DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys are going to be well represented in the next Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony with the addition of former two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Jimmy Johnson and legendary safety Cliff Harris.
Johnson spent five years in Dallas as the head coach and won back-to-back Super Bowls before departing due to issues with team owner and long-time friend Jerry Jones.
Harris played for the Cowboys from 1970 to 1979, and was a five-time All-Pro during his career. That run of success includes four straight years as a first-team All-Pro selection from 1975 to 1978.
Harris helped lead a defense that won two Super Bowls under the legendary coach Tom Landry. Harris is also a member of the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor -- it is high time that Johnson joins Harris in that regard.
With the additions of Harris and Johnson to the Hall of Fame, there are still a few names that should be in consideration but have been constantly snubbed. Drew Pearson, Harvey Martin, and Darren Woodson are Cowboys legends who should get their day in Canton.
As a finalist, it felt like this was the year that Pearson would join the ranks of Pro Football immortals. Finally, it seemed, the other half of the iconic 1975 “Hail Mary” would join Roger Staubach in his rightful place within the Hall of Fame. However, it was not to be once again as Pearson didn't get the call he's hoped for since he retired in 1983.
Pearson spent 11 seasons with the Cowboys. During that time, Dallas won one Super Bowl in three appearances, he was named to the Pro Bowl three times and was a four-time NFL All-Pro selection. He also led the league in receiving yards in 1977.
According to NFL Analyst and Hall of Fame voter Charean Williams, Pearson is the only All-Decade wide receiver who has yet to be elected to the Hall.
During the 1979 NFL season, Pearson made history. The Cowboys became the first team to have two 1,000 receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in NFL history. Pearson achieved that alongside Tony Hill and running back Tony Dorsett.
It’s possible that there’s something of a Cowboys legend waiting list for Canton, but the voters need to be better and the NFL needs to right this particular wrong. The hope now is that the 2021 class is where they will get it right and add Drew Pearson.
Martin is listed second for good reason. He was an absolute monster off the edge. The home-grown talent from Dallas was a third-round selection in the 1973 NFL Draft out of East Texas State. Alongside Ed “Too Tall” Jones, the fearsome duo was known for getting after the quarterback.
The Cowboys credit Martin with 114 career sacks, though sacks didn’t become an official stat until 1982. Martin’s 114 sacks would put him 22nd in NFL history if they'd been recognized during his tenure.
He was named to the NFL All-Pro team once and three times to the second team. Martin was part of the Cowboys Super Bowl XII team and was named Super Bowl MVP. In 1977, Martin was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named to four Pro Bowl teams and 1970’s All-Decade Team.
The NFL record for most sacks in a season is 22.5 by Michael Strahan. According to the Cowboys records, Martin had 23 sacks in the 1977 season. Those 23 sacks came in the final year that teams still played just 14 games per season, meaning Martin averaged over a sack and a half per game. He also led the team in sacks in seven of nine seasons with Dallas.
The man called “Woody” was a huge part of the Cowboys’ three Super Bowl runs during the early 1990s. Woodson was a pioneering figure as the game transitioned to become more passing focused, as he was utilized as both a bone-rattling tackler at safety and to cover receivers from the slot. His versatility allowed the Cowboys to be a punishing defensive team ahead of the curve.
Known for his hard hits coming across the middle, Woody was great against the pass and the run, and helped shape what a player at his position would need to be in the modern game. The three-time champ was selected to five Pro Bowls and was a four-time NFL All-Pro.
During his 12 seasons, Woodson played in 178 games and recorded 864 total tackles. He was also able to get the ball from opposing teams, with 23 career interceptions and 17 forced fumbles. He recovered 11 fumbles in his career.
Woodson is the Dallas Cowboys’ all-time tackles leader and a member of the Ring of Honor.
Which Dallas Cowboys great will be the next to be enshrined in Canton? Share your thoughts with Patrick on Twitter @DraftCowboys.
More Cowboys coverage from WFAA:
- Looking back at the best NFL Draft selections by the Cowboys in the 2010s
- 'Broke my heart': Former Dallas Cowboys player Drew Pearson snubbed by Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Former Dallas Cowboys safety Cliff Harris to join Pro Football Hall of Fame, teammate Drew Pearson snubbed
- Looking back at NFL Draft picks that didn’t work out for the Cowboys
- How ‘bout the Ring of Honor, Jerry?