During halftime of this Sunday's early-slot tilt against the Seattle Seahawks, the Cowboys will host a Ring Of Honor induction ceremony. Other than the fact that the team's last two games with intermission extravaganzas have extrava-gone wrong, there are other things to gripe about.
The 2005 ring induction of The Triplets, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman, was concluded with Mark Brunell and Santana Moss ripping the hearts out of Cowboys fans everywhere. Well, it was concluded with me kicking eight Redskins fans out of my apartment but we digress. The closing of Texas Stadium was concluded with the Baltimore Ravens' LeRon McClain barreling through the defense for an 82-yard, win-clinching romp.
While I worry about the Cowboys going down against Seattle, a loss that would effectively end their season, the ceremony itself holds more of a concern at the moment; at least until kickoff.
Drew Pearson, Larry Allen and Charles Haley will be enshrined with the ultimate recognition, having their names join Tom Landry, Roger Staubach and other Dallas Cowboys immortals.
Pearson has been ranked at the top of Cowboys fans induction wishlist for some time, retiring from the game 28 years ago. Meanwhile the more recently retired Larry Allen existed as a no-brainer in some eyes. Both players rank as Top 20 All-Time Cowboys in Approximate Value per ProFootballReference.com (a metric that puts players from different era on a level playing field and assigns a grade for each season.)
I don't even have a huge problem with short-time Cowboy Charles Haley getting the nod; although the fact that he played more years in San Francisco than Dallas does mean something in my eyes. The problem I have, is that Jerry Jones has the audacity to induct Haley before he honors former Cowboys sack master Harvey Martin. I saw a tweet earler that with two and a half more sacks, Demarcus Ware (92 career) will tie Jim Jeffcoat for top spot with Dallas. Wrong. Dallas Cowboys kept sack stats before the NFL ever did and has Martin on record for 114.
Here's what I wrote back in August for Blogging The Boys when the induction was announced.
Charles Haley is a five time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro. He came over to Dallas in 1992 via trade, after spending his first six seasons in San Francisco. Haley was an instrumental part to the 49ers back to back championships, including a remarkable 1990 season (16 sacks, 20 AV). When he arrived in Dallas, he provided enough craziness in the defensive huddle to match Michael Irvin a couple times over. Jimmy Johnson's defense featured a constant rotating of linemen, keeping Haley fresh for late game heroics.
Haley's best season in Dallas actually was the non-championship campaign sandwiched in between three Lombardis. In the 1994 campaign, he notched 12.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception; earning a 16 AV...
The argument for Martin over Haley is a sound one if you believe that the Cowboys Ring of Honor should look at contributions to the team first and foremost. Yes, Haley played for three Super Bowl Champions in Dallas. Martin appeared in three as well, though he only emerged victorious once. While in Dallas, Haley was a two time Pro Bowler and one time First Team All-Pro. Martin made four Pro Bowls in Dallas in addition to a First Team nod. Haley achieved one season with a 10+ AV rating as a Cowboy, while Martin scored a 10+ grade on five different occasions. Martin was also the 1977 Defensive Player of the Year, as well as Super Bowl co-MVP. Haley never achieved either, while in Dallas or in his two stints in San Francisco.
Playing in an era when sacks weren't official NFL stats, the club records Martin as the franchise leader in season sacks seven times, sacks as a rookie (8), single season (23) and career sacks (114). Haley has a career total of 100.5 sacks, 34 of those in Dallas, and a career high of 16 with the 49ers in 1990.
Other than the ridiculously long title, I feel the exact same way now as I did then. Should Ware get three sacks against Seattle, the Cowboys will probably celebrate his reaching the "record". That will be like the Mike Tyson treatment; the initial punch lands, and then you get hit with a elbow on the recoil.