Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/5/11

This week is the Dallas Cowboys ring of honor week where they introduce the newest members of to the Ring of Honor. The Ring of Honor began at Texas Stadium on November 23rd 1975 with the induction of Bob Lilly. Mr. Lilly was the first ever pick by the Dallas Cowboys and retired after 14 years, all as a Dallas Cowboy. He set the standard as a Cowboy and an inductee. That is who all others should be compared.

In the class of players in the ring there are

3 Quarterbacks

Dandy Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, and Troy Aikman: Each player was with the Cowboys for 9, 11, and 12 seasons. All played with Dallas for the entirety of their careers.

2 Running backs

Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith: Both were drafted by the Cowboys and played 11 and 13 seasons with the Cowboys.

3 Receivers Bob Hayes, Michael Irvin, Drew Pearson They played 10, 12 and 11 seasons with the Cowboys and all were drafted or signed by the Cowboys for their first NFL team.

The list continues with players like Mel Renfro (14 seasons), Randy White (14), Tex Schramm (30), Don Perkins (8), Tom Landry (29), Chuck Howley (13), Lee Roy Jordan (13), Larry Allen (12), Rayfield Wright (13) and Cliff Harris (10), who all have several seasons with Dallas. While there are some players on this list like Chuck Howley and Don Perkins were drafted by other teams but spent a majority of their days in a Cowboys uniform. With all of these credentials you would think there should be a minimum requirement. There is only so much space on the ring itself, so something has to limit who makes is.

Allen once bench pressed over 700 pounds, but that was the least of his contributions to the Cowboys.

This year’s inductees of Larry Allen and Drew Pearson spent the greater portion of their careers with the Cowboys. Larry Allen paved the way for Emmit Smith. He was a pro bowler at two offensive line positions. Pearson was a part of that team that created the moniker “America’s Team”. He made the legendary catch versus the Vikings in the playoffs and helped make Roger Staubach who he is. Then we have Charles Haley. Haley was a great player and there is no doubt that he helped Dallas in some Super Bowls. However, does he deserve to be in the Ring of Honor?

I say no. Haley played for the 49ers before he came to Dallas, and he played for the 49ers afterward. He spent more time on the roster of not only another team, but a heated rival during those seasons. He was not drafted by Dallas and should not be in the Ring of Honor. If you want to talk about stats as a Cowboy, there is a long list of others who deserve to be in the Ring before him. Jim Jeffcoat, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Tony Tolbert and Greg Ellis all have better stats as a Cowboy that Haley. Heck Jeffcoat is even better when you add up both players’ all time stats. Too Tall played 8 seasons before they started counting sacks and I have never seen Haley run down a player from behind like Jones has.

There is no good reason other than Jerry Jones wanted another one of “his” guys in the Ring. I think that it is a black spot on the Dallas Cowboys and their history. The Ring deserves better. When I say better I mean a better Cowboy. Someone who has put in the seasons as a Cowboy, who built the franchise, who would fit in line with what Bob Lilly started. I see Haley as a great player, just not a great Cowboy. His name should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his Super Bowl rings and his play. However, he is not a committed Cowboy in the same regard as Lilly, Allen, and Pearson and it truly is an insult to those players to have Haley’s name up there.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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