Dallas Cowboys: Harvey Martin

Chat leftovers: Missing on best chance

March, 28, 2014
IRVING, Texas -- It's time for some leftovers from Wednesday's hour-long chat with you guys.

We had more than 120 questions posted during that time and it's impossible to handle all of them, so we'll choose five extra questions for the weekly "leftovers" post. Quick question for the house: Best leftover, pizza or Chinese food?

In the best player available strategy, I'm leaning toward pizza.

Anyway, away we go:

David Huffman. Connecticut: How many failed attempts at assembling a roster capable of playing good football deep into the postseason will it take for Jerry to say, "OK, I don't have the ability to properly evaluate the players I'm drafting and signing to this team?"

Todd Archer: I wouldn't hold your breath on this one, David. You might turn purple. But I will point out that the Cowboys had what was considered some of the best personnel in the game for a stretch from say 2007-10 and if Jerry is responsible for the state of the personnel right now, then he was responsible for the personnel then. And, yes, I realize Bill Parcells had a huge influence on the roster in those years, but he didn't get everything he wanted. As I see it, the problem is the Cowboys missed their window. They had pretty good shots in 2006-09 and won one playoff game. The one that hurts the most is the 2007 season. It was set up for them to take the NFC and they failed. Wade Phillips gave them the out late in the '07 season by letting up. The team did not react the right way, and I'm not talking about a trip to Cabo or anything like that. After the Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers that year they lost their momentum and couldn't get it back, losing to the Giants at home. If they win that game -- or the Seattle playoff game the previous year -- and I think a lot of these narratives that have come about are entirely different. Since the Cowboys missed that window, they have been chasing it ever since without success and the personnel has not been as good the last three or four years, despite the proclamations from those far away that the Cowboys have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. They haven't had that. They have had good 'name' players but spots 15-53 on the roster have been lacking.

Casey (Boise, ID): So what exactly are Callahan's duties with Linehan now in town? Will he have any influence with the play calling? Is he only in charge of the OL group? All the titles confuse me? Passing game coordinator but will call all the offensive plays???

Todd Archer: Sorry I missed this one, Casey. This is a good question. Bill Callahan goes back to being the offensive line coach and run game coordinator, which is essentially what he was in 2012. He will give Scott Linehan options with running plays but make no mistake about it, Linehan will be calling the shots. The Cowboys will try to gloss over all of this of course and Callahan will publicly say all the right things, but how the Cowboys handled this maneuvering in the offseason is as baffling as how they handled the playcalling duties last offseason. They should have let Callahan go to Cleveland or Baltimore or wherever once the playcalling was taken away from him.

Nate (South Dakota): Any chance Jerry goes back to the past and brings in some more players from the '70s and '80s into the Ring of Honor? I would really like to see Charlie Waters, Harvey Martin, and maybe even Daryl Johnston in the Ring. Any chance?

Todd Archer: Nothing stirs the masses like the Ring of Honor. I like the two names you mentioned from the 1970s and I think Ed 'Too Tall' Jones has a case too. Charlie Waters and Harvey Martin were difference makers on the Super Bowl teams. Same with Too Tall. And he spanned the Jerry Era too. Daryl Johnston is a good name to consider as well, but the first guy from the '90s teams that I would add is Darren Woodson. He was a terrific player who was saddled with bad teams in the early 2000s and just as the Cowboys were about to turn it around his back gave out. Woodson would be right up there in my book. He should get Hall of Fame consideration too. Think about Woodson's impact this way: The Cowboys still haven't replaced him.

David (Southlake): Todd, given what Bears gave to Allen, shouldn't Cowboys have pursued him instead of Melton? Melton is coming off a major injury whereas Allen has a proven track record.

Todd Archer: You don't pay free agents based on track record. Jared Allen is 32. He has had a terrific career and might have a couple more great seasons left in him with the Chicago Bears, but that doesn't mean he would have been the right fit here. If the Cowboys weren't going to pay DeMarcus Ware, whom they knew best, or Julius Peppers, whom they knew quite well too, then they were not going to shell out money for Allen, who has no connections to the staff. It would have been the continuation of paying older players for what they have done, not what they will do. The Cowboys' plan this offseason has been simple: spend wisely on younger players, draft well in May and hope players in house make a ton of improvement. Will it work? I can't answer that question today, but that's the best way to go about it rather than hoping a thirtysomething has something left in the tank. Melton, who will probably make about $4 million this season, is just 27 and the Cowboys have a get-out-of-jail free card if he doesn't perform if they choose not to exercise the option. I'd be more willing to bet on a young player coming off an injury than an older player looking for a big pay day.

Shawn (NC Mountains): Given that Philly, Washington and Giants have made some impressive moves in free agency. Are the Cowboys the worst team in our division?

Todd Archer: If you want to give out trophies for offseason work that is less than a month old, then sure the Cowboys are the worst team in the division. But how many times have the Redskins won the Super Bowl in an offseason only to implode? What happened to the Eagles' dream team from a few years ago? I'm not picking the Cowboys to win the division or make the playoffs, but I'm not saying it's impossible either. There are a lot of moves left to make. The Cowboys have been the only team to compete for the NFC East title the last three seasons, so there is talent here. It just needs more supplementing before the games start in September. Maybe that's too optimistic of a view.

Cowboys' safeties for the Hall?

February, 10, 2014
IRVING, Texas -- NFL Nation Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez wrote a story last week about the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting process and asked fellow reporters for the biggest omissions per team.

I came up with Cliff Harris, Darren Woodson, Chuck Howley and Lee Roy Jordan. You might have some other names to include, like a Harvey Martin or Drew Pearson.

The voters have an incredibly difficult job. More difficult than people know. Just about every team has a player not in the Hall of Fame that has a case for enshrinement.

As an all-decade player in the 1970s, with six Pro Bowl selections and a four-time All-Pro pick, I believe Harris is the biggest snub. In 2004, he made it to the final 10 in the voting process but was eliminated on the cut down to six players. If he makes it to Canton, Ohio, it will be as a Senior Committee pick. There are two players in that pool each year, so Harris will have to wait. So too will Howley, the MVP of Super Bowl V, and Jordan.

To me, Woodson should get more consideration for the Hall of Fame. He was a five-time Pro Bowl pick and a three-time All Pro. He was on three Super Bowl winners. He is the Cowboys’ all-time leading tackler.

But Woodson had to suffer through some horrendous seasons as the Cowboys moved from Super Bowl contender to afterthought. Just as the Cowboys appeared ready to turn the corner under Bill Parcells, Woodson was forced to retire early because of a back injury in 2004. The Cowboys still haven’t replaced him. Think about that for a second.

Woodson was a linebacker at Arizona State and made the transition to safety. For all of the talk of a safety’s ability to cover receivers now that the game is so spread out, Woodson was at his best in the slot. He could cover receivers. He could cover tight ends. He was ahead of his time to a degree.

Woodson’s game was more than just numbers, which may be why he will not get in the Hall, but he should at least be brought up for debate.

Consistency key for DeMarcus Ware

July, 16, 2013
SOUTHLAKE, Texas – DeMarcus Ware grew up wearing Reebok sneakers and was fond of the old Pumps. Now, years later, the Cowboys defensive end is a spokesman for the shoe company and is championing Reebok’s new ATV19 shoe.

ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett with the latest on the Dallas Cowboys as they prep for training camp.

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On Tuesday, Ware went through a 90-minute workout at Impact Performance and Fitness in Southlake in his “all-terrain” shoes and a commercial featuring Ware and Rampage Jackson started airing last week.

“I preach consistency when I play football, and that’s how they’ve been year and in year out,” Ware said. “That’s why I like them.”

Ware has been ultra-consistent.

He has had seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks. Only Reggie White (nine) and John Randle (eight) have more in NFL history. He is the Cowboys’ official sack leader with 111 in his career, but needs four to break Harvey Martin’s unofficial record.

Ware turns 31 on July 31 and is moving from outside linebacker to defensive end as the Cowboys shift to the 4-3 in 2013.

“I think it’s another challenge of being effective at a totally different position,” Ware said. “They say an outside linebacker is a defensive end just standing up, but it’s not the same because you’ve got different ways the offense wants to sort of attack you. It’s a little simpler now. It’s more man on man, that brute football. It’s not, I’m going to trick the guy and move the guy around to get a matchup. It’s my tackle against your defensive end or my linebacker against your running back. We know who’s blocking who and it’s up to who wants it most.”

IRVING, Texas – Among the reasons why Brian Urlacher decided to retire was the fact that he could say he played for the Chicago Bears and for the Chicago Bears only.

In this salary-cap age, that is a difficult thing to do. Emmitt Smith's playing career ended in Arizona. Jerry Rice's ended in Seattle.

Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin were able to be “one jersey” players, in part because of injuries. Aikman wrestled with the idea of returning not long after he stepped away but decided against it.

Jason Witten and Tony Romo are entering their 11th seasons with the Cowboys. Romo, who just turned 33, is signed through 2019. Witten is signed through 2017. So is DeMarcus Ware, who is entering his ninth season.

Of the long-term players on the Cowboys’ roster, these guys figure to be the “one jersey” types.

Witten is already the franchise’s all-time receptions leader. Only Bob Lilly, Larry Allen, Mel Renfro and Randy White have played in more Pro Bowls as Cowboys than Witten, who has eight. He is coming off a 110-catch season, the most in NFL history by a tight end. He turned 31 earlier this month.

Romo is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in touchdown passes and could surpass Aikman in passing yards in 2015. He has more 100-plus passer rating games in his career than Aikman. Romo’s 55 multi-touchdown pass games are the most in team history. His four four-touchdown games are second-most in history to Danny White.

Ware is the franchise’s official all-time sack leader with 111 for his career and needs four this season to break Harvey Martin’s unofficial sack record. He has had seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks, and only Reggie White (nine) and John Randle (eight) have more since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

If the Cowboys win a Super Bowl in the next few years, then the chances of these guys playing for another team in the future would be slim.

If the Cowboys don’t win a Super Bowl and they become salary-cap casualties later, do they chase a championship and not play for the Cowboys and the Cowboys only?

Tony Romo not interested in TD record

November, 29, 2012
IRVING, Texas – With a touchdown pass Sunday against Philadelphia, Tony Romo will become the Cowboys’ franchise leader.

He is tied with Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, who threw 165 touchdown passes from 1989-2000.

“I’m not a stats guy,” Romo said. “Anybody that knows me knows it’s about winning. I hadn’t even heard about that stat until you said it right now, so we just need to win football games.”

Aikman’s 165 touchdown passes came in 165 games. Romo’s 165 touchdown passes have come in 88 games in which he has attempted a passes, which is a sign of how the game has changed since Aikman’s retirement and how much Emmitt Smith scored in the 1990s. Romo did not throw a pass until his fourth season.

Aikman holds the team record for passing yards with 32,942. Romo has 24,191.

“Troy’s played the quarterback position as well as anybody who’s played that position ,and I just think it’s a testament to how well him and his teams did,” Romo said. “And he’s obviously set the bar very high for everybody who comes, not just around here, but any player in the league.”

Earlier this year, Jason Witten broke the franchise record for catches in a career, surpassing Michael Irvin on Nov. 4 at Atlanta. DeMarcus Ware needs five sacks to break Harvey Martin’s unofficial mark for sacks in a career. Martin put up 114 from 1973-83, but sacks did not become an official league stat until 1982. Officially, Ware is recognized as the Cowboys’ sack leader.

DeMarcus Ware extends sack streak

November, 19, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- DeMarcus Ware was able to extend his streak to eight games with at least a half-sack when he and Jason Hatcher combined to take down Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden in the third quarter of Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win.

Cowboys DE Marcus Spears talks about playing good defense in a do-or-die situation.

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More impressive, however, Ware has now recorded seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks, tying him for third most in NFL history with Hall of Famers Bruce Smith and Lawrence Taylor. The only two with more consecutive 10-sack seasons are Hall of Famers John Randle (eight) and Reggie White (nine).

Ware has 109.5 sacks for his career, tying him for 18th all-time in NFL history.

Sacks were not considered an official stat until 1982, but Ware is closing in on the Cowboys’ unofficial record. Harvey Martin is the leader with 114 and Randy White recorded 111.

Jerry Jones: Ring of Honor additions unlikely

August, 12, 2012
OXNARD, Calif. – The one-man selection committee for the Ring of Honor is not planning to induct anybody this year.

“It’s probably unlikely that we will, but I haven’t made that decision,” Jones told ESPNDallas.com.

The induction of Drew Pearson, Larry Allen and Charles Haley last year marked the first Ring of Honor class since 2005, when the Triplets of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith went in together.

There are several former Cowboys who have strong cases for inclusion in the Ring of Honor. The list arguably starts with franchise sacks leader Harvey Martin and Darren Woodson, who holds the franchise record for career tackles.

They’ll have to wait at least another year, unless Jones changes his mind.

Five-star: 2.5 sacks? Expecting too much

November, 3, 2011
Five-star question: Will DeMarcus Ware get the 2.5 sacks he needs to tie Jim Jeffcoat (94.5) for officially the most in franchise history?

Rob Ryan claims that DeMarcus Ware is better than Superman, much less Lawrence Taylor, but let’s try to keep expectations realistic.

It’s a bit much to expect the man to have multiple sacks every week. So, no, he’s not likely to pull even or surpass Jim Jeffcoat on Sunday. To put the difficulty of that task in perspective, Ware has had 2.5 or more sacks in eight of 103 career games.

Granted, one of those games came against Seattle. That was a sad day in Seahawks history, as legendary left tackle Walter Jones was humiliated as he hobbled around on a bad knee in what ended up being the final game of his career.

Not that it’s impossible for Ware to beat recent first-round picks Russell Okung and James Carpenter for a few sacks. But the Seahawks’ tackles have combined to allow 7.5 sacks this season, according to Stats Inc. A Ware hat trick would be a surprise.

On another note, Jeffcoat holds the Cowboys’ record for most sacks since the NFL made it an official stat in 1982. The team recognizes Harvey Martin as its all-time leader with 114. Martin also holds the team record for sacks in a season with 23 in 1977 – half a sack more than the official league record Ware is on pace to break this season.

Just thought that Martin merited mentioned, especially during a week when one Cowboys legend from that era is getting a long overdue spot in the Ring of Honor.

Five-star: History for DeMarcus Ware

November, 3, 2011
Five-star question: Will DeMarcus Ware get the 2.5 sacks he needs to tie Jim Jeffcoat (94.5) for the most in franchise history?

On a day in which the Cowboys will induct Drew Pearson, Charles Haley and Larry Allen into the Ring of Honor, it is only fitting that DeMarcus Ware makes his run at team history to move a step closer to joining those players on the wall.

Ware is second in the NFL with 12 sacks and is coming off the first four-sack game of his career. He has had at least one sack in every game but one and sacks come in bunches for him. He has had three back-to-back games with multiple sacks, including at the start of this season.

He and Simon Fletcher hold the NFL record with at least one sack in 10 straight games.

Sunday’s foe helps the cause. Seattle has allowed a league-high 28 sacks. Tarvaris Jackson has been sacked 20 times. Charlie Whitehurst has been sacked eight. Ware has sacked 39 different quarterbacks in his career and Jackson or Tarvaris or both will make the list Sunday.

But Ware is entering a tricky part of the record book because sacks did not become an official stat in the NFL until 1982.

In the Cowboys’ media guide, they list Harvey Martin as the all-time leader in sacks with 114, followed by Randy White (111), Ed Jones (106), George Andrie (97) and Jethro Pugh (95.5). Jeffcoat, who was with the Cowboys from 1983-94, is next.

Do we ignore the players’ stats when sacks were not an official stat? Do we put an asterisk by it?

I’m not sure it really matters because Ware will end up passing them all one day soon.

Who should be next for Ring of Honor?

August, 19, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas – After a six-year layoff, three Cowboys greats will be inducted into the Ring of Honor.

There will still be plenty of deserving candidates after Drew Pearson, Charles Haley and Larry Allen join the exclusive club.

“I don’t want to sound like I don’t think about it and there’s not a lot of consideration,” one-man selection committee Jerry Jones said. “On the other hand, I’m not sitting here with my list that if it drops out of my pocket, you’ll see the next five.”

Well, Jerry did mention that he listens to input from all sorts of different folks, including the media, so here’s some help with the next five:

Darren Woodson They still haven’t been able to replace Woodson, a safety who was a consummate leader and had the rare combination of being an intimidating hitter and excellent coverage man. How many other strong safeties in NFL history could lock down slot receivers? Woodson played in five Pro Bowls, won three Super Bowls and holds the franchise record with 1,350 tackles.

Harvey Martin – The NFL didn’t officially recognize sacks as a statistic until Martin’s final two seasons, but the Cowboys credit him as the franchise record holder with 114 in his career. That included a team-record 23 in 1977, when Martin was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. The South Oak Cliff product finished that season as the co-MVP of the Super Bowl. He deserves to be honored posthumously.

Cornell Green The name probably doesn’t ring a bell for a lot of younger readers, but Green merits serious consideration for the Ring of Honor. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro defensive back in the 1960 and ‘70s, spending most of his career at cornerback before shifting to strong safety. He played all 13 seasons of his career for the Cowboys and was a Pro Bowler on their first Super Bowl title team.

Nate Newton Six Pro Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl rings are accomplishments that speak for themselves. Plus, you can just listen to Larry Allen, who speaks very little. When Allen mentions his NFL role models, Nate Newton is the first name out of his mouth.

Jimmy Johnson – This is one is complicated. The coach spent only five seasons in Dallas and had a nasty, highly publicized divorce with Jones. But Jerry said Friday that he would seriously consider Johnson for the Ring of Honor. Johnson was the architect of a dynasty that went 25-7 and won a pair of Super Bowls in his last two seasons.

Harvey Martin Classic moving to Arlington

January, 12, 2011
The Harvey Martin Classic, a game pitting Texas A&M Commerce vs. a team from the Lone Star Conference, is moving from the Cotton Bowl to Cowboys Stadium for the 2011 season.

The three-year old game was named after the former Cowboys defensive lineman, who attended East Texas State, which is now Texas A&M Commerce.

Last season, Texas A&M Kingsville beat Commerce, 21-0.

"The vision is to have the game associated with the Cowboys," said Commerce athletic director Carlton Cooper. "We're very excited about this opportunity to move the classic to Arlington. This event will be great for our conference and great exposure for our Texas A&M Commerce family."

The Classic is part of a triple-header of games for Sept. 17 from the Lone Star Conference that will have Abilene Christian, Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M. The triple header will feature two conference games and one nonconference contest.

No Ring of Honor ceremony this season

July, 23, 2010
SAN ANTONIO -– The Ring of Honor will remain the same for at least one more season.

Jerry Jones, the one-man selection committee, ruled out a Ring of Honor induction ceremony this season.

“Not this year,” he said. “And it has nothing to do with any individuals. It has everything to do with the celebration of the Super Bowl, the celebration of Emmitt and then the 50th year celebration and really still in my mind opening the stadium. With all of that, we just wouldn’t have that [this year].”

The Cowboys have not added to their exclusive club since 2005, when the Triplets (Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith) were inducted.

That leaves out several strong candidates, such as Drew Pearson, Harvey Martin, Charles Haley, Jay Novacek and Darren Woodson. They’ll have to wait at least one more year.