For Cowboys fans, Larry Allen's enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was the highlight of the ceremonies for the class 2013 a little over a month ago. With that ceremony still fresh in the public's mind, the Pro Football Hall of Fame yesterday released its list of 126 nominees for the class of 2014. 14 former Cowboys as well as the current owner are on that list.
Of the 15 Cowboys nominees, nine spent the bulk of their career or important parts of their career with the Dallas Cowboys: OG Nate Newton, DE Ed "Too Tall" Jones, CB Everson Walls, S Darren Woodson, RB Hershel Walker, DE Charles Haley, Coach Jimmy Johnson, Team Executive Gil Brandt, and owner Jerry Jones.
Six others played the bulk of their careers elsewhere but did play for the Cowboys for a while: QB Drew Bledsoe, QB Randall Cunningham, RB Eddie George, WR Keyshawn Johnson, WR Jimmy Smith and LB Zach Thomas.
The following profiles of the 15 nominees with Cowboys ties are taken from the PFHOF press release:
DARREN WOODSON – S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys
A four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl pick, played on six division championship teams and won three Super Bowls. Recorded 23 interceptions for 271 yards in his career
EVERSON WALLS – CB – 1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns
Recorded 57 interceptions during 13-year career. Led the league in interceptions three times. Voted to four Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro three times. Played on three division championship teams and won one Super Bowl.
ED "TOO TALL" JONES – DE – 1974-78, 1980-89 Dallas Cowboys
Played 224 games during his 15 playing seasons and never missed a game except for the 1979 season when he boxed. A dominant passer rusher for the Cowboys’ "Doomsday Defense," earned three Pro Bowl selections.
NATE NEWTON – G – 1986-1998 Dallas Cowboys, 1999 Carolina Panthers
During 198- game, 14-season career, teams won six division, three conference and three Super Bowl titles. Named to six Pro Bowls, selected first-team All-Pro twice and All-NFC four times.
CHARLES HALEY – DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
One of the most gifted pass rushers of era. Only player in NFL history to win five Super Bowls. Registered 10 or more sacks six times during 12 playing seasons.
HERSCHEL WALKER – RB – 1986-89, 1996-97 Dallas Cowboys, 1989-1991 Minnesota Vikings, 1992-94 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995 New York Giants, 1996-97 Dallas Cowboys
Versatile player who racked up more than 18,000 all-purpose yards during 12 seasons. Recorded two 1,000-yard rushing seasons and accumulated 512 career receptions. Also averaged 23.6 yards per kickoff return over his career. Voted to two Pro Bowls.
JIMMY JOHNSON – Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins
Helped develop the Cowboys into the team of the ‘90s. Led them to two Super Bowl titles in just five years with the team. The 1990 NFL Coach of the Year, logged an 89-68 overall record in nine total seasons.
GIL BRANDT – Team Executive/Personnel Director – 1960-1988 Dallas Cowboys, 1995-present: NFL
Vice President of Personnel that helped the Cowboys become one of the most dominating teams in league history. Noted for innovative scouting and personnel systems that are today standard practice in the NFL.
JERRY JONES – Owner/President/General Manager – 1989-present Dallas Cowboys
Innovative leader on team and league level. Took over Cowboys in 1989 and quickly transformed team into Super Bowl champions. Under his guidance, the Cowboys have won eight division, three NFC, and three Super Bowl championships. Guiding force behind concept, design, and completion of the state-of-the-art AT&T Stadium.
JIMMY SMITH – WR – 1992 Dallas Cowboys, 1995-2005 Jacksonville Jaguars
In 12 playing seasons, amassed 862 receptions, 12,287 receiving yards and 67 receiving touchdowns. Led the NFL in receptions in 1999 and was selected to the Pro Bowl five times.
RANDALL CUNNINGHAM – QB – 1985-1995 Philadelphia Eagles, 1997-99 Minnesota Vikings, 2000 Dallas Cowboys, 2001 Baltimore Ravens
Named first- or second-team All-Pro four times and selected to play in four Pro Bowls during 16-year career. Racked up 29,979 yards and 201 touchdowns through the air, while adding 4,928 yards and 35 touchdowns on the ground.
EDDIE GEORGE – RB – 1996-2003 Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans, 2004 Dallas Cowboys
Rushed for 1,000 yards seven times in his nine-season career. In all, rushed for 10,441 yards and scored 68 TDs and 2,227 yards on 268 receptions and 10 touchdowns.
KEYSHAWN JOHNSON – WR – 1996-99 New York Jets, 2000-03 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-05 Dallas Cowboys, 2006 Carolina Panthers
Recorded 70 or more receptions in nine seasons. Totaled 814 receptions, 10,571 receiving yards and 64 receiving touchdowns during 11-season career. Named to Pro Bowl three times.
DREW BLEDSOE – QB – 1993-2001 New England Patriots, 2002-04 Buffalo Bills, 2005-06 Dallas Cowboys
Played in 194 career games during his 14-year career. Completed 3,839 of 6,717 pass attempts for 44,611 yards and 251 touchdowns. Named to four Pro Bowls and Second-Team All-AFC twice.
ZACH THOMAS – LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
Named first-team All-Pro five times, second-team All-Pro two seasons and elected to seven Pro Bowls. He topped 100 tackles in each of his first 11 seasons and recorded 17 interceptions during 184-game career.