Monday, July 11, 2011
No Jerry Jones for Deion Sanders
By Calvin Watkins
Deion Sanders does things his own way.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Sanders will have agent Eugene Parker introduce him at his enshrinement ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio.
One would think Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner who is also one of the more recognizable men in sports, would get the honor. Jones introduced Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin at their enshrinement. Those two men have close relationships with Jones.
Sanders is tight with Jones too, but he's closer with Parker, the man who helped him sign, at that time, the highest signing bonus in Cowboys history -- $13 million in 1995. Sanders' deal was for five years and worth $25 million. His signing bonus was higher than Troy Aikman's $7 million.
And Sanders isn't the first agent to present a player at the Hall of Fame. Michael Haynes -- whom Sanders admires -- Warren Moon and Marshall Faulk are the others. Faulk joins Sanders in this year's class.
Several players have a bond with their agents, whether you think it's forced or not. The agents are the ones some players talk to almost every day. Players take their financial advice from agents and trust them. It was hard for Cowboys wide receiver Sam Hurd to believe his agent, Ian Greengross, was in trouble with the player's union for questionable conduct.
When you think about the free-agent signings Jones has made over the years, Sanders is probably the best.
"I'd be hard-pressed to see one that was more impactful than he was," Jones said. "I'd sure have to put him in the top two or three."
Sanders thanks Parker for that, more than anybody else.
It was interesting to note when Sanders was selected for the Hall of Fame back in February, Jones wasn't there. The event happened in downtown Dallas and not one Cowboys official was in attendance.
Smith and Irvin were there to support Sanders.
This is not to say there's a rift between Sanders and the Cowboys. He's welcomed at Valley Ranch all the time and still comes up there to hang if he's not busy with his work on NFL Network and Prime U.
Sanders picking Parker over Jones isn't controversial. It's Sanders being his own guy.