Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor Selections from the Experts (Wright, Vela)

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Many have questioned whether Charley Haley deserved to be inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. While there were a variety of objections to Haley’s induction, the most common cause of displeasure was that so many other Cowboys players seemed more deserving. That controversy led some of us to start thinking about who should be the next to get inducted in to the Ring. As a result, we created a Top 10 Candidates for the Ring of Honor.

martin6As many of you know, YDCFF recently completed our series on the Top 10 Candidates for the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

You can read about the methodology our panel used to create the list and the Honorable Mentions for players (Calvin Hill, Nate Newton, and George Andrie)who almost made the list here. You can read the profile of all finalists in the Top 10 (Cornell Green, Charlie Waters, Everson Walls, Bill Bates, Harvey Martin, Ed Jones, Darren Woodson, Jay Novacek, Daryl Johnston, and Erik Williams) here.

Given that Jerry Jones has inducted three players in the Ring the last two times he inducted anyone, we decided to select the three players who most deserve to be inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

If you would like to share your selections with the YDCFF community, please send a draft to c.josephwright@yourdailycowboysfootballfix.com

Rafael Vela (Cowboys Nation):

1. Darren Woodson

woodsonOf the ten finalists on the list, I think he’s the most worthy of being in the NFL Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, safety is one of the most under-appreciated and under-represented positions in the Hall. Look at the near 30 year waits the Cards Larry Wilson and Roger Werhli, two ’70s standouts,had to endure before their inductions.

In the ’90s, there were two dominant safeties, Woody and the Packers Leroy Butler. Both were different. Butler was the old-school, in-the-box SS who could turn a game with his blitzing. Woody was the chameleon. He could play deep in centerfield or in the box. He was a converted college linebacker who could cover top wideouts in the slot. During the Cowboys Super Bowl run in ’95, Woodson covered the Raiders Tim Brown when Dallas played nickel. The coaches were not afraid to match him up with guys like Terry Glenn or Cris Carter.

That same year, the 49ers embarrassed the Cowboys with a junk package that matched Jerry Rice against linebackers. The following year, Dave Campo won the re-match by deploying Woodson as the weakside linebacker in the 4-3. He did his job against the run and sparked a Cowboys comeback intercepting an Elvis Grbac crossing route to the same Rice.

woodyWoodson was the eraser on those Cowboys title squads. The Cowboys learned his value the hard way. In 2003, his last season, Woody led a defense that that was 1st in pass defense and scoring. The following year, Woodson’s back gave out. The Cowboys fielded the other ten defensive starters and tumbled to 27th in scoring.

The Cowboys have never had aother safety like Darren Woodson. Ten years on, they’re still looking for his replacement.

2. Harvey Martin.

3. Daryl Johnston

You can follow Rafael on Twitter here and read his recent posts at CowboysNation.com here.

C. Joseph Wright (YDCFF.com):

I have been struggling with my selections for over a year since we first finalized the list of ten candidates. I’ve spent hours discussing and debating it with B-rad (one of the original three panelists). I struggled trying to decide what would be the most fair, the most rationally defensible, and the most appropriate for the Dallas Cowboys organization.

walls & springs2I racked my brain trying to concoct a criteria that would allow me to make a confident decision. But how do you define the criteria for something like “most deserving” of enshrinement in the Ring of Honor? Is is statistical success over a long career (Harvey Martin)? Is it Hall of Fame worthiness (Everson Walls)? Is it having an impact on the way the game of football was played in the NFL (Bill Bates)? Is it being a key contributor to Super Bowl victories (Jay Novacek)? Is it embodying the virtues and qualities that exemplify high moral character and the Dallas Cowboy tradition (Everson Walls)? Is it a career of perennial excellence and then an inability to come anywhere close to replacing that player (Darren Woodson)?

Both Harvey Martin and Everson Walls deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, so they should be automatic for the Ring of Honor (unless the Ring of Honor demands a life of high moral character off the field, but then Charles Haley’s induction makes that premise untenable.)

moose6I contemplated just picking my three favorites: Everson Walls because he ‘deserves’ it the most and because he was my favorite player as a kid and he exemplifies such high moral character off the field and I am sick of that stupid play in the NFC Championship by Clark; Daryl Johnston because Emmitt Smith is my favorite Cowboy of all-time, and Emmitt may not have become the NFL rushing leader without the Moose; and Bill Bates because he played for Tom Landry and he was a special teams dynamo for all three Super Bowls in the 90s.

But even picking my three favorites doesn’t get Woodson in, and my intuition suggests he should be a part of the next class of Ring of Honor inductees. How do you justify such an honor based on something as subjective as your favorite?

The two inescapable facts that kept coming back to me were: all 10 candidates deserve to be in the Ring of Honor, and that no matter who I selected, I would have to leave out someone I wanted to include. That led me to the conclusion that the only fair thing (although B-rad assures me that it was a weak cop-out), since they are all deserving of induction, is to induct the three players who have been waiting the longest to be enshrined in the Ring of Honor:

1. Cornell Green.

2. Charlie Waters.

3. Harvey Martin.

You can click here to follow Joseph on Twitter here and click here to read all of his posts here.


Due to a busy work schedule, or perhaps a secret case of illiteracy, B-rad was unable to provide reasons for his selections. But given that he was part of the original selection committee that created the list of 10 Candidates for the Ring of Honor, it seemed appropriate to include his choices:

1. Harvey Martin

2. Bill Bates.

3. Darren Woodson


If you would like to share your selections with the YDCFF community, please send a draft to c.josephwright@yourdailycowboysfootballfix.com

Click here to follow YDCFF.com on Twitter and click here to check us out on Facebook.

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  • cjwright

    We have now had 17 Cowboys writers submit their selections. A tally of the votes:

    Harvey Martin:12 votes (Broaddus, Eatman,
    KD, Cas, Ryle, Griffin, Toombs, Flores, Knudsen, Vela, Wright,

    Darren Woodson: 10 votes (Broaddus, Eatman,
    KD, Ryle, Griffin, Toombs, Knudsen, Jeff K, Vela, B-rad)

    Jay Novacek: 4 votes (Sivells, Flores,
    Grimaldi, Jones)

    Erik Williams: 4 votes (Cas, Griffin, Grimaldi, Jeff K)

    Charlie Waters:5 votes (Cas, Toombs,
    Knudsen, Jeff K, Wright)

    Everson Walls: 4 votes (Eatman, Sivells,
    Jones, Erasmus)
    Cornell Green: 4 votes (KD, Sivells,
    Erasmus, Wright)

    Daryl Johnston: 4 votes (Ryle, Flores,
    Johnston, Vela)

    Bill Bates:3 votes (Broaddus, Erasmus,

    Ed Jones: 1 vote (Grimaldi)

  • cjwright

    That original voting block of Broaddus, Eatman, and KD looks like they had it pegged in the beginning.