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Thursday, October 9, 2003
Updated: October 10, 10:34 AM ET
Schramm ceremony set for Sunday

ESPN

IRVING, Texas -- When Tex Schramm dreamed up the Ring of Honor, he always knew one day his name would hang alongside the other greats in team history.

It will finally happen Sunday, 15 seasons after he left the club and 12 years after he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Sadly, it also comes four months after Schramm died.

Schramm was the team's president and general manager before there even was a team and lasted through 29 seasons. He hired Tom Landry and the other 10 people whose names already adorn the facade of Texas Stadium's upper deck.

The players all have their jersey numbers next to their names. A fedora hat is next to Landry's. There's been no word on how Schramm will be honored, but the team's star logo would be fitting since he helped turn it into a worldwide icon.

Other Ring members and Schramm's family will take part in the ceremony at halftime of Sunday's game against the Eagles. Former Cowboys broadcaster Verne Lundquist will be the master of ceremonies.

While most current Cowboys aren't familiar with Schramm, coach Bill Parcells certainly is. He respects how Schramm helped build both the Cowboys and the NFL into sports giants.

"I think he was part of the pioneering, though it wasn't at the inception of the league, when the league made the transition from being a fledgling, unproven, secondary sport into being a primary sport in this country," Parcells said. "He was right in the middle of that mix and one of the key figures in enabling the NFL to be successful."

The Cowboys already had reached five Super Bowls, winning two, when Parcells became an NFL head coach. He joined the Cowboys in January, three months before team owner Jerry Jones patched his long feud with Schramm. Their reconciliation resulted in Jones' April announcement that Schramm would be entering the Ring.

Schramm is the first honoree since Bob Hayes in 2001. Other honorees in the Jones era include Landry, Tony Dorsett, Randy White and Lee Roy Jordan.

Those enshrined during Schramm's tenure were Bob Lilly (first, in 1975), Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Chuck Howley, Mel Renfro and Roger Staubach.

Dallas is 7-2 in games played on days of Ring ceremonies.

FINE FUND: Bill Parcells is building up a tidy sum of money beyond the millions of dollars Jerry Jones is paying him to coach the Cowboys. He's taking it from players who are late for meetings or miss a weightlifting session.

Without laying out the fee schedule, Parcells admitted to taking $500 from one player who skipped a workout.

"They get to where they know it," Parcells said. "I've collected quite a bit of money in fines already this year. I'll let you know when I do something with it.

"Right now, I'm investing it," he said, smiling.

Parcells said he's not a nitpicker when it comes to enforcing rules.

"There are some things that I just won't tolerate and other things that I'm looser than probably most modern-day coaches," he said. "I expect my players to be on time and pay attention. If they're not on time, they get fined.

"Now, if I ask them to be in the hotel at 8 o'clock at night for an 8:30 meeting and they're there at two minutes after eight, I won't fine them for that. They didn't miss their meeting. But if I say the meeting is at 8:30 in the morning and they come at 8:37 or 8:35, they get fined because they're missing something."

Like some extra cash.

MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY: Bill Parcells and Andy Reid know each other best through former Packers general manager Ron Wolf. They've admired each other from afar and have had some contact, although they've never gone head-to-head in a regular-season game.

In 1999, Parcells was in his last year coaching the Jets and Reid was in his first year coaching the Eagles when they met in the preseason. Parcells wished Reid good luck and not to hang his head if things don't go his way.

"He said it's a tough business and if things don't go well and you someone to talk to, just let me know," Reid said. "He called me once that first year after we started 0-5 and he kind of pumped me up a little bit."

Parcells still admires Reid.

"I think he's a committed coach and has a passion for the game," he said. "I think he's done a very good job there in Philly.

"Philadelphia is a very difficult place to coach. The city itself, at any sport, it's not easy. ... I think Andy has done a good job in dealing with all that."

From talking to Wolf, Reid knew Parcells "still had a little bit of the itch" to coach. While Reid is glad Parcells is back in the league, the fact he's in Dallas means their teams will meet twice a year. Reid is 7-1 against the Parcells-less Cowboys, having won six straight.

"I know he wasn't going to put himself in a bad situation," Reid said. "He evaluated that team very close before he took the job. I know that he felt there was talent there and that they could be successful."

BONDING THROUGH BASEBALL: Bill Parcells is a baseball fan. Quincy Carter is a former minor-league outfielder for the Chicago Cubs.

That common ground has given them a lot to talk about lately, with Parcells joking several times about Carter worrying about the Cubs' postseason pitching rotation.

Parcells also has been peppering Carter with baseball trivia. Carter struck out when asked who was the first black player in the American League (Larry Doby).

Given time to research what baseball player was traded for himself, Carter nailed it: Harry Chiti, who in 1962 was traded from Cleveland to the New York Mets for a player to be named, then two months later wound up being that player.

QUOTEBOX: "We've always thought we had the talent. Now we've got the coaching to go along with it." -- Quincy Carter.