Inside the Dallas Cowboys
Why Witten, Ware are only current Cowboys who are likely Ring of Honor members
By Brandon George
Dallas Morning News
IRVING – Sunday is a big day for Cowboys fans of yesteryear.
A rather fruitless opponent – Seattle – will be overshadowed by the Cowboys’ plans to officially add three more members to the team’s hallowed Ring of Honor.
Wide receiver Drew Pearson, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley and offensive tackle Larry Allen will become the three newest ring members, upping the total to 20 (18 players plus Tom Landry and Tex Schramm).
The Cowboys’ Ring of Honor has exclusive membership. A player must be the best of the best to get in, which begs the question: How many current Cowboys could end up in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor?
If both finish their careers as Cowboys, they’ll be near locks to make the Ring of Honor. That’ll be especially true if they’re ever a part of a Super Bowl team here. Both will likely end their careers as two of the bests at their respective positions and both are pillars in the community and inspirational team leaders.
You’d have to search long and hard to find anyone who would say a bad word about Witten or Ware, on or off the football field. Trust me, don’t waste your time.
Witten is on pace to become the NFL’s all-time receiving yards leader for tight ends. Before this year is over, Ware could become the first NFL player ever to record two 20-sack seasons.
Some worthy Cowboys players of the past have certainly been overlooked for the Ring of Honor along the way. But Witten and Ware shouldn’t be among those passed-over players one day.
“The Ring of Honor is guys who have been out here and done the best they could in this uniform,” Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin said. “It’s the upper-echelon of players who have been here. I have so much respect for all of those guys who are in.”
Pearson was one such overlooked player for some time until owner Jerry Jones made amends with him a few months ago by telling him he’d be one of the newest members of the Ring of Honor.
“What I hope this does is open the door for other guys to be looked at, their credentials, what they did for the Dallas Cowboys,” Pearson said at the time. “I can go on and on naming names of guys I played with who deserve this recognition as well, so hopefully they see that Jerry appreciates the past and will honor the past and in due time, all those guys that deserve that type of recognition will get that type of recognition, at the same time keeping this as exclusive as any other teams’ Ring of Honor, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame or whatever they have.”
Q: Will the Cowboys bring in a cornerback and inside linebacker to replaced the injured Mike Jenkins and Sean Lee ? Do they really need kicker David Buehler and tight end Martellus Bennett on the roster?
Joe Cook, Newark, N.J.
GEORGE: The Cowboys have more depth right now at cornerback than inside linebacker, so I would say no on bringing in another cornerback at this point. Adding an inside linebacker is a possibility or promoting Orie Lemon from the practice squad. As far as Buehler and Bennett, I believe both are expendable at any time. Dan Bailey has done enough to show the Cowboys that they don’t need two kickers. The Cowboys have depth at tight end. Bennett continues to drop passes and his chances have just about run out. Both could be cut any week now.
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Q: Don’t you think Jason Garrett’s offense is too predictable? Why don’t we seem to throw any long balls anymore? With the receivers we have, we should throw three to six long balls a game of 25-plus yards.
GEORGE: The primary reason the Cowboys aren’t attempting as many long passes this season is because they don’t trust their offensive line enough to provide adequate protection to allow routes to develop and give quarterback Tony Romo the time he needs to complete deep passes. The Cowboys’ smaller, younger offensive line has had its share of struggles, especially trying to slow teams from pressuring up the middle. That doesn’t afford Garrett the luxury of calling many deep-passing plays. Also, it hasn’t helped that Romo is still battling pain from the broken rib he suffered in Week 2 at San Francisco.
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Q: Will Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan ever get his chance to replace head coach Jason Garrett, or will owner Jerry Jones let another good head coach like Kansas City’s Todd Haley and New Orleans’ Sean Payton slip away again?
Melvin Douglas, Loomis, Calif.
GEORGE: Rob Ryan won’t likely ever replace Garrett as the Cowboys’ coach. For one, he could get an opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL much sooner somewhere else other than Dallas. Two, it’s way too early to be writing off Garrett as a head coach. He needs more time to get the Cowboys’ ship righted. Plus, Ryan’s defense didn’t look too good Sunday night at Philadelphia.
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Q: Could kicker David Buehler punt if Mat McBriar couldn’t play? After all, he has a rocket for a leg.
David A. Peeples, San Antonio
GEORGE: Buehler is a kicker with little to no punting experience. Yes, he has a strong leg. But punting is a totally different animal in the NFL than kicking. As of now, the Cowboys consider undrafted rookie place kicker Dan Bailey as their backup punter. He had two punts in the second half of Sunday night’s game at Philadelphia with McBriar out with his left foot injury. Don’t expect to see Buehler punting for the Cowboys any time soon.