Dallas Cowboys: Hall of Fame

Larry Allen to get Hall of Fame ring Sunday

October, 11, 2013
Guard Larry Allen will receive his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring at halftime of the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium.

Allen, who was named first-team All-NFL seven straight seasons for the Cowboys, is the second member of the seven-man 2013 Hall of Fame class to receive his ring (former Cowboys, Giants, Patriots and Jets coach Bill Parcells got his in Week 2).

If you want to take a peek at the ring, you can do so here.

As part of the ceremony, Allen's Hall of Fame gold jacket and bronze bust will be on display as they have been temporarily removed from the Hall and shipped to Dallas.

CANTON, Ohio -- Larry Allen's speech lasted 16 minutes. Not sure anyone thought it would go more than 10 since he's a man of so few words.

Here are some highlights:

About being a man of few words: "During my career, I didn't talk that much, but I didn't have to. I used my helmet."

About his wife Janelle: "On our first date, she cooked for me. She cooked me two chickens, french fries, baked me a cake and gave me a 40 ounce. I knew then, that was my wife."

About his son, Larry III: "Very polite. But once he gets on that field, he's a beast just like his daddy."

About his grandmother: "When I was 14, she sat me down and said, 'Larry, you need to find out what you're good and go do it.' I think I did that, Granny."

About bench pressing 700 pounds: "I got in that weight room and became the strongest man in the NFL. I did it naturally. What's funny is once I benched 700 pounds, they tested me two times a week for the rest of my career."

About his career: "My goal was simple: to earn a seven-letter word called 'respect.' The respect of my teammates, opponents and the NFL. Today, my mission is complete."

Larry Allen and Bill Parcells found themselves at the wrong point in their careers, when Parcells took over the Dallas Cowboys in 2003.

Allen, a great player, was a 10-year veteran trying to squeeze a few more years out of his body. Parcells, a great coach, was trying to make the Cowboys a winner after the worst three-year stretch of the Jerry Jones era.

We shouldn't be surprised they clashed.

The surprise is that it was rooted in Allen's offseason approach. Allen wanted his offseason conditioning program built around the bench press, which is what he'd always done. Parcells wanted him doing clean and jerks as the base of his offseason program because it's an exercise that builds strength and power.

"I was paid to play football," Allen said. "I just wanted to do what I had always done. It's what made me the player I was and I wanted to do it my way."

Parcells said Allen's personality made it difficult for them to develop a rapport or find a common ground. If Allen hadn't signed a six-year, $37 million contract extension in 2002, he probably wouldn't have lasted three seasons with Parcells.

"I think he’s a good person. I always thought that. He was a little overweight at the time," Parcells said of the 2004 training camp. "He wasn't in great condition. I’m trying to get my program started and I got him -- one of my best players supposed to be running wind sprints up and down the field not practicing. That was hard for him and that was hard for me.

"I never really conversed with Larry on an intimate basis. I see him and he’s cordial and nice. He had a great career."

Despite their differences, Parcells said Allen is one of the top three guards he's ever seen.

"He’s right there at the top with John Hannah and Mike Munchak," Parcells said. "Larry was very powerful, probably the most powerful player I’d ever seen."
Bill Parcells knows exactly why Quincy Carter failed with the Cowboys. And it has nothing to do with drugs. Or mental illness.

The 2001 second-roound pick -- the 53rd player taken -- had a substantial fear of success.

That's why he figured out a way to get released in training camp less than a year after leading the Cowboys to a 10-6 record and their first playoff berth since 1999.

"I became pretty close with Quincy personally, and this kid had a lot of good qualities," Parcells said. "He was smart. He understood it. But I just couldn’t save his ass. I really couldn’t.

"You just didn’t have the time. There he is, he got his team in the playoffs, he’s the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, he’s playing good, he’s improving, he can get out of trouble, he’s pretty smart, he can make almost every throw -- and it’s just, some people just can’t fight the pressure to succeed.

"They just can’t fight it. It’s too much on them once the bar gets up a little bit. It’s too much. I don’t know all the problems or the demons exactly, but that’s what eventually took him down."

Carter started three games for the New York Jets in 2004 and never played another NFL down.

Tony Romo was an undrafted free agent on the 2004 Cowboys, hoping to prove he belonged in the NFL. Forty-one-year-old Vinny Testeverde, who started 15 games, and Drew Henson were also on the roster for the Cowboys, who finished 6-10.

Less than three seasons later, Romo started his first game for the Cowboys. Now, he's one of the league's best quarterbacks.

Parcells wasn't surprised Romo received an opportunity to play.

"There were a couple of guys there that I knew I was going to have trouble counting on," Parcells said. "Henson because of his newness and he didn’t seem to be able to sort things out and Quincy because of, you know ... "

Bill Parcells 'proud' of DeMarcus Ware

August, 2, 2013
CANTON, Ohio – On Aug. 22, 2005, it did not take DeMarcus Ware long to make an impression.

Going against Seattle’s perennial Pro Bowl tackle Walter Jones in just his second preseason game ever, Ware had three tackles, two forced fumbles, a sack, an interception, a pass deflection and a fumble recovery.


Parcells was quick to remind those asking questions after the game to not get Ware’s bust for the Pro Football Hall of Fame ready just yet.

“With this media the way it is nowadays and the internet and the social media, we’re quick to anoint these guys,” Parcells said Friday. “You know, that’s the last thing he needed to hear, in my opinion, at the time because he really didn’t know what the hell he was doing and that was the truth. But he found out and he continued to do it well. I’m proud of him and he’s turned into quite a football player.”

Perhaps one who could have his bust at the Pro Football Hall of Fame with Parcells’ bust. Ware has been named to the Pro Bowl for the last seven years and his 111 sacks are a team record.

“He’s done a terrific job, that kid,” Parcells said. “He’s a good competitive kid and he’s a high-quality person, highly motivated. He’s a quality guy.”
A year after Bill Parcells retired, the Cowboys went 13-3 and posted the best record in the NFC.

So does Parcells have any regrets about not hanging around at least one more year because there’s a good chance he could’ve taken his third different team to the Super Bowl?

Instead, he wound up with same number of playoff wins as Dave Campo after four seasons. The difference, of course, is that Parcells built the foundation of that 2007 team.

“We had talented players by that time, and it had transitioned from what you would call a smaller, quicker style of play to a bigger more powerful style,” Parcells said of the transition to the 3-4 defense. “We had some good backs. We had some pretty good receivers. Tony (Romo) was coming along, but I don’t look back at that stuff.

“You decide what you’re going to do. You don’t base it on what might be in the future because you just don’t know.”

Charles Haley, Bill Parcells miss HOF

February, 4, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The selections for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for Charles Haley and Bill Parcells will have to wait at least another year.

Haley and Parcells made it to the final 10 of the voting process but did not get further.

The 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame class consists of Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf.

Dallas native Tim Brown did not make it past the final 15.

Haley has been a finalist the last few years and is the only player with five Super Bowl rings. He won two with San Francisco and three with the Cowboys in the 1990s. The Cowboys had hoped that his inclusion in the team’s Ring of Honor would help his Hall of Fame case in 2012.

Haley finished with 100.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl five times with two All-Pro selections.

Parcells coached the Cowboys from 2003-06 and had a 34-30 regular season record. He won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, took New England to a Super Bowl and is the only coach to take four different teams to the playoffs.
Former defensive end Charles Haley and coach Bill Parcells are the men with Cowboys ties who made survived the cut to 17 Hall of Fame finalists, including two senior nominees.

This is the third consecutive year that Haley, the only player in NFL history to earn five Super Bowl rings, made the list of finalists. Haley, who is in his eighth year of Hall of Fame eligibility, did not make the cut to 10 candidates last year. The discussion on Haley during the seven-hour, 25-minute selection meeting lasted only six minutes.

One reason Jerry Jones put Haley, who played for the 49ers the majority of his career, in the Ring of Honor despite only a five-year tenure with the Cowboys is because Jones wanted to send a strong message to the Hall of Fame selection committee.

Parcells, who coached the Cowboys from 2003-06, is technically in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility. However, he was a finalist in 2001 and 2002, which was before the Hall of Fame bylaws required a coach to be retired for five years to be considered. Parcells oversaw the turnaround of four NFL franchises has an overall record of 183-138-1, winning two Super Bowls with the New York Giants.

Former Raiders receiver Tim Brown, who graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, is also a finalist again.

No Jerry Jones for Deion Sanders

July, 11, 2011
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.

Tyron Smith talks Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame

April, 28, 2011

IRVING, Texas -- Tyron Smith, the Cowboys' first-round pick, did not waste any time in setting high expectations for himself during his introductory press conference with the local media.

“I think I have the potential to be a Pro Bowler and be a Hall of Famer,” Smith said.

Well then, that’s quite a bold statement for a 20-year-old with only 24 college starts. The Cowboys would certainly take that level of play. They have not had much success in recent years selecting offensive lineman in the early rounds. The last to really pan out was Andre Gurode, a second-rounder in 2002, and the Cowboys were willing to part ways with him after his rookie contract ran out. But he re-signed, moved to center and has played in the last five Pro Bowls.

Smith said he was aware that he was the first offensive lineman selected by the Cowboys in the first round since 1981, when Dallas took Howard Richards.

The Cowboys are counting on Smith playing right away, so he will have a chance early to show his potential.

“I’m willing to take the challenge for myself and willing to work hard for it,” Smith said.

Steve Young: Sanders first shut-down CB

February, 5, 2011
DALLAS -- Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young has an interesting perspective on Deion Sanders. He was a teammate of Sanders’ for a year in San Francisco in 1994 and an opponent in several big games before and after.

“He was the first shut-down corner ever,” Young said of Sanders. “He introduced the concept.”

Sanders was instrumental in the Niners winning the Super Bowl in 1994 after signing there as a free agent.

“We needed a defensive threat,” Young said. “We could score points. We just needed to slow down the biggest and baddest teams and that’s what he did that year.”

Young said Deion was a great teammate and a “marketing genius.” He wasn’t the toughest corner, according to Young, but he was the best.

“We know everyone feared him so much for his athletic ability that I don’t know that he had to necessarily tackle that much,” Young said. “There was fear there as a quarterback. When he was in Atlanta he made a couple of interceptions off me … when I throw the ball I know whether it’ll be trouble or not. I threw a couple that were not trouble that he took that defied my eye.”

HOF bias seems to be thing of past

February, 5, 2011
DALLAS -- A few years ago there was a belief among many fans and former players that there as a bias against the Cowboys when it came to the voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On Saturday, Deion Sanders became the sixth ex-Cowboy in the last six years to be selected for induction into the Hall of Fame.

It started in 2006 with Troy Aikman and Rayfield Wright. In 2007 it was Michael Irvin’s turn. In 2009, Bob Hayes earned enshrinement. Last year it was Emmitt Smith. And now Sanders.

“That’s pretty special,” Smith said. “It says a lot about how talented our ballclub really was and how well we played together. And it says a lot about how much winning we did together, winning Super Bowls. Performance, week in and week out, is extremely important and having longevity is equally important.”

Charles Haley was among the final 15 modern-era candidates for the second straight year and figures to be a factor in the selection process going forward. Darren Woodson’s name was up for selection as well. So has Jerry Jones'. In a few years Larry Allen’s name will come into the mix. Some of the Landry era Cowboys could find their way into the Veterans Committee mix, like Chuck Howley.

It will never be enough for some Cowboys' fans, but it's much better than before.

Michael Irvin done chasing Jerry Rice

August, 7, 2010
CANTON, Ohio – Michael Irvin showed up for the Hall of Fame ceremonies with a cast on his left foot, the result of a symbolic injury he recently suffered.

Irvin tore his Achilles tendon trying to catch Jerry Rice in a celebrity flag football game.

"I’ve been chasing him all my life," Irvin said of the man who rewrote the NFL’s receiving record book. "There’s no way I will or anybody else will ever catch Jerry Rice, so I’m done with it."

Irvin laughed as he recalled the story of his injury, figuring it was sort of a fitting tribute to the first-ballot Hall of Fame receiver.

Emmitt chooses Jerry as HOF presenter

March, 11, 2010
Jerry Jones will make another speech in Canton this summer.

Emmitt Smith announced on Twitter that Jones accepted his request to present him into the Hall of Fame. Jones also presented Michael Irvin when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

"Im real honored to have this person intro me cuz hes done so much for me in my career," Smith tweeted.

Jones veers toward splitting camp sites

March, 9, 2010
GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said his team is feeling good about the chances of splitting training camp between San Antonio and Oxnard, Calif.

The Cowboys' Hall of Fame game on Aug. 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals allows them to open training camp earlier, which gives them the flexibility to hold camp in two cities.

Jones said the plan would be to start camp in San Antonio and then finish it in Oxnard.

The Cowboys have recently held training camp San Antonio in 2007 and 2009. A scheduling conflict with the Alamodome forced the Cowboys to hold camp in Oxnard in 2008. The city of San Antonio has two years remaining on a five-year deal with the Cowboys to host camp at the Alamodome.

"I'm very positive about it," Jones said on Tuesday, adding that he's working on logistics. "It's got a good chance of happening."