Jerry Jones deserves credit for ROH

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For so many Cowboys fans, the Ring of Honor has been a source of consternation since Jerry Jones became a one-man committee more than 20 years ago.

Too many fans spend more time complaining about who hasn't been honored than enjoying the legacies of the players and contributors who have.

The anger needs to stop.

Right now.

Jerry gets it. Finally.

He proved it Friday by announcing Drew Pearson, Charles Haley and Larry Allen will be added to the Ring of Honor on Nov. 6 against Seattle.

Jerry nailed this one.

He pulled Pearson from the Tom Landry-Tex Schramm Cowboys. He grabbed Haley from the Jimmy Johnson era, and he selected Allen from the post-Jimmy days.


Sure, some folks will continue grumbling that Harvey Martin or Cornell Green or Everson Walls or Charlie Waters or some other deserving player isn't in the Ring of Honor.

And you know what? That's fine. The Ring of Honor, in some respects, belongs to the fans.

The reality, however, is that Jerry can't please every fan. He shouldn't even try.

Adding Pearson was a no-brainer, really. You can't write the history of the Dallas Cowboys without a chapter on the undrafted free agent receiver with the huge Afro who became one of the most clutch players in franchise history.

"With Drew sitting beside me, Tex is smiling," Jerry said of the Cowboys' former general manager. "When someone goes in there, I hope that person would say he's a Dallas Cowboy."

Adding Haley and Allen shows Jerry finally has a firm grasp on just how important the Ring of Honor is to helping players get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In the past, Jerry wanted to admit only those players who were in the Hall of Fame into the Ring of Honor. We all can agree that's a ridiculously high standard.

A franchise shouldn't honor only its greatest players; it should honor players who affected the franchise and left a legacy -- even if those players aren't among the greatest to ever play the game.

Jerry acknowledged having Haley in the Ring of Honor might be just enough of a nudge to get the former defensive end into the Hall of Fame. Haley was a finalist for the Hall last season.

Allen, one of the best linemen in NFL history, should join Rayfield Wright as the only Cowboys offensive linemen in the Hall of Fame as soon as he's eligible.

But we all know Hall of Fame voting is a tricky thing. It's completely subjective and it's hard to find a voter without some agenda.

It's even more subjective for linemen because they don't have a bunch of statistics attached to their names.

Putting Haley and Allen in the Ring of Honor eliminates the argument that suggests a player shouldn't be worthy of the Hall of Fame if he's not even good enough to get into the club's Ring of Honor.

"Charles Haley has five Super Bowl rings, and he won three with the Cowboys," Jerry said as he looked at Haley. "I hope the sixth ring he gets is a Hall of Fame ring now that we have you in the Ring of Honor."

For some reason, Jerry didn't want to acknowledge he's had a shift in philosophy.

It doesn't matter. All you have to do is look at his actions to see he's changed his approach regarding the biggest honor the Cowboys can bestow upon a player.

And when DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten end their careers, you can bet they won't wait more than three or four years to be placed in the Ring of Honor because each of them should eventually wind up with a bust in Canton.

For now, we know someday soon Haley and Allen will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and being a member of the Ring of Honor can only help. For Pearson, it's an honor long overdue.

And for Jerry, it's a job well done.

Jean-Jacques Taylor is a columnist for ESPNDallas.com.