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Thursday, August 4, 2011
Potential Ring of Honor candidates

By Calvin Watkins

SAN ANTONIO -- There is a Hot Button debate regarding Deion Sanders and if he should be in the Cowboys' Ring of Honor. Sanders did play five seasons with the Cowboys, snagging 14 interceptions, scoring one offensive touchdown and returning four punts for touchdowns.

He was an elite corner when he played for the Cowboys, but he didn't play long enough to be considered a 'Cowboy'. Sanders has even said he doesn't belong in the Ring-of-Honor.

The last time the Cowboys put anybody in the Ring of Honor was 2005 when the Triplets, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin, went in.

In the first year of Cowboys Stadium, Jerry Jones, the team owner and one-man committee regarding who gets in, said he didn't want to induct anybody into the new $1.2 billion palace so the stadium could be celebrated. Last year might have been more about the Super Bowl coming to North Texas, so Jones didn't want to distract from that.

Could this be the year? We're not sure.

But when Jones decides to open the doors to the Ring of Honor, we have some players he should consider.

Drew Pearson
"The Original 88" led the team in receiving four times and is second in franchise history with 489 career catches. Only Irvin (750) has more. Pearson is a three-time All Pro, who was named to the All Decade team of the 1970s. He led the NFL in receiving yards in 1977.

Too Tall Jones
Jones is third in franchise history with 106 sacks and might have had more if not for a brief tour as a boxer. Jones was a three-time Pro Bowler, who at 34 compiled 13 sacks in 1985. He, along with Pearson, remains one of the more popular Cowboys even in retirement.

Charlie Waters
The safety is third all-time in franchise history with 41 interceptions, with Mel Renfro (52) and Everson Walls (44) having more. Waters was named an All Pro twice by the Pro Football Writers Association of America and was a three-time Pro Bowler.

Larry Allen
Considered one of the best guards of his era, Allen was a six-time All-Pro and an 11-time Pro Bowler. In his 12 seasons with the Cowboys, Allen started every game nine times including his final season with the club in 2005.

Darren Woodson
He is the all-time leader in total tackles with 1,350 and solo tackles at 787. Woodson was one of those safeties who could cover tight ends and sometimes wide receivers due to his athletic ability. He was a three-time All-Pro player.

Jimmy Johnson
Along with Jones, Johnson rebuilt the franchise in the 1990s, having won two Super Bowl titles. You could say Johnson wasn't here long enough, much like Sanders, but in his five seasons he won two division titles and won 80 games.

Harvey Martin
He led the Cowboys in sacks seven seasons, more than any other player, and he is also the franchise leader in sacks with 114. Martin set a single-season record with 23 sacks in 1977. In 1977, he was named Associated Press' NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the Super Bowl Co-MVP.