Dallas Cowboys: Hall of Fame

When will Jerry Jones be inducted?

August, 4, 2013
CANTON, Ohio – Larry Allen became the fifth Cowboy of the Jerry Jones era to earn induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders.

Jones has been considered for the Hall of Fame in recent years and should one day be enshrined in Canton for his tenure as the Cowboys' owner and general manager.

He has presented Irvin, Smith and Allen for induction. Perhaps one day his sons, Stephen or Jerry Jr., or daughter, Charlotte, will present him for induction.

Stephen Jones, the Cowboys' executive vice president, believes his father has earned entrance into the Hall.

“He should be, in my opinion, for what he’s done for the game,” Stephen Jones said. “Obviously I’m biased being his son, but what he’s done for the NFL and the passion he has for the game, you just hope he gets the chance. And I’m sure he will, but you never take something like that for granted. Obviously there’s no bigger fan than myself for my father to one day get that opportunity.”

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.”
OXNARD, Calif. -- We’ve all heard stories about Larry Allen's strength, power and the raw athleticism that made him one of the best offensive linemen ever.

We can all recite the stories about him bench-pressing 700 pounds and chasing New Orleans linebacker Darion Connor 50 yards to prevent a touchdown as a rookie.

And we’ve all seen video of him destroying linebackers and defensive backs when he pulled, creating running lanes for Emmitt Smith.

“Across the board, he was the best football player I ever played with -- and I played with them all,” former Cowboys safety Darren Woodson said. “Troy [Aikman], Emmitt, Michael [Irvin], Deion [Sanders] ... Larry Allen was the best.

“He was also the smartest.”

Say what?

That’s right. Talk to any player or coach who played with Allen during his 12 seasons in Dallas and they’ll tell you he was among the game’s most intelligent players.

Former offensive line coach Hudson Houck used to joke that Allen was the best offensive linemen on the field and in the classroom.

“He wanted to know everyone’s assignment,” six-time Pro Bowl guard Nate Newton said. “If the quarterback was rolling out, he wanted to know exactly where he was supposed to end up so he could adjust his block properly.

“He always asked a lot of questions, but he asked a lot of smart questions. He always wanted to know what we were supposed to do if the defensive player didn’t do what we thought he would do.”

Allen was a second-round pick from tiny Division II Sonoma State in the 1994 draft. Six games into the season, he was starting. The six-time All-Pro played every position except center on the offensive line.

“Do you know how smart you have to be to go from playing at Sonoma State to starting for a two-time Super Bowl champion?” Woodson said. “Think about how big that jump is. Think about the kind of offense we had in Dallas and what he ran at Sonoma State.

“I don’t know how Larry did in math or what kind of grades he made, but he understood everything about football and concepts and that’s what helped make him a great player. He anticipated things because he knew where everyone was on the field and he could adjust.”
Larry Allen is the best offensive lineman to ever play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Please don't turn that into a slight against Rayfield Wright, the former tackle who's already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, because it's certainly not intended to be one.

It's no different than saying Michael Irvin is the best receiver to ever play for the Cowboys. Or Roger Staubach is the best quarterback to ever play for the Cowboys.

We all know Bob Hayes was a great player, a man who literally changed the game and is worthy of his bronze bust. And we certainly all know Troy Aikman was among the best to ever play and that his stats would've been much gaudier if he hadn't spent much of his career handing the ball to Emmitt Smith.

Wright, as agile a lineman as the game has ever seen, earned every accolade he HAs received, including a long-overdue invitation to join the best of the best.

Somehow, it took more than 20 years after his career ended for Wright to join the small fraternity of players in the Hall of Fame.

It shouldn't take Allen that long.

You have every right to be shocked if Allen's name doesn't get announced Saturday for induction into the Hall of Fame.

Read the whole story here.

Coming Monday: The ESPN Dallas Hall of Fame

August, 5, 2011
Starting an ESPN Dallas Hall of Fame? Yes we are. But the rest is up to you.

Beginning Monday, we’ll open voting for what we believe will open up intense debate to elect an inaugural five inductees. For one week, you’ll be able to vote on 20 Dallas-Fort Worth sports legends and determine which are most worthy.

We assembled a star-studded panel, which we’ll reveal on Monday, that cut the list down to 20 finalists. We’ll let them give their arguments, and try to sway your votes and we’ll let you discuss the candidates among yourselves.

There are players, coaches and owners from teams and schools around the metroplex. There are also some other famous sports figures who were born or lived in the DFW area.

We’ve given you a start, but we can’t wait to see what you come up with for the inaugural ESPN Dallas Hall of Fame class.

Check back and start voting on Monday, Aug. 8. We’ll reveal the inaugural class on Monday, Aug. 15.
It was an easy decision to induct Deion Sanders into the Hall of Fame.

Deion Sanders, on the road to Canton, joins Ben & Skin to discuss if the Hall of Fame inductee deserves to be added to the Dallas Cowboys' Ring of Honor.

Listen Listen
How about the Ring of Honor?

Ben Rogers and Todd Archer debate on the ESPNDallas.com Hot Button about whether Sanders, who spent five seasons in Dallas and won one Super Bowl with the Cowboys, belongs among the franchise’s immortals. Sanders’ opinion on the issue might surprise you.

“That’s not for me,” Sanders said on ESPN 103.3’s Ben and Skin Show. “I don’t want that accolade. I don’t deserve it.”

So far, almost two-thirds of the voters agree with Prime Time’s take.

Hot Button: Does Deion belong in Ring of Honor?

August, 3, 2011

As Deion Sanders prepares to high step down the sideline into NFL immortality this weekend, we couldn't help but to reflect on his time here with the Dallas Cowboys.

There's absolutely no debating that Deion belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which he'll enter Sunday. But what about the Cowboys' Ring of Honor?

Now there's a Hot Button debate, both for our staffers -- in this case, Ben Rogers and Todd Archer -- and fans, alike.

Click here to vote if he should be added to the Ring. Then after reading what Ben and Todd had to say, debate with other fans here.

Emmitt Smith thanks former teammates

August, 7, 2010

An emotional Emmitt Smith thanks former teammates Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston at his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

Emmitt Smith and Jerry Jones on speeches

August, 6, 2010

CLEVELAND -- On Saturday night, Emmitt Smith will get inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It's closure for the NFL's all-time leading rusher, from an athletic standpoint.

What he'll say will be not about him, but about everybody else who helped shape his life as a football player.

"The overall theme for me and the baseline for this entire weekend is not necessarily about me," Smith said to reporters in Canton, Ohio, on Friday. "It’s about the people truly that have helped shape the foundation which I stand upon. That stretches back to Pensacola itself, the coaches that I had in Pop Warner football all the way through high school, college as well as the National Football League. Unfortunately from a time standpoint, I only have so much time. I’ve got to pick and choose which ones I need to talk about."

Jerry Jones will introduce Smith, who is scheduled to be inducted last Saturday night. Jones introduced Michael Irvin when he was inducted in 2007. The Cowboys owner and president said he will take that experience to help him in his speech about Smith.

Jones, who has always enjoyed a personal relationship with a bulk of his players, said he's going to be nervous and emotional when he makes his speech about Smith.

"I'm worried at any time I've made a public speech," Jones said this week. "If I'm not nervous, I really would, frankly I like it when I'm a little under the weather, or more than I should, I like to be able to be on top of it and overcome it and it seems like I have a little more energy when I'm talking."

Emmitt on Cowboys: 'Made giant strides'

July, 19, 2010
Former Cowboys great and Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith had some doubts about last year's team, which proved him wrong by winning the NFC East and a playoff game for the first time in more than a decade.

On a conference call with reporters Monday, Smith said he was impressed with what the Cowboys did last year and hopes they can build on it in 2010.

NFC East blogger Matt Mosley broke the conference call down.

Rest of HOF presenters announced

May, 12, 2010
We already knew that running back Emmitt Smith had selected Jerry Jones as his presenter at the Hall of Fame inductions Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio.

On Wednesday, the rest of the presenters were revealed.

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson will introduce linebacker Rickey Jackson, and former San Francisco 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo Jr. will present Jerry Rice.

Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little will be introduced by his son, Marc. Also going the family route is Detroit Lions defensive back Dick LeBeau, who picked his brother, Bob.

Russ Grimm will be presented by Joe Bugel, his former line coach with the Washington Redskins.