One of the most charismatic players in NFL history is going into the Hall of Fame this month. Deion Sanders will have a yellow jacket placed over his shoulders and join an elite club of excellence. Some feel that not only should his name be in the Hall, but it should also be on the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor as well.
The Ring of Honor circles Cowboys Stadium much like it did Texas Stadium. It displays the names of former players, coaches and club officials who have made historic contributions to America’s Team. Currently there are 17 names on the ring dating back to 1975 when Bob Lilly was inducted, all the way 2005 when the triplets were inducted.
There are also a lot of names left off of the ring. Drew Pearson, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Jimmy Johnson are among the men who many argue deserve their names to be added to the list.
“Neon” Deion played a total of 63 games as a Dallas Cowboy. He was originally drafted by the Falcons before making stops in San Francisco, Dallas, Washington and then Baltimore throughout his illustrious career.
Sanders joined the Cowboys in 1996 and helped the ‘Boys win the Super Bowl in his first season with the team. He was a feared cornerback, a feared punt returner and was even a pretty good receiver when he lined up on the offensive side of the ball.
But is he worthy of going into the Ring of Honor?
Jerry Jones has made sure that the players in the ring are an elite group. Not many argue with the names that are currently along the interior wall of Cowboys Stadium; and many would point out other names that should go in before Sanders.
Men like Larry Allen, Darren Woodson and Charles Haley all have an argument that they have contributed more to the organization than Sanders did.
Many fans don’t even wanted Sanders considered for such an honor since he left the Cowboys to join the rival Redskins for a season. Others argue that Sanders isn’t “a true Cowboy” since he took advantage of free agency and was a member of four other franchises.
If the Ring of Honor is truly an elite group that honors the best Cowboys, I don’t consider Sanders worthy of it.
Sure, Sanders might be the only real shutdown corner in NFL history, and he was a key component in the 1996 season. But his body of work as a Cowboy isn’t one that merits such an honor.
I don’t blame him for signing with multiple teams, including the Redskins. It is almost a fact that fans are more loyal to franchises than players are.
The fact that the group is so elite that Pearson and Johnson are outside of it makes it clear that Prime Time doesn’t make the cut either.
Sanders will go down as one of the best players of all time. But most of that comes from his years as a Falcon or a 49er, not as a Cowboy. His 14 interceptions, 49 catches, 624 receiving yards and five total touchdowns don’t stand out to me as a person who should receive such an elite honor.
His speech when he is inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame will be one that promises to be entertaining, and it will be a great moment of this season. But I don’t see a reason to think he’ll make a speech and get inducted into the Ring of Honor.