FRISCO, Texas -- Sixteen of the 21 members of the Dallas Cowboys' Ring of Honor and four family members of those deceased took part in a ceremony Monday at The Star unveiling monuments acknowledging the former Cowboys' careers.
Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Chuck Howley, Rayfield Wright, Cliff Harris, Roger Staubach, Don Perkins, Drew Pearson, Randy White, Lee Roy Jordan, Tony Dorsett, Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Charles Haley and Darren Woodson were joined by the children of Don Meredith, Tom Landry, Bob Hayes and Tex Schramm: Michael Meredith, Tom Landry Jr., Adrienne Hayes Thomas and Kandy Court.
The only Ring of Honor member not in attendance or represented by a family member was Larry Allen.
In addition to the monuments, pictures of the players are hung along a concourse next to restaurants and shops.
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“This is a great way to be memorialized within the Cowboys' facility and everything they’re doing here around here in Texas,” said Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. “Those monuments will be there for a long time. If my kids ever forget what their daddy used to do, they can always have a place to go. So it’s great. It’s wonderful.”
Said Aikman: “I think the meaningful thing for those of us that are in it is that it’s a small number, and you’re talking about an organization that has won five world championships and a lot of great players. And so from that standpoint, it means a lot. On the other hand, as I said, I understand that there are some that are very deserving that aren’t in, but I know when you go around to some of these other stadiums, there’s a lot of names; sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming with the number of names, and I think that’s been one of the neat things for Dallas’ history or their Ring of Honor is that there aren’t as many names.”
After the ceremony, the players and families of those in attendance joined the current players for a lunch prior to practice at the Ford Center.
Head coach Jason Garrett tries to get the current and former players to mingle as much as possible at different times during the year.
For Jason Witten, who is likely a Ring of Honor member whenever his career ends, the chance to interact with the franchise greats is meaningful.
“It’s two different generations,” Witten said. “Roger’s always been a great resource for me over the years and amazing just how successful he is and how he just roots for us, always just genuinely pulling for us and a great man off the field. Michael is someone I’ve enjoyed being with. Just unbelievable passion, represented so much of what they were about. Emmitt’s been somebody I looked up to as a kid and had the opportunity to be around. Those guys in the '90s are just great resources for all of us.”