Dallas Cowboys: Ring of Honor

Who is next for the Ring of Honor?

November, 6, 2011
Today the Cowboys will induct Larry Allen, Charles Haley and Drew Pearson into the Ring of Honor. It's the first time the Cowboys have conducted such an event since the Triplets in 2005.

With that we look at ten players who might be next for the Jerry Jones committee of one to consider.

Harvey Martin.No name resonates more with former Cowboys players than this man. He led the Cowboys in sacks seven times, is the unofficial franchise leader with 114 and holds the single-season mark of 23 sacks in the 1977 season. Before there was Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware, Martin along with Randy White and Bob Lilly set the standard for pass rushers in franchise history.

Bill Bates.A special teams ace and despite making just one Pro Bowl, 1984, he was a beloved figure in Cowboys lore. When you think of outstanding special teams players in Cowboys history, Bates' name comes up first. Nobody was better on a unit the causal fan knew nothing about.

Darren Woodson. A three-time All Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler won three Super Bowl titles. He was a talented safety who not only covered tight ends but wide receivers. His presence is still felt at Valley Ranch, because the Cowboys have not replaced him and his signature is inside a locker of former safety Roy Williams, that's now the home of cornerback Terence Newman.

Everson Walls. He led the Cowboys in interceptions five times, is second all-time in franchise history with 44 and still holds the single-season record with 11 picks in 1981. The 11 picks is also the franchise record for a rookie. It would be nice if Walls gets in with Martin, another Dallas native.

Jimmy Johnson. The second coach in Cowboys history rebuilt the franchise and won two Super Bowl titles and the third one, XXX in 1995 was with Barry Switzer, but it was Johnson's team. The ending was bad, but there's no denying what Johnson meant to the franchise.

Charlie Waters. A three-time Pro Bowler at strong safety, Waters started 22 of 25 playoff games. He was a fierce hitter who gets lost because we talk so much about Cliff Harris. Waters is considered one of the top safeties in Cowboys history.

Deion Sanders.He made his mark with Atlanta, yet, Sanders was a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All Pro and of course won one title with the Cowboys. Sanders holds the career mark for punt return average at 13.3. He was the first big money free agency signed by the Cowboys and he was a playmaker on defense and special teams.

Daryl Johnston. When Emmitt Smith broke the all-time rushing mark, he hugged this man. Johnston didn't miss a game from 1992-to-1995. Johnston is one of the best fullbacks in franchise history, and his blocks paved the way for Smith to get a bulk of his yardage.

Danny White. The third-round pick from Arizona State, made only one Pro Bowl, and he had just one losing season in the years he started, 1987 where he compiled a 3-6 mark at age 35. He took the Cowboys to three NFC title games, never advancing to the Super Bowl. White is second in completions in franchise history at 1,761.

Mark Stepnoski.A five-time Pro Bowler who won three titles. But here's a little known fact: He was named to the second-team of the 1990s All-Decade team. Stepnoski was a solid player during his era, not only with the Cowboys but in the NFL as well.

CANTON, Ohio -- If Jerry Jones is going to put one player in the Ring of Honor this year, it needs to be Drew Pearson.

He should’ve been in the Ring of Honor a long time ago, but we’ll forgive and forget if Jerry -- essentially, a one-man committee -- honors No. 88 sometime this fall.

You can’t write the history of the Dallas Cowboys, which means you can’t write the history of the NFL without discussing Pearson.

Pearson wasn’t all that fast, and he certainly wasn’t that big unless you were talking about his afro.

But there was no one, if you grew up in Dallas in the 70s like I did, that you wanted Roger Staubach to throw the ball to with the game on the line besides Pearson.

He was clutch. All the time.

Pittsburgh had Lynn Swann; Dallas had Pearson.

The Hail Mary in 1975. The fourth-quarter bomb from backup Clint Longley against the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day in 1974.

And don’t forget his game-winning touchdown catch against the Rams in the 1973 playoffs, or the two fourth-quarter touchdowns he scored against the Falcons in the 1980 playoffs.

He caught 489 passes for 7,822 yards and scored 50 touchdowns. Not bad for an undrafted free agent from Tulsa.

He was a great player for the Cowboys.

It’s time Jerry publicly acknowledged it by bestowing him with the greatest honor a player for this franchise can have.

Potential Ring of Honor candidates

August, 4, 2011
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.
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.

It's past time to honor Pearson

January, 13, 2010
IRVING, Texas -- If there was ever an appropriate time to lobby for Drew Pearson's inclusion in the Ring of Honor, it's the week that the Cowboys are playing a playoff game in Minnesota.

After all, Pearson's catch of the original Hail Mary to beat the Vikings in a 1975 playoff game was the highlight of the receiver's remarkable career.

Pearson, a member of the NFL's All-Seventies team, merits the highest honor the Cowboys can give him. Yet it's been 26 years since he retired and he hasn't been a part of any Ring of Honor ceremony. That's simply not right.

"He should be up there with all the rest of us," said Roger Staubach, the Cowboys' quarterback for most of Pearson's career. "I'm certainly hoping that's going to happen. ... Drew Pearson is one of the great all-time receivers and a great Dallas Cowboy."

Staubach is too diplomatic to say this, but he's surely been lobbying owner/general manger/one-man Ring of Honor committee Jerry Jones to give his go-to guy his due glory. As the host committee chairman for Super Bowl XLV, Staubach has gotten to know Jones quite well over the last few years.

It's a solid bet that Pearson will be put of the first Ring of Honor class in Jerry's $1.2 billion football palace.

(Shameless plug: For more from Staubach and Pearson, check out ESPNDallas.com on Friday. I'll write a column about Tony Romo and Miles Austin through the eyes of the Hail Mary connection.)