ARLINGTON — The Dallas Cowboys will take the field for the next two weeks hoping to continue their run to the playoffs.
It will also be their attempt to move forward from the tragedy and emotional roller coaster they have never experienced.
The death of linebacker Jerry Brown, and the status of nose tackle Josh Brent — charged in the death of his best friend and teammate — will certainly cast a shadow on the rest of the Cowboys’ season, no matter how they finish.
“Oh, yeah, it is absolutely that,” said coach Jason Garrett, whose leadership and handling of the team during this trying situation has already been hailed as the crowning moment of his coaching tenure. “It’s an ongoing thing for a long, long time for everybody. Nobody who is associated with this organization, this football team who knows Jerry and Josh and this situation, this tragedy will never be the same as a result of it.”
The Cowboys (8-6) will use football to take their minds off the tragedy and to continue living. Making a run to the playoffs is the best way they feel they can honor Brown.
Still, some things can never be forgotten.
Despite how he comes across to some, former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson told The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore he still has faith Dez Bryant will grow into that elite player.
“I feel confident that it will happen for him,” Pearson said. “I hope it happens here.
“Dez understands the situation he’s in and really wants it. Maybe it will all come to him at one time.
“Maybe he’s just a late bloomer.”
But Pearson still has plenty to nitpick about the Cowboys’ third-year receiver.
What stood out recently was the Monday Night Football blunder when Bryant was fooled into thinking the Bears were in press coverage. He adjusted his route and went deep rather than run the hitch that was designed. Cornerback Charles Tillman picked off the pass from Tony Romo and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead.
“It was a bad read,” Pearson said. “Those are the kind of things that defenses, defensive backs especially, will give you a false look initially. If you’re not cerebral, if you’re not experienced enough to make adjustments, cornerbacks will play those games with you.
“You can’t get fooled by that in your third year in the league. If you made that mistake with coach [Tom] Landry in your third year, that would have been a cardinal sin.”
“When the game is on the line, that is the time No. 88 needs to step up, not take a back seat, not take a step back. That is when No. 88 is expected to shine.”
Part of being consistent is having a few signature routes the quarterback knows he can complete to you in virtually any situation. Pearson had three: the 12-yard sideline route, the 15- to 20-yard turn-in and the 15- to 20-yard end route. Those were his bread and butter.
What does Bryant have? Is he consistent enough with any of them?
“His route tree is limited to the slant, the fade, the go route and the end route,” Pearson said. “That is it. I’ve never seen him run a counter, a post corner, a slant-and-go, a sideline takeoff where he stutters and takes off the way Kevin Ogletree did so successfully in the opener.”
Pearson had been critical of Bryant throughout his first two years with the Cowboys, and Year Three looks to be more of the same. This obviously stems from Bryant wearing the same jersey number that Pearson did during his 11 seasons with the franchise.
“He’s not living up to the expectations that were placed on him by wearing that number,” Pearson recently told the Midland Reporter-Telegram. “Drew Pearson took it to the Ring of Honor level and Michael Irvin took it way beyond that to the Hall of Fame level.
“When Michael and I had a chance to talk to Dez when he came in his rookie year we told him, ‘Don’t do what Drew Pearson did in it. Don’t do what Michael did in it. Do more than that.’ I know that’s a lot to live up to, but what else is there? You live up to those expectations and people will cherish you for the rest of your life.”
Bryant dropped three passes in the Cowboys’ 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears Monday night. Two of those incompletions cost the Cowboys first downs and the third might have gone for a touchdown.
Even though Bryant finished with a career-high 105 receiving yards, the mistakes overshadowed his eight catches.
Pearson focused on Bryant’s mistakes during a Tuesday interview that aired on ESPN.
“You should know your plays. You should know where to be. You should know your adjustments that you need to make,” Pearson said. “You know what your value is to this Cowboys offense. You should be making the big plays to help the offense when they need it. To me, that’s what the 88s are all about. That’s what I did in the 88s, that’s what Michael (Irvin) did in the 88s. I’m not saying Dez needs to be us. But we’d just like to see him carry that tradition on with the 88s a little better.”
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) battles Philadelphia Eagles middle linebacker Casey Matthews (50) in the 4th quarter.
Tight end Jason Witten became the Dallas Cowboys’ third-leading receiver all-time with his four catches for 24 yards Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 7,840 yards in his nine seasons with the Cowboys, passing Drew Pearson’s 7,822.
He said he’ll think about it later.
“It’s special,” he said after the 20-7 loss. “It seems like these are coming at kind of odd times, when you can’t really enjoy it. There are a lot of great players here who have worn the star on their helmet. To be mentioned with some of those guys is definitely humbling. I feel good, you know. You just do everything to help your team win. Try to stay in the moment. I’m sure some time I look back at it, I’ll enjoy it a lot more than I do right now. I’m staying focused on this opportunity we do have.”
Here are the notes compiled by the Cowboys’ staff:
Today’s win gave Dallas its eighth win of the season to guarantee a .500-or-better finish for the 34th time in franchise history.
The win improved Dallas’ Saturday record to 15-12 and its Saturday night record to 5-2.
The Dallas defense held Tampa Bay to just one first half first down. It was the fifth time since 1991 – as far back that can be researched tonight – the defense accomplished the feat:
at N.Y. Giants………. 9/13/92
at Washington………. 10/2/94
at Philadelphia…….. 10/10/99
atTampa Bay………. 12/17/11
Through 14 games of his rookie season, Dan Bailey has been true on 32 field goals. His 32 field goals made in 14 games is second in team history over that span:
Player (Year) FGM FGA Pct.
Richie Cunningham (1997)…. 33 35 94.3
Dan Bailey (2011)……………… 32 36 88.9
Chris Boniol (1996)…………….. 27 31 87.1
Rafael Septien (1981)………… 26 31 83.9
Richie Cunningham (1998)…. 24 28 85.7
Bailey’s 32 made field goals thus are fourth through an entire rookie season in NFL history:
Player (Year) FGM FGA Pct.
Ali Haji-Sheikh (1983)…………. 35 42 83.3
Richie Cunningham (1997)…. 34 37 91.9
Chester Marcol (1972)………… 33 48 68.8
Dan Bailey (2011)……………… 32 35 88.6
Kevin Butler (1985)…………….. 31 37 83.8
Mason Crosby (2007)………….. 31 39 79.5
Sammy Morris made his Dallas Cowboys debut tonight after signing with the club on Dec. 13. Morris finished his first outing with 12 carries for 53 yards (4.4 avg.).
Romo has thrown for 3,895 yards this season to rank fourth in a season in club history:
Player (Year) Yards
Tony Romo (2009)……. 4,483
Tony Romo (2007)……. 4,211
Danny White (1983)…… 3,980
Tony Romo (2011)……. 3,895
Drew Bledsoe (2005)…. 3,639
Romo’s 29 touchdowns this season are tied for second in a season in team history:
Player (Year) TDs
Tony Romo (2007)……. 36
Danny White (1983)…… 29
Tony Romo (2011)……. 29
Danny White (1980)…… 28
Roger Staubach (1979) 27
Tony Romo (2008, 09). 26
Romo completed 23 pass completions today to give him 317 for the season. His 317 this season are the fourth in a season in team history:
Player (Year) Comps
Tony Romo (2009)……. 347
Tony Romo (2007)……. 335
Danny White (1983)…… 334
Tony Romo (2011)……. 317
Troy Aikman (1992)…… 302
With his 133.9 rating, Romo now has 42 career games with a passer rating of at least 100.0. He has the second-most 100-plus rating games in team history:
Troy Aikman………… 44
Tony Romo………….. 42
Roger Staubach…… 37
Danny White………… 33
Craig Morton………… 24
Romo’s three touchdown passes today was his 24th career game with three-or-more touchdown passes, the most in team history:
Player 3-or-more-TDs (games)
Tony Romo………………… 24
Danny White……………….. 20
Roger Staubach………….. 17
It was also Romo’s fifth game with three-plus touchdown passes this season to tie the third-most in a season in team history:
3-or-more TD games
Player (season) (season)
Tony Romo (2007)……………… 6
Tony Romo (2008)……………… 6
Roger Staubach (1979)………. 5
Danny White (1980)……………. 5
Tony Romo (2011)……………… 5
DeMarcus Ware’s sack today upped his official club sack record to 96. Among all-time (pre-1982 included) club sack leaders, Ware’s 96 put him past Jethro Pugh (95.5) for fifth:
Career sacks, including pre-1982
Player (Years) Sacks
Harvey Martin (1973-83)……………… 114.0
Randy White (1975-88)……………….. 111.0
Too Tall Jones (1974-78, 80-89)….. 106.0
George Andrie (1962-72)………………. 97.0
DeMarcus Ware (2005-11)……………. 96.0
Ware’s 16.0 sacks thus far are the second-most in his career (20.0 in 2008) and second in a season in club history:
Player (Year) Sacks
DeMarcus Ware (2008)……. 20.0
DeMarcus Ware (2011)…… 16.0
DeMarcus Ware (2010)……. 15.5
Jim Jeffcoat (1986)………… 14.0
DeMarcus Ware (2007)……. 14.0
Ware’s sack tonight was his first career sack against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are now only four teams in which he has not had a sack – Denver, Jacksonville, Miami and San Diego.
Jason Witten’s 77 yards today upped his season total to 849 for his sixth season with 800-or-more yards. His six tie Shannon Sharpe for second all-time among tight ends:
800-plus yard seasons (Tight End)
Tony Gonzalez……. 11
Shannon Sharpe…… 6
Jason Witten………… 6
Antonio Gates……….. 5
Witten has reached the 800-yard mark in each of the last five seasons (including 2011) to give him the second-most consecutive 800-yard seasons among tight ends in NFL history. Tony Gonzalez has the most consecutive (seven).
All-time among club pass catchers, Witten’s six 800-yard seasons ties Bob Hayes for third while his five are good for second:
800-plus yard seasons (Dallas Cowboys)
Michael Irvin………… 8
Tony Hill………………. 7
Bob Hayes……………. 6
Jason Witten………… 6
Consecutive 800-plus yard seasons (Dallas Cowboys)
Michael Irvin………. 8 (1991-98)
Jason Witten……… 5 (2007-11)
Bob Hayes………….. 4 (1965-68)
Drew Pearson……… 4 (1974-77)
Tony Hill……………. 4 (1978-81)
After waiting many years for his place in the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, Drew Pearson didn’t know what to do Sunday once he put on that blue jacket.
“It was like a feeling of satisfaction, it was a climax to a journey,” Pearson said. “It’s a very emotional time. If I wasn’t so vain, I probably would have cried out there. But the tears were definitely flowing inside.”
Offensive tackle Larry Allen and defensive end Charles Haley joined Drew Pearson as the three inductees into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor during halftime of Sunday’s game against Seattle.
Drew Pearson, 60, was inducted into the Ring of Honor 28 years after he retired from the NFL.
“It doesn’t bother me because it’s now,” Pearson said. “It’s nice to be going forward where you don’t have to be asked that question anymore … why aren’t you [in the Ring of Honor]?”
“My kids thought that was my first name for a long time, because everybody comes up to me [and says] ‘why aren’t you in, why aren’t you this?’”
Charles Haley also was emotional during the post-Ring of Honor news conference. He said he’s not thinking about whether joining the Ring of Honor will help him make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I’m thinking that Jerry Jones is a great man right now, that’s what I’m thinking,” said Haley, who played for the Cowboys from 1992-’96. “I’m not thinking about tomorrow. You can write and think about tomorrow. I’m thinking about today and how great today is. I’m enjoying this moment and I hope you help me enjoy this moment.”
Larry Allen also was enjoying his moment.
“Before every game I would look up there [at the names of the other Ring of Honor inductees] the most,” he said. “At a certain point of games, I would just look up there…. try to find a way to get up there.’’
On Sunday, Larry Allen finally made it “up there’’ in the Ring of Honor. So, too, did Drew Pearson and Charles Haley.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys add three players to Ring of Honor
ARLINGTON — The Dallas Cowboys stayed in the playoff hunt with a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but the big story at the game came at halftime, as three of the team’s greatest players were added to the Ring of Honor.
It’s been six years since the Cowboys inducted new members into the Ring, when the “Triplets” — Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith — saw their names unveiled at the old Texas Stadium.
On Sunday, Larry Allen, Charles Haley and Drew Pearson joined them.
Allen was a domanant offensive guard who played for the Cowboys from the mid-1990s into the 21st century. He made 11 Pro Bowl appearances during his career in Dallas and played on their Super Bowl XXX team.
“I’d like to thank Jerry [Jones] and his family; the Cowboys organization; my beautiful wife; my three great kids; I’d like to say thank you for playing for the greatest fans in America,” Allen said.
Haley played on that team, too, and on the other two Cowboys championship teams from the 90s. Haley also won a couple of Super Bowls in San Francisco.
“This is not a right, but a privilege, and God knows… this is one of the greatest things that’s happened in my life,” Haley told the cheering crowd.
Drew Pearson is the one we’ve been waiting for… but not as long as he’s been waiting. His last season with the Cowboys was in 1983.
“I waited. I prayed. And because I prayed, I always believed that this day would one day come,” Pearson said. “And I am so happy and so proud to be a part of this distinguished Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor!”
The three added Sunday are all very deserving and bring the total number of Cowboys in the Ring of Honor to 20.
Courtesy: TED MADDEN | WFAA Dallas
Backup link to video: http://www.wfaa.com/sports/football/Cowboys-add-three-to-Ring-of-Honor-133333238.html
Today the Cowboys will induct Larry Allen, Charles Haley and Drew Pearson into the Ring of Honor. It’s the first time the Cowboys have conducted such an event since the Triplets in 2005.
With that we look at ten players who might be next for the Jerry Jones committee of one to consider.
Harvey Martin.No name resonates more with former Cowboys players than this man. He led the Cowboys in sacks seven times, is the unofficial franchise leader with 114 and holds the single-season mark of 23 sacks in the 1977 season. Before there was Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware, Martin along with Randy White and Bob Lilly set the standard for pass rushers in franchise history.
Bill Bates.A special teams ace and despite making just one Pro Bowl, 1984, he was a beloved figure in Cowboys lore. When you think of outstanding special teams players in Cowboys history, Bates’ name comes up first. Nobody was better on a unit the causal fan knew nothing about.
Darren Woodson. A three-time All Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler won three Super Bowl titles. He was a talented safety who not only covered tight ends but wide receivers. His presence is still felt at Valley Ranch, because the Cowboys have not replaced him and his signature is inside a locker of former safety Roy Williams, that’s now the home of cornerback Terence Newman.
Everson Walls. He led the Cowboys in interceptions five times, is second all-time in franchise history with 44 and still holds the single-season record with 11 picks in 1981. The 11 picks is also the franchise record for a rookie. It would be nice if Walls gets in with Martin, another Dallas native.
Jimmy Johnson. The second coach in Cowboys history rebuilt the franchise and won two Super Bowl titles and the third one, XXX in 1995 was with Barry Switzer, but it was Johnson’s team. The ending was bad, but there’s no denying what Johnson meant to the franchise.
Charlie Waters. A three-time Pro Bowler at strong safety, Waters started 22 of 25 playoff games. He was a fierce hitter who gets lost because we talk so much about Cliff Harris. Waters is considered one of the top safeties in Cowboys history.
Deion Sanders.He made his mark with Atlanta, yet, Sanders was a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All Pro and of course won one title with the Cowboys. Sanders holds the career mark for punt return average at 13.3. He was the first big money free agency signed by the Cowboys and he was a playmaker on defense and special teams.
Daryl Johnston. When Emmitt Smith broke the all-time rushing mark, he hugged this man. Johnston didn’t miss a game from 1992-to-1995. Johnston is one of the best fullbacks in franchise history, and his blocks paved the way for Smith to get a bulk of his yardage.
Danny White. The third-round pick from Arizona State, made only one Pro Bowl, and he had just one losing season in the years he started, 1987 where he compiled a 3-6 mark at age 35. He took the Cowboys to three NFC title games, never advancing to the Super Bowl. White is second in completions in franchise history at 1,761.
Mark Stepnoski.A five-time Pro Bowler who won three titles. But here’s a little known fact: He was named to the second-team of the 1990s All-Decade team. Stepnoski was a solid player during his era, not only with the Cowboys but in the NFL as well.
1 on 1: Roger Staubach
Nick Eatman had a chance to sit down with Cowboys hall of famer and ring of honor member Roger Staubach to talk about the players being inducted into the ring of honor this weekend. Drew Pearson, Charles Haley, and Larry Allen will be immortalized with 15 other legendary Dallas Cowboys.
RELATED: About the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor inductees
Originally published 19 August 2011 11:32 PM | The Boys Are Back blog
Position: Wide receiver
With the Cowboys: 1973-83
How acquired: Undrafted free agent
Notable: Had 489 career receptions, third-most in club history. Hall of Famer Michael Irvin leads with 750. … Among Cowboys receivers with at least 200 career receptions, ranks fifth in yards-per-catch at 16. … Led NFL in receiving yards with 870 in 14-game season of 1977. Finished among league’s top 10 in receptions three times and top 10 in receiving yardage five times. … Named first-team All-Pro three times and selected to three Pro Bowls. … In 22 career playoff games, caught 67 passes for 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns. … Completed five of seven options passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns.
Quotable: “I really don’t live in the past. Who is to say it’s the right time? For me, this is the right time. I’m 60 years old, and I’m going into the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. How about that?”
Position: Defensive end-outside linebacker
With the Cowboys: 1992-96
How acquired: From San Francisco, for a second- and third-round draft choice
Notable: Hybrid pass rusher. Had 33 sacks in 58 games during first four regular seasons with Cowboys. Finished fourth in NFL in sacks with 121/2 in 1995. Had 3 1/2 sacks and one interception in 10 postseason games. … Named first-team All-Pro in 1994 and selected to Pro Bowl in 1994-95. … Limited by back problems to one sack in five regular-season and two postseason games during final season with club. … Returned to San Francisco for two playoff games in 1998 and a full regular season in 1999.
Quotable: “For my teammates, I tried to let them know I’d be there no matter what, hell or high water. I know I put a lot of
teammates through hell, a lot of coaches through hell and owners. But Jerry stuck with me.”
Position: Offensive guard and tackle
With the Cowboys: 1994-2005
How acquired: Second-round pick, 1994
Notable: Made 170 starts at both tackle spots and right guard while with Cowboys. Started 10 games at right tackle as a rookie
in 1994 and moved to right guard, starting every game in 1995, the last season the Cowboys won a Super Bowl. … During time with Cowboys, named first-team All-Pro six times and selected to 10 Pro Bowl teams. … Teammate and fellow offensive lineman
Nate Newton said he saw more than a few defensive linemen matched against Allen “quit’ during games.
Quotable: “When I was stretching before [home] games, I’d look up at those names in the Ring of Honor and hope I could find a way to get up there. I kept trying.”.
On a week that will acknowledge three of the great players in Dallas Cowboys history, it’s fitting that the NFL Network will air a documentary on the franchise’s all-time winningest coach.
Tom Landry: A Football Life airs Thursday night at 9 p.m. (CT).
The network’s promo for the special: “For 29 seasons, Tom Landry commanded the sideline for the Dallas Cowboys with a stoic demeanor and iconic hat, overseeing a football team that operated with machine-like efficiency. Yet behind the myth and mystique was a father figure that stood in contrast to the image of an unemotional head coach, all of which is revealed in Tom Landry: A Football Life.”
Among those interviewed are former players Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson, Mike Ditka, New York Giants teammate Frank Gifford and various media personalities.
The trailer can be seen here.