Green ready for the Cowboy way

IRVING, Texas -- Darrell Green already has the celebration planned out in his mind.

He has a picture of his son, Jared, on his shoulder when the Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI. Jared was two and unaware of what really happened on Jan. 26, 1992.

"If he gets to the Super Bowl this year, I will be on his shoulders," Darrell Green said recently. "He will have to get me up on his shoulders. That will be so incredible. He's got a lot of work to do, but we're excited about it."

And Darrell, the Redskins' Hall of Fame cornerback, will be wearing his son's No. 85 jersey. A Dallas Cowboys jersey.

"My dad was a player at that place, and we appreciated everything he did and what the organization allowed him to do, but after that it's just a job Dad worked for 20 years," Jared said. "I'm a grown man, and my dad is supporting what I do and we're all-in for the Dallas Cowboys."

Said Darrell: "Daddy doesn't care what the color of the jersey is as long as my son's name is on the back."

Few rivalries in sports have been as intense as Cowboys-Redskins.

Darrell experienced the rivalry for 20 years from the Redskins' point of view. His career spanned Tom Landry, Danny White and Drew Pearson to Jimmy Johnson, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin to Dave Campo, Chad Hutchison/Quincy Carter and Joey Galloway.

Few played as long and as well as Green in NFL history. In 2008, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after making the Pro Bowl seven times and earning All-Pro honors once. He also had two Super Bowl rings.

"Every kid, I don't care what anybody says, any kid in the '90s saw that star and wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy," Jared said. "I don't care who you are or where you're from, you wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy."

Even if your dad played for the Redskins.

Among the posters on Jared's bedroom wall growing up was one of Irvin. A signed No. 88 jersey was in his closet.

Jared could have been a Cowboy last season but signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent instead and spent the season on the Panthers' practice squad. He watched two of his friends from the University of Virginia, Kevin Ogletree and John Phillips, play for the Cowboys against the Panthers last season, and he wondered what it would be like to play for Dallas again.

Last January, he chose to leave the Panthers and sign with the Cowboys after consulting with his father just days after the Redskins won the de facto NFC East division title against the Cowboys in the regular-season finale.

"I remember coming out of Texas A&I [now Texas A&M-Kingsville] the Cowboys sent this big color folder of all their free agents through the years, like Pearson, and my mom got this in the mail," Darrell said. "She was so excited, but I said, 'Hey, I'm going to get drafted,' but the point is they've always been a team that would give you a chance. They always gave the players the opportunity regardless of how they got there."

That's what Jared seeks now. He spent three years at Virginia to earn an anthropology degree and finished his collegiate career at Southern. He had only modest stats, and despite his father's name, he did not get drafted. He caught one pass in the preseason last summer for Carolina, resulting in a 3-yard touchdown.

Over the years, Jared worked out with Irvin and Art Monk, among others, growing up. From his junior year in high school, he trained with his father, one of the fastest players ever to play.

"I guess I'd be crazy if I didn't say speed first," Jared said of a self-scouting report. "That's my go-to. That's what opened doors for me, but, secondly, route-running and technique. I've been blessed to spend a lot of time with guys that ran routes really well and soaked all that in."

Jared stood out at the recent Cowboys' rookie minicamp. The organized team activities start this week in which he will compete against more veteran players. That is followed by the June 11-13 minicamp. After that, he will return home to work out with his dad before heading to Oxnard, Calif., in July for training camp.

"This kid gets it," Darrell said. "I pray he gets his opportunity because he'll beat me. He'll do better. He'll be a better dad, a better husband, a better community leader, a better football player, a better everything. I just pray this happens."

After the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI, Darrell had a mold of the championship ring made into a necklace for his son.

"I used to wear that a lot. Now, I won't wear it now because I want my own," Jared said. "When he goes and speaks, he'll wear his rings. It's special, but, as a kid, you say, 'Oh, man, that's a cool ring,' but now that I'm in the NFL it's, 'Man, that took a lot of work to get that.' I've got a great appreciation for the ring now, moreso than when it was a sparkling toy when I was little."

If this story works out the way the Greens want, the son will get the father a ring.

That it would have a Cowboy star would not matter.