ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cowboys’ Ring of Honor member Cliff Harris was among the 4,500 litigants in the concussion suit that was brought against the NFL and tentatively settled on Thursday for $765 million.
One of the hardest-hitting safeties in NFL history, Harris played for the Cowboys from 1970-79 and won two Super Bowls.
“I’m glad they’ve done something to help either the players that need it now or that are going to need it,” Harris said.
Harris had not read the settlement and was reluctant to comment further on Thursday night. All of the NFL’s retired players are eligible to receive benefits from the settlement. According to the settlement, $675 million of the settlement will be given to former players and families of deceased players afflicted with cognitive injury. Another $75 million will be spent on baseline medical exams, and the league will fund research and education to the tune of $10 million.
Tony Dorsett, who was one of at least 10 Pro Football Hall of Famers involved in the suit, could not be reached for comment, but told the Associated Press, “Football has been my life and football has been kind to be, but when I signed up for this I didn’t know some of the repercussions. I did know I could get injured, but I didn’t know about my head or the trauma or things that could happen to me later in life.”
Co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Christopher Seeger, called Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones a “hard ass,” in the negotiations. On KRLD-FM (105.3 FM) before Thursday’s preseason finale against Houston, Jones spoke about the settlement.
“The players that have been impacted, and the players that could be potentially impacted, will get the money rather than the attorneys,” Jones told the station. “There wasn’t a ‘Who’s right?’ or ‘Who’s wrong?’ here. It’s just that the money will go to the ones that need that. I’m excited that it’s going to result in substantive benefit to the players who helped make this game what it is today.”