Jerry Jones recently announced that there would be no new additions to the Ring of Honor in the 2010-11 football season. For a man with such business acumen, that seems like a horribly short-sighted decision. Of all the years to forgo such a celebration! The debut season in the new stadium is tailor-made for the revelings and ritual associated with a Ring of Honor induction ceremony.
If there were no worthy candidates, then I would support Jones on this front. He certainly should not force the issue by shoehorning in some marginal talent. No thoughtful Cowboys fan wants to see the NFL’s most glorious franchise water down what is tantamount to the team’s hall of fame. Only the best of the best should find their names among the Landrys, Staubachs, and Aikmans of the world.
The arguments for and against inclusion in the RoH have been many and varied. Some would have it limited to those Cowboys whose busts reside in Canton. Others want every Cowboy who was slightly above average elevated to those lofty heights.
The first extreme is too reactive. The Ring of Honor may indeed be a sort of precursor to NFL Hall of Fame induction, but membership in the RoH ought not be contingent on membership in the HoF. The RoH is the horse and the HoF the cart. Let’s not get the cart ahead of the horse. Besides, Cowboys fans who remember the glory of the Seventies understand that the HoF has some glaring omissions when it come to the men who wore the silver star to five Super Bowls in that decade. (They rectified one of those when they honored the great Rayfield Wright a couple years ago.)
One can be too restrictive with Ring of Honor honors. But one could also be too liberal. To date, the liberal thing has never been a problem. We don’t want it to become one. That said, there are right now enough legitimate, bona fide Cowboy greats standing in the line of left-outs to insure that a RoH celebration this year would not need feature a “how-in-the-heck-did-they-let-that-guy-in-there” dud.
It says here that Jerry should choose two men to induct – one from the old regime and one from the Jones era. In doing so, he could both right an old wrong and celebrate his own success as owner and General Manager. In one fell swoop, he could bridge the ever-widening generation gap and open the new state-of-the-art stadium with a grand celebration of glories past and yet to come.
It makes perfect sense. Maybe it makes too much sense for Jerry “The Ringmaster” Jones.
In our next offering, I will submit the names of the men I think should top the list of candidates. I will do so with the solemn vow that there won’t be a dud in the whole she-bang.