectives of this study. Also, associations between superior progeny and genetic distance based on simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were assessed among annual Cicer species including cultivated chickpea, C. reticulatum Ladiz. and C. echinospermum P.H. Davis. Each two genotypes of C. reticulatum and C. echinospermum were crossed with three genotypes of cultivated chickpea. Not only superior progeny for yield and yield criteria, but also superior RILs that were cold tolerant were detected higher in interspecific crosses than in intraspecific crosses. On the other hand, plant height, first pod height, and seed size were higher in intraspecific crosses than in interspecific crosses, indicating that seed size and traits suitable for combine harvest can be increased via intraspecific crosses. A significant association was found between superior progeny and genetic distance among Cicer species. It was concluded that interspecific crosses in Cicer species may increase yield and resistance to (a)biotic stresses, whereas intraspecific crosses may increase plant height and seed size.