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Ring of Honor to be Expanded


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Can't think of a more deserving Trio.


Aikman, Smith, Irvin to get Ring honors


The Cowboys will hold a news conference at 6 p.m. today to announce Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin will be added to the club's exclusive Ring of Honor, several sources said.


The 2005 season marks the first time each member of the record-setting triumvirate, which helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in the '90s, will not be playing.


A back injury forced Irvin to retire after the 1999 season. Back and head injuries forced Aikman's retirement after the 2000 season. Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, retired in January after spending the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.


Last year, the Cowboys added Cliff Harris and Rayfield Wright to the Ring of Honor.


Two Cowboys from 1970s and 1980s had mixed reaction to the news.


"I'm happy for the Triplets," former Cowboys defensive back Charlie Waters said. "They deserve to be in there without a doubt."


But Waters, whose name is almost always mentioned in discussions of possible Ring of Honor candidates, thinks the door may have shut on players from his era.


"It's a committee of one," Waters said of Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones. "It's too bad that the fans and the people who studied that era don't have any say. I doubt that Mr. Jones ever reviewed any of those tapes. Maybe if he understood the Flex defense a little bit, things would be different. But I think the Ring of Honor is long gone. I'm not going to hold my breath.


Waters played for Dallas from 1970-81.


Another prominent player from that era, defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones, said he wasn't bothered by being shut out again. Jones played for Dallas from 1974-78 and 1980-89. He was a teammate of Aikman and Irvin late in his career.


"I'm never one to say anything negative about anything I don't have any control of," Jones said. "It doesn't take away from a beautiful career. These guys certainly deserve to go in. I'm happy to see them go in because our Ring of Honor is kind of naked compared to other great teams."


Aikman was the ballyhooed No. 1 overall pick of the 1989 NFL draft from UCLA. Expected to come in immediately and be a franchise quarterback, Aikman and new coach Jimmy Johnson went 1-15 in 1989. He even endured a mini-QB controversy with fellow rookie QB Steve Walsh.


But by his third season, Aikman had established himself as one of the leaders of a promising young team. He earned the first of six consecutive Pro Bowl appearances as the Cowboys established themselves as the "Team of the '90s" with three Super Bowl titles in four seasons.


He retired after the 2000 season because of lingering concussion problems, holding virtually all of the Cowboys' career passing records. He has a career 81.6 QB rating as well as 32,942 passing yards and 165 TD passes. But what most remember is his legacy of winning, being only one of four QBs to have won three Super Bowl titles with the same team.


Irvin was drafted the year before Aikman out of Miami. His first three years were plagued by a coaching change, inferior talent around him and a major knee injury that forced him to miss 14 games in two seasons. But he recovered to become the emotional and charismatic leader of the "Big Three."


Headed to the Ring of Honor: Smith, Aikman and Irvin. Irvin was named to five straight Pro Bowls in the mid-'90s on his way to owning nearly every major career and season receiving record in Cowboys history. He is ranked 10th all time in the NFL in receptions with 750, and ninth in receiving yards with 11,904.


Smith was the last member of the The Triplets to arrive and depart from the Cowboys. Drafted in 1990, he lasted all the way until the 17th pick, but it quickly became apparent that he was one of the final pieces of the puzzle for the young team.


His rookie year he was named to the first of his seven Pro Bowl appearances. He became one of the most consistent performers in NFL history, with 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons, helping him to break Walter Payton’s all-time rushing record in 2002.


Although not as flashy as contemporary Barry Sanders, Smith’s durability and dependability were the key to the Cowboys' success and helped him amass a wealth of records. His 166 career rushing TDs are 39 more than his nearest competitor.



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i never liked the cowboys and i particularly didn't like irvin, but how can you deny what those guys did?  i think all 3 of them deserve it, especially emmitt who has proven himself as a pretty incredible person and running back.







Hopefully in his acceptance speech he won't refer to himself as a diamond surrounded by trash. :D

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They should add Jay Novachek and Moose. Without those two guys, the other three would of had a hard time accomplishing what they did.







The un-heralded. I fully believe the decline of the Cowboys began with the loss of Novachek. Moose and Novacheck were linchpins in that offense but will never be installed in the ring of honor because they didn't generate gaudy numbers.

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